Dear Ronnie – The Dating Coach
How do I deal with cancellation in my brief long distance relationship?
I had plans for New Years Eve with a guy I met online and have just started dating. Last night he sent me an e-mail which states:
“My sister called last night and invited me to spend New Year’s weekend with her and her family. She moved last year and I haven’t seen her for since last Christmas. I’d like to go, but I don’t feel like we have been dating long enough to take you yet. What do you think? If we don’t go to Charleston that weekend would you want to go sometime in January or February?”
I obviously don’t want to spend time with someone who’d rather be somewhere else. My impulse is to not respond at all, but I don’t want to appear immature or bitter due to personal pride. What should I do/not do in this situation?
Thanks for your help,
Alone for New Year’s Eve Again
You say you just started dating, but I’m not sure what that means. Did you have one date? Two or three?
New Year’s Eve is a big night for a new couple. I’m surprised he made plans with you so quickly for this holiday. Or did you suggest it? It’s possible that he had time to think about it and decided it was too much romantic pressure too quickly – he sort of hints at this in his note to you.
Or maybe he’s telling you the simple truth – he wants to see his sister. The third choice is he made plans with someone else. Who can say? There’s no way to know what this means to your relationship, mainly because it’s too soon to tell and you are NOT in a relationship. You just started dating.
On the plus side, this man is giving you plenty of notice to plan something else. I think its worth cutting him some slack. If you like him and want to give him a chance, write back to say “No problem.” Then plan something for January. This is particularly true if the New Year plans were your idea.
I know you are disappointed. But as your dating coach, I have to be honest with you and say this should not be a deal breaker so early in your dating journey.
Truth is, I think you are over-reacting. I don’t think what he did is so terrible. He didn’t reject you completely, he just wants to change plans for one night. Let’s not forget he did offer to get together another time. If you’ve had only one date – then your anger is a bit over blown. Sometimes a woman can get prematurely attached to a man and this might be the case here.
Right now, it’s important to be realistic because you just started dating. Dating is the process of collecting information about suitors to see who is worthy of your attention and further investment of your time.
Ask yourself if your anger is balanced with the amount of time you’ve spent together. I understand the disappointment – you were looking forward to a romantic New Year’s Eve. However, at this point, he doesn’t owe you anything.
My inclination is to write him back at the very least to say that you hope he has good holidays and fun with his sister. There’s no harm here in keeping things friendly.
Shifting your perspective about this situation will help you better handle interactions with the next guy and potential future disappointments. The more detached and neutral you can feel, at least for the early stages of dating (4-8 dates), the easier it will be to meet men, date them and connect with one who is right for you.
Please cut the guy some slack on this one and try to relax. Make plans with your girlfriends and have a Happy New Year.
Wishing you love,
Ronnie Ann Ryan – The Dating Coach
Photo Credit: Scott Barlow