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Dating out of pity?

I was having dinner with my friend Ellen recently and we got on the topic of dating without guilt.  Ellen has this bad habit on taking on  head cases or “projects” when it comes to dating.  I think she qualifies for saint status, at this point.  She does not know when to cut her losses and move on.  The red flags are there, yet she decides to give it time.

While Ellen has a big heart and enormous patience, I would say that most of her dating is done out of pity.   I see a lot of single people that do this.  It sort of becomes this savior complex because the relationship is about sympathy.  Not chemistry, not sex, not even money.  When a person is dating someone out of pity, they have an overwhelming sense of guilt about dumping them.

I admit that I have done this before and it did not end well.  I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  I tried to ignore the lack of chemistry or connection.  The reality is, though, you do both of you a disservice if you date out of pity.

Have you ever dated someone because you felt sorry for them?  Do you ever feel guilty about letting someone down?  Does it ever help to remain friends with them?

Do you ever suspect that you are a pity date?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

282 comments Add your comment

Single and Happy

April 15th, 2013
7:43 am

Hey all

Do you ever suspect that you are a pity date? as long as it includes pity sex, I’m good (LOL)

Have you ever dated someone because you felt sorry for them? Naw

Ellen has this bad habit on taking on head cases or “projects” when it comes to dating. Hmm sounds like Ellen is the head case!

MissMoni

April 15th, 2013
8:07 am

GOOD Monday Morning MIA!!!

Have you ever dated someone because you felt sorry for them? Nope, not my cup of tea. Either I really like you or I don’t. I don’t believe in wasting my time dating someone simply out of pity.

Do you ever feel guilty about letting someone down? No, there’s no reason for me to feel guilty if things are not working out. Way too many people hold on to people for the wrong reasons, again wasting valuable time that you could be spending doing something constructive.

Does it ever help to remain friends with them? This depends on the person and the circumstances. Most times it’s just better to cut it all the way off. Some people don’t know how to define “just friends” after dating someone.

Bottom line: Know when to say when.

Coach

April 15th, 2013
8:30 am

Good Good Morning Tho.

A pity date well I certaintly hope not, but you never really know now do you? I have never dated anyone out of pity nor do I intend to start.

Do I ever feel guilty about letting someone down? Not really because people sure as Sugar Honey Ice Tea dont feel bad when they let me down. I consider it a favor, lets me know you not the one for the I and I dont have to waste any more time trying to “figure” it out.

Remaining friends? Thats rich

Button

April 15th, 2013
8:49 am

Good morning, pity dating? I’ve heard that term before, never understand why would a person think they are doing another person a favor by dating them. It seems as if the person doing the pity dating is just plain pitiful themselves. Ellen seems to be the pitiful one.

Do you ever feel guilty about letting someone down? Nope. because I wouldn’t string them along.

Leggs

April 15th, 2013
9:14 am

I have a big heart and a certain level of patience, but what I’m not going to do is date someone because I feel sorry for them. Where’s the fun in that? No time to take on “projects.” If you’re still a “project” over the age of 35, you will probably forever be a project because I surmise you don’t have the desire to elevate yourself but looking for someone to do the elevation for you. No can do….

Good morning.

MsAtl

April 15th, 2013
9:21 am

Morning All!

I have never dated out of pity. I think that would be doing a disservice to the datee and myself. If I have no interest whatsoever in a man, it is only fair to let him know that so as to not waste his time or give him false hope.
As for “projects,” I have said on here before that I do not do Build-A-Bears.
I do not believe that I have ever been a pity date.

Single- Pity sex? You are funny.

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
9:25 am

Morning Gang!

Agreeing with everyone thus far. And yeah, sounds like Ellen is the one with the problem.

Hurt feelings? If you can’t handle rejection, you can’t handle dating, or life for that matter.

Either I’m feeling you or I’m not, period point blank. I’ve been criticized by others that “feel sorry” for dudes I’ve cut off or did not “give a chance”. Fine, you date him. I’m not doing anyone any favors by staying in a situation I find unbearable.

I don’t think I’ve ever been anyone’s pity date. No dude ever had an problem cutting me off if they were not interested.

Hope errbody had a good weekend!!!

