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May 2, 2022

Failure to Launch

Failure to Launch

It's awkward to end a relationship that hasn't really began. This week, Hiwote takes a turn in the daters seat and rethinks how much she owes someone she's just met.

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It's awkward to end a relationship that hasn't really began. This week, Hiwote takes a turn in the daters seat and rethinks how much she owes someone she's just met.


Hiwote: This is Dating. I'm Hiwote. 

Sarai: Hey, first of all, thanks so much for letting me ask you this question.

Hiwote: That's Sarai. I met her a few nights ago at a friend's dinner party. We were having a few drinks and maybe inevitably the conversation turned towards dating and breakups. 

Sarai: So something I struggle with is people pleasing and I struggle to let people down. For example, I may have a Bumble date on Wednesday and I don't know what to expect, but I have a feeling I'm not sure that I'm going to want to continue seeing this person. 

Hiwote: As Sarai was describing the situation to me, I was actually relating pretty hard. 

Sarai: What I want to ask you is, do you have like a go-to text that you use to let people down and tell them, Hey, this was great, but I don't want to see you again. 

Hiwote: You know, I thought I did because I recently experienced something similar, but then I shared it with my team, Jesse and Eleanor, on the show. And now I'm not so sure because it's not quite a breakup, but it's also not nothing.

Do you text, call them on the phone? I know you probably shouldn't ghost, but like what is the best way to end a thing that's not really a thing?

Jesse: This is dating. I'm Jesse Baker. Okay. Hiwote, tell us about the situation. 

Hiwote: Okay. So I meet this guy on Bumble. We go on like three dates and then I just decided I didn't want to keep going out with him. So I'm having dinner with a friend one night and she happens to be a communications director in her day job.

And I tell her the situation and she helps me craft what's eventually going to be a voice memo that I send to him. And I sent it at like one in the morning. And I guess I went with voice memo because I didn't want to waste his time with having to have a whole conversation about it. I just didn't feel like it was that serious of a situation, but then he sent me a voice memo back asking if we could meet up and talk about it. So I said, sure. 

Jesse: Okay. Can we hear the voice memo?

Hiwote: Yeah, of course. Here it is. 

I'm just now getting to bed after a long day of work and people. Um, and you know, I was reflecting on my past week with you, um, and I can't believe it's only been a week, but it's been so nice getting to know you. Um, I also think I just don't have the mental space to give this the energy that it needs. So I think on a romantic level, um, this is the end of the road for us, and I hope that you understand where I'm coming from and that, um, this is really about me, it's not about you. And I am so happy that I met you and that I got to know you a little bit and I wish you the best of luck.

Eleanor: Wow. That's so good. 

Hiwote: Yeah, probably shouldn't have said it's about me, not about you, cause that feels a little disingenuous, but otherwise it was crafted by a communications director, so. 

Eleanor: I mean, first of all, thank you for sharing that because it's really vulnerable to do that also. Like that was so great, you're so kind. The other thought I had is that like, it's not, you it's me is like sort of seen as a cliche as you just referred to. But I think sometimes that's like extremely. I think it's a classic for a reason. I don't know. 

Hiwote: Hmm. 

Eleanor: What are Jesse's thoughts, I can't tell. 

Hiwote: Yeah, neither can I. Jesse, Jesse hates it. 

Eleanor: Jesse's about to drop a bomb. I know it. 

Jesse: No, I just, um, yeah, no, I mean, it sounded like, uh, it sounded like spin, you know, it sounded like you weren't feeling it with the guy and you couldn't just say. Not everything is going to give us that spark. Not everything is going to make me feel crazy. And you don't, it's not with you. And it's so nice to meet you, but like, you're not, I don't want to keep doing this. I was just thinking, like if a guy sent that to me, I would be like, this is such bullshit.

Why do we have to be so nice? You don't have to be an asshole, but you can just say. I mean, I also don't know the extent of the week that you had together. And if he had many overnights at your house and he's maybe feeling used, I don't. Okay, no? 

Hiwote: No, no, no, no, no. I didn't like, I didn't hook up with him. 

Jesse: Okay. So you went out a couple of times and you don't necessarily want to go out again, like that's fine. 

Hiwote: Yes. You are a hundred percent right. And that is who I want to be. This was a comfort zone response. And that's why my friend told me at dinner and I did it that same night because it was easy enough for me to do. You are right in that, yeah it just felt like we're not on the same page. Like this isn't really what I want, that's actually the reason. It's not because I don't have enough time. 

Jesse: No. And he knows that and like, work is a bullshit excuse. You make this space for the people you want to make the space for. 

Hiwote: Okay, read me Jesse!

Jesse: But did you give him more than one date? 

Hiwote: Yes. Three dates. On the third date, I actually was like, oh my God, I'm so bored, cause he was mansplaining something to me and I was like, I can't be here anymore, you know? 

Jesse: I mean, you gave him ample time. Like that, that's the thing you gave him the space and then that's enough.

Hiwote: Like, okay, if you were helping me do this, what would you tell me to say? 

Jesse: I would probably have you call him and say. I had a really fun week, but I, I don't think that there's a future here. And thank you. It was really nice to meet you and I'm sure I will see you around, but I want to keep dating and seeing who else is, is out there.

