What do you do when after a few dates with someone new you realize it’s not working out? If you’re like most people, you do nothing at all. That is if you’re a man, you stop calling or e-mailing her. If you’re a woman, you stop taking his calls or answering his e-mails. While that cold turkey method can be seen as callous, it is also humane. Who wants to tell someone else they are too old, too fat, or not successful or attractive enough? For that matter, who wants to hear those disparaging words directed at them? Most of our moms passed along to us the age-old solution for dealing with this delicate issue about not hurting others. It simply stipulates that “if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” So, while we can clearly blame the silent treatment on our moms, we are still left to wonder, “What ever happened to So-and-so and what did I do or say they didn’t like?”

Having been on both sides of this situation, it is not a place I want to revisit. Some men or women with strong egos might say, “They don’t know what they’re missing, and it’s their loss.” That may be true, but, still, the curiosity factor is there, particularly when you are already emotionally invested.
Remember that a lot of relationship communication is unspoken. Our subconscious has a lot to do with whether or not things work out. You might not even consciously realize why you don’t feel drawn to your date, and the same is likely true for them. Other times you are crystal clear about what it is about the other person that doesn’t work for you. What do you do in that case? Is honesty the best policy? Or do you use the old diplomatic game, if forced to explain? “I’m seeing my old sweetheart again, and we’re trying to make it work” is a common way to go. Or, “My work is taking up all of my time right now.” But if you are lacking in the “compassion gene,” or are the non-confrontational type, you can assume your silence will speak volumes, and you can let it go at that.

If you do have a facility for conveying honesty with proper compassion, you can consider telling the person that you don’t feel you’re a good match for each other. ” The old “It’s not you, It’s me” routine didn’t work on “Seinfeld,” and probably doesn’t work in real life, either. So if you’re determined to offer an explanation, make sure it comes from the heart. “I’m not ready for a relationship right now” could be entirely true, if a little indefinite. If you want to cut the relationship off with one clean blow, explain why you feel you’re not compatible. “I love to smoke, and you’re allergic.” Or, “My religion means everything to me, and you’re an atheist.” Or, “I’m still in love with my ex, and I always will be.” The thing about feelings is that they are always valid no matter how trivial they may seem to others.

While the silent route is the most commonly used by men, “It’s not working” is a favorite among women. Being a male on the receiving end of “It’s not working” is rarely pleasant, but rejection never is. It is, in fact, a challenge, and on the positive side it allows us the opportunity to observe how we react to bad news, and a glimpse inside the belief system we use to interpret the message. In the end, if we apply ourselves, we will have learned a valuable lesson about ourselves that will help us choose more wisely the next time around.
Every relationship has something to teach us. Sometimes it’s about how to treat someone else. Nearly always it’s about how we feel about ourselves. Use “bad news” to learn and grow, and you will find your future relationships a lot more rewarding than those of your past.

Author's Bio: 

John Seeley is President/CEO of Blue Moon Wonders and Heart Fire Seminars, which specialize in educational and personal growth workshops and products.
John has lived and worked all over the country for Fortune 500 companies. John has been involved in personal growth & coaching since 1990. He works with individuals as well as business executives who have a commitment to making positive changes and awakening a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment in their lives and companies. John is a catalyst for change your life and has been in the lives of many people.
John’s books Get Unstuck! The Simple Guide to Restart Your Life!, Get Unstuck! The Companion Workbook and his latest book, Get Unstuck in Relationships!, are showing people the steps to take to get their lives moving and create the life they really want.
John, who holds an undergraduate degree in Business and a Masters Degree in Psychology, has overcome many obstacles to make his dreams come true. Today he spends much of his time showing others how to do the same.