Dear Aspie: Letting go

Dear Aspie:
I met a girl online. I live about an hour away from her. Three times, I drove up to meet her; she never came to meet me. She said she did not feel comfortable coming down my way. After the third date, she told me she had plans next weekend, but would like to get together with me the weekend after. I left a message on her answering machine the next week saying I wanted to chat, and hoped to hear from her later. I never heard back from her.

Then she changed her ad to say she was only looking for people within her town. But tonight, I put up my personal ad on another site, and found her ad there as well. This ad says she is looking for someone farther away,within my boundary.

My question is, should I try and contact her again or just let things be?

— Ken M.

Read on for Julie’s response!
Ken, just let things be. This girl is no longer interested, and she doesn’t want to admit it to you directly. At the same time, she’s too chicken even to dodge you without pretending not to – thus the “boundary” game.

I admit to dodging guys I’ve dated. The reason is that some men I have rejected directly have become hostile and argumentative. I prefer silence to being harangued and pushed to present a strong case regarding why I don’t want to date somebody. It’s almost as if the guy thinks that if I don’t win the argument, I’ll have to date him again!

On the other hand, I think someone you’ve interacted with to the extent of meeting them in person three times deserves an honest rejection, at the very least. Not only that, but if a guy has made it through three dates, he’s probably polite enough not to be a jerk about it. You never know, though; and maybe this girl has had some bad experiences that way. I’m not saying that makes it okay; I’m saying that could be why she chooses to avoid you rather than dealing with you directly.

In general, silent rejection has become standard online dating practice, probably for just this sort of reason. Dodging simply comes with the online territory, whether or not you think it’s right or fair. It’s something you have to learn to live with if you want to play the game.

In terms of the distance factor, I personally would want the guy to be the one to travel. I can see why you wouldn’t want to invest a significant amount of travel time and expense in someone who’s likely to fizzle, though. You could travel the first time to see if there’s a spark, but then wait awhile before going again. In the interim, you could try to gauge how and whether she continues to respond to you in chat and/or on the phone.

On the other hand, an hour’s drive is really not that major in Internet dating land. Some people get on airplanes for this, you know. Imagine how annoyed you’d be if she’d lived in another country!

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