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A dating rule

Let’s say you contact the person you’re dating, leaving some kind of message, and then that person fails to respond in a length of time you think is reasonable. If, despite not knowing what is keeping that person from responding, you send a follow-up message along the lines of “or, you know, you could just ignore me, because that’s cool, too,” you should be subject to immediate break-up and ideally some kind of monetary fine as well.


February 15, 2009 - Posted by | the science of dating


  1. Isn’t this already covered by the anti-passive-aggression statutes? I do worry about ad hoc legislation of this kind – it may have all sorts of nefarious uses not intended by the original framers, for instance being used to penalise follow-ups where there is a non-emotionally-blackmailing intent (e.g. making sure that a previous email was actually delivered).

    Also, does this rule also apply to women? And if so, does it override the standard exemptions and get-out clauses (see anti-passive-aggression statutes, sections 4, 7 and especially 9c)?

    Comment by Dominic | February 15, 2009

  2. It’s rare to see a follow-up that doesn’t evince either passive-aggressiveness or pathetic neediness.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | February 15, 2009

  3. Almost immediate break-up. Or perhaps the beginning of an inevitable break-up and therefore a monetary fine because you know you are going to waste your time trying to get out of this entanglement. The problem is, you can’t really call it quits on this single ridiculous message because then you become the jerkface (yes, jerkface). But you know that a message of this ilk will only lead to more inconvenient sorrows. What about banishment? To save others from this catastrophe?

    Comment by ireadiseeiwrite | February 15, 2009

  4. “you should be subject to immediate break-up”

    Absolutely. n ‘
    cvnb ,mhjn

    I’ll leave the gibberish…that was me wiping the keyboard after my son threw his sippy cup of milk at me. Which leads me to my wife, who never would’ve been my wife had she been a snippy, petty, passive-aggressive smart ass.

    Comment by Chad | February 15, 2009

  5. insecurity moves people to do all sorts of things

    Comment by Rachel | February 15, 2009

  6. I think it would be interesting to impose the monetary fine before the break-up. Once you’d extracted about $500 from the person, they might clean up their act. But I’m optimistic that way.

    Comment by Wrongshore | February 15, 2009

  7. Why should the fine go to the other party? Shouldn’t it go, rather, to the state?

    Comment by ben wolfson | February 16, 2009

  8. Fist-time offense – warning. Second – monetary fine. Then the electric chair.

    Comment by abb1 | February 16, 2009

  9. No, execution’s too lenient. Your message gets publicly broadcast over a dedicated nation-wide cable network, similar to C-SPAN.

    Comment by strasmangelo jones | February 16, 2009

  10. As an practising passive-aggressive, I agree with comment number 5. Or rather, I suppose I do, if that’s the way you feel about it.

    Comment by Owen | February 16, 2009

  11. I agree with 8. Definately as a last resort, the electric chair…

    Comment by pastfirst | February 17, 2009

  12. The electric massage chair!

    Comment by Wrongshore | February 17, 2009

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