It is cowardly and cruel to ghost our queer brethren. On social media, we overhear members of our community telling us that now is the time that we need to come together, assemble on the avenues, and collectively weave a provocatively queer quilt to smother our oppressors. Regrettably, as we forge on our dating voyage, we forget to treat each other with decency. We often neglect the person on the other end and as a result, wither the bonds of our brotherhood.
To quote sex advice columnist Dan Savage, “relationships don’t work until they do,” meaning, we will receive and hand out bushels of rejection until we find our blossom. Having uncomfortable conversations not only alleviates the distress of the recipient, but it also helps the deliverer confront their true desires. The goal is to make our way as gracefully as possible, for past dates could be the friends of future lovers.
While the longer you spend time with someone merits in person conversations, the five templates below are designed to simplify the difficulties of dealing rejection. Although general, the templates are superior to indifference and may help you increase the moral of dating culture. Use them as inspiration to craft your own for more personalized, genuine messages. Then, save them in the notes on your phone. You may be surprised by the responses you receive when bearing empathy and integrity.
1. For the earnest sweetheart on an app, who isn’t picking up on your disinterest.
“Hey insert name here, thanks for your message and the compliment, I’m flattered. While you seem like a friendly guy and have a great profile, I don’t have the spark I like to feel to meet up. But I wish you the best of luck in your search!”
2. For the first date that you met for drinks and walked away uninterested.
“Thanks for meeting up tonight/yesterday, their name. I had a great time talking with you about what you talked about over drinks. While I found you smart and handsome, I don’t have the feelings I like to have for a second date. Please know that you are a true catch and that I wish you all the best.”
3. For the friend with benefits that you are no longer interested in seeing.
“It’s been a lot of fun hanging with you the past amount of time. I wanted to let you know that I am not in the right place to pursue what we have going on any longer. I hope you understand. You are a (total stud/brilliant guy/cool cat) and I’ll think fondly of our time together. Take care, their name.”
4. For the person you’ve dated for a few weeks and are scared to commit to for whatever reason.
“I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know you over the past few weeks, their name. I realize we are at a point a few weeks in and decisions need to be made before feelings are hurt. Honestly, I’m scared to commit this soon. I don’t entirely know what I want from a relationship.”
5. For the partner you’ve dated for a significant amount of time.
There is no texting template. You must speak to them in person. Write out your reasons for why you want to end the relationship, text them to meet up with a “Can we get together? I’d like to talk.” Take them to a quiet public space that offers the two of you privacy, and tell them the truth about why you want to end the relationship. However, if the reason is something they cannot fix (i.e. their appearance, their lifestyle, their personality), it is okay to simply tell them that you simply don’t feel long term feelings for them. That you’ve enjoyed the time you’ve spent together and are thankful for your shared experiences. Then, let them give their rebuttal of why you should be together (if they disagree). Hear them out. It is important they are able to speak their words for closure. If still unconvinced, tell them that you’re unable to pursue anything further and that you have to go. Do not throw in what The Breakup Doctor author Phoebe Fox calls mitigations: “I still love you” & “We can still be friends.” Eventually, the wounds will heal.
Bonus Template: For the couple who is no longer interested in their guest star(s).
“We’ve had a blast getting to know you the past amount of time, their name. Right now we need to focus on our foundation and need some space to do so. We both think you are a stand-up guy and are rooting for you as you go forward! “