I recently started talking to this guy “Bobby” I met online and I’m having fun getting to know him. He’s sweet and funny … but here’s the catch: I’m not attracted to him. Is it wrong to keep the chatter going if I’m not sure it will lead anywhere?
Generally, yes, it’s okay to keep talking to him, even if you’re not sure where things are going. There’s nothing inherently wrong with cultivating a friendship with a semi-stranger you met online.
However, since I don’t know your ages, which site you used to meet, or the nature of your discussions, my advice would change in a variety of scenarios.
In my experience, the younger you are (i.e. under 30), the more room there is for experimenting with people you meet. Most likely, you aren’t sure what you’re looking for in a partner yet. There’s so many variables; your attraction to him, his lifestyle, his morals, his education, his family background, and his values. There’s a magic combination of his traits that are the best fit for you in there somewhere, but it will take some time for you to find it.
And if unlocking your dream guy’s personality traits weren’t hard enough, now you’ve got to wade through a confusing stew of messages, swipes, and alerts to see if any of the men you’re meeting possess them. It’s exhausting.
The reality is that with online chatter, anything goes until you two verbalize otherwise. You can talk to him while you meet other guys. He can talk to you while he meets other women. That’s the deal.
However, for the most part, things change after you turn 30. Time becomes an issue. People don’t want to waste their energy on something that won’t work out. The process becomes streamlined. Daters make snap judgments because they know what type of person they’re looking for. I’m sure you’ve seen profiles state, “No smokers or dogs, please,” like they’re ordering a boyfriend at a deli. That’s because they can say with certainty that a dude with a cigar and a German Shepard isn’t the best match for them.
Let’s get back to the nature of your guys’ discussions. If you met Bobby on a dating site and he keeps asking you what kind of underwear you’re wearing, then yes, you need to respectfully tell him he’s wasting his time barking up your tree. If you guys met on Twitter and only trade links to baby sloth memes, then use your best judgment.
The good news is that It’s actually super easy to let people down. It’s a great skill develop, especially if you’re surfing the Internet to meet men.
The key: be upbeat, kind, and firm. Say something like, “I’m enjoying getting to know but the chemistry isn’t there for me. I’m happy to keep talking and develop our friendship if you’re okay with that. If not, I understand.”
It’s a courtesy to let him know where your head is at. No, it’s not essential—for all you know, Bobby is talking with a handful of other women concurrently—but it’s good form.
In conclusion, if you’re under 30 and met on a non-dating site and talk about neutral subjects, yes, by all means keep talking to him. If you’re over 30, met on OkCupid or Tinder, and talk about your past relationships and other intimate details of your life, then you have to be upfront and let him down gently. I hope this helps!
Original by Anna Goldfarb