Letting Him Down Softly (i.e.- He’s Interested and You Aren’t)

Ladies- I am sure that I am not the only person to have ever experienced this, I’m even sure that some guys could switch around the words and they have experienced it as well.  It is the moment when someone you only mildly know takes you being nice as a sign of genuine attraction and makes a move that you aren’t even remotely prepared for.  Or even worse, a move that you do not reciprocate in the slightest.  We, women, are not like men- for the most part we will talk to just about anyone, whether we like them or not.  If you are from one of the southern states- you are likely to do this because your mama said it was polite and because of the fact that relatives that you do not even know would be rolling over in their graves if you weren’t nice. It is just how we are built.

I know that I have bemoaned the fact that I am single.  That I have talked about being the ‘friend’ or being treated as the ‘little sister’.  I have talked about how I am having to embrace parts of me that I usually pretend do not exist.  I have even admitted to many faults of my own that have pushed people away in the past.  I’m sure that someone out there is probably thinking why should I be complaining that someone likes me- isn’t that what I wanted?  Yep, it’s what I want and they always say to be careful what you wish for. In this case, I think I should have been more specific about my wish.

I have often times accused myself of being too picky when it comes to men- and I am.  It does not take much for me to move away from a relationship because someone moves ahead of my pace- it is actually the one sure fire way for me to run screaming from the building as if a boogeyman is chasing after me. I am not the type of person that can throw myself into relationship after relationship- I have always known in the back of my mind that I was going to have only a few boyfriends in my life.  I’m perfectly fine with that- because I am one of those people that cannot halfheartedly do something.  I either do it or I don’t- there is not much in between.

The times that I have been in this situation I have tried to let the person down easy- and by easy I mean that I let them know that no, I don’t want to hang out so that I can learn more about them and that I’m not interested.  I know this may seem cruel, but I will not give anyone false hope.  As a person that has been give false hope in the past- I don’t feel like it is a nice thing to do to someone.  I might crush someone for a moment, but dragging someone along is even worse.  I’ve learned that temporary pain is a lot worse than a pain that could have been prevented- if only the person was honest from the very beginning.

My honesty hasn’t exactly paid off for me in the past when it comes to relationships, but it is something that I stand by.  I am honest to a fault and I have always trusted my gut instinct, which usually doesn’t lead me wrong.  So, my general advice for letting someone down softly is to be kind, but firm- there is no reason to say anything mean when you are saying no.  The person was willing to put enough of themselves out there to ask- the least you can do is be kind in your rejection and don’t use the word ‘maybe’. Because a maybe can be viewed half way to a ‘yes,’ when you really mean that it is half way to a ‘no’.  I know that guys hate being rejected, just as much as us girls do, but some of the blame does lie with us.  So cool your jets and tell them the truth- if that doesn’t work- I’m sure you can think of an interesting solution to the age old problem that all people seem to face at some point or another.


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