With online dating, people can sometimes behave in strange ways that may cause us to want to give up on trying to communicate with them. Below is one example of how communication can fall apart as we are building a relationship. After the example, I’ll discuss how I feel it’s best to approach this type of situation.
I met a great guy online in December and we saw each other all that month and into January and everything was great! We stayed in contact during the week but over time his contact became less and he initiated meeting up less but was enthusiastic if I suggested something. Now it’s me in the boat rowing and he’s just going along for the ride.
Recently we had a great time together and he had to make a presentation that week that would make or break his company and his future. After we got together that last time he stopped contact for a solid week. Now I know he is under major pressure so I left him to it. Later I sent him a text and he acted overjoyed to hear from me, thanking me for being there for him and telling me how much he appreciated me with terms of endearment and all like there was nothing wrong with us. After that I just decided to let him be and it has been two weeks and I have not heard a thing.
I am too embarrassed to text him again. I don’t get it. If he really is as happy with me as he seems why is he just not talking to me anymore? I am tired of rowing. I put down my oars and he has yet to start the boat moving again. What do I do? Should I play his game and pick up the oars and swallow my pride to be supportive of him or just let him go?
Is Giving Up the Right Answer?
The above is just one example of why people might feel like they are wasting their time trying to contact someone. Sometimes, giving up may be the right answer, such as in the case where you are also talking to a lot of other people to date and the “problem” person is just distracting you. However, just like in my discussion on trying to contact someone again after no response, I think the process of finding closure is a fairly easy thing to attempt.
I understand where people are coming from when they decide to give up but I think real closure is better than just giving up. Sure, you might be dead in the water…but often it’s hard to tell. If you’re considering giving up on someone but feel conflicted in doing so, I would recommend picking up the oars once more and on a date (or even on the phone) be open with the person about your concern.
In the case above, I encouraged this woman to let him know that she really enjoys her time with him but that she feels like it’s a one way relationship and she’s going to look into dating other people if he can’t show more interest. I also suggested she try to be as nice as possible when explaining this: try not to make him the bad guy. Make it more about being open and honest. If this is how things are going to be, she just needs to know so she can date someone else. Not his fault, not her fault, just time to move on. He’s great, just not great for her.
I think one of two things will happen with this approach for issues like this one:
- He’ll wake up and realize what he’s about to lose and kick into gear (and start rowing as my reader puts it)
- He’ll agree it’s not working (or he’ll make excuses and says that he’ll improve but then won’t improve at all)
In case #1, we have closure because now we’re headed down the right path. In case #2, we have closure because now it will be very clear that ending things is the right choice. Without communicating like this, we’re just guessing if it’s the right time to end it. Yes, in many cases it seems like a good guess but it’s still a guess.
If you’re in a similar situation, I’d recommend trying to remove any guess work by being open and getting the other person to address your concerns one way or another. At the very least, this will prevent you from wondering years from now what might have been.