I feel like I need some formal practice – I would totally sign up for a workshop that was nothing but 2 hours straight of saying, “no, thank you, it was nice to meet you, I know we had a great chat about X, but the chemistry isn’t there for me and I don’t want a second date,” over and over until the cringy awkwardness was washed out of it. (Yes, I’ve looked – no luck so far.) If not, any suggestions on overcoming my extreme internal resistance to being so blunt? The problem is that there’s usually going to be one person who is more invested than the other person.
And this power imbalance means that broken hearts are par for the course.
You can probably finesse the wording a little bit: It’s been really great getting to know you, but I have to tell you the truth: I started to see a guy and things are getting a little more serious.
Believe me, I’ve been on the other side of women who let me know just what they thought about me – even if I didn’t ask.
And once you’ve been told to your face by a date, “I’m just not attracted to you,” you start seeing the value in moving on via email…
That’s how the vast majority of first and second dates go.
Either you’re going to blow them off or they’re going to blow you off.
First, is there an acceptable way to say, “My dance card is pretty full right now, but I’ll get back to you in a few weeks if none of those dates go further?
” I can’t think of a good way to phrase this that doesn’t sound like the guy is “second choice” or a backup option – and usually he is a perfectly interesting and attractive person, not a second choice at all, but I don’t want to be in the situation of having three different dates every week and having to draw up a spreadsheet to keep track of them all!
So, in response to your query about how to tell someone that it’s the lack of chemistry that’s the reason for blowing someone off, how about this novel idea: How about you don’t say anything?
And I will resist all impulses to write my response to in iambic pentameter.
You seem like a great catch, though, and I wish you the best of luck in your search.” That’s not too harsh, is it? Listen, all of us have been blown off before and I’d venture to guess that 90% of the time it’s not because you did something “wrong” like cuss out the waiter or refuse to wear pants in the restaurant.