Turning Someone Down

Go down

Turning Someone Down

Post by prettyinpank on Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:08 pm

Hey there! I was wondering if y'all could help me with something.

So recently a barista I'm fairly chatty with at my local coffee shop asked me out. He caught me there on his day off when I was actually in a really vulnerable place. Naturally he decided that this was his moment to abruptly get into some very heavy stuff he's dealing with, ask me how my non existant husband is doing, then give me his card and tell me to email him some time.

I was in a daze that day and said sure, even though something just felt...off. I also felt stuck, because I see him almost every day to get my favorite coffee. And I wasn't opposed to a friendly outing, as we've been friendly and certainly not flirty. I emailed him, and he asked me if I'd check out this new coffee bar with him this past Saturday. Again I said yes and went, because he didn't explicitly call it a date. I fell right into that plausible deniability trap, where if I brought it up as a date he could just deny it to avoid rejection or embarrassment.

I'm sure now after the fact that he wanted it to be a date. It was middling at best. And there were little pink flags everywhere, like him calling himself a male lesbian when I admitted I'm a queer/bi woman. Or him using a lot of therapist speak while simultaneously condemning all the past women he's dated. My experience with that kind of talk is he's either working thru stuff right now (which is fine!), or he's learned enough to use it as a manipulative tool...I don't want to find out either way with this person.

So my problem is this: I just want to continue being acquaintances, and I want to get my damn morning coffee with as little unpleasantness as possible.

He thankfully hasn't contacted me since. Can I just let this go, pretend it never happened, and just be proessionally curt but friendly the next time I see him? Do I have to send him a "hey I don't know if you thought that was a date but can we just be friends" email? What is a good way to handle this? And in the future what would be a better way to avoid this situation all together? I felt like I couldn't just say "sure I'll email you/do coffee but fyi I'm not interested in dating" because that felt like I was getting ahead of myself. But I wanted to say that.

prettyinpank

Posts : 12
Reputation : 6
Join date : 2015-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Turning Someone Down

Post by eselle28 on Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:38 pm

I would wait for him to bring it up and pretend it didn't happen until/unless he does. 

If he does broach the issue, I'd suggest, "Thanks but no," or if you prefer something softer, "You know I'm really busy these days, and I don't really have time to get to know anyone new." I wouldn't get into the territory of suggesting that the two of you be friends or even that he email you unless the prospect of either of those things excites you. To me, it sounds like the second he wasn't working, he wasn't that fun to be around. Also, the red flags you saw seem like the kind that would make a friendship difficult as well as a relationship.
avatar
eselle28
General Oversight Moderator

Posts : 1994
Reputation : 999
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Turning Someone Down

Post by Wondering on Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:42 pm

For the future, it depends on how blunt you want it to be, but if someone asks you out on Shrödinger's Date, you could just say, "Oh, as a date or as friends?" That frames it as you asking for clarification and puts the ball in their court. It's a question with only two valid answers. If you get an answer you don't want, "As a date," then you can decline in the same way you would someone who asked you out openly and without the equivocation.

If they hem and haw about whether it's a date or as friends, I'd personally assume they meant as a date.

_________________
-Nevertheless, she persisted

Wondering

Posts : 1117
Reputation : 436
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Turning Someone Down

Post by Kiskadee on Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:08 am

I would also not bring it up again unless he mentions it. It's obviously easier for you, but I think it's also the more polite choice in this situation. It's very possible he wanted it to be a date, but then wasn't feeling it anymore than you were (in my very limited experience, people who are really into a date don't bring up their exes in detail). No need to add extra rejection if it's clear to both it's not going anywhere, and no need to preemptively ask to be friends (if you do, he may assume you definitely want to hang out, when it sounds like you don't).

I felt like I couldn't just say "sure I'll email you/do coffee but fyi I'm not interested in dating" because that felt like I was getting ahead of myself. But I wanted to say that.

Go for it if you want to. I've said stuff like that, usually with something tacked on about how I'm awkward and can't tell when people are flirting, to avoid sounding like I've made too much of an assumption. People have told me the same thing, including one woman who had just asked for my number.
avatar
Kiskadee

Posts : 65
Reputation : 11
Join date : 2014-10-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Turning Someone Down

Post by prettyinpank on Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:28 pm

Thanks everyone all of that is really helpful!

eselle28 wrote:Also, the red flags you saw seem like the kind that would make a friendship difficult as well as a relationship.

You're definitely right, it's probably not fair to mention friendship at all.

Wondering wrote:For the future, it depends on how blunt you want it to be, but if someone asks you out on Shrödinger's Date, you could just say, "Oh, as a date or as friends?" That frames it as you asking for clarification and puts the ball in their court. It's a question with only two valid answers. If you get an answer you don't want, "As a date," then you can decline in the same way you would someone who asked you out openly and without the equivocation.

If they hem and haw about whether it's a date or as friends, I'd personally assume they meant as a date.

Thank you for this! Hearing it sounds so simple, yet so difficult for me in practice. That's a great way of handling it.

Kiskadee wrote:It's very possible he wanted it to be a date, but then wasn't feeling it anymore than you were (in my very limited experience, people who are really into a date don't bring up their exes in detail).

That was my impression. He didn't go into detail about his exes so much as use them to explain his current attitude on dating and relationships, like what he's looking for. I think at that point he was sincerely looking for compatibility, but I wasn't interested.  

Kiskadee wrote:I've said stuff like that, usually with something tacked on about how I'm awkward and can't tell when people are flirting, to avoid sounding like I've made too much of an assumption.  People have told me the same thing, including one woman who had just asked for my number.

That's encouraging to hear. I often have an awful mental back and fourth between 'nooo they're showing interest, not down for this' and 'I'm reading too much into it they're just being friendly' so either way it would do me a lot of favors to ask upfront.

prettyinpank

Posts : 12
Reputation : 6
Join date : 2015-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Turning Someone Down

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum