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”


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.

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57 Replies to “How Staying Classy Can Get You Laid”

  1. 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!

    1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

    1. 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.


      Steve x

      1. 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.

  4. 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…

    1. 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.

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