Bad news doesn't get better with time

[This is part two of a story. You can read part one here.]

So, if you have been reading me, you know that my conversion rate from first date to second date is only 26.7%. That is so bad, right? Well, did I get to see #86 again? Did my conversion rate improve?

On our first date, we had made plans for a few days later, but with these things, one never knows. Would I actually get to see his handsome face again and enjoy his company one more time before going back to DC? 

It appeared so... especially since by accident I had left my nice shoes in his car. I mean, who doesn't bring a pair of flip flops and a pair of fancy shoes on date?! Given that he wanted to give me back my shoes I felt a bit more confident that I would see him again. But whoever knows? You just can't count on anything these days.


The first day after our date, we messaged and everything seemed great. He was nice. He was responsive. There wasn't a ton of messaging because we are both really busy, but the vibe was good.




Not only did he not respond to my messages, he didn't even see them. The last message he saw and responded to was at 9:15 the night before. He didn't see my next message. In the morning, he still hadn't seen it. I thought, maybe he went to bed early? By afternoon I thought, maybe he was too busy at work, I'll surely hear from him by evening.

By evening, still, nothing.


On our first date he had acted like the perfect gentleman he had claimed that he was. He had met my parents for goodness sake! And he had been super cool about it!  He had seemed really genuine and nice. My radar about people is usually spot on. I mean, I have lived with enough of them to become an expert on humans! Could I have read him that wrong? It just didn't seem like he'd be the type of guy to ignore me or ghost. Plus, he had my shoes!!!! I mean, why in the world would he even bother ignoring me?! It made no sense. We don't even live in the same state, what would be the point when I was leaving in a few days??

So what was it? Was he busy? Did he lose interest? 

By nighttime I still hadn't heard from him; he still hadn't even seen the messages.


I remembered how on our date, he had told me he has a really bad problem of falling asleep at the wheel and had been very lucky each time to wake up just in time. He was working on getting more sleep to avoid future occurrences. No, that didn't stress me out at all when he told me (NOT).

Oh my god. 

Was he dead in a ditch somewhere? 

More time passed. Still nothing.

I was like, oh my god, if he is dead, how will I even know?! I googled his name. No helpful results. I knew he had a brother so I looked him up on Facebook to see if he had posted anything tragic. Then, I worried if he had posted something tragic, would he have posted it to just friends? Or would it be public? How would I knowwwwwwww?!?!

I remembered he gave me his business card that had his phone number. I called him. No answer. I texted. Nothing. Man, I hate texting! You really don't know if you are being ignored or if the person you are texting is in a coma.

I didn't want to seem "creepy." I wondered if he had read my creepiness blog and hoped that if he ever did see my messages he'd realize I was truly just worried, not trying to harass him. It was so annoying that on top of worrying if was he in a ditch or in the hospital, I also had to worry about appearing "crazy."

This is why I hate dating!!! You have an awesome time with someone. They seem so nice and genuine. They say they want to see you again and you feel like maybe it is safe to be excited that you actually will. And then you are put in a position of wondering if the person is busy, ignoring you or even alive. I just HATE IT. 

Thank god I have two years of experience with this kind of vibe killing situation so my entire day wasn't ruined (because that has DEFINITELY happened on MANY occasions). But it did make me think, what is even the POINT of having fun with someone if this is the outcome?

Honestly, it wasn't fun.

I hoped I would hear from him by the time I woke up the next day.

The next day, the day we were supposed to go on our second date, I woke up at 5:30. He still hadn't seen my messages. Dread started to overcome me. When was I going to know if I was seeing him? And worse, was I going to have to spend the whole day worrying about some guy I don't even know?!?!

FINALLY, at 7:00 AM he texted me. 

YESSSSS!!!! He was alive!!!

He worked so much the day before, had left his phone in his truck. Blah blah blah. I have been doing this long enough to know that those are just excuses. Clearly he was avoiding me for some reason but I was so happy he wasn't DEAD that I didn't care. 

