Isn’t honesty just plain easier?

So you’ve had that all-important first chat. You even received an “I’m glad to meet you” email. Good start. It’s hard to meet someone who wants to date—especially in the online gay community. Most want stats and pictures first—and if you’re not perfect—adios amigo. If you don’t send drop-dead gorgeous pictures, create scintillating chat and meet immediately, you get nada—nothing.

Your modus operandi is to chat/email on adultfrienedfinder a couple times—then if that goes well, meet. You’ve only made a few dates because you either didn’t meet their ideal of perfection or they couldn’t satisfy your chat/email requirement.

This one seemed great, though, until something—you received a new picture that looked twenty-five years older or fifty pounds heavier than the original, or you just didn’t think there was a future—made you realize this wasn’t a good match for you. You know that honesty is the best policy, but you decide to be polite; perhaps you can avoid being hurtful by simply typing “not interested.”

No, that would be way too easy.

Your response is short: None of your usual chatty-Cathy replies. Somehow the icicles in your tone don’t get through, though, and the next thing you know you’ve been invited to dinner.

You hedge. For some reason, like many online daters, you decide against being honest—maybe because you don’t have time for a lengthy explanation while you’re scanning search results for someone with potential. So you lie to avoid a meeting. But what can you say to ensure you end this conversation for good?

I’m busy.

“I’m sorry but I’m busy for the next few weeks. I’ve met a lot of people, and I’m busy sorting out the wheat from the chaff. Hopefully you will fall into the wheat category! Maybe we can get together three weeks from Monday? Oops, no; I have a date then.”

I have a family obligation.

“Sorry, I can’t chat right now. My sister who’s my ex-wife wants to speak with me regarding our son’s, who’s my nephew, schizophrenia.”

I have a prior commitment.

“My mother only lets me date on Friday nights. The rest of the week I’m hers! Can we chat again closer to Friday when I’ll know my plans better?”

I have a medical condition.

“My doctor says I’m allergic to men. Whenever I date anyone I break into hives.”

Get a life.

If one of these doesn’t work, you might consider just being honest. After all, it’s easier than the alternative, and you know you’ll never remember which lie you told whom after you’ve been connecting with all those other matches. Everyone deserves an honest response. Take a few seconds to say, “No, thanks,” rather than investing a lot of time creating lame excuses.

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