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How not to handle first-date rejection: A 1,600 word e-mail

He thought her hair-twirling was a come-on. She thought their single date was "horrific." He e-mailed. And texted. Again. And again. She was silent. So he took a last stab at love move with a pleading, rambling (and more than slightly crazed) 1,600 word e-mail. She promptly shamed him by posting it online. Hi Lauren, I'm disappointed in you. I'm disappointed that I haven't gotten a response to my voicemail and text messages.

The investment banker, known only as "Mike," goes on to cite, in excruciating detail, all the ways she led him on in a 1,600 word e-mail that has gone viral: the aforementioned hair twirling – " You can even do a google search on it. When a woman plays with her hair, she is preening." Her other mistakes: maintaining too much eye-contact and having a "nice conversation" at dinner.

After chastising her, "Mike" still asks for a second date, offering this advice: Dating is not a Hollywood movie. It's good to keep that in mind.

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He then proceeds to list the reasons she should take him up on it (even though he finds her "less appealing" for not returning his calls) including their shared interest in classical music concerts, which will be "convenient" for her busy schedule. Plus, he points out: People don't grow on trees. I hope you appreciate the potential we have...

It may be that the e-mail is one big silly hoax, but surely the exchange points to the added complications of dating with technology – especially when a pause-for-reflection might be in order before you hit send.

Getting the right tone of an e-mail – in pursuit of closure or flirtation – is a difficult step, as our hapless investment banker points out himself (while clearly misfiring on tone altogether.)

But does the poor guy have a point? Did he deserve a short "Sorry, I'm just not feeling a connection" text? (Mike believes her rude silence now merits a phone call apology.) As one online commentator pointed out: "Why didn't she respond to any text or call? Usually there's a single reply before one person realizes the other is nuts."

Now Lauren has a more complicated task in the face of rather unsettling persistence, though – in supportive, if mocking, Internet style – she's not short on suggestions. (Scroll down.) It's enough to make you feel sorry for the guy, restraining order aside.

How would you respond to a letter like this? And what's the etiquette for a post-date communication?

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About the Author

Erin Anderssen writes about mental health, social policy and family issues. More

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