DEAR HARRIETTE: A boy who I have gone on a few dates with recently texted me telling me he got us tickets to the circus. I do not support animal abuse, and this circus uses animals in their performances. I told him that I would prefer not to go and that he should take someone else. He overreacted and told me that I should choose a fun date over the animals. Do I have to justify my stance to him? I cannot see this relationship going anywhere anymore. -- Ringleader, Dallas
DEAR RINGLEADER: It may not be time to cut off this boy entirely. He made an honest mistake while having the intention to come up with a creative idea for a date. You should give him credit for thinking outside the box, beyond a bar or the movies. That said, you surely do not have to go to a circus if it offends your principles.
I think that this has a lot to do with tone. You are clear about your beliefs about animal abuse. You can continue to stand your ground on that point without judging this person. Thank him for trying to come up with a fun experience. Ask him if you two can talk about what another good idea might be. See if he is flexible at all about figuring out a Plan B. If you allow yourselves to get to know each other better, you may discover that you have more similarities than differences. Give it a chance.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I met someone through an online dating app, and we switched to texting to get to know each other better. From there, the conversations got significantly stranger. He would ask me to meet him at strange times (3 a.m. on a Thursday, 9 a.m. on a Monday) and become angry when I would not respond immediately.
I have never met him in person, but I have been speaking to him over text for about a month. I want this all to disappear. Can I just block him because I know I will never meet up with him or see him? -- Rude-i-tude, Seattle
DEAR RUDE-I-TUDE: Clearly, this guy does not represent a relationship you want to pursue. It’s too bad that he has your telephone number, but you do not have to take it any further. A 3 a.m. invitation is what most would consider a “booty call.” A 9 a.m. invitation suggest that he doesn’t work. While there could be other reasons for these oddly timed invitations, if your gut tells you to walk away, listen to yourself.
You can tell him nicely that you don’t want to continue communicating with him. You should be gracious and thank him for taking the time to get to know you better. Ask him to stop texting you. If he won’t, check to see if you can block him on your phone. You do not need to respond anymore. You should also give the dating site feedback on him, if it's possible.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)