How Staying Classy Can Get You Laid

Stephen Hussey

I asked her out on a fourth date. I didn’t hear from her for 24 hours.

Then she sent this text to my iPhone:

 “Hi Steve. Thank you for asking, but after some thought I don’t see things working out between us – you seem like a lovely guy though and I’m sorry to say this by text. Sorry if I gave out mixed messages, I didn’t mean to. Best of luck with your writing x”

Ouch.

First comes anger. Then comes sadness. Shame. Embarrassment. All these emotions fold over each other in waves until I’m not even sure which one I feel.

But the overriding feeling is “Damn. I really liked her…How did I blow it?”

It sucks when you’re excited about someone and it ends sooner than you’d hoped for. I really thought those first few dates went well. What did I say or do to screw it up?

A tiny part of me wants to text back something moody. Or something that shows her I’m pissed.

Not pissed in a whiny way, but something that says, “Whatever, thanks for nothing.”

Maybe I should text her just that, “whatever, thanks for nothing.” Except I won’t do that, because that would be mental. I’m not that kind of aggressive person. Besides, no-one owes it to me to like me after three dates. I have to stay classy.

Maybe I could just say “Fine”. Hmm, that sounds bad too.

Maybe just “Ok”. That sounds more neutral. That tells her that I’m not sulking about it but she also knows I’m not trying to be too nice.

After some thinking I decide that all of these responses show a lack of class. And I don’t know about you, but I always want to be a classy person in relationships, even ones that only last a few dates.

So instead, I take a deep breath, start a new text and simply write:

“Ok, best of luck to you too. Take care x”

I actually think I could have done better, but that’s what I said at the time (this all occurred a few years ago). Were I writing that reply again today, I would try to be much kinder. I think I was still a little peeved at the time so couldn’t bring myself to, but here’s what I should have written, “I understand. It was lovely getting to know you the past couple of weeks anyway. Take care x”

Why do this? Because any other response is a losing response.

  • If you act angry…you just seem like someone who can’t take honesty.
  • If you try ignorance…you just seem childish.
  • If you send them a long essay outlining your frustrations…you seem needy, and you’re only fighting a losing battle anyway.

The only truly worthwhile response is classy and kind.

This is true of so many areas of life.

People think that rejection, or getting fired, or being told “NO” somehow permits them to blurt out their emotions and burn bridges. Both professionally and romantically, this is just about the dumbest thing you can do. It alienates people. Worst of all, it doesn’t give them the benefit of the doubt.

Let’s go back to the example above.

The truth is, the story didn’t really end there. Six months later I saw that woman again at a party. We made eye contact and after a few knowing smiles back and forth we got into conversation. It was friendly and fun.

After a while she said: “Look, I just wanted to say I’m really sorry about just cutting things off before. I was having fun seeing you but I had only recently broken up with my long-term boyfriend and was really confused and hurt. I just wasn’t in a place to see anyone at the time”.

Suddenly all that wondering dissolved away. I smiled and said: “No problem, I understand.”

We ended up casually dating for a lovely couple of months before she had to leave to for a trip abroad. It was a good time. The memories I have of that period are all of complete fun and enjoyment.

Moral of the story: Don’t burn your bridges for a bad reason. All you’re accomplish by doing so is holding back your future self from experiences that could be incredible simply because of ego and pride.

If I had responded to her text in a petulant, angry way, would the door really have been open for us to date again after six months? No way. It would have been too awkward, too difficult for us both to put our pride to one side. Chances are we wouldn’t have even had the courage to speak again in person and would have ignored one another completely.

Pride and ego can be wonderful, but they can also be dangerous.

The classy response might sometimes feel like the hardest one in the world, but it’s one that allows you to leave feeling good, even if things didn’t go your way.

Life has a funny way of being circular.

And when what goes around comes back around you might end up wishing you’d been more gracious after your first parting.

I’m glad I was.

*****************************************

Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.

To Follow Steve On Twitter For More Updates Click Here

9 Texts No Man Can Resist

52 Responses to How Staying Classy Can Get You Laid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Haiho says:

    I love that post!

