Internet dates that didn’t happen #1

Dear M______

I hardly know you very well, off these few emails, and you seem, you know, genuine. I imagine your friends refer to you as “such a sweet guy”. I imagine you get along passably well with ex-girlfriends. But. M_______. Forgive me for taking this liberty – but, as we’re unlikely to meet, it seems pointless to miss the opportunity to point something out to you, with all the best intentions. Take a look at these:

“If you would prefer to cast this tentative friendship adrift for any reason, then please let me know.” ??!!

“I’ll expect an email if/when I receive one.” ??!!!

“If you would prefer to keep things virtual, that’s also cool.” ????!!!!

Read them a couple of times.

You wrote them.

Did you see what you were writing?

Do you see what I’m trying to tell you?

Do you know what’s coming?

It’s your interpersonal proactivity dial, dude. You seem to have set it to 0. As in Radically Tentative. Houston, we have a problem. I mean, I’m all for considerateness and sensitivity in men, but you’re taking it to a new level here. Out of the thousand-odd matches that datingbuzz threw at me, you’re one of a tiny handful that had something at all to say. And yet, here you are, running out a line in tentativeness like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s like driving with your handbrake on, dude. Ease up. I mean, I’m taking myself out of the loop in any case … but I’m pretty convinced you’re one of the creatures that would find himself hooked up in a heartbeat if you could just take a deep breath and put yourself on the line. Do you know what I’m saying?

Now. I’m really in two minds about sending this email. Will I press send? Or will I simply delete it, and let you go on your gentle way, out of fear that you might find my point of view a little uncomfortable, a little prickly? You might take offense. You might simply be hurt. And I don’t like hurting people. What am I trying to achieve here, I wonder?
Well, I’d like to think that I just might inspire you to do something out-of-the-ordinary. So I think I might just hit the send button. Go on. Stretch yourself. Risk something. Pursue someone. Put yourself on the line.

All the best
Lisa

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About Lisa

I live in South Africa with my husband and two small children, doing things, thinking about things and sometimes writing about them.
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2 Responses to Internet dates that didn’t happen #1

  1. Anonymous says:

    Shame Lisa! I think you are being a bit hard in your dear correspondent. I don’t think you can apply the same rules of thumb here as say the last 9 000 000 years of defending the dating game. He/She is probably as nervous/new/tentative as you. Two sides of the spectrum – I would be more afraid of the opposite – “Sweetmeats Lets rock it, my place or yours” type of thing. This seems like an infinitely more acceptable caring real man/woman in a cocoon just not wanting to boldy go – YET. Who knows with some Greensteinian charms and a dollop of “You’re the fire”…………

  2. Lisa says:

    You know, I feared that too. I agree that there is often a place for reticence in these things. But a) the correspondence was over anyway, so neither party had anything to lose; and
    b) the correspondent in question had given me several reasons to suspect it would tell him exactly what he wanted to hear.
    His reply, sent back snappily, reminded me once again to trust my intuitions. Raise the bar, I say, and raise it again. Not necessarily this forcefully, but do it. People will surprise you.

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