Ouch. I’d reached out electronically and was rejected. Why doesn’t he like me? I wondered as I brushed my teeth before heading to Central Park for my morning walk with the dogs.
Is that a zit on my chin?
The morning light in my bathroom coupled with a make-up free face was more than I could handle at that hour and add to that the rejection email. It was the perfect storm, a watershed moment ripe for contemplating the significant things in this winter of my life.
You’re old. You need Botox.
I spent the next hour trekking around the park with the dogs. It was a quiet morning and I moved with a rhythmic stride—I was in the zone and my mind was sharp as I added and subtracted.
If I eat only Trader Joe’s veggie burritos for a month I think I can afford half my forehead.
Desperate times and all that and I knew by the end of the walk I would figure out a way to make it happen. I’d do some creative accounting and a frozen forehead would be mine!
SUCK IT, SUZE ORMAN.
I don’t know about you but I’ve had it with her big mouth. She’s always yelling at me through the television about what I can’t afford.
Hey, Suz, I’m 50 and single. Reality is I can’t afford not to.
When I returned from my walk I responded to the email, thanked him for getting back to me and wished him well. I felt so mature. Still a little hurt, but an adult nonetheless. I’ve had my share of those same sorts of replies to my rejection emails and I thought I’d share a few.
This is from a man who is separated. I don’t date men who are going through a divorce. There’s inevitably a natural anger that accompanies that process and I’d rather wait until it is over.
Here’s what he wrote:
First, I’d like to thank you for emailing me back. In my short experience with this online dating thing, not many people have the decency to do so even if the response is not a positive one…contrary to what their profile indicates by the way. I certainly understand your concern. I hope my divorce gets finalized soon, before some other lucky guy sweeps you off your feet! When my divorce is final, you’ll be the first one to know, even before my Mom.
Here’s another from a man who lives outside Manhattan:
That was very nice for you to email me. I wish it were for a date lol. I do understand you only want to meet men from NYC. Have a very nice weekend and hope you find your true love.
All the best,
Steve (On the other side of the Hudson River!)
Here’s another from a man who was older than I want to date and I found a way to say it with kindness:
Thank you for the kind words. Good luck in your search as well.
PS. I can think of (10) spontaneous ways of surprising you, just by paying attention to you. Please remember that if ever someone tells you they’re trying. I don’t know you and I came up with ten.
Yet another from a man who just wasn’t a match:
All I can say is that your note was the nicest ever “thanks, but no thanks, take a hike, go jump in the East River” note I’ve ever received. That was very nice of you. While I wasn’t sure myself, ready to book at flight to Vegas and book the Elvis Chapel for our $50 marriage, I was hoping for at least a drink. Please at least consider it sometime soon. I’m off of 1st / 92nd Street and the worse that could happen is us both having met a new friend. If we were to meet, I can’t however guarantee that you would not be charmed and think me to be funny and cute!
I reminded myself of all the men I’ve not felt would be a good match and decided it was OK if that guy wasn’t interested. I wasn’t going to waste a moment personalizing it and realized as a mature adult, knowing why exactly he didn’t find me irresistible was irrelevant. I was feeling proud of my newfound respect for everyone’s right to choose.
This is the way grown ups handle these situations, with kindness and dignity!
Then I noticed a new email message in my inbox.
Here’s all it said:
U LOOK LIKE GLYNTH PATROW
Really? Glynth Patrow? In all caps so he’s screaming the wrong name at me? That’s the best he could do? I was instantly transported from The Land of the Kind Adult to the Town of Mean Girl and my fingers responded accordingly.
Here’s what I wrote:
You’re a douche.
Precise, and yet the cursor hovered over the Send button. I was going to press it and then I grew up. Did I really want to write that? Did I want to hurt his feelings when he was trying to be nice? Let’s face it; the person who should be most upset about his email was Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m sure she would figure he forgot to end his sentence with the word mother.
I back spaced and deleted my message and instead wrote the sort of thing I normally send.
Here’s what I wrote:
Thank you for your interest, that was a very nice thing to say. Unfortunately, I’m afraid we aren’t a match. I wish you much success in finding the perfect person. Thank you again.
I hit send, logged out of the dating website and took my seat at the grown ups’ table.
If you’re reading this and you want to help repair my damaged ego, click here to Like my 1 Year of Online Dating Facebook page.
“Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.” Tom Stoppard