He's Interested and I'm Not; and Vice Versa

Dear Toni--

I met this guy who is clearly attracted to me. I agreed to a first date, and found him to be a very nice guy that I just feel no chemistry with. He asked for a second date, and brought up all kinds of things he thought we should do together. I don't want to hurt his feelings but I know this isn't going anywhere. I also need to confess that I'm not seeing anyone now and the attention is nice.

I guess my question is, how should I handle this? Should I tell him directly how I feel? Should I go out with him some more and give him a chance to change my mind? Should I go out with him and indirectly communicate I'd like this to be platonic? Or, is there another, better option I hadn't thought of? --Bad Girl

Dear Bad Girl--

So, he's a "nice" guy and you don't want to hurt his feelings. The answers should be obvious here, but often aren't for women in the position you find yourself now. Honesty IS the only way to go. How you tell him has some options to it. In addition, your point about giving him more time is a valid one. It is a good idea to have a few dates to evaluate how you feel. More than one time together could make a difference. If it doesn't, it's time for that honesty.

Talking to him directly by phone or in person is nicer than by email. Sharing that he's a nice guy and you enjoy him as you do your friends leaves the relationship open to friendship building. If he doesn't want this, he will communicate it at some point. He may need some time to think about what you've said, or to collect his hurt ego. Give him that time. Let him know you respect him and therefore are treating him with the honesty that goes with respect. Beyond this, you can't be responsible for how he reacts or handles the situation in general.

(from May 2003)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

"So Where DO You Meet Mr Right?"
List of more
"Help With Dating"

"Communicating Interest vs Coming On Too Strong"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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