Here’ s a little story…
Picture this, you’ve been out for two dates with a guy that you just don’t fancy. He’s the friend of a friend, and he’s told her he really fancies you… not told you though… you know from her as she can’t keep secrets. He’s lovely and kind and yes, you have things in common but it’s not quite enough to be good friends. Also, because they’re such a good, sweet person, they have made you feel utterly at ease at all times. There’s nothing actually wrong. And, to be entirely truthful, you just don’t find this sweet man attractive. In addition to this, you find yourself being utterly unreasonable and start picking holes in the gentle fellow. In particular, you look at his hands which are excessively clean and manicured and you assume that he has never done an honest day’s work in his life which annoys you and puts you at odds… well, manual work is what you mean, but, rather unreasonably and pathetically, it distracts you totally.
In this particular case which you are picturing, the guy has not made it clear that these evenings spent together, aloooone, have been ‘dates.’ (I have learnt the hard… no… the awkward way, that, more often than not, when a single guy asks a single girl out for drinks, dinner, cinema… or in this case, fireworks and (second ‘date’) a food festival… see, I told you he was sweet… it just must be a ‘date.’) However, no-one ever says the word in this situation. It’s discussed as ‘meeting up,’ as ‘catching up,’ as ‘fancy a bite.’ So the idea of a romantic connection is pushed aside, rather nervously, until he eventually gets braver (probably around date five) and instead the assumption that it is a date hangs around like an ungainly cloud.
So, alright, there is a vague picture of being on a date with a lovely young man who you just don’t fancy. You want to. Your mother would like him. In fact, your mother says, ‘you might learn to love him,’ upon hearing of his stable existence and unfortunate incompatibility. After a short consideration of this sentiment, you come to the conclusion that you are too young to learn to love someone, you can still hope to fall madly-truly-deeply. So, you decide you have to turn down the offer to go for a date three ‘bite’ because you know there is nothing there for you… romantically. And for some strange reason the thing you cannot remove from your mind are those hands, they just ‘creeped you out.’ Totally unreasonable. There is something hugely wrong with you!
But how do you say No?
The modern age gives us so many ways of getting out of things with very little effort. There’s text, Facebook, Twitter if you’re feeling particularly public, phone call, then letter if you’re feeling old school… yet you feel as though the latter might not quite fit with a two-date-turn-down. Then there’s in person, but again, that can be avoided if you’ve only met the bloke three times. And it’s just a whole pile of awkwardness to actually bring it up whilst with this person, try and leave, and watch as they fumble around and say, ‘yeah, alright, I understand,’ and you aren’t sure whether to hug goodbye or to just leave. You don’t want to be rude, yet you don’t want to dangle yourself in front of him then take yourself away forever… not wanting to give yourself too much credit of course. On top of that, you find it really hard saying goodbye to those puppy eyes without offering a generous ‘see you soon,’ which you tried and failed to stop coming out of your mouth at the conclusion of date two. See! Mountain of awkwardness… or is it a mole hill?
Therefore, you decide that a text message is the best way to do it. It’s to the point, quick, and almost pain free. It’s the quick plaster removal of the dating world.
He has text you asking you out for date three… within this text he’s commented upon his excitement concerning the forthcoming festive period and ‘fancy a bite next week.’
You think, alright, plaster removal! Quick and painless. The issue is that you’re not sure what to say so you put it off, forget about it, then remember that you must reply when you’re in the pub that evening with friends, oops.
This is where it gets fun. You see, you’re still not sure how to phrase the turn down, but it’s a cruel to be kind attitude you feel you must adopt. And honesty… best policy. So, you turn to your friends for advice. The six of you are all sat around a pub table, drinks in hand, and each knows of your unromantic yet considerate feelings and unreasonable hands aversion. They decide to construct the text for you, taking it in turn to offer one word each until the text is complete. You type and fill in punctuation, but otherwise, have no input.
The reply runs thus…
Deer are very festive when rutting. Shall we embark on the most unfortunate and timely demise since Waterloo because I am sorry but our fingers are incompatible. Alas we cannot high five unless your surgeon extends considerably these particular physical attributes post-haste. With much unfelt eroticism I remain doubtedly forever mine.
Aren’t your friends helpful!
However, as fun as this was, you decide that it will not be sent to the lovely gentleman. Although it gets the point, it doesn’t come from quite the right angle. It helps though, and makes you realise, through all the silliness, what you want to say.
I had a really lovely time with you last week, thank you, but I don’t see this going anywhere for me. Enjoy the festivities.
To the point and simple. You have not committed yourself to seeing him again or even to remaining friends but you have, importantly, thanked him and shown him respect.
Thanks for being honest, sorry to hear it.
Proven; honesty is the best policy, cruel to be kind, quick plaster removal.