Life Advice



Erika Ettin: Real people, real feelings

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

The same action could be taken both ways: aggressive, meaning he took the time to go into the app and actively unmatch her, but passive in that he cowardly didn’t have the cojones to send her a short text saying, “I had a lovely time with you last night, but I unfortunately don’t feel the spark I’m looking for. Wish you the best.”

It took me a shorter time to type that out than it would have to actively unmatch someone.

True to form, he was never to be heard from again.

In this case, there are two things Sam could have done:

1. Nothing. This is a valid choice, considering Jason had no regard for her feelings.

2. Reached out to him via text after a few days or a week (at his real number) saying something to the effect of, “Hey Jason. I had a really nice time with you last week and was surprised to see that you immediately unmatched me. A kind ‘I wasn’t feeling it’ would have been appreciated. All the best.”


Why would someone want to go with Option 2? Partly to have the last word, partly to show how she deserves to be treated. In the absence of closure from Jason himself, this would have been closure Sam created. For herself. Not for Jason’s benefit. As I say all the time, “You get what you allow.” So, I personally would have chosen Option 2. Sam chose Option 1. That was until…

A week later, Sam went to use her credit card and realized she and Jason had accidentally taken each other’s cards on the date. (No, this isn’t a rom-com, and no, I don’t know why she split it with him since he asked her on the date, chose the location, and should have treated her.)

Regardless, she asked me what to do, implying that she wanted to text him. I told her, without hesitation, not to text him but instead to cut up his card, toss it, and then order another copy of her card online, saying the first was damaged. Easy peasy. While the guy’s a coward, I doubt he’d also commit credit card fraud.

Against my judgment, Sam reached out to Jason via text, and honestly, I’m surprised he answered. She tried to arrange for an exchange of cards, which, to me, was a sad attempt to see him again, one I strongly advised against. I once again told her to just order a new card online. True to form (again), he did not follow through. Fool me once…

The lesson here — well, besides always check your credit card — is that real people have real feelings. Just because you can ghost/unmatch/disappear doesn’t mean you should. It’s unkind. Had Jason simply sent a text like the one I suggested above, while Sam would have been disappointed, she wouldn’t have felt hurt, insecure, invalidated and rejected. Keep this in mind. We are all human, after all.

©2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC