Why I'm Not Straightforward With Guys I Don't Want to See Again
Everyone has different ways of dealing with dating.
My friend Gina* goes on literally three dates a week. So, for her, politely declining a guy's advances is easier than filling her gas. On to the next! It's not that she's at all rude to someone who respectfully asks her to go out again—she's just straightforward, and doesn't want to deal with the burden of having someone not take a hint. While, at times, feelings are hurt (and rightfully so), her plan of attack has worked for her, and she never feels bad with her honesty, as long as it's executed in a tactful way.
I, on the other hand, go on far fewer dates than Gina. So I guess I take mine a little more seriously. Not that she doesn't take hers seriously, but when you've got two more lined up for the week, you're not exactly putting all your eggs in one basket. Most of the dates I go on are with people who, within 30 seconds, I know that I probably won't ever want to see again. But, if they're respectful and engaging, I'm not just going to sit there in silence with my arms crossed.
As long as someone isn't a creep, it's always flattering when a person (friend, date, colleague, whoever) takes time out of their schedule to connect with you. I want to make the most of the experience, even if I'm not yearning for it to happen again. Not to mention, dates with people you're not interested in is the best practice for a (rare) date with someone who actually excites you.
(Famous in Love via Freeform)
All of that said, I oftentimes give off the vibe that I'm interested in people who I absolutely am not. I can be super cold and assertive when I need to be, but I can also be in what I call "PR mode," in which I act like I'm selling a product (myself). And I think, by nature, I do that on most dates because it's a good way to get in the right mindset in case a person of interest comes along. Because of this, I tend to get myself in trouble. As life tends to go, it's always the ones you don't want who hit you up. I pretty much always know who I'll hear from again and who I won't. And by "hear from again," I mean, like, first thing the next morning (ugh).
This is where my complex begins. Without batting a lash, Gina will easily give her generic, "I had a really good time on our date, but I just don't know if we're quite the right match. You seem like a great guy, I wish you the best." I, on the other hand, feel bad for possibly giving off the wrong idea, and would much rather make excuse after excuse and hope they finally take a hint, than be upfront. Especially, if, at the end of the date, they casually say, "I'd love to do this again," and I softly utter, "yeah, text me." Even though I know I don't want to see them again, I don't want to make it super awkward right then and there (unless they're absolutely awful).
(Gossip Girl via The CW)
I also have no problem with ghosting, and I don't think anyone disagrees. It's one thing if you've actually been seeing someone on the reg, but if you've gone on one or two dates, you don't really owe the person much. A simple ghost is an easy and non-confrontational way of letting someone know you're just not that into them. What's annoying, however, is when your ghosting and beating around the bush still doesn't give them the hint. Sadly, it happens more times than not. How do people not realize that, if someone wanted to see you, they're not going to use an excuse that their friend is visiting for a week?
Following the last date I went on, I kept sending Gina screengrabs of the guy texting me (despite every seemingly obvious sign I wasn't interested). She was sick of reading all of it, and insisted I let him down gently. So, finally, I did: "Hey! Apologies for the delayed reply. I didn't see your last message from Friday until just now. That said, I really enjoyed our date and meeting you, but I should be honest and say that I got more of a friend vibe than a romantic one." Whew!
"Ah. I see," he said. "I guess thanks for being honest about that."
After I said "You're welcome :)," he followed up with, "Can't say I'm entirely surprised." And while I was slightly curious what tipped him off (since he didn't seem to have a clue from what I could tell), I left it at that. Following that experience, I'm going to take that route more frequently—though it's not to say (this situation aside) it is sometimes selfishly entertaining to have someone continuously hit you up, nonstop, to no avail. If you can keep one of those harmless nuisances around for kicks, it does make for a good chuckle.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy
Wondering if someone you like is giving you the runaround? HERE are five excuses a crush uses when they're not interested in you.