Dating Etiquette: The “Brush-Off”

Ending a Relationship before It Begins

Have you ever hooked up with an older woman, two or three times, and then realized it wasn’t going anywhere, sexually or romantically? For me this describes the standard dating scene. As much as I love to play the field, explore my sexuality and meet a wide variety of men, I always feel open to meeting someone that could sweep me off my feet, someone I would be willing to enter into a long-term relationship with. Why not? Life can be full of surprises.

That said, dating isn’t always smooth sailing. A recent experience has me all fired up and not in a good way. Because I prefer to date younger men, I do allow for more dating no-no’s than I would from older men, but every once in a while I get pissed off and feel the need to share my experience on CougarWorld.

The dating faux pas I’m talking about is “the brush-off” or telling a woman you’re not interested in seeing her anymore without really telling her. Note: I’m not talking about breaking up with someone you’ve been in a committed relationship with, rather with someone you’ve been on a few dates with, possibly slept with and where nothing specifically negative has happened.

We’ve all been in this situation. You get to know someone through conversation, activity, sometimes physical connection. And it might feel good… but not great. You’re not sure what it is all the time, could just be a lack of chemistry. This just happened to me. I went on a couple dates, we made out, and had lots to talk about. I wasn’t sure where things were headed, but I was curious and wanted to keep seeing him. I never doubted his interest in me… he voiced it through conversation, emails, and texts.

And then he got busy. One thing I liked about him was his work ethic so it didn’t seem odd that his schedule was hectic. He also had a lot going on socially but assured me he couldn’t wait to see me again. I took what he was saying at face-value which may seem gullible, especially for an older woman, but I can’t change that part of me. Anyway, it took me almost two weeks to realize I was getting “the brush-off”. A friend reminded me: “if a man likes you, he’ll make time for you.” Such a simple phrase but so true. Sometimes in the dating jungle, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

You want to let a woman down gently, but the too-subtle brush-off isn’t cool. It’s not a serious relationship you’re ending, so yes, she might be disappointed initially, but she’ll get over it. However, if you tell her how much you like her, want to spend time with her and then attempt the disappearing act, you’ll get a much different reaction. A woman will be pissed, or hang on by showing up at your work or hangouts, or worse, cyber stalk you.

If you’re not interested, be honest and direct. No one respects a coward.

How do you end a relationship before it begins?

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