no mojo, and what to do about it

A and I got together again the other night. To cut to the chase: as I suspected, there’s no mojo there.

(God, I haven’t even told him yet. That’s kinda terrible, isn’t it, that I’m telling the whole word – even if it is anonymous – before I tell him? But more on that in a sec.)

We got together at a bookstore. Browsed a bit. Found our way to another coffee shop, and, like the first time we got together, we talked and talked and talked. Talking, we’re good at.

But it was immediately clear to me that that’s all we’ve got going for us. He pushed a few of my buttons – the wrong ones, I mean: he loves science fiction and computers and video games, and I harbor unreasonable mistrust of people who love science fiction and computers and video games. (I know! It’s not fair, and I’d be pretty pissed if someone dismissed me because I love poetry and horses and board games, but there you have it. I’m a sci-fi bigot.)  More than that, though, was just a feeling: This isn’t going anywhere. He’s a nice guy, but he’s not the guy for me.

Trouble is, I think he’s pretty into me. I’m going home to Minnesota for a few weeks, and he joked around how he was going to pine away for me. He asked whether I was planning to stay in the area after I finished my sabbatical; I said I didn’t know, that it would depend on where my life took me; he said “I hope I can be a part of your life.” He talked about driving up to Centralia when I get back.

I’m terrible at this sort of thing. Letting him down easy, whatever you want to call it. I’m a disaster. My preference would be to just disappear, pretend it never happened. And maybe that will work, without unfairness on my part, by virtue of the my long absence over the holidays. Maybe I’ll come back and we just won’t get back in touch and everything will be fine, no problem, no hard feelings, back to regular programming. But I doubt it; I think I’m going to have to call him, or see him (or could I just email me? please tell me I can email him!) and tell him that I just don’t see us headed in the direction he seems to want.

God, I wish I had some excuse. The last time I had to do this – when I broke up with a guy named Ben, I guy I’d known from the first date wasn’t for me but, when he said “So, are we ‘go’?” at the end of our second date, I was too flabbergasted to protest, and thus was born a three-month relationship – I pretended that I wasn’t over an ex. I said I was so sorry that I’d mislead him, that I was still in love with someone else, that it had taken me a while to realize it. This was all a lie, and I wish I could do it again, but these days I’m not lying, it’s a thing I’m trying, and that means I have to tell him the truth.

Shit.

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20 responses to “no mojo, and what to do about it

  1. Others will no doubt disagree with me but you have my permission to email! In this day and age we use electronic communications all the time and I think this is the perfect tool for the circumstance.

    Just pop him an email saying it was lovely to see him again and he’s a great guy but you don’t see the two of you developing a relationship as the chemistry wasn’t there for you.

    The sooner you do it, the better you will feel, the less emotionally invested he will be and everyone will be ok in the end.

    Do it, now!

  2. I agree with Sandra – do it, now. It is far kinder to tell the truth (nicely!) rather than let the poor guy hope there is something more. You’re both adults so I don’t think you need to invent a bogus “excuse”. I guess another way to look at it would be if the situation were reversed, how would you want to find out? Would you prefer he told you honestly, made something up or just dropped off the face of the earth?

    Good luck for your next prospect :)

  3. I think that after only two meetings letting him down by email is still OK. If you’d been dating for weeks, that would be different.

    But DEFINITELY let him know. It’s hard for you in the short run, but nicer to him in the long run. If you don’t say something he has to slowly figure out what happened, and slowly think about all the reasons someone would reject him, and he’ll pick the worst ones, which aren’t even why you aren’t interested in him. I say this as someone who’s been on the receiving end of that kind of let down, and it’s not good.

    You’ll feel better after you get this off your chest.

    Good for you for getting out there and trying!

  4. Here’s the thing I’ve never understood. You say with this past bf, you knew he wasn’t “for you” after the first date–so why on Earth would you go on a second one with him?

  5. Oh… I hear you on this one. It’s better to let him off earlier than letting him invest months in it. But, I have a hard time letting them down too. I so hear you.

    Email, leave a message or just text message the guy. If you’re into it, maybe he’d be okay with being just friends, since you’re so good at talking together and all. :) I personally think honesty is the best policy.. if it were me, I’d prolly make a joke that I’m a sci-fi bigot.

    Though, I’m not a sci-fi bigot. I’m totally into sci-fi and computers and video games. When I met my boyfriend (who I now live with), he would go on and on about how he loved how we can be “nerds” together and how I get the whole sci fi/video games/computer thing.

    How’s this for a reframe…

    Letting this guy go is a good thing! You’re freeing him up to find a woman who will revel in his nerdiness.

    I’m wishing you all the best.

  6. I think you do need to tell him, but I have to say that if I woke up to an email saying ‘sorry, but I’m just not into you’ it would feel like an extra blow.

    If you can’t bring yourself to do it in person, well, at least we’re talking about two brief dates rather than a huge investment in time and emotions, and I’d say it’s better than saying nothing. I just think break ups should be handled in person unless there’s a seriously compelling reason (such as physical danger) to do it by proxy. And yes, I think that even when it’s only been two dates.

  7. Honestly, I think if someone is taking the time to go out and date, they can take the time to break these things to the other person…in person.

    This guy deserves the respect given by a face-to-face discussion. I think that, if you cannot handle severing even young relationships, you should not be seeking them out in the first place.

    Sorry.

