What reward should persistence get? Is persistence a virtue?
In another time, when dating could go on indefinitely and didn't end if you didn't have sex after the third (or tenth) meeting, persistence might be prized. In this time, it isn't. When you say no, your no should be respected.
This week, I had two dates. Both with good guys. Both will go nowhere.
In the first instance, I wasn't nervous at all. The conversation was easy, if impersonal, and the fellow was attractive. He paid and the date ended with a hug.
The second date was with the previously mentioned "reasonable" guy. With him, I was nervous. I talked a little too much but he did have a few things to say. We split the bill and the date ended with a handshake.
An email from the reasonable guy confirms my suspicion that we wouldn't go out again. He wrote, "After thinking about it, I don't see us as being a good match for one another." Which, is an odd way to put it (even if you ignore the tortured syntax). Still he was kind, right, and it was fine for him to let me know.
In both instances, however, if asked for a second date I would have said yes. And if I were to never hear from either of them again, I would not feel hurt.
I think it's interesting that the reasonable guy felt the need to tell me that we weren't a match. It wasn't a bad thing to do, just not necessary. Maybe he did it because he thought I was more interested than I was because of my nerves. Notably, he left a comment on my profile (on the free site where we met) and proclaims my wonderfulness. A nice, if unnecessary, gesture.
So, neither of these guys have one ounce of persistence and I have to say, I'm grateful. It's much easier this way, especially when you know there's no click. Yet, under other circumstances, I could have easily become friends with either of these guys and if we'd had a chance to grow on each other, who knows what would have happened. As I've said in the past, I blame this on internet dating. There is nothing to regret, because I would never have met either of them otherwise, so it was worth a try.
So, who is being extremely persistent? SL (Spanish lessons guy). And I mean extremely.
SL sent me a few emails last week. I answered, very briefly, all but the last. The last didn't require a response and I was out of things to say. He wrote that he missed arguing with me, which left me flummoxed. Basically, the reason I don't want to date him is that I don't want to argue with him. And that he's sexist. But the arguing thing is almost equally important—I don't want it to be the basis of any relationship.
On Saturday night, he called three times (8:30, 10:30 and 11:30) and left two messages. I wasn't doing anything on Saturday night but I still didn't answer the phone. After playing soccer in the morning and lunching in the afternoon I came home and crashed.
I thought, maybe, after not hearing from me, he'd get the message. He'd figure out I'm not interested. He'd stop.
This morning, however, I had a short email from him. Nothing too heavy, just asking if I were mad at him and if I got his calls.
I decided to respond (foolishly?) and said I wasn't mad and that I'd gotten his messages but I'd been busy. (Really, that's exactly what I said, "I saw that you called but I was busy." Too rude?) I didn't explain myself. Why? I don't owe him anything. We're not friends. We're not in a relationship, though he seems to think we are. It gets me annoyed just writing about it.
Am I really supposed to go out with him just because he keeps asking? Does that ever work? Should it? How much should persistence count for?
If I were sure he just wanted to be friends, maybe I would be interested. Maybe, but I'm not sure. Discussing the situation with a friend on Sunday I said, "I don't trust him."
She said, "Why not? How do you mean?"
"I don't know. I can't explain it. But I don't trust him. I don't trust him."
If that's what the gut says, who am I to argue with it?
Grateful for: chances.