I recently went on a first date with a boy I met from work and I feel like we just didn’t click. How can he find out that I’m not interested without me telling him? I don’t like hurting people’s feelings. Miss Congeniality
Dear Miss Congeniality,
Don’t mention the elephant in the room… still you can’t help but see it, right? You’ve decided that you don’t want to deepen your relationship and the only way to do that is to discuss personal feelings. It’s awkward and embarrassing.
The quickest way to escalate the awkwardness is to ignore it. But trying to tell someone you’re not interested in that way can feel like facing a firing squad. Despite the inescapable foreboding, it’s still best to talk about it. If you bring it up then he will immediately feel at ease. There is a way to reveal a graceless truth – it’s all in the delivery.
The key: while you may feel adamant, it’s best not to come across as adamant – try not to completely shut him down.
Be as pleasant as possible. Ask him what he thought… you may discover that he feels the same way you do. If, however, he does want to date you, then mention the word “friend” at some point. Calling him a friend is probably the gentlest way to say “no” without actually saying it.
If you’re concerned about his feelings, then I can reasonably assume you would like to keep this boy as a friend? In my experience, honest friendships can weather many more storms than “egg shell” friendships. The truth is sometimes hard to hear but it is always the best course of action.
You can rest assured he will eventually figure it out whether you tell him or not, so give yourself permission to move on with confidence.