I wish I would have said something

I did the online dating thing years ago, and it was a bit of an adventure.  This predates (<-pun?) MySpace or even Friendster, so the whole online networking scene was new to everyone, and most of the norms we now take for granted hadn't really been established.  To me it was the most natural thing in the world, but if I had it to do over again, the one thing I would have done differently is something we all need to learn: How to say "No" in a way that is polite.

A lot of people wrote me (and vice versa), and naturally I wasn't always interested (and vice versa).  The universal sign of disinterest was silence, and that's pretty much how it went.  You just didn't write back.  No one was overtly rude, but at the same time, not acknowledging someone is rude in and of itself.  No one ever likes to be rejected, but I wish now I could go back and say diplomatically, "I don't think it would work between us, but good luck in your search."

One of the specific cases where I wish I would have replied was a transgender male-to-female ("post-operative female" was how her profile put it) who had contacted me.  I just didn't write back.  In hindsight, I realize that this person had probably dealt with a lot of rejection both overt and tacit, and maybe I could have softened the blow instead of saying nothing at all.  She wasn't my thing, but I'm sure there was someone else out there.  I wish I would have said, "No, but keep looking" in a nice way instead of nothing at all.

Returning silence to someone gives them a blank slate onto which project all their insecurities, and all the more so where the difficult game of finding romance is concerned.  I wish I would have said something instead of nothing at all.

Copyright 2009 Alexplorer.
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