    I did notice that when I see a virtue in someone else that feels grand, it influences me more than all the shit that goes down and reminds me how I wanna be like.
    Whenever someone has an attitude of not taking me seriously because they’re superior/in a better position, I have the immediate, maybe delusional, notion of “Wow: They wouldn’t dare talking to me like that if I was their boss!” – the tables might turn, you never know.

    If I leave on good terms, or just decide it was for my best, the benefit of doubt prevails. And whatever good was accredited to me (e.g. getting a very good reference in a former job) gets justified when they see I don’t hold a grudge but give them a good reputation, too.
    Everybody wins.
    And who doesn’t want to be seen as a just and generous person.

    I like very much that you wrote an article about this important topic, TY for putting this out there!

  2. Maria says:

    I have a situación here and I would like some advice. I have a nice man and we have been dating for almost a year. But we have never met in person. Now…. Yesterday it was my birthday, of course a very special day for me. Usually we never speak on weekends. He spend time with his kids…but I expected that he would call me, but nothing happened. How should I react? With anger or just classy? Should Icut this relationship or just say… I am dissappointed…Help me please.

  3. Emily says:

    “whatever, thanks for nothing.” Literally LOLing at this response!

  4. Jamie says:

    I have tried online dating on and off again over the years. Well, the last time I was on a dating site I decided I was going to interact with men with Karma in mind. I decided and tried for the most part to reply to the men I wasn’t interested in with a reason why. While I had a few men who responded negatively, MANY of the men sent me a message back with a big “THANK YOU”. They were basically happy and appreciative that I replied back to them with a “rejection” because most of the time they received no message at all from the women they had sent messages to. I wish I could say I received some of the same curtosy, but I didn’t!

    My biggest issue is not being able to let go of why the guys I’m interested in ghost on me. They act interested! I get my hopes up, but am lucky to even be asked out! I wish I knew what I was doing wrong! Any ideas?

    Also, considering I haven’t had much luck on dating sites and it seems to me it’s more like a shopping catalog, where can I meet more people-especially men. I’m in my late 30s in a female dominated field and not much for the bar seen.

    Also, I always hope that things will become full circle with these men and we will meet again and things will work out the next time around. Sometimes I think I’m waisting my time.What if there is no bext time? What can I do to completely move on?

    • Londoner says:

      I recommend getting Matt’s book and potentially his program for attracting men. Or go to one of his seminars. I have found them life changing, no exaggeration! You are not ‘lucky’ to be asked out by a guy who has the bad manners to ‘ghost’ you afterwards. You are a woman worthy of good manners and if they are rude enough to disappear, you escaped just in time.
      Good luck :0)

  5. Cherell says:

    Thank you for the advice!! Just Realized all this time i’ve been responded with ego and pride and a bit of pissed of, anger, disappointment. Now i know i shouldn’t

  6. A says:

    Great post! I really wish more of my entitled 20- somethings acted like this.
    Being this kind of a person really makes you stand out and it can be seriously seductive. When my ex- boyfriend and I were first getting together I “friend-zoned” him after a few months of dating before deciding that I wanted to give the relationship a shot, (I had a really low opinion of men at the time.) What swayed it for me was that he acted the true gentleman by consistently treating me graciously afterwards; proving that he was a man enough to be open about what he wanted and bounce back from rejection with self-assurance. He earned my trust and my pants were off- et voilà!
    We recently called it quits after four years, but it’s promising to know that there are more guys out there like that. As for me, I’m going to remember this the next time I want to punch a time waster! Humility, quiet confidence, persistence and integrity are very attractive traits.

  7. Anastasia says:

    This comes in very handy to me. A few hours before reading it I canceled my side job after experiencing highly unfair treatment by my employer. First I was sad and angry and tempted to write a furious e-mail in which I would point out how horrible the company behaved and then quit. After sleeping on it I wrote a calm letter where I explained that because of the incident I cannot work for them anymore, thanked for the good cooperation so far and wished them all the best. I do not expect to ever return to this employer but still am proud of myself to have handled it that way. Reading your article I feel even better and now see it as an opportunity to stay classy in a such a conflict. I think it’s a skill I need to train myself. Thank you!

  8. Kathryn says:

    Twenty four hours and then she writes/sends that message. I’m classy and you are too Steve so I’ll be angry for you. She must of been out of her mind. You were only asking to go on a date! I’m glad you had a lovely time eventually. My goodness she will be regretting letting you go, years from now.
    Bon Chance xx

  9. Donna says:

    Love this Stephen :)
    Your blogs keep me motivated , inspired and help me keep focused in the road bumps of my love journey.

    I always remind myself to be classy with men even if they are the ones who are behaving badly. I think with everyone we should always keep it classy, it says a lot about your character, what you can handle and I do believe makes someone more attractive. It’s easy to be nasty and mean, but more difficult to keep your cool when someone is agitating you.

  10. Taco Bae says:

    Thank you for this lovely article. <3

  11. Jummy says:

    The problem is women are the ones who usually send men an email or text explaining why they don’t want to see him again—men often just fade away, and therefore don’t give the woman a chance to reply in a classy way. I guess not reaching out and asking why they’ve vanished would be the classy solution.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      That’s interesting Jummy, a lot of women talk about guys who just disappear instead of let them down gently. Though I’ve also heard from guy friends who say a woman just stopped texting them back out of nowhere. So maybe this is a modern world problem rather than a male/female one. I’d definitely love to see more research on this.

      • Adrianne says:

        I would love to hear more on “ghosting” as well. Why is it acceptable and so common in this day and age (I suspect it has something to do with electronic communications and a feeling of anonymity and disconnecting with the fact that there is a human being with feelings on the other end of any relationship)? I kind of understand this behavior you’re really young and immature or have only gone on a date or two and perhaps feel your date is “unstable” or something. But it happen to me a few years ago when I was 40 and had been dating a man for about four months who was 55. We had been set up through a friend who he was doing work for and who raved about how honorable, honest, kind, caring, intellectual, etc he was. Then he cancelled our date via text last-minute one day saying he wasn’t feeling well then completely disappeared and stopped responding all together. He stopped responding to my friend as well, even though he hadn’t finished the work he was doing for her. It destroyed my ego and self worth as he was someone I cared for, respected and trusted. I live in NYC and our lives have no reason to ever overlap (work in different industries, live in different boroughs, and have no common friends), yet fast forward a year and a half and I have run into him on the street over a dozen times in the last six months (with me being out of town about 3 months total during that time)! It’s unbelievable and super awkward. Several of the times he has been with his new girlfriend. We’ve never actually made eye contact yet but it is clear we’ve both seen each other (through facial and body reactions). I stopped to talk to him once but he looked at the ground and turned away. Talk about life being cyclical and staying classy so you don’t burn bridges… All he had to do was say, I’m not feeling a connection or I’ve got xyz going on right now and can’t focus on dating.

  12. Leona_Lovequest says:

    I must have missed the drama too. I was actually drawn in by the title because I thought it was funny. Maybe I just have a similar sense of humor.
    Anyway, the classy (or mature) response always works for me. As soon you respond with any kind of hostility all the other person is thinking is, “Gee, I’m glad I dodged that bullet!” It only shows that person how you handle conflict. I recently read an article featuring awkward rejection text messages and some of them were really horrific.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      I totally agree Leona, by responding badly you only validate someone else’s decision to let you go in the first place. That’s why it’s such a dumb response!

  13. Stella says:

    I came here after the Periscope. Don’t see any negative comments, did you guys erase them?
    I like the stay classy response. When I lost my job I did the same, stayed professional, thanked for the opportunity and left with dignity.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Lol the controversy was limited mostly to our Facebook page Stella, less so on here. Glad you enjoyed the piece!

  14. Lindsey says:

    I love this, Stephen. Thanks so much for being vulnerable to us. I did this to a guy one time… we went on 3 dates in 4 days. I did really like him, but he went on a hunting trip without cell reception and he came back and I had met someone and had a boyfriend – a whirlwind thing that I wasn’t expecting at all. I really liked how he responded to me breaking it off – he teased me. We joked a little bit and flirted actually when I told him, and I appreciated him for it because I was anticipating getting somewhat serious with him and the boyfriend came out of thin air almost. I felt really bad. But if I were to see him, I’d be happy and give him a hug. If he called or texted, I’d talk his ear off and tease him. Joking with me seemed like we were friends, and I do believe in keeping exes around as friends. It makes me feel special to have guys that care about me and look out for me, and it’s fun to practice flirting on ppl you are comfortable with.