We had a little messaging session and everything seemed cool, of course he apologized for worrying me.

And then... the typing bubbles...

You know the bubbles that show you that the other person is typing? Well, they went on and on and on and on. I was like, OMG, what is this dude doing?! 

The bubbles continued.

He was taking foreverrrrrrr.

Bad news had to be coming. Was he cancelling our date?

I joked, "You better be writing me a 500 word love letter for how long this is taking you lol."

Yeah, um, kind of the opposite. Of course I was right... he totally was avoiding me the day before!

When he finally pressed send, I basically received an essay on how he doesn't want to be ambiguous... doesn't want a relationship... had a great time with me but the thought of a relationship gave him anxiety... I'm fantastic and beautiful and fun... but he's so busy... should probably have told me in person... just wants to make sure I am not expecting more out of this than he is... not trying to play games... still really wants to see me.. just wants to make sure I know where he stands... does he completely suck?

(Yeah, he completely sucks at pressing the SEND button!)

Honestly, it was really a sweet message as far as these types of messages go. It was clear and kind and considerate. Subtract the part of him avoiding me for a day while he processed what he wanted to say and I would give him an  A+.

My response to him?

Calm down.
I don't even live here.

And then he laughed and felt better and realized he had really stressed himself (and me) out for nothing.

So, I did get my shoes back!

And, I did get to have a GREAT second date with him which included mashed potato and bacon pizza at Otto, the best pizza in Maine. 

We fully enjoyed each other's company without him having anxiety and I only made fun of him about 40% of the time for freaking out over nothing and ignoring me. I was like, "Thanks for being so concerned about hurting me that you made me worry you were dead."


Anyway, what is the lesson here? Well, first of all, just please don't make people worry you are in a ditch somewhere.
  • If you have thoughts to process, just say you are busy and will respond when you have free time.
  • Process your thoughts so that you can explain them in a kind and considerate way as #86 did. 
  • Be up front about what you want and need. Set your boundaries and don't be afraid to do so. 
  • Don't make assumptions that cause you anxiety. In this case, my goodness. #86 got both of us all worked up when there really was no issue! 
  • Once you have your thoughts processed, don't procrastinate delivering them.
As I told #86 on our date, the best advice I ever got from one former boss was, "Bad news doesn't get better with time."

I am so glad I got to see him again. He's so great. And I am so grateful I got to have those two awesome nights on planet earth with another human being. 

And, just look at that handsome face.

How do you handle tough topics? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. The fact that you're grateful to have someone like this in your life just speaks volumes about why you're single. Pointing out the reasoning behind this is useless because it's clear you'll never "get it". I realize I'm sounding harsh here but honesty is best here. Unlike what this fellow is giving you. Let me translate his words for you:
    "You're a f*&^toy. Nothing more."

    And you'll beam and happily accept it because he's attractive and you don't value yourself enough to realize you just might deserve better.

    1. Do you realize we are strangers and you don't know me at ALL aside from what you have read? Have you ever heard of the concept on just ENJOYING yourself? I think you are SO RUDE and judgmental and clearly extremely misogynistic. Did you ever wonder if that is why YOU are single? You are also a coward to keep commenting anonymously. Why don't you put out your name and stand by your words like I do? I have had just about enough of you. Now you have seen my impatient and not very nice side.

    2. Well, THANK YOU for coming to my defense!!! What a nice comment. I really appreciate it!! As your two cents go, walking and free is a-okay with me too. :)

    3. Holy Moses, Anonymous! What happened that riled you up so much? Don't agree with Jenn's reaction? Ok. Tease that out--explain why you think she was wrong to be so forgiving. But in the words of Bowling for Soup, "Don't Be a Dick." (Check out the song; it's not Cole Porter, but it's fun)

    4. That is great advice as the title. as well as John's advice. Don't Be a Dick. I am sure everyone has heard of that type of advice in some from. treat others as you want to be treated, if you don't have anything nice to say. Thank you Jen for writing a great article again :)

    5. Thanks J Pa!! Thank you so much! :) There was a great leader at my former employer who used to give talks on leadership and his favorite advice was, "Don't be a jerk."