Reio

April 15th, 2013
9:27 am

Never dated out of pity. Frankly, even as a younger man, my ultimate goal was matrimony, believe it or not. Heck, I never even dated just for fun. I went into each one focused on the relationship and determining whether we would be a good fit or not. This probably cost me , over time, cause I was quite quick to cut them loose, if I suspected that it wouldn’t work out. Felt bad on several occasions. Nice, inteligent, capable young women, who were basically looking for the same things, but, for various reasons, I had to cut them loose. I knew I was a one woman man, so I needed to find out as soon as I could, whether it would work or not, so I could move on. Never desired to date more than one at a time. Never did.

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
9:32 am

I have a friend that had that savior/project mentality. Every dude she got involved with was a project in some kind of way. She would always get frustrated. I would ask her why she did that to herself and she would say she would want someone to give her a chance if she had a problem. I told her I doubt any dude would put up from her the stuff she was putting up with off of them. Finally, I just stopped talking about it. One day you’ll get tired of that mess, I told her. It’s one thing if someone develops a problem after you guys are married, it’s a whole nother ballgame when you’re just dating and early in the dating process at that. Or, she would “clean up” a dude – for the next woman.

She finally got tired of it. Had heard any complaints since.

Reio

April 15th, 2013
9:33 am

I don’t think I was ever a pity date myself. How would one know? Although, I must admit, as I have on several occasions here, I’ve never been dumped. I was the one doing the dumping. Not bragging or anything. It just never happened. Perhaps had I stayed in a relationship long enough, I would have been dumped, at least once, I don’t know.

disco

April 15th, 2013
9:40 am

good morning.

coach – I love that you said “how would one really know”. that’s some truth right there. guess we all hope that we’ve never been pity dates.

atl – pity sex is real. lol.

does it count as a pity date if you find yourself feeling sorry for yourself midway through the date? lol.

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
9:44 am

does it count as a pity date if you find yourself feeling sorry for yourself midway through the date? lol.

Hey Disco!!! – That’s a good question!LOL! I guess it depends, are you the pitier or the pitee?LOL!!

I’ve haven’t felt sorry for myself, just thought “can’t wait till this ish is over, so I never have to see him again”!!LOL!!

Leggs

April 15th, 2013
9:44 am

How was your movie outing, disco?

Button

April 15th, 2013
9:45 am

I don’t know if I was ever a pity date. Hmmmm, at this age if I were to find out I would laugh it off. It just sounds silly to me.
I know some ppl may have the saviour mentality but who are they really saving other than themselves. They’re using the saviour theory because deep down inside they know no one else will put up with their mess.

Celisea

April 15th, 2013
9:46 am

I’m not one with a lot of patience…..period I’m that person that will cut loose quick…lol Nothing irks me more than a dude hanging on or affection from someone where I’m not feeling them. By this alone, you can see I don’t do “pity.” Why prolong the inevitable? Also I don’t think anyone I’ve dated did so out of pity. Call it being hard, but I have too much pride to hang on. Again, not that I’ve been in that sort of scene…IJS

I have pressed a dude that wasn’t coming clean. That was to prove he was a liar, that I wasn’t slow and to walk, being sure it was the right thing to do.

I had a great weekend. We ended with a huge gang of folks and dinner out. My boo has adjusted well with the fam :mrgreen:

MsAtl

April 15th, 2013
9:46 am

Disco- Well damn! If it’s pity sex, I sure hope it is at least the bomb! Lol. Wow! Are you feeling sorry for yourself because you have no legit way to cut the date short without faking a medical emergency?

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
9:47 am

how would one really know

I do know I’m just not that great of an actress. If I don’t want to be there, he’d know. And like I said, dudes never had a problem showing me they were “just not that into me”.

disco

April 15th, 2013
9:48 am

leggs – if we were real life friends that conversation would start with a “whew girl”. smdh. the movie was okay though. I remember being upset when it ended. not because it ended abruptly but because I would have enjoyed more of the story.

Mike P

April 15th, 2013
9:48 am

I have given a few pity dates. I was clearly not interested in these women in that way but they were fun to be around and we shared activity interests. They’d believe in their heads that we’d be good together or their friends believed so, but as a Man, the pursuer, didn’t think so, but then they’d make the case, “you’re going to xyz place anyway or you’re about to do this and that, so let’s go together,” they’d say.

