I run a website for women about becoming better women and wives and I need your help. Several months ago, you guys shared from great advice for showing interest in a guy without seeming easy. But now my readers want to you how a woman can show a man she isn't interested as gently as possible.
What do you think? Given that rejection sucks, how can a girl let a guy down easy? And what should she do if she thinks you're interested but you haven't made a move?
how can a girl let a guy down easy?
Offer her hot best friend as a replacement.
And what should she do if she thinks you're interested but you haven't made a move?
Invite him over. Make him a sammich. Wearing only an apron.
Thanks for the suggestion about the sandwich and apron (I'll keep that one in mind to share with my husband), but what if she thinks you're interested in her and she's not. Should she wait for you to say something, or go out on a limb and tell you you're wasting your time?
what if she thinks you're interested in her and she's not
No action required.
+1. Unless he is being a pest, let him swoon.
She can't do it gently I think because it isn't a gentle thing. I think much of the confusion and difficulty experienced over these things is because the girl wants to let him down easy (sometimes for his sake, other times, if she is honest with herself, for her's).
My advice is for her to do it privately to spare him some of his pride, but don't be vague. Be clear and straightforward. If my interactions with classmates and co-workers is any evidence, then its women who require things to be handed to them gently, men require straightforward honesty. This isn't to be mean, but it does leave little doubt in its meaning. A man in love will not be thinking clearly and might (ie will) take any vague turn down in the most positive light. Also, don't give him the "we can be friends" bit. If I could change one thing in woman I would abolish that from their speech.
Whereas women might be surprised how quickly a man can go from hot to cold with regards to physical love, the same is not true of men's feelings. A man who has put his heart out there and has been given rejection needs time to be angry and get over it. Giving him the "let's be friends" bit does two bad things. One, for some, it gives a false hope. Instead of letting the rejection sink in and give him the opportunity to get over the girl and move on, it puts him in a limbo. He will never be with her (and as far as she is concerned, she has already told him so) yet he will still not be likely to move on hoping the friendship will go somewhere. Relationship limbo. Actually, I feel women who knowingly do this are no better than guys who use women for sex. They greedily keep the part they want while denying the other what they hope for. And two, it denies him the right to be angry and move on with his feelings. By rejecting the man, the girl has to accept that she will hurt him. It wasn't her fault but that's the way it goes. He needs to go through a period of anger (or at least a period of strong dislike) towards her to move on. That is healthy. I'm not saying he should be violent or even openly express this anger/dislike to her but he deserves the right to experience it for himself. By asking for friendship right away is like firing on an enemy and then quickly calling for a truce. The enemy is mad yet he would feel like a cad to refuse the peace offering.
Love is not a game. If a man had the courage to ask her out, then shouldn't she have the courage to reject him honestly and not "gently"?
If he is interested and hasn't moved then you got two options. One, make the move yourself. Although this might mean the beginning of a relationship in which you will always be the one making the moves. If the woman is ok with that then go for it. Just don't expect him to grow into a more dominate man anytime soon. Or two, don't bother and go find a guy with more guts. Number two sounds tough. Especially considering how many guys come to AOM with this exact problem (fear to make the move). But just like the bird that needs to be brave enough to leave the nest to learn to fly, the shy guy is the same. Not saying a shy guy will always be a shy guy but this is something the girl cannot help with.
You're better off just saying it outright. It'll sting, but he'll live. If it doesn't sting, he's gonna hold out hope.
If there is a common theme to the relationship questions we get from guys around here -- it is that most guys don't get it when they've been hopelessly friendzoned. They don't get it because women don't say it outright, and because they're either too dense, or too stubborn, to get the signals. Women try to let them down gently, and end up being so gentle that the point doesn't get through ... or they end up complimenting the guy they're trying to get to go away. Sometimes y'all do it on purpose -- you don't want him now, but he ain't a bad backup plan, so you'll string him along and keep him in your hip pocket.
Men don't communicate like women. We prefer directness. Quick and painful is better than drawn out. Quick and painful lets him get angry, get over it, and move on to a girl that wants him around.
Yep, quick and to the point. The details sort of depend on the situation. If he's really obnoxious about trying to pick you up (hey, baby, you must be tired 'cause you been runnin' through my mind all night) it's OK to tell him to get lost. If it's a social situation (stereotypical bar pick up) and he's trying to buy you a drink or something, just say "No, thank you" and he should get the point. If he doesn't, see above. If it something like you're in a class together and have had time to get to know each other, a little more would seem appropriate. "I'm flattered, but (insert face saving excuse here - you already have a boyfriend, you are joining a nunnery next week, etc.)"
As far as thinking we're interested but not sure, that could be a little sticky. If you pre-emptively tell him you're not interested, you could come off looking like a self absorbed wench. Best bet might be to continue on with whatever your relationship was before (you could be wrong, after all, he might not be that into you, believe it or not). I've actually had girl friends (not girlfriends) say to me, "You know I'm not going to date you, right?" and it hasn't hurt our friendship one bit.
How to tell a man you aren't interested in him
Say "I'm not interested in you."
Wow! I can't believe all my dating years of trying to be soft-hearted made guys feel worse! I'll have to spread the word to other women.
A few options:
1) Men typically like straight shooters. If a lady isn't interested but gets signals that the guy might be, just say so. And for heaven's sake don't be apologetic about it. "I think you are a great guy and all but..."
2) Setting the guy up with somebody else sends a pretty clear message that she's not waiting on him.
3) Slapping a bottle of bourbon on the table in front of him and saying, "Let's drink to what will never be," pretty much spells it out too.
4) Take up piano and learn to sing Meatloaf's Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad.
Looking back, it is probably best to stick with #1!