Roger was viewing the profile of a woman who read the same obscure authors as he did, but something about the way she gushed about her lovable pet tarantulas and how she flaunted a solid chartreuse outfit in all 12 photos made him a little uneasy. But he wanted to give her a chance, so with a shaky finger he hit “send first questions.”
Julie was on the phone for the first time with a decent-looking match. Much of the conversation centered around how everyone at his job had it in for him and how glad he was that Julie understood him. He began to ask her out, and thinking she should “be open-minded” she was about to accept …
“Being open-minded” is an idea you’ve probably been exposed to if you’ve been on eHarmony for any amount of time. It sounds good (and it is!), but what does “open-mindedness” really mean? Do you have to go out with everyone who will ask or accept?
Here are the signs you’ve passed the point of being open-minded and are headed down a slippery dating path of denial:
Simply put — you know there’s a serious “violation” present in their About Me page or communications, and yet you feel compelled to continue.
SIGNIFICANT LACK OF MUTUALITY
You may sense that your date is more interested in you than you are in them. You may even feel that their level of interest is premature. You don’t want to hurt their feelings, so you grit your teeth and try to reciprocate. But really, you just feel obligated.
You may be ignoring emotions that are alerting you not to move forward – heaviness, anxiety, queasiness, and even dread. You try to talk yourself out of it. You feel a resistance to contacting them and you “just want to get it over with.”
INCREASING LACK OF CHEMISTRY
What they are passionate about bores you. You think that you would rather be somewhere else, with someone else. The more you get to know them, the less attracted you are.
Deep down, you may wonder if this may be the best you could ever do, so you should “make do.” You may suppress feelings of disappointment.
BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND THEM
It’s natural to want to avoid hurting someone, but ignoring the “elephant in the room” might actually lead you or the other person down the road to greater hurt. Face the truth, it’s going to be okay!
Without describing the details of your lack of interest, it’s helpful to convey what type of interest and what level of interest you are feeling as soon as possible. You don’t want them to believe that there was hope all along, only to find out they were actually being misled or “duped.”
LIBERATING TRUTHS FOR YOU AND THEM
Even though you may be in the place of choosing to not continue and this seems to put you in control, neither of you is superior or inferior.
Know that you’re not doing anyone favors by pursuing someone you’re not interested in. Your lack of interest doesn’t define the other person’s value or attract-ability at-large. No one needs to be patronized. If you don’t think someone is the best for you, you are certainly not the best for them. Don’t insult them by doubting their ability to find someone better than you.
Even if you hurt someone as you turn them down, don’t feel sorry for them. Be happy and hopeful for them and for you — you’re now both free to get out there, explore other matches, and be open-minded to brand new possibilities!
OPEN-MINDEDNESS DOES EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
The good news about open-mindedness is you feel anticipation and curiosity about getting to know this person who breaks your preconceived “ideal” notions. It’s freeing, not confining, to break your own supposed preferences. You enjoy their company, can’t wait to see them again and again – you grow more attracted to them as you get to know them. It’s not “settling”. In fact, it’s better than you’d imagined.