I am fairly certain that a few of the ladies I dated were only going-out with me out of pity as well, especially before college.

morning MIA

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
9:50 am

Nothing irks me more than a dude hanging on or affection from someone where I’m not feeling them.

Cel – Amen on this one!! And to put icing on the cake, have others around me asking “why won’t you give that nice guy a chance?” Almost makes my flesh crawl just thinking about it!!!

disco

April 15th, 2013
9:52 am

atl – I’ve never personally doled out pity sex. I’m much too selfish for that. lol. I have heard others say they went through it for whatever lame reason which usually translated to “I felt sorry for them so I gave them some”. to each his own.

atl – re pitying myself midway through a date. that was kind of a joke but kind of real at the same time.

does it count as a pity date when you accept an invitation only because you don’t have anything better to do or anyone better to hang out with?

Celisea

April 15th, 2013
10:01 am

Kimmie – My “old gang” of booghie girls lived by that mess of giving folks a chance, who also, BTW, were the dumbest set of chicks I’ve seen…lol I never saw so many repeatedly heartbroken women over mess like this. And down to the “real” of things, those “loose” gfs were the ones that would cut dudes and with the quickness. NONE of that pity stuff. lol

Celisea

April 15th, 2013
10:03 am

Them being the ones that were pitied. I distinctly remember one of my gfs that dated one of the Falcon players (and thought there were gonna get married…riiiight…buddy pulled out of that while she was making wedding plans), saying to me “give (insert kid’s dad) another chance.” Ummm, NOT!

Celisea

April 15th, 2013
10:04 am

OOOPS, I hit submit in error….

as I was saying (from my 10:03)….

Why go a lifetime in the “feeling sorry” mode for a dude where you already know, nothing is going to come of it. Smart folks cut their losses.

Leggs

April 15th, 2013
10:06 am

“I was clearly not interested in these women in that way but they were fun to be around and we shared activity interests.” If you’re out with someone you’re enjoying their company and have like interests how is that pity. Sure, they may not be the one you want to marry, or sex, but you’re out on a fun date with a friend.

disco

April 15th, 2013
10:07 am

celisea – I’m cracking up on the “give him a chance” tales. guess we’ve all got some of those. then, to take it up a notch, how about the “give him a second chance” tales. boy oh boy.

Courtside Seats (With no PSL's added on!!!! )

April 15th, 2013
10:07 am

OK…Not scared to admit it, I have been the person that WAS the pity date…… A few years ago, I was up for a promotion at work… Not only did I get passed over but was removed from consideration for a like position that was pending. We had this ‘All Star” vendor that was pretty cool with most of the folks at our company and when she saw how bummed I was at all that had happened, she asked me out…

Single and Happy

April 15th, 2013
10:09 am

MsATL Disco, pity sex can be great sex when you have several giving it to you :-D

disco

April 15th, 2013
10:09 am

court – I’ll give that a pass. not so much a pity date as taking a friend out to cheer them up.

Single and Happy

April 15th, 2013
10:12 am

does it count as a pity date when you accept an invitation only because you don’t have anything better to do or anyone better to hang out with? yes but for who, you or them??

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
10:12 am

Cel – With some of these friends, these dudes they were telling me to give a chance to, they would not have anything to do with them themselves!

With one, the only thing that shut her up was when I started dated my husband. He was light-years different from some of those tired jokers she used to whine to me about giving a chance. I mean, she would almost get mad at me when I would lie and tell some of them I was already seeing someone just to get them off my back. And yeah, none of them she would have herself, “not her type” she would say. But I’m not allowed to have a “type”???

Leggs

April 15th, 2013
10:12 am

Well maybe not out on a date with a friend, but more an acquaintance.

