Several years ago, after many attempts of trying and trying and trying again to find that right person after my 2011 divorce, I closed my online dating account and deleted my profile from it. There was no reason to continue participating. I was totally convinced that online dating services only existed to raise my hopes and to dash them upon the jagged rocks in the valley. Oh yeah, and for them to make money off of that very action, monetizing emotions, shall we say.
That being said…
In those years since my divorce, I’ve participated in many dates and been involved in several relationships. Some of them were fleeting, others were more meaningful. And through all those dumpings, rejections, and the like – I’ve always heard the same phrases. The same homilies. The same old “I want to let you down easy but the words I use will unfortunately hurt you twice as much” comments.
And whether you’re a man or a woman, you’ve heard these words before in a relationship. I’m sure you have.
They sound like this.
“I don’t understand why there aren’t women fighting over being able to date you.” This is a common statement, and it really means that if there really are women who are fighting over the possibility of dating me, the argument is usually, “You date him.” “Nuh-uh, you date him.” “No way, girlfriend, you date him. Take one for the team.”
“You would make a great catch for anybody.” But apparently not for you. In real life, I’m a “great catch,” but the term “catch” is always followed with “and release back into the water.”
“Don’t cry because it ended. Smile because it happened.” Yeah, that’s a painful one. It’s like saying, “Hey, you had a good time with me, you should feel blessed for that. Now go away and smile as your broken heart washes over you.”
“I’m just not ready for a relationship yet.” Which of course explains why you’re not only on on the same dating site as me, but that you’re also on all the other dating sites.
“When you stop looking, that’s when you’ll find that special person just around the corner.” Yeah, that person will be at your funeral because she went to the wrong services … and she’ll say, as you’re being lowered into the ground, “He would have been a nice person to meet. I wish I had had a chance to date him.” Then, as the dirt gets tossed on your grave, she walks away forever.
“I have a friend that I think you’d be more suitable dating.” Right. You don’t want me, and you’d rather dump me off on one of your friends who already know that you don’t want me. Nice.
“A relationship shouldn’t be this difficult.” You have to understand – people get involved in relationships. There are highs and lows. There are peaks and valleys. There are moments of triumph and there are moments of tragedy. That’s why the marriage vows say “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.” They don’t say, “for better or for better, in health and in health, for richer and for richer,” now do they?
“I don’t deserve a guy like you.” So, are you saying that you deserve better, or you deserve worse, than me?
“There’s so much that we still have to discover.” I’m not a car insurance commercial, for God’s sakes.
“I don’t want to change who you are.” Well, there’s a big fat cop-out right there. Relationships are full of compromise and give and take. And together, you work towards finding that common center.
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t do a break-up via phone. Or by text. Or by e-mail. I’ve had that happen to me more times than I care to count. It essentially means that you’re so uncomfortable with being in the same room as me, you’d rather send a message from miles away because you fear just going back on your word.
I get it.
Trust me, I get it more than you can possibly imagine.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post was originally held as a draft piece in 2017, and was scheduled to run then. This was recovered when I received my final archive of old Times Union blog posts, and is being shared now, four years later.