    6. Well, there goes my anonymity. Missed the drop down so I could just be "John."

    7. Oops. Oh well. You still are pretty anonymous. I am sure there are plenty of John Krugers in the world. Maybe none so nice as yourself though. :)

    8. Apparently there are--a couple years ago, a John --- contacted a bunch of us worldwide via FB to set up a network of us--FB smacked him for sending out harassing posts. I friended him though--he lives in Australia and works in photography. Lovely guy.

    9. John, that is so funny because there are a few Jennifer Lourie's (not many) and one of them is a photographer as well!

    10. Whoa, Whoa! That comment wasn't from the same anonymous I think you thought it was from. I just logged back on to see the Relax column you mentioned would be coming out this week and saw that comment and your response. Not very nice Jen!

      And I told you I would identify myself if you wanted, just not on here.

    11. Well, I just can't keep all you "Anonymouses" straight and a few of you are just very not nice to me. Whether you were the same one of not, your message was still extremely rude so I still stand by my response. I hope you at least liked my "Relax" column better than this one.

  2. The thought of a relationship gave him anxiety??? Hahaha...and you believe that? You honestly believe that that's the reason you even thought about a second date with him is pretty far out there... you live in DC and he lives in Maine. ..

    And I'm not the anonymous that posted the first message

    1. Why wouldn't I believe that? And why wouldn't I want to go out and have a second date with a nice and fun person? It's called having fun! It is possible to enjoy someone's company without an agenda! Well, I did have an agenda with him... it included making fun of him and the rest is between him and me! :)

    2. Just have a quick question here cause now that I read your last comment cause I'm a bit confused.

      The two of you had a wonderful evening together then he ignored you, gave you anxiety and lied to you about not seeing your messages. Then you hint he may have gotten lucky with your "the rest is between him and me" comment.

      I guess my question is this. If we go out with a woman and have a great time; are you saying we should ignore them for a day, lie to them, give them anxiety and tell them a story about how insecure we or is it just easier to steal their expensive shoes?

    3. I was hoping you'd have an answer for me by now. I went on a great date last night but I wasn't lucky enough to have her "forget" her shoes in my truck. Now I need to know what the best next move is to getting a second date and some lovin. Should I be ignoring her messages today or should start off with the story about being insecure and not really wanting a relationship right now? Or do I need to give her anxiety for a day before I dump the sob story on her. I'm so lost. PLEASE HELP!!

    4. I don't know why you are saying that he lied to me about not seeing my messages or why you are saying he lied about having anxiety. I could see that he hadn't seen the messages and when I talked to him about it he actually told me he had seen them but had avoided them because he was trying to figure out how to tell me he wasn't looking for a relationship. I mean, why wouldn't I believe he had anxiety about telling me something that he would think I didn't want to read? And when people have anxiety and are trying to formulate words to deliver bad news, sometimes it takes time to process. And yeah, obviously there are BETTER ways to handle that which is the whole point of this post. But just because he didn't handle it better doesn't mean he is a bad guy or a liar or had bad intentions.

      No, I am definitely not saying you should ignore a woman you have a great time with. And no, please don't steal anyone's shoes. Just try to be nice to people. That is the message of my whole entire blog. Be nice to perfect people and to imperfect people. Yeah, my reaction could have been "What a dick. He avoided me and didn't communicate with me like I would have wanted him to at the speed I would have wanted him to. Screw my shoes, I never want to see his stupid face again." But then I would have missed out on a super fun second date, so, what would be the point of that?!

      I am going to assume that your second message is sincere and not you being a sarcastic jerk, as it come off. So, in answer to your second message, first of all, sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I have a lot going on at the moment but I try to reply as quickly as I can. Second of all, no! If you had a great date, tell her!! Tell her you had fun and would love to see her again! Just be sincere, don't try to play games. Let me know how it goes!


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