Reio

April 15th, 2013
10:12 am

The only thing that I can think of that may be construed as a pity date happened many, many years ago, bout six weeks before the wheel was invented; Attended a barbeque, had a fairly lenghty conversation with Veronica. Seemingly nice, well groomed, thoughtful, person. I was impressed. Bout three weeks later she calls. This is how the conversation went: Me-Hello. She-Yes, may I speak to Reio?, Me-This is he, She-Hi Reio, this is Veronica, Me-This is who?, She-Veronica, you know, from the picnic.Me-Veronica, from the picnic?, She-Yes, we talked a lot about politics, and helping third world nations. Me-Oh yea, now I remember, how did you get my number? She-You gave it to me. Me-I did? She-Yes, you did, Me-I don’t remember doing that, She-Well you did, don’t tell me you forgot. Me-I guess I did, although, this would be the first time I gave someone my number and forgot that I did. Anyway, what’s up? She-You said you would call me, Me-I did? She-Yes you did. Me-How can I call you, if I don’t have your number. She-I gave it to you. Me-Well, I don’t remember that either.
Long story short, we met at a gym where we both had memberships, had a bit to eat and talked. Nothing after that. She lied about my having given her my number, by the way, no way I’d forget that, and no way I’d forget that she gave me her’s. Met her at the gym cause she said she could be there on the day that I went. Pity? Perhaps. I figured, if she went to that much trouble to contact me, maybe I should at least meet her at the gym. Didn’t like the lies though. Never asked her about how she got my number again. Never called anybody from the picnic that knew both of us either. Still a mystery.

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
10:15 am

Disco – But would you really consider that a “date” though?LOL!!

disco

April 15th, 2013
10:17 am

S/H – when pity is involved does it really matter on which end? lol. I don’t deny I’ve had my share of what I call “me parties”. (prefer that term to pity party). still in the case of not having anything better to do, the owner of the pity depends. if I’m feeling bad about not having anything to do, the pity is on me. if I’m cool just chilling but opt to accept the invite, the pity is on him. lol.

kimmie – I felt your angst in that post. lol.

kimmie – re considering it at date. did you mean court’s post? if so, then no. that’s why I said just taking a friend out to cheer them up. if that’s not what you meant, help me out.

Celisea

April 15th, 2013
10:22 am

disco – I can say it now cause I’m in a diffent place in time as it relates to the old “booghie” gang….I use to wonder where in the heck did these chicks come from :shock: It would always be beyond me how they’d be hanging on and never saw it as such, gettng dogged and what not, YET by the same stroke, advising me on being too hard. WTHeck??? Yeah, okay….you do you and I’ll do me.

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
10:24 am

Disco – You have no idea how that chick used to irritate me when we went out. I think a big part of it was jealousy, because alot of times I would get more play. I think she did not understand it, because I dress more conservative than she did. I believe in tasteful sexy, but she lets it all hang out, and it’s a lot to hang out, honestly. She would ride me all the time about my clothes, but I wear what I want, and get the kind of attention I want as a result. She would say the dudes I rejected were not her type, but I think she would have appreciated my castoffs as opposed to nothing!

The considering it a date thing was just me being funny with you!LOL!!

DuShawn

April 15th, 2013
10:25 am

I have gone on pity dates. I have been with some hood rats that really needed help. The ones that sparked my interest typically had two things; a fat azz and ambition. Once I got to know them I discovered, in most cases, their minimal success in life was the result of poor decisions early not a lack of intellect. Oftentimes, an encouraging word or just a reminder that “it’s never too late to be what you could’ve been” could be the impetus to changing their situation. I remember this one chick; she had three kids and a GED. Hustling, section 8, EBT and SSI were her career. I gave her some life game; I told her she could be a CNA in 1 year, an LPN two years after that, then a RN in the next two years. That’s a five year plan. While educating yourself, rebuild your credit score. In five years, you could have the life you dream about. Did she do it?……………..Hell if I know, I bust a nut, gave her a couple of dollars and never called her again.

disco

April 15th, 2013
10:30 am

kimmie – re your friend. like I said, you can feel the emotion in the post. y’all still cool or she done fell off?

dushawn – well at least you broke her off. with money I mean. lol.

Reio

April 15th, 2013
10:31 am

DuShawn – I’m on the floor! My goodness!

MissMoni

April 15th, 2013
10:33 am

-DuShawn You do get props for dropping some knowledge on her.

Celisea

April 15th, 2013
10:36 am

Kimmie – With some of these friends, these dudes they were telling me to give a chance to, they would not have anything to do with them themselves!

