How to Let a Good Man Down Easy - Elisabeth Klein

A guy friend was telling me that when dating someone he didn’t intend to see again, because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings, he would pretty much just not text or call again. He knew that wasn’t the best way to handle it but he didn’t know what to say to break it to the girl gently that he didn’t see a future, so he kind of said nothing.

As a woman, I would want an ending point…I would want a reason…and so therefore, when I began dating, I chose to do for these men what I would want done. I’ve already touched on how I let a mean boy down not-so-easy, but I want to share how I wrapped things up with the three men I decided not to see again who were really good and kind men, just not my men.

My fine-tuned sixty-three-step ten-step dating process included spending time on the day after a first date to think and pray about whether I’d want to see that man a second time.  Part of that process was a commitment to myself not to lead a man on, so if by the end of the day after the first date I had decided not to move forward, I let the man know.

Depending on the most-used mode of communication between me and said-man would be how I would communicate this decision. One man was over email, the other two were via texting.  Some would say this should be an in-person or phone call kind of conversation, but I simply chose these venues because of the lack of formality in our day and age, and frankly, because I’m a bit of a chicken sometimes. So sue me.

And here, basically, is what the messages would say:

Man’s name,

I had a really great time last night getting to know you better. You are a really good man. But after some time of thinking and praying, I don’t see us moving forward. 

I am grateful I had the chance to meet you, and I have already prayed for the woman who will one day be your wife.

Thank you,
Beth

I wish I could say that was all it took, but all three men pushed back a bit, each saying something like he thought we had chemistry or that I would be the perfect wife for him or that there was so much he wanted to explore with me.

It was all very sweet, but by this point, I knew what I was looking for and so I stuck to my guns and would gently state my decision again.

Listen, I’ve been rejected by three men in my lifetime (this number refers to actual relationships ending not just boys I liked who didn’t like me back…that number is in the hundreds). It totally sucks and is super hard and I hated it. So I know what it feels like on that end. And it’s because of the rejection that I experienced that I wanted to honor each one of these good men I met with gentle but firm truth and to not drag something out and raise hopes without cause.

So if you are in the dating world, I highly recommend that when you realize something needs to end, you end it well and with respect.  You’ll be setting yourself up for your next relationship to begin on the healthiest note when you do.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to be silent and a time to speak. –Ecclesiastes 3

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.