Remember when you were in high school or college (or God forbid later in life) when it was such a kick to run out of the restaurant without paying the tab due to shitty service or being completely shit-faced. Or both? Yep, the ol' "dine and dash." A hoot and a rush at the time, but now there seems to be a new version we're calling "date and dash." This one's not so fun at all, and speaking of shit, that's how it can make you and the person on the other end feel because it's not always about him or her, sometimes it's you - yes you - with that 'get up and run as fast as I can' feeling.
How many of you have thought you may have connected with someone, had a great conversation via a dating app, texting, or in person, then he or she takes off mentally (or
worse, literally a la a trip to the bathroom that never ends) like it's the 50-yard dash? I don't know about you, but I'm semi amused sometimes by it but mostly appalled about how grown-ass adults can tuck their tails and run with zero notice. This is not ghosting, folks. It boils down to a vibe: they or you suddenly realize, "why am I even trying with this person?" and "we're on a path to nowhere." Ick.
Why does this happen? Well, it depends on what you want and where you are in your 'singlehood'. Are you looking for just a friendship, a glass of wine with someone new, a hook-up (careful with that one), or do you want to explore even more? Before you jump, you need to know what you want and what is best for the two of you (mostly you, and that is not selfish at this stage). If it's going nowhere, cut your losses. And for Pete's sake, show some class and respect and tell them if you're the guilty party calling it a day.
That stated, here are a few things to say instead of pulling a total disappearing act:
1) “I've really enjoyed our time together; however, I’m not looking for anything serious right now.”
2) “I'm currently separated and headed for divorce, so I’m only looking for something casual.”
3) “Thanks for reaching out, but I’m too busy with work and don't have the time right now.”
4) “My kids are my number one, and I feel this interferes with my time with them.”
5) “I'm not sure you hear me; I enjoy spending time when we can, but I'm just not ready to jump back into the relationship game.”
6) “Just not feeling this, and I’m so sorry. I know what I want, and I this just isn't it.”
7) “You deserve someone who can give you the love and attention you crave; I can't do that right now.”
Those are just a few ways; some seem harsher than others but protecting others and your feelings with this kind of situation is of the utmost importance. You do not want to get “stuck” right after your divorce or separation and not give yourself proper time just to be you. Thus, I encourage each of you to take your time, and if you want to play for a while, at least be upfront about it. Other than anything light agreed upon by both parties can be great.
However, there's no reason to simply settle for what you want from life, love, and relationships - you know, the big picture - because it's right in your face, right now, but with the wrong person. Remember, this is your life we're talking about, not a game of dine and dash.
Questions to ponder per the above:
Are you in a situation that needs to end?
Are you dragging someone around?
What do you want out of life?
When love enters, will I know?