Break the Dating Rules—And Win!

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Break the Dating Rules—And Win!
One author finds that listening to herself—instead of the dating rules—pays off.

How well schooled we all are in today's dating etiquette! Not one of them said she'd contact the guy. Except Alice. Alice also had met a guy who, all signs to the contrary, promptly disappeared into the proverbial black hole. Here's the email she sent him:

To: ‘Brian'
Date: Monday, April 11, 2005 4:48 PM
Subject: multiple choice

 

Please complete the questionnaire by indicating your answer below. Then simply hit the send button. Thank you.

I've gone dark because:
a) It's not you, it's me.
b) I was waiting for you to call.
c) I've been struck by terrible calamity, from which I hope to emerge soon, and will call you eventually.
d) You wouldn't sign the credit-report authorization.
e) All or none of the above.

Hope you're well.

What I like about this approach is that it's up front, lighthearted, and active. It also leaves the dignity of both parties intact. So, I gathered my nerve and crafted my own multiple- choice email for Chivalrous Tree Guy. He responded about five minutes later. He'd never gotten my last email! He thought I was blowing him off. Imagine.

Conventional dating wisdom has its place, especially when you're in need of a self esteem refresher course or dealing with a guy who's not sure what he wants. But life can be incredibly nuanced, fate doesn't play by any rules, and there's no telling what you'll miss if you always see the world in black and white. If I'd been operating by the book(s), I would have let Tree Guy go. Instead, I took a small risk—and got a big reward.