Avoid ghosting your date by using a breaking text template – Quartz

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We all have one. My colleague Colette showed me the break text template she uses. She, along with her nine best friends (all in their late 20s or early 30s), swear by the text, claiming that she only received “really nice things in response” from the part of the men she dated.

Here is the text:

Hey! Hope you had fun hiking with your brother this weekend. I had a great time the other night and I think you’re a really great person, but I don’t think we’re a good game. Good luck, hope you find what you are looking for.

Make sure to customize to suit your voice and the circumstances. Here are some ways that text has been used in nature:

Let’s first clarify when to use this text. It’s best to use it for someone who you’ve only had a few dates with and have decided not to see again. “I use this script for the vast majority of date failures, which are made up of perfectly nice, great guys that I didn’t see myself with for some reason,” says Colette.

It is generally not advisable to use it with someone with whom you had a real relationship, say no more than four dates. You probably don’t need to use it on someone who seems to like things to end naturally.

To do:

  • Be brief. No one wants to read super long text and you run the risk of diluting your main point.
  • Be kind but firm. The goal is to minimize pushbacks, but don’t slack off if you get them.
  • Cushion the blow. Who doesn’t like compliments? Even when they’re breaking up.
  • Keep the door open loosely. “Lets be friends!” that’s fine, but don’t make any real plans unless you actually want to be friends.
  • Be honest, but not too much honest. Tell them it won’t work. But if you’ve found someone else you love more, or if you’ve got back with your ex, maybe leave that part out.

Not :

  • Apologize. You didn’t do anything wrong, it just didn’t work.
  • Use ambiguous language. You don’t want them to still think there’s a chance they’ll score another date with you.

Why do we need the text?

We need the text because it’s mature, a way to tidy up the emotional chaos of dating. It’s a nice thing to do on your date because it closes an emotional door that could have left them wondering where they are at or what could have been.

We need this text especially because ending things with someone puts us in a vulnerable position. When one person rejects another, especially when a woman rejects a man, her worst fear is that dating respond with violence. There are too many examples of this happening to claim that it is not a real danger; it is part of the fear that women live with on a daily basis.

Rejecting someone can also seem emotionally risky. “The danger is that it returns something that can hurt you”, says Andrea Silenzi, the former host of the sex and dating podcast “Why Oh Why.” They might pull out daggers like, “You don’t look like your photos” or “Whatever, it’s not like I think we’re gonna get married.” “Dating involves such emotional force, and a mean comment can make you lose your game for weeks,” says Silenzi.

But the risk is well worth it, especially if the alternative is ghosting.

So don’t feel bad about using a template text. It’s good for your date, and it’s probably good for you too. “My theory is that modeling some common emotional interactions doesn’t make them any less thoughtful,” says Colette. “It allows you to be better towards others by removing some of the emotional burden that paralyzes most of us. “


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