I can soooo relate….true story, NO LIE

This same set of girls had a “friend” that use to come by their (sisters) home, doing odd jobs for them. He was sort of like a brother to them, they said. Anyhoo, I was out of the thing with the kid’s dad, in and out with the dude that wanted to use my restroom…you know, the one 10 years my senior that I never really as feeling. Well, they (and a couple of girls) wanted me to go out with him. Soooo, reluctantly, I agreed. Post date, they wanted to know how it went. I said no go. Dude didn’t seem to have enough going on with him. YES, after one date, I decided that, he wasn’t “my type”, and a few other things I told them about, that I didn’t like. How bout, during the course of that conversation, it sort of came out that buddy had killed somoene :shock: Noooooooooooo lie! I was SOOOOOOO hot with them. I pretty much said the same thing, “oh so y’all want me to go out with him, but not of y’all did.” Naturally it was, he’s like a brother, blah blah blah. Whew buddy, I was too done with them.

After that, it was no holds barred. If anything came up, I let them have it. I’m talking going in hard on them. Brutal honesty. Guess it got to be too much eventually. One of the sisters called me to cry on my shoulder and I gave it to her. She was on and off with some dude that rode the bench for the Falcons. I all but called her a dumb-bot. I told her I didn’t want to hear another word about him, how he’d dogged her for the last 13 years, now had 3 kids by two different women, all during those 13 years, yada yada yada. I gave it to her…for old and new. Actually that convo was cause they were planning a wedding and buddy called to say he thought he owed it to his kids to give their mama a shot. I told her, he should have done that, cause she’d let him get away with so much over the years. That was about 15 years ago. Haven’t spoken with her since :)

kimmie

April 15th, 2013
10:38 am

disco – Yeah, we’re still cool. Ironically she grew up in my old neighborhood, we went to same elementary, high school and a year of college. Our lives took different turns, but we go thru spurts where we keep in touch regularly then fall off awhile. Ironically, we live near each other again. She came to my Super Bowl party.

She’s one of those folks I can only take in small doses. But we’ll always be friends, been there for each other when needed.

SlimNu

April 15th, 2013
10:40 am

I’m not sure if all the different scenarios will fall under “pity” but if you’re enjoying someone’s company or what not and call yourself in a relationship, why continue to waste their time if you know that you do not want what they want??? Yet you say all the right things to give them the impression that the two are working towards a common goal….

Courtside Seats (With no PSL's added on!!!! )

April 15th, 2013
10:49 am

“http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l51THuA3vJI&list=PLB138D6134385BFEE”

In honor of my pending vacation……Just a couple of weeks!!! :D

Reio

April 15th, 2013
11:01 am

Someone mentioned pity sex earlier. One of my co-workers(Vonn, a guy), gets on my nerves. Cause he’s constantly stopping by my office suggesting that I hook up with so&so cause, “She needs a good hit”, “Been a while for her”. Says that he “can tell who hasn’t been hit in a while”, and steps in to fill the bill. Didn’t believe him at first, until a couple of years ago, I was passing the break room, and saw him rubbing another co-worker’s butt as they both were at the sink with their backs to the entrance. Mentioned it to him, he responded, “See, I told you. I got Four or five of ‘em round here”, “Better git in on it”. It’s funny to me. Even so, everybody’s an adult here. Not much I can say. To each his/her own. Never gave it much thought. However, I must say,Gloria and Tam are packing sho nuff!! And That’s no lie. Hehehe..

Exiled

April 15th, 2013
11:03 am

10:25 DuShawn..been there done exact same play.

…..

Hwdee MIA!

Celisea

April 15th, 2013
11:05 am

That dude sounds more like the company’s ho and looking for opportunities. Those are the dudes that you RUUUUN FORREST RUUUUN from. Seriously. The company’s ho usually end up with a bigger rep than the chicks he’s hitting and eventually treated like he’s got bubonic plague….lol Most times, those cats are snickered and pointed at eventually and every new associate is school to KEEP AWAY…lolol At least that’s how it’s been here.

Celisea

April 15th, 2013
11:05 am

Reio

April 15th, 2013
11:15 am

Celisea- Well, he’s not the only one. There are several. The women seem ok with it. Not aware of any fights or anything like that. Not much turnover here. So, fresh meat is relatively rare. One of them even goes to another department, three floors below ours to do his “pity” deeds as well. I have no proof, but one of the women he mentioned, I saw him with, at JCPenny, once, a while back. He is married and has been ever since he started working here. So I’m convinced it’s happening, just as they say it is.