Dating and Error Handling

Oooohkay. So I’d sort of thought it’d be smart to separate the geek stuff from the personal stuff, hence my division of SingleMormonMommy from Novapages. As it turns out, though, I am having a hard time not being geeky here when I talk about personal things.

I hope you’ll bear with me anyhow, though; one of the main things was to get the weird emo stuff off Novapages and allow me to be more expressive here. I just don’t know if I can suppress the geek in me.

I guess I’ll just try saying it in normal human-readable English first: If you don’t want to continue a dating relationship, what do you do or say?

A while ago I posted about dating, how I am the program. I can’t control the input, I can only respond appropriately. And how dating is like my Q&A testing. It was a weird post. I hope someone out there liked it. (Oh wait, what the … I guess I never published the posts that fleshed the concept out. I’ll have to work on that.)

I haz a sadface

One thing I failed to mention is Error Handling. Error handling is important. Don’t you hate it when you get some vague error like, “_____ has encountered an error and will shut down.” Or my favorite error ever – the Sad Mac. I remember my neighbor getting that and cursing, “What the $@!% is that supposed to mean?”

In my mind, being a geek, an error can never provide too much information. And yet from a usability standpoint, if you’ve got errors that scare the living daylights out of people, or if you just you know, give a memory dump or whatever, your typical user is just going to get way more frustrated than they would with a simple, “Sorry, this program has to end now.”

So, how do you handle exceptions and errors in dating? Let’s say you’ve just realized the relationship (or even the date) can’t continue. What do you say? Do you give too much information, or not enough?

Personally I’m a bit frustrated when a guy resorts to an “else die();” without further explanation. But when I’ve volunteered technical details as to why I didn’t want to go out, or why I didn’t want to go out again, guys think I’m a total jerk. Where is the middle ground? Or are vague errors really easier? Maybe vague errors with a Details link? And yet I feel like when I don’t give enough information, I’m more like one of those old abort/retry/ignore/fail? prompts and the guys keep holding down “R” for retry, when really I just want to abort. And yeah, I’ve been more than guilty of holding down R myself. Fail.

Anyway. Right now, my phone has no reception for whatever reason (No, I can’t hear you now, Verizon!) so I’m going to have to get ready and drive somewhere just so I can figure out the best way to tell this guy thanks-but-no-thanks. And by the time my hair gets over itself enough for me to be in public, it’ll be too late to cancel fairly, and yet is it fair to let him take me out again if I’m really not interested? Should I take the passive-aggressive route and exhibit unexpected behavior until he leaves in search of a more stable release? Or give him a 404 and just not show up? But that’s not how I want to roll. I want to be honest, kind, real, not overwhelming, and yeah — good to myself too. I just haven’t figured out how to meet all of those requirements.

Maybe an Internal Server Error fits the bill best for now.

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