What is the best way to respond / proceed when someone you dated for about 8 weeks tells you: “I have been holding back because I have always thought I would date someone {shorter, from a different kind of culture, catholic etc} but I am trying to be more open minded this time as my previous attempts didn’t work and I want to be in a relationship ultimately.

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Enjoy your exploration elsewhere. Thanks. Bye.

BUT that’s just me, not knocking the guy for trying something new but I wouldn’t be interested in being part of the sample platter he’s trying out.

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Nothing to take personal about it. They are being candid. Just say appreciate you being open minded and honest about it. Ask questions to understand their perspective better:
What were the reasons you thought going out of your set criteria would not work?
When does it become a no-go for you in this scenario?
Based on their answers, one might decide what is the best approach to take.
Imo, when people have some rigid convictions, biases and prejudices, it is better not to judge them but to clarify them and make them develop an open outlook that could change their perspective altogether

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That’s like judging them. There’s no need. Give them a chance to explain themselves and see through it themselves. There is no need to lose cool or feel offended by it. It’s just someone’s opinion of things

That's something you tell your friends or write in your journal. No one wants to feel like they're the person someone is settling to explore for.

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You are a not a trial option.

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This is not something you tell the person you’re seeing. You talk to your friends about it. Adults should have boundaries.

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I’d wish them best of luck in their search for a relationship with whatever description they had in mind.

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I'm a Middle Eastern Muslim guy and 5'5 living in the US so most women i met here are just opposite lol I got this type of messages very often and super used to it... I'd say move on and wish them a good luck.

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Leave immediately!

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