    I just talked to an ex yesterday and he said he was just in my town and wanted to call but felt like I was mad at him after we broke up so he didn’t. Granted, I don’t want him, but I didn’t have your advice when I did. I still haven’t smoothed that over the way I usually like, but your advice came at the perfect time and has helped me figure out how I can. I have some texting to do :) Thanks Steve Xo

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thanks so much Lindsey. My preference is a short, sweet text goodbye and then letting it be for a while. Friends with someone I’m still romantically attracted to is too difficult for me in the long-term.

  15. Maz says:

    I agree with all of that. Better to be gracious in defeat,I always think. You never know what’s going to happen.

  16. Carmen says:

    Hey Stephen!!
    A million thanks for your article, man! Today I got bloody burnt after three utterly amazing months…
    I honestly wanted to call him a total idiot but I somehow managed to stay somewhat gracious. I gave a fun response and a wink when I was innerly bleeding. I’ve been always having trust issues, caused by my parents divorce, my very many love failures… So, I thought I had found someone that could see how great we could be but, apparently I have not. And even though I’ hurting quite bad right now thanks to Matt and you I know I one, haven’t burnt my bridges and secondly, that I’ll get over it!
    So, thanks for being so incredibly handy!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thank you for sharing that Carmen, I greatly appreciate it. Well done in remaining gracious in a painful moment.

  17. anon says:

    Steven, it’s a pity she didn’t send a text like the example I’ve written below(instead of the text she originally sent to your iphone).

    ie. “I’m sorry. I’ve recently broken up with my long-term boyfriend and I’m not in a place to see anyone at the moment”.

    A text like this would have been more considerate of your feelings.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Maybe you’re right, but honestly, at that point, the explanation wasn’t too important. The fact was she has made a decision and the only thing for me to do at that point was accept it. Even if I knew the real reason, I’m not sure it would have made me feel *that* much better.

  18. Emily says:

    Great post, thanks for an important reminder!

  19. KL says:

    I loved this and it came a bit late. Any advice for asking for forgiveness or undoing a burnt bridge? I’ve heard no contact for six months but anything else?

    • Lindsey says:

      Matthew has a program on getting your ex back. I break up with ppl a lot, lol, so this was quite helpful for me. I’m a chronic-breaker upper. But I think it’s something like 2 months of no contact, which it sounds like you have done, and then establishing the right kind of contact to win him back. It’s a good program. If nothing else, you’ll feel better about yourself at the end. Good luck!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      After a long time like that, the other person may have moved on, so you it can be best at that point to just let things go. If you really wanted, you could send a very short apology (but only if you think it’s *really* necessary because you did something very wrong) in a message or text. But you have to do this with ZERO expectation that anything will come back. The person may have completely put you out of mind and may read your message but feel no inclination to write back. So I’d say only do it if you genuinely feel it is worth doing it for your conscience or to smooth things over, but if that person is out of your life anyway it may be worth simply swallowing your mistake at this point and moving on resolving to be better next time.

      All best x

  20. Sera says:

    It’s so hard to remain neutral emotionally if the relationship is positive in your mind, then the other backs off. I’ve been there, except when it did start back up again a few times (by him) it got harder and harder to not feel the hurt and have a hard time letting go. I appreciate what you’re saying about treating the other respectfully, just be respectful of yourself as well! It can be a self-inflicted torture so I’d say be consciously aware and mindful of where you’re at emotionally and try and communicate. Be prepared.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      I see what you’re saying Sera. I should clarify that my intention isn’t to advocate bottling up all your feelings when there is really something to be said. If you’ve been with someone a while, then it can be ok to call them and actually talk about things out so you know truly where you stand. I agree with you that respecting yourself is more important than anything, but for me, respecting yourself means *doing* what is right for you rather than wasting time being angry with someone and venting at them, when the real answer is to simply walk away.