Hiwote: But I didn't want to get into a thing where it's like, I have to explain why I don't want to see you. And if he says like, yeah, you can keep seeing other people. It's like, then I have to tell you, like you mansplain things and I don't enjoy hanging out with you. 

Jesse: You don't have to, like, that is, that hurts, right?

That does hurt. But so does uh, I'm really busy in my job taking up a lot of emotional space in my life. And so, you know, that's basically saying you're boring and I don't like you, but I'm going to say it's this thing because that's nicer. 

Hiwote: Yeah. 

Jesse: I, I think saying like, I'm not feeling this and I, I think we both gave it a go. You didn't do this after the first date, which is what I'm really proud of you. Like that's lovely. You went out with him three times. Awesome. And now you just, for yourself, I just think a phone call is like just cleaner and you don't have to engage, he hears you. I also thought you didn't sound like yourself in that voice memo. I would never have recognized your voice. But so Eleanor, who is one of the most wonderful human beings on the planet took that and received that very differently than, than I did. So, you know, maybe like somewhere between the two of us. 

Eleanor: I mean, I do fully understand the desire to like, be kind and let somebody down easy. I would definitely leave a voice memo like this, or I would send a text like this, or like, this is basically like probably the way that I would break up with somebody. It's hard to find a way to, you know, not go all the way in the other direction of being like, I don't like you. Maybe my question is this, which is if I don't have the energy to put time into this is code for, I don't like you, then isn't the same message received either way?

Hiwote: Let it be code, yeah. 

Eleanor: Or is Jesse just saying do away with the code, codes are bad? 

Jesse: I'm saying stop speaking in euphemisms and just be direct with someone and say, I don't feel the way that I want to feel about you after these three dates. And so I hope that you find someone who feels very differently and thank you. This was fun, but not what I'm looking for. 

Eleanor: Interesting.

Hiwote: I like that we disagree on this. I don't know if I would have done anything differently, which is part of why I like that we disagree because basically like his voice memo back was like, no, I just, I think you're great in these ways. And this deserves more of a chance. So let's like meet in person and talk. And I was like, great. I just didn't want to waste your time in person. But if you want to do that, I'm happy to. And I, I just, this is my personality. I get into these situations where I have to, like, because I'm nice, I have to, like, I don't know, contort my way out of these situations where people expect me to be a certain way for them, you know?

Eleanor: Hmm. That's so real. 

Jesse: But it's not about being nice. You are a very kind, generous, warm, wonderful person, but like, it also needs to be about what you. I just think if you had called and framed it around, you're not getting what you need. That's not unkind. It's just the truth. He might've just taken that differently. I mean, you you're saying it to him, you're engaging in the conversation. And then it saves you from having to meet at a coffee shop and say things that are more euphemisms for how you actually really feel or being blunt and saying you mansplained and I find you really boring. 

Hiwote: This is actually very deep Jessie because at the core of what's the real problem here is like, I really struggle to center my own needs. So in that message, I shifted blame instead of just saying like, this is what I'd like, and this isn't it. And that's okay. I'm glad I met you, but I just want you to know this is not it for me. That's actually a strong and warm framing. Wow. Wow.

Eleanor: I would say that you do not owe him your time to meet up. If your original message was like, I don't have the time or I'm unwilling to give the time to like, make this work. He's countering it with like, oh, but I have the time, like let's meet up and talk about it. And I think that if time isn't the issue, and if you're not interested in putting in the effort to make things work out with him, there's no need to meet up with him in person.

Hiwote: You're totally right.

Eleanor: Because that wastes your time when you could like be taking a beautiful walk by yourself or getting a manicure or meeting up with friends. 

Jesse: Or going out with someone who does make you feel the way that you want to feel. You may not know what that feeling is yet until you get there and you're in it.

Hiwote: Wow. Yeah. That's exactly true. And I mean, Eleanor, to your point too, it is the exact same thing. It's like I know, I don't want to sacrifice the time, but suddenly someone says like, I need that. And I'm like, oh, okay. 

Eleanor: I relate because I'm the same way.

Hiwote: So after this conversation, I ended up talking to the guy again and then obviously Jesse and Eleanor wanted to hear all about it.

I did end up talking to this guy last night. He came over and I, I just, I was like, I'm just going to be very real and like tell him exactly what it is. And I explained to him, I was like, and it wasn't about the mansplaining. I was like, listen, I feel like I am focusing on just listening to my instincts and the direction that I know is right for me to go in and this with you would be totally fun, but it would be a distraction from the direction that I know I'm supposed to be going in.

And I don't know if that sounds crazy and I hope you understand that this is not a slight to you, but it's just, this is not the direction that I want to go in. And he was like, actually, that makes complete sense. And I totally know what you're saying. And I wasn't expecting this like big grand romance, but I did feel like we had a connection and I wanted to explore that, but I can totally resonate with knowing where you want to go and this not being it. It was surprisingly healthy. Like I was like, I didn't expect that. 

Jesse: Well done. 

Hiwote: Wouldn't have done it without you guys. 

Eleanor: Well, I think now we just recorded the end of this episode.