#253 - Start and end a conversation with grace and dignity

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There seems to be a fundamental disconnect in common courtesy in conversations today. Conversations end as abruptly as they began, and the other person just disappears with no explanation.

Have you ever met someone, whether in person or online, and struck up a conversation only to have them disappear the next day or the next week?

The other day I was in the grocery store after being out of town for a week. The store was crazy busy because it was the Friday before a big Kansas City Chiefs football game AND we were expecting a snowstorm the next day.

The store is in my neighborhood but one that I don’t shop at frequently. Because of all the craziness going on and being unfamiliar with the store, I struck up a lighthearted conversation with a woman shopping in the same aisle.

We started to laugh and joke about all the craziness and moved on. We ran into each other in the next aisle and the next. We stood in the checkout line together and exchanged phone numbers.

She was the first to text that night and we agreed to go out for cocktails one evening. That’s the last I’ve heard from her. I reached out a couple of times with absolutely no response. Why? I have no idea!

If this were a single event, I wouldn’t think much of it. But, it’s happened several times in the past year. I know I’m not the only one this is happening to because a number of you have come to me asking for advice about this very thing.

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What is it with people that start a conversation with you and then disappear?
For a while I was thinking it was just me, but it seems to be happening to most people that I talk to especially when it comes to online dating.

It’s not limited to just online dating though. I’ve had this happen after meeting someone in person. You have a nice conversation, agree to exchange phone numbers and then nothing.

You send a text to say thanks for a great conversation, would you like to get together for coffee or cocktails and there’s no response!

This isn’t just an issue with women. Men do the same thing. What’s happened to the common courtesy? Where have manners gone?

Ghosting is a relatively new phenomenon. With the introduction of smart phones, it’s become common practice to just delete and block someone from your phone. It’s become way too easy to just walk away because there’s always someone new just around the corner.

Have a little heart.
If you’re one of the culprits that pulls this kind of stuff, think about how much you enjoy it when it’s done to you. Not a pleasurable experience right? Although, if you’re someone that does this kind of thing regularly, you’re probably not much of a people person.

Dating is tough enough as it is. You shouldn’t have to have the hide of a telemarketer to survive it.

Starting a conversation.
First and foremost, if you’re going to start a conversation be prepared to continue it, at least for a little while. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s in person or online. I’m not suggesting that the conversation continues on endlessly. Just long enough to find out whether this is someone you’d like to get to know better.

If you start a conversation online, you’re not always going to get a response. It doesn’t make any difference why, that’s just the way it is.

When you start a conversation in person, keep it light to begin with. Don’t get too personal too quickly. You haven’t earned the right to talk about personal things other than maybe to find out if they’re single or if they’re in a relationship.

Anything more than casual and light is being intrusive and is generally a huge turnoff. Just watch their facial expression and body language when you get too personal. They’ll break off the conversation quickly and move on.

It’s okay to end a conversation.
Whether you’ve started a conversation or someone started one with you, it’s okay to say you’re not interested anymore. You don’t have to be hurtful or hateful. If the conversation isn’t one you’re interested in, end it politely.

Be honest. Speak from your heart and share why you can’t or don’t want to keep the conversation going. If they’re offensive or insensitive, you can share that simply by saying that you didn’t appreciate their comments and that it’s best if you each move on.

If you’re not feeling a connection, you can share that too. You can say something like; “I’ve enjoyed getting to know you. We’re just not a good fit or a good match.”

Not everyone you talk to is going to be date worthy or date ready. But, you don’t know until you start a conversation with them. Some conversations will be great, most won’t.

Always remember, you can’t control what others do, think, or say. You can only control your thoughts and actions. Be the bigger person and share the reasons you’re ending the conversation. Don’t leave anyone hanging, wondering where you went, what they did wrong, or why you stopped talking to them.

I sincerely hope you’ll think about what I’ve shared with you today and use this information to help you be more proactive and successful in your dating life.

Join me next week for “Affairs of the heart can get messy.”