I had a nice first date a few weeks ago, including decent chemistry and a workable goodbye kiss. We planned a second date, but had to reschedule when he picked up a shift for a co-worker. No problem. Then, a few days before the reschedule, Mr. NiceFirstDate texted to cancel. The reason?
"My level of interest has waned."
As loyal readers know, my nonmonogamy watchwords are honesty and respect. Without 'em, all is anarchy and STIs. But there's a caveat I've neglected, and it is best summed up by philosopher Wil Wheaton:
Don't be a dick.
Look, Mr. NFD, I really appreciate you not leading me on or wasting my time; I wish more online daters were like you. But it would have been really, really lovely if you'd sugar-coated your disinterest a tiny bit.
I'd have been good with a white lie ("I met someone last week, and we're going to give monogamy a spin.") You could have requested another reschedule without specifying a date (the Fade Away is a personal favorite). You could have fed me an obvious whopper ("The Foreign Legion. Huh. They take men in their late forties?") But the unvarnished truth was just the tiniest bit mean. Sure, the words were technically an it's-not-you-it's-me, but they still carried the sting of It's-You.
Even battle-hardened nonmonogamists like me have tender bits. There's kindness and good karma in wrapping rejection in a little cotton wool before you drop it on someone.