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Them's the Breaks

Mistress Maeve: Your guide to love and lust...


Published September 19, 2012 at 10:40 a.m.

Dear Mistress,

I’ve been on three dates with a guy and I’ve decided that I’m just not attracted to him. I wish I liked him! He’s good looking, smart and successful, but I’m just not feeling it. I do not have his email address, and we’ve never talked over the phone; we planned our first date through an online dating site, and all future plans were made via text message. So, how do I call this off? It seems rude to follow through with our next date just so I can tell him I don’t want to see him anymore, and it seems awkward to call him, as we’ve never called each other. Can I end it via text message? One of my friends said that breaking up via text would be like breaking up via fax machine in the ’90s (i.e., terrible). Ugh, I hate this!



Dear Breakdown,

Even though it’s only been a few dates, breaking up is still hard to do. It sounds like he’s a great guy, just not the one you’re looking for. Kudos to you for identifying your ambivalence early on and wanting to be forthright with him — others wouldn’t be so considerate.

In most instances, after a short courtship, it’s best to end things via the vehicle of communication you’ve used the most (even fax machine, if that was your main mode of confab). In your case, it’s OK to send a text message — unless you’ve slept with him.

If your dates have culminated in nothing more than a make-out session, a text message is not insensitive. However, if you had sex with him, spent the night and ventured out for brunch the next day, you should make a phone call. Even though you’ve never spoken on the phone, an intimate encounter necessitates a talk, even if it’s awkward. Put yourself in his shoes. If you slept with a guy and thought the relationship was going somewhere, how would you feel if he dumped you via text?

Whether it’s text or talk, keep it short and sweet. Let him know that you think he’s awesome, but you’re not feeling that “thing” you need to feel in order to continue the relationship.

Them’s the brakes,