  8. I agree, it should be handled better than by email. At the very minimum, over the phone.

    A situation I had happen to me was with the last date that I’ve even been on, which was in March of 2004. The girl knew my home phone number, my personal email address, and my work email address. She did the excuse route – the “it’s not you, it’s me”, “don’t want to date for a while”, etc… She did the deed by email…to my work email account. Not only that, but it was just 2 days before my birthday (she knew when my birthday was too). That was very immature of her. I had to be subjected to that while I was at work and it added unpleasantness to a time that is supposed to be celebratory.

    Again, phone call at a minimum, but in person would be best.

  9. OH MY…this sounds like a scenario that I went through 2 years ago, to a T. I did have some side things going on that made it complicated with him, too. And, the video game, etc thing did me in too. But, I have to admit a few things. I talked to him for a few weeks after our last date, but never met him again. And then I lost my job and fell off the planet. After things got back together, I felt like a big POS and contacted him. I apologized for just falling off the way I did. And he said, he really liked me and was sad it didn’t work out, thought it was something he did wrong. BUT. The real thing to admit is that I think now I was a huge bitch for not giving him a chance, because he was so nice and understanding and genuine with me. And he just so happened to be a huge dork, but so respectful and sweet. I think I will always regret it. Not to sway you from your decision…just couldn’t help but say it since it was so identical. I would say at least a phone call, if not in person.

  10. I have to chime in here… of course it is your decision and you know how you feel… BUT… my soon to be husband felt this way about me for the first 3 months we knew each other. I was very into him, and he just wasn’t feeling any mojo. However, the first time we kissed, it lit him on fire! Haha! And he never looked back. He was then in love with me within a few days of that. 2 years later we are going strong and we are getting married in a few months.
    So – while you aren’t feeling it now, maybe don’t give up on it just yet. I still think you should tell him that right now you aren’t feeling it… but… maybe keep spending time together and see if that changes!

  11. etooz: Gee, that’s kinda harsh. I mean, this whole post was about how I knew I had to do the right thing. You think it’s supposed to be easy, and only if it doesn’t bother you are you ready to participate?

    Rebecca: I know! I suck. Or, I sucked then, at least. But I also do believe in a two-date rule, because first dates are pretty much a wash, don’t you think? Everyone is too nervy to be themselves.

    Everyone else: I neglected to mention a significant complication in this dilemma. I’m leaving tomorrow for three weeks in Minnesota. Telling him in person is out of the question, unless I put it off until mid-January. It’s my sense that waiting that long would be wrong. So I should phone?

    (But there’s more information that might be helpful: We’ve never spoken on the phone. I don’t do that. I mean, I barely talk to my friends and family on the phone. But in particular, with regards to internet dating, I don’t see the point. I tend to leap straight from messages to getting together. So, anyway, it would be the first time I’ve called him, to tell him I don’t want to see him any more. Does that change anything, or am I just looking for an excuse to use email?)

  12. What does Miss Manners say? I have loved her advice ever since I read her advice to a reader who asked what to say when introduced to a gay couple. The answer, of course, is “How do you do? How do you do?”.

    Personally, I am with the email camp because it has only been two dates. Also, its been your sole method of communication from day one. Aside from your meet ups, of course. I mean, if you two had met some other way, and all your communication had been over the phone, then an email would be a bit harsh.

  13. Do mention that you enjoy talking to him, and would be pleased to stay friends. Friends are good too! If you know any nerdy girls who are looking, offer to ask if they’d be interested in meeting him. Emphasize that you like him, but things didn’t click. You can blame your Major Histocompatibility Complexes if he’s a science geek too:

    http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10493120

  14. “etooz: Gee, that’s kinda harsh. I mean, this whole post was about how I knew I had to do the right thing. You think it’s supposed to be easy, and only if it doesn’t bother you are you ready to participate?”

    It’s not harsh…blunt, maybe. I don’t really flower my words. I do commend you for WANTING to do the right thing, though. That is important and I was glad to see that you did. I should have stated so, that was my bad.

    However.

    I never said it was easy, never implied it was easy, any of that. I simply said that with dating comes breaking up, and you really shouldn’t be doing one if you aren’t ready/capable of/for the other, in the end. That goes for a lot of things in life.

  15. I’ve been where you’re at – I think your two date rule is generous enough. If he’s not for you, he’s not for you! No need to feel bad about it.

    My two cents: letting him off the hook sooner rather than later is the best choice. If you can muster up the courage to break the news on email faster than by any other mode, then email is the best choice.

    (Also I’d like to add my voice to the “hoorah for sci fi geeks!” chorus.)

  16. Listen: guys constantly say the type of things he said to you, and they almost NEVER mean them. Don’t let it concern you. Just tell him you’re not interested and move on. He’ll forget about you instantaneously.

  17. I think that having two dates and not wanting to have any more does not constitute breaking up. It isnt like you were in a relationship. I think emailing him (mainly because you are going away) is perfectly fine.

  18. Pingback: crazy gone nuts « Fat Girl on a Date

  19. I agree with Bri. Two dates do not constitute a relationship… and personally if somebody I was into asked me to get together for a third time just to tell me that they didn’t actually want to see me anymore… well, I’d rather hear it over the phone then get my hopes up by the invite then have them crushed. Or even via email (I do think the phone is better… but considering that email has been your primary source of communication, I think that’s okay).

    As for how to say it… I once had a guy call me after a first date and say: “I really enjoyed spending time with you, but I don’t see this going anywhere romantically. I’d like to be friends though.” I thought that was a pretty good way to say it… and I was so impressed that he even called instead of… well instead of just disappearing. The fact that you care enough to actually talk to him about it instead of just ignoring him and hoping he gets the hint counts for a lot.

    Good luck!

  20. Keep it cool and let him do the leading.

    http://crispe.org/blog

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