Dating can be tough. It can be especially tough if your personality is a mixture of petulance and insecurity. And even tougher if you think you can argue someone who’s not interested in you into a second date with an angry, accusatory, sometimes hilarious, sometimes deeply unsettling 1600-word email. And no, I’m not speaking hypothetically here.
The email in question, written by a young investment banker named Mike to an unfortunate woman named Lauren after one less-than-great date, was posted on Reddit a couple of days ago, and has already gotten a lot of internetty attention, but some of you may not have seen it, so I thought I’d give it a little fisking anyway. Settle in; it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride. (Note: What follows below is most of the email; I’ve cut out a few passages here and there.)
I’m disappointed in you. I’m disappointed that I haven’t gotten a response to my voicemail and text messages.
Well, we’re off to a not-so-good start. Perhaps she is, as they say, just not that into you?
FYI, I suggest that you keep in mind that emails sound more impersonal, harsher, and are easier to misinterpret than in-person or phone communication. After all, people can’t see someone’s body language or tone of voice in an email. I’m not trying to be harsh, patronizing, or insulting in this email. I’m honest and direct by nature, and I’m going to be that way in this email.
Gosh, I wonder why Lauren didn’t get back to him.
By the way, I did a google search, so that’s how I came across your email.
Google-stalking – always a nice touch. There’s no better way to charm a nice lady than by tracking down her personal information online.
I assume that you no longer want to go out with me. (If you do want to go out with me, then you should let me know.) I suggest that you make a sincere apology to me for giving me mixed signals. I feel led on by you.
Uh, what? She’s ignoring you, dude. She doesn’t want to go out with you. Seems to me she’s sending you a pretty unmixed message here.
Should she have responded to your voicemail and/or texts? In an ideal world, perhaps, but she may have sensed that you’d react precisely how you’re reacting now, and didn’t want to have anything more to do with your creepy, entitled bullshit.
And now Mike the banker makes his, er, “case” for why she should go on a second date with him:
Things that happened during our date include, but are not limited to, the following:
-You played with your hair a lot. A woman playing with her hair is a common sign of flirtation. You can even do a google search on it. When a woman plays with her hair, she is preening. I’ve never had a date where a woman played with her hair as much as you did. In addition, it didn’t look like you were playing with your hair out of nervousness.
You were flirting!! Hair-twirling = sex! If you don’t realize it you can google search it!!!
-We had lots of eye contact during our date. On a per-minute basis, I’ve never had as much eye contact during a date as I did with you.
Eye contact is an Indicator of Interest. IOI! IOI! If you didn’t want to bear my children why did you look at me, with your eyes????
-You said, “It was nice to meet you.” at the end of our date. A woman could say this statement as a way to show that she isn’t interested in seeing a man again or she could mean what she said–that it was nice to meet you. The statement, by itself, is inconclusive.
Well, not really. This is what people say to be polite at the end of a disappointing date, when they don’t want to see you again. If she wanted to see you again, she would have said something about making plans for a second date.
-We had a nice conversation over dinner. I don’t think I’m being delusional in saying this statement.
We had a conversation! You did not flee in horror! Therefore you must have my babies!!!
In my opinion, leading someone on (i.e., giving mixed signals) is impolite and immature. It’s bad to do that.
And sending someone who clearly wants nothing to do with you a long, creepy, accusatory tirade is polite?
Normally, I would not be asking for information if a woman and I don’t go out again after a first date. However, in our case, I’m curious because I think our date went well and that there is a lot of potential for a serious relationship.
Dude, you do understand that she has to actually like you too in order for there to be a relationship?
I think we should go out on a second date. In my opinion, our first date was good enough to lead to a second date.
You cannot argue someone into a second date! That’s not how it works.
Why am I writing you? Well, hopefully, we will go out again. Even if we don’t, I gain utility from expressing my thoughts to you.
Gain utility? Really? DATING IS NOT MICROECONOMICS!
In addition, even if you don’t want to go out again, I would like to get feedback as to why you wouldn’t want to go again. Normally, I wouldn’t ask a woman for this type of feedback after a first date, but this is an exception given I think we have a lot of potential.
Well, banker dude. You’re getting some feedback now. All over the internet.
If you don’t want to go again, then apparently you didn’t think our first date was good enough to lead to a second date. Dating or a relationship is not a Hollywood movie. It’s good to keep that in mind. In general, I thought the date went well and was expecting that we would go out on a second date.
So your argument is that she should go out with you, even though she doesn’t want to go out with you, because life isn’t perfect and you’re probably the best she really deserves?
Way to sell yourself, dude.
If you’re not interested in going out again, then I would have preferred if you hadn’t given those mixed signals. I feel led on.
Well, she’s not really responsible for you thinking that every woman who twirls her hair in your presence wants to have your babies.
We have a number of things in common.
Oh dear, sounds like we’ve got another “logical” argument coming up here.
