Help me think this through?
So I've been looking around at professional opportunities and someone made me a good offer and really had me in mind in terms of how they saw the future of their venture, I turned it down and they were quite taken aback and saddened. I feel kinda bad about it too. Thoughts or advice appreciated.→
Some background and my thoughts:
I didn't lead him on:
So we started talking about a month ago. I think he got kinda excited about the prospect of me coming on board. I was holding out for a good number and I think this might have been part of the problem, that he had to justify the number to himself and hence mapped a whole future for his company based on me coming on board.
We met 10 days ago, and he said OK about a week ago. After that (about 4 days ago) told him I was planning to change my current situation but still thinking about what to do next and I think that's where some miscommunication might have occurred. Today I told him I'd decided to pursue my own projects and it was a really unhappy conversation on the phone, like he was shocked. We ended up with some formalities like I wish you the best, etc. but it was clear he was really unhappy.
I then sent him an email saying I apologize if I was unclear at any point and wish him the best. (He sent back an email like it's OK, I wish you the best, etc. but terse.)
Secondly I feel like -- this is the nature of business. It's not like I broke off a marriage engagement or something. I have a right to not join your workplace, or leave my current workplace, or even leave you after joining you! etc. even though it can be socially awkward. In business, sometimes things that are being worked on for months get cancelled ... that's the nature of the beast.
Human interaction is tough
Thirdly I just feel like this is the nature of dealing with new things in life. If you're going to meet new people, chase new ideas, with every plan or pursuit there may be someone who's hurt, someone who's mad, someone who wants something you can't provide and vice-versa... all you can do is try to be a good and upfront person... the only way to avoid this is just to become a hermit.