I'm just not that into you...
For the fellas those six words are just so easy. They say it how it is and leave broken hearts trailing in their wake, seemingly without a care. For us girls, it's a little tougher. Unless you've got a truly cold-heart, when we want to give someone the flick we have to consider the emotions involved; primarily guilt. We all know that feeling of panic when it's crunch time; he's proposed date three but you're sooooo not keen. How can you bail? What's the perfect excuse to never [ever] see him again?
This conundrum is guaranteed to cross the mind of every 20-something in this modern dating age. You've put yourself on the line. You've had date one: drinks. It's full of awkward chit-chat where you essentially interview each other in order to discover who the person sitting opposite you is. By the end of the date you're not too sure whether you're into them or not but, one week later you decide to give them the benefit of the doubt and go for date two: dinner. Somewhere between your entrée and your main you've got it sussed. He's nice, he's funny, but you don't want to tear his clothes off. Answer? He's not for you. So you sit through the remaining hour, swirling your wine, smiling in all the right places and secretly deciding what you'll watch on Netflix when you get home.
I guess it's like they say... Dating is collecting information about someone until you realise you don't like them... Ding - you've realised. By some miracle you're secretly hoping he's gone off you too and will never make contact but when that dreaded text comes through asking for date number three your heart sinks. It might just be my total avoidance of any matter involving confrontation, but I really hate having to tell a guy I'm not interested; particularly when I'm feeling guilty about hurting his feelings - which I always am. A girl can employ any number of strategies to tell him no. But I for one am never sure what the best option is. Let's see...
1. You can ignore him.
My girlfriends suggested this simple solution when the guy I'd been on two dates with wanted to go out again. I'd decided he simply wasn't for me; truth be told I thought he was just too nice. Stupid right? How is that even a reason? Anyway, I took their advice and never replied to any of his messages. You've gotta hand it to him, he persisted for quite a while without any responses and with every message my guilty cringe became more and more intense. Poor fella. He eventually got the hint.
2. You can lie.
Don't attempt this face to face unless you're a really really good liar. I mean Oscar-nominee quality. If not well then via text might be better [don't judge, you've only met twice, texting is totally acceptable]. Tell him you just got an amazing job offer and are moving overseas. That ought to do the trick, but we wary of any accidental run-ins. #awks
3. You can give subtle hints.
You know the usual, "Oh I'm really busy, my friend has this thing, I can't do this weekend, my wardrobe isn't suitable for rainy weather, I'm allergic to Italian..." I guess if each one gets more unbelievable, surely the penny will drop for him eventually. It's like saying no, without saying no right?
4. You can tell him point blank you're not interested.
If all else fails you could go this route but you have to be a pretty strong-willed and a tough-love kind of person. "Sorry I'm just not that into you" is perhaps a tad dramatic but you get the idea.
5. You can fake your own death.
Don't laugh, it's been done and documented on social media. He was keen. She was not. He couldn't take a hint. So she faked her own death. End of story. (Except apparently he later found her new dating profile and got in touch to berate her. Fair enough I suppose.) Definitely one for the Plan Z pile. Be sure to exhaust all other options first...
I for one would like to know what guys truly do prefer. Like anything I suppose it depends on the man. Some don't want their pride injured whereas I'm sure some others would just rather hear the truth. I'm yet to try option 5 [read: not intending to] but 1-4 have all worked for me in one way or another. I guess there's virtue in confronting things head on, I'm sure it's what my Dad would suggest, but sometimes a girl just needs a complex Whatsapp message thread to break things off...
This post first appeared on Pearls of Style.