[DG: Updated, see below]
A female reader of my blog reached out to me recently about an experience she had with online dating. She had met a Christian guy online, and they had gotten to talking about marriage back and forth for a while- a number of months. It had been going well and was getting serious- they were all set to meet, an important step since they lived far apart. Then the guy went silent. She didn’t hear from him for a month. None of her responses were answered. There had been no warning that he was going silent either.
Eventually she finally heard back from him. His message was very short, amounting to basically three lines:
- I’m not sure my future includes marriage
- Besides, I’m really busy right now and can’t give you any time
- But lets try and be friends anyways
I suppose that it goes without saying that she was somewhat upset by this response. To put it mildly. Not only had he rejected her, and not only had he refused to give any real reason, he also pulled a LJBF on her. She contacted me to try and understand what was going on. She genuinely didn’t understand. To be honest, neither did I.
His message was one that could only hurt her. It left most nearly everything up to her imagination, and her imagination took her dark places. I think that would be the case for most nearly any woman. She wondered if he had been playing with her all along, and pulled this stunt merely to mess with her. She wondered if he hadn’t found her attractive, and was merely using her for “relationship practice.” And of course, before she heard from him she wondered if something terrible had happened to him, and had worried greatly. I gathered from her that the guy in question had known she was at least somewhat emotionally attached to him. Apparently he even claimed to be considerate of women’s feelings. But his silence and his curt message refute his own assertions.
This brings me to the central point of my post- if you are a guy and reject a woman, you owe her the truth. Tell her enough so that she won’t have good reason to wonder if it is a trick or if there is something wrong for her. Perhaps she will anyways, but at that point it is on her, not you. Remember that woman is the weaker vessel, and act accordingly. Be considerate of their feelings- clarifying matters for them is an act of charity. Unless there is a solid legal reason not to tell her, you should do so. Yes, even if it is embarrassing or shameful. Be a man and bite the bullet. That answer this woman received came across to me as very passive-aggressive, and frankly as a bit unmanly. Don’t repeat that.
And while I’m at it, women owe men the truth as well. The present marriage marketplace is an utter mess. It won’t get any better if people employ rejections that lack all empathy for the other person. Tell other people as much as you can. It is the charitable thing to do.
Update: The woman in question contacted me, and provided a few clarifications (I had misunderstood and misinterpreted her a bit, plus her initial contact was on the shorter side).
1. They had been in touch for about two months- they had talked marriage but not to the point where she was expecting a proposition. Rather, she had thought that this guy was serious about exploring marriage.
2. She did not think it was a matter of attraction- I misinterpreted her when I thought that.
3. She had wanted to meet much sooner, but he had delayed a meeting.
4. She had done some basic background inquiry, and it seemed to back up that he was in fact a real person.