It was a relief for me, but I'm wondering if it wasn't also a relief for him.
No one likes giving bad news. But it is so much better to give it than to wait and hope the other person does it first.
From my list of probable fallacies:
Once something is started, it can't be stopped without bitterness apparent for all to see.It was a fallacy; at least, it appears that way at the moment. What I wanted to do was have it be simple. Have there be no explanation, because explanations often sound like excuses. I have no intention of leaving the dance community, and I wouldn't want him to either. But I also didn't want to encourage false hope. I do feel like a number of people have given me false hope and incomplete breaks, and I've found that horrible.
The answer in the end was simple: take my time. Give it a chance. Find the light in him and see if it encouraged my own. And then simply tell the truth. He said okay, perhaps a little too enthusiastically, gave me a hug, and said we were good. I can't help but think he was getting frustrated at my busy schedule and lack of initiative. As he should have been.
I can't even begin to list (because I don't want to put myself through enumerating them all) all the guys who have given me headaches over the years with their lengthy and detailed explanations as to why they couldn't date me. Somewhere there has to be a middle ground between no explanation and something that leaves the hearer searching for chinks in a very logically presented and well-thought-out presentation of a rejection. Therapist J asked me why I even listened when the last major crush went on his whole explainy thing.
I think last major crush thought he was doing the right thing by explaining himself and by talking it over (and over and over and over). At the time I thought he was doing the right thing too. We were really fricken proud of ourselves about it. It was only after I really thought about how much unnecessary information I'd listened to and how little time he spent getting to know me in the first place, that I started to feel dumped upon.
I don't want to cause people the same headache. And while I think when a relationship ends there should be some coming to an understanding and some discussion, I also think that laying all your issues on someone as a reason is not the way to go -- for their sake. And when you're not even in a relationship, when you're choosing not to get started with a relationship, the less headache for the other person, the better.
So I don't want to be too self-congratulatory, because I really don't know if his response was relief or a defense mechanism. I choose to believe that since he said we're good, we're good. In the end the simplest explanation -- I don't feel that way -- was all there needed to be.