I’ll name a few things: First, we’ve both very intelligent. Second, we both like classical music so much that we go to classical music performances by ourselves. In fact, the number one interest that I would want to have in common with a woman with whom I’m in a relationship is a liking of classical music. I wouldn’t be seriously involved with a woman if she didn’t like classical music. You said that you’re planning to go the NY Philharmonic more often in the future. As I said, I go to the NY Philharmonic often. You’re very busy. It would be very convenient for you to date me because we have the same interests. We already go to classical music performances by ourselves. If we go to classical music performances together, it wouldn’t take any significant additional time on your part.
I have no clever remark to make here, other than that Lauren is probably going to have to avoid going to the Philharmonic ever again, on the off chance she might run into banker Mike.
According to the internet, you’re 33 or 32, so, at least from my point of view, we’re a good match in terms of age.
YOU ARE RIGHT AGE. INTERNET SAYS SO. THEREFORE YOU MUST DATE ME.
I could name more things that we have in common, but I’ll stop here. I don’t understand why you apparently don’t want to go out with me again. We have numerous things in common.
Also, you both require oxygen to live. Lauren, can’t you see that you and banker Mike are soulmates?
I assume that you find me physically attractive. If you didn’t find me physically attractive, then it would have been irrational for you to go out with me in the first place. After all, our first date was not a blind date. You already knew what I looked like before our date.
Banker Mike: You said you wanted feedback. Here is some feedback. She was apparently not horrified by your physical appearance. It may be your horrible personality that needs some work.
Perhaps, you’re unimpressed that I manage my family’s investments and my own investments. Perhaps, you don’t think I have a “real” job. Well, I’ve done very well as an investment manager. I’ve made my parents several millions of dollars. That’s real money. That’s not monopoly money. In my opinion, if I make real money, it’s a real job. Donald Trump’s children work for his company. Do they have “real” jobs? I think so. George Soros’s sons help manage their family investments. Do they have “real” jobs? I think so.
You’re fighting a losing battle here, dude. Just as you cannot argue someone into liking you, you cannot argue someone into being impressed that you manage your parents’ money.
In addition, I’m both a right-brain and left-brain man, given that I’m both an investment manager and a philosopher/writer.
And I’m the Queen of Denmark.
That’s a unique characteristic; most people aren’t like that. I’ve never been as disappointed and sad about having difficulty about getting a second date as I am with you.
Oy. As if this email wasn’t stalkerish enough already.
I’ve gone out with a lot of women in my life. (FYI, I’m not a serial dater. Sometimes, I’ve only gone out with a woman for one date.)
This last bit I have no trouble believing.
I suggest that we continue to go out and see what happens.
I suspect that Lauren has already played out various scenarios in her head already, and that none of them end well.
Needless to say, I find you less appealing now (given that you haven’t returned my messages) than I did at our first date. However, I would be willing to go out with you again. I’m open minded and flexible and am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I wish you would give me the benefit of the doubt too.
So now you’re being noble and “open minded” for trying to pressure a woman who wants nothing to do with you into a second date?
If you don’t want to go out again, in my opinion, you would be making a big mistake, perhaps one of the biggest mistakes in your life.
Now you’re just making my skin crawl.
I spent time, effort, and money meeting you for dinner. Getting back to me in response to my messages would have been a reasonable thing for you to do. In addition, you arrived about 30 minutes late for our date. I’m sure you wouldn’t like it if a man showed up thirty minutes late for a first date with you.
Here’s a solution, dude: How about she never goes on another date with you, ever. Then you won’t ever have to worry about her being late ever again.
If you’re concerned that you will hurt my feelings by providing specific information about why you don’t want to go with me again, well, my feeling are already hurt. I’m sad and disappointed about this situation. If you give information, at least I can understand the situation better. I might even learn something that is beneficial.
I hope you find the feedback that the internet has now provided you to be helpful.
If you don’t want to go out again, that I request that you call me and make a sincere apology for leading me on (i.e., giving me mixed signals).
Now we’re back on this again.
In my opinion, you shouldn’t act that way toward a man and then not go out with him again. It’s bad to play with your hair so much and make so much eye contact if you’re not interested in going out with me again.
Damn you, foul strumpet, and your devious hair-playing ways! Google it! GOOGLE IT!!!
I would like to talk to you on the phone.
I think you’ve pretty much guaranteed that this will never, ever happen.
Even if you don’t want to go out again, I would appreciate it if you give me the courtesy of calling me and talking to me. Yes, you might say things that hurt me, but my feelings are already hurt. Sending me an email response (instead of talking on the phone) would better than no response at all, but I think it would be better to talk on the phone. Email communication has too much potential for misinterpretation, etc.
Not much to misinterpret here, Mike. You’ve made it absolutely crystal clear that you’re an undateable creep.
Let me be serious for a moment. Forget about Lauren. Hell, forget about women in general for a while, and work on yourself. Get some therapy; you can afford it. Work through your bitterness, your petulance, your highly unattractive mixture of entitlement and insecurity. Stop being a “Nice Guy” and learn to be genuinely nice.
And don’t ever, ever, ever write another email like this one.