Socially awkward girl seeks rejection tips.
March 4, 2011 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Socially awkward girl seeks rejection tips.

I've been dating this guy for the past few weeks. He is objectively awesome, nice, good-looking, smart, etc. but for some reason I'm just not feeling it. I wasn't sure about him from the beginning but I decided to give him a chance, especially because I'm having trouble getting over another guy so I really wanted to like him. While we have a lot in common and he's the kind of guy I'd love to be friends with, I don't feel any, well, spark, and I'm just not sexually attracted to him at all. I guess he has the wrong pheromones or something? I don't know.

Anyway, said guy is evidently very into me (he told me how glad he was to meet me, calls me CONSTANTLY and is already mentioning the Relationship word) and I don't want this to progress any further. I need a way to reject him as nicely and easily as possible.

Complication #1: I am kind of socially awkward, young (early 20s) and don't have a lot of dating experience.

Complication #2: I lent him a book with sentimental value to me (I know, I know, stupid idea) that I'd be kinda sad if I didn't get back.

Is this a valid reason to reject someone? Am I being too shallow or picky? There is nothing wrong with him, but I know what attraction is and this just isn't it. Would a nice girl give him a chance and see if attraction builds?

How can I reject him in the nicest possible way with minimal awkwardness?

(Anonymous because he might read Metafilter. And I'm embarrassed.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Is this a valid reason to reject someone?


Am I being too shallow or picky?


How can I reject him in the nicest possible way with minimal awkwardness?

Short, simple, concise: You're a really nice guy, but there's just no spark or chemistry. I'm sorry but I don't think it will work out.

And remember, it's only been a few weeks. This is the point where you're supposed to end it if you don't see it going anywhere, for the sake of everyone involved. This is the right thing to do.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:13 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]

I need a way to reject him as nicely and easily as possible.

Check out a comment from Miko that covers this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]

If you have not had sex yet, don't. Ease him into the friend zone, which is a great place for a nice, smart guy to be. You can get your book back, not feel pressured into having a relationship you don't want, and perhaps introduce him to a friend who will feel the spark.

If you've already had sex, hmm, next time wait until you are feeling it.
posted by Scram at 8:16 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

You've already got it: "You are awesome, nice, good-looking, smart. But I'm having trouble getting over another guy and I'm just not feeling it. Can we still be friends?"

It's a fair statement, especially if you two are only in the dating stage. I'd do this while you're alone and in private somewhere. Though, that particular mix of word might imply that once you're over the other guy, you could feel something for your current beau. Rhomboid's phrasing is more direct and leaves no room for doubt. Depends on how you want to go.

And while I value straight-forwardness, stringing "...and can I have my book back?" doesn't work really well, so on that point, I'd see if you can ask for it back before you let him down, so the two aren't tied together so much. I assume that the letting down would take a little time to work up to anyway, so you should ask for that book back asap. Tell him you miss having it with you. Which is true.
posted by jlunar at 8:20 AM on March 4, 2011

I speak from very recent experience on this, from the other side of the table. If this isn't working for you, speak up sooner rather than later. The famous Miko breakup advice comment is linked above, but I don't like all the references to "right now". That leads to the dumpee hoping that the future might be different, maybe, which is not helpful. You want a little more finality.
Don't push him to be friends. If he's that into you, he will need a no-contact period to move on, and he gets to decide if you'll be friends or not. That's more than fair.
As far as the book, either manage to get it from him before you break up with him (possibly by doing the break-up at his house), or prepare to wait a few weeks after the breakup before you can get it back, if you get it back. I, personally, a recent dumpee, mailed a big box of my ex's stuff to him, including books, the week after the dumping. To his credit, he didn't ask about them, but I know he was glad to get them back.
posted by aabbbiee at 9:07 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Don't lie about it.

Someone telling you they can't handle a relationship right now or that they want to take it slow is only more of a kick in the balls when eventually you realize they were lying. It may seem softer but in my experience a straight up "I'm not interested in you romantically" or whatever feels a lot less bad than a period of drawn out self-doubt.
posted by drethelin at 9:35 AM on March 4, 2011

I am going through the same thing (dating to try and get over someone else, but feeling no spark) although I've considered the fact that maybe the reason I'm not feeling any spark is BECAUSE i'm not over the previous guy yet. in particular one guy is really attractive and nice and cool and it's irritating me that i'm just not feeling it . . . but i'm not. i just don't think i'm ready for it yet.

i haven't had a chance to talk to the new guy about this yet. but my plan is that i'm just going to tell him that i need to spend some more time getting back to being my previous (happier) self, before i can get into any sort of serious dating. and it's extremely true, but it's also designed to not hurt his feelings (as opposed to saying stuff like i'm not over/ miss my ex or something like that.) Like you, I WANT to be over my ex. so I'm trying to keep the door open with this guy, because who knows, maybe once the bad feelings about my ex recede more, i'll start feeling it for the new guy more. or hell, maybe i won't, but at least this way i can take the pressure off and just try to be friends with him. i'm beginning to suspect that what i really need to do is keep making awesome new friends, rather than finding a new boyfriend (maybe i ought to tell him that too.)
posted by GastrocNemesis at 9:59 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