  21. Samin says:

    So I took some time out of my day and was sitting here reviewing my notes on IMPACT modules when I’ve heard Periscope beep and saw you and Matt periscoping. First of all the beginning of that was hilarious! I understand that you can get frustrated and stressed dear Steve but please, don’t ever apologize for what you believe in and -in this case very carefully and conservatively- wrote about.

    I got curious about the article and came here to read it. In this case I absolutely agree with you and the only thing I can imagine might get you negative comments can be the title. Other than that I absolutely agree with you and I’ve seen the same dynamics in my own dating experiences. The only thing I would love to add is that I would replace the word “classy” with “mature”, because I think classy puts too much emphasis on the outward word and what others feel and think, and I personally like my life to be more authentic and be more of a reflection of my inside world.

    Other that that, I also have an irrelevant question: Is there gonna be any update on IMPACT contents soon? I’ve heard Matt talk about -2 months ago on periscope!- adding some interviews in the upcoming months of the program but I haven’t seen updates so far. BTW, I’m using every thing I can-considering my very full schedule- from all the modules and it’s going very well. The first time after I watched all the modules in Nov, I went to a 10 day conference-workshop and in my socializing I was literally somebody else which was quite shocking and exciting at the same time!… I feel like I’m becoming who I wanted to be since I was in kinder garden!

    Thank you both for all the great content you create and share with us. Keep running cause you’re great inspirations. :*

    Greetings from Tehran, Iran.
    Samin.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Really appreciate that Samin, thank you for the kind words. At the moment I’m not sure with regards to updating IMPACT, we have a huge amount scheduled right now so it will probably have to wait a bit for now! So glad to hear the amazing results you’ve had with the programme though, sounds like you are killing it!

      • Samin says:

        Thank you for your answer. I hope you’ll get to it soon -for my purely selfish reasons- LOL! I hope your 2016 is gonna be the best, the fullest, and the most lived year you have ever had. Take care.

  22. Antonia says:

    I love this post Stephen! I’ve had this experience with a guy myself. I met him when I was on vavaction in Barcelona where he lived at the time. Over a year later, he coincidentally moved to Germany (where I live) for work. We got back in touch and ended up dating for a while and I have great memories from the time. Life indeed has a funny way of being circular. Without doubt, an inappropriate response to his rejection would probably not have held doors open further down the line. Staying classy always wins :) xx

  23. Melissa Coppins says:

    Excellent advice and I completely agree. Even if it is no more than a casual conversation online, I always try to end it with a classy response wishing them the best in their search. There is too much cruelty in the world and everyone can use more kindness. :)

  24. Michelle says:

    This just happened to me. I met a guy when i was visiting family in the Uk and we really hit it off. Like a great friend and lover type all rolled into one. He was really eager and all set for a long distance thing, even though Ireland isn’t that far away. We had planned to meet up when he was visiting his family in Ireland for Christmas and the he just text me out of the blue days before that he couldn’t handle another long distance relationship. He had decided in his head that it was going to be the same set up as his previous one,which I actually wouldn’t have agreed to. I never got a chance to say any of it to him and I was so upset and frustrated. I left it go as gracefully as I could because I knew there was no point in discussing it with him in the place he was at the time. I really like him and I am gutted it didn’t work but I am glad I didn’t unload all of my upset onto him. He felt bad enough and I didn’t want him to feel worse. I suppose if we met again and circumstances suited I would be open to giving him another chance. I just wished he had talked about with me first because I had a different and better plan in mind for relationship than he did. It’s been 3 weeks since it ended and I am okay at time and then really sad over it. Thank god I had the new Stars Wars to cheer me up a little after it ended and a Masters degree to distract me and take up most of my time!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Sorry to hear that Michelle, but congrats on being so mature about it and respecting yourself enough to move on and accept the decision. That’s half the battle won in my opinion, even if it might be tough for a bit before you’re over it completely.

  25. María says:

    I just saw your periscope explanation… You know what? There are a lot of people that they know too much but understand nothing.
    Great post!

  26. Annie says:

    Ugh… I can relate to this so much and now I’m ashamed all over again. I was seeing this guy for a couple of months, really starting to get excited (I thought we both felt something was there, you know? And he was the first guy I really liked in LONG time), when suddenly he stops answering my texts or taking a long time to reply (over 24 hours sometimes). I was like “Hmmm? Wtf?” He sent mixed messages the entire time and I guess I felt frustrated the last time he didn’t answer me in over a day, that I felt like it was a childish game to ignore me like that just because, and so I sent an angry text venting my frustrations on his behavior, reminding him about the lengths I went to just to meet with him (I lived far away) and him not even having the courtesy to answer texts anymore was very disappointing. I was hurt and angry, like you said. I didn’t curse, I didn’t insult him, but I did express my disappointment in his actions when I had done everything just to see him (take an hour long train rides and freezing weather, etc) and was always very polite to him, including the time he approached me in a park just to talk to me. I was never nothing but nice. So he tells me he can’t have a relationship right now, and we just shouldn’t ~hang out~ anymore. After that I felt very stupid. I felt like I shouldn’t have texted him at all, maybe I came off as needy, maybe I should have let it go. But I did not want to be ghosted by him, it hurt just being ignored like that, I felt like somehow I needed to tell him how I felt after two months of going out, I deserved better treatment than that. All I could think of was my dumb ass taking trains in freezing weather for a jerk who didn’t have the courtesy to end things like adults, and just ghost me all together. Did I overreact? Sometimes I wish I hadn’t sent those texts. But I reached my limit. I thought things were going well. What do you think

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Hi Annie,

      I think with these things it’s a matter of balance. If you were texting him repeatedly to try to get him to change his mind or to vent your frustrations, you may have given it more emotional energy than it was worth. Once you know someone is no longer making an effort and isn’t interesting in things going further, it’s generally as waste of time to try to argue it out. I think you can, of course, be straight with someone and call them explaining your thoughts if you feel you want to have a conversation, but after that there is little point in spending further time on it. It sucks, but you don’t need to beat yourself up: it sounds like your text wouldn’t have made much difference since he was already pulling away – just dust yourself off and move on knowing you deserve someone who will actually make the effort in a relationship with you.

      Best,

      Steve x

      • Annie says:

        Thanks for your reply! :)
        I never texted him nonstop or bothered him at all. That’s the thing. He’d text me, then take a long time to reply any texts I initiated, then he’d text to go out on a date, we’d have a great time, making me feel like this could be going somewhere, then he would not text me back sometimes during the week, or take a long time to reply.

        That’s why he gave me mixed messages and make me feel very frustrated. When he just didn’t text me back at all after a day that’s when I confronted him about him making me feel confused and hurt. It felt like a game and I was feeling used. Like, are we doing this or not? What Is going on? Because he was so great every time we saw each other, he seemed all in at first, very persistent and interested, and then he just started confusing me with mixed messages out of nowhere. I never bothered him, or acted creepy. It was maybe one text a day, or every other day.

        Sometimes I wish I hadn’t said anything at all, but that’s also a problem to me, I never speak up.

  27. Thenicegirl says:

    Sound appropriate for 3-4 dates but what about when someone breaks up with you via text after 5 months?? How can you not be upset about that? I tried my best to respond in a classy way but calling him out on not calling or breaking things off in person was important. I deserve more respect than that. I was always kind to him…

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      If the relationship has lasted longer than a few dates, I totally agree that courtesy and respect should mean that you deserve a proper explanation (even if that sadly isn’t what we always get!) In that case I think it’s fine to call a guy and at least have a conversation about why it’s over. But even after that, I think it’s still worth being classy purely for your own self-respect and well-being. It’s fine to be pissed at someone, or to tell someone you disapprove of their behaviour, I suppose it’s just about how far you go in communicating it.

  28. Chrissy says:

    Stay classy and kind, I love it.

Read previous post:
My Most Ridiculous Moments Of 2015…

Ok, you asked for it… I have no idea why, but whenever I post videos of myself doing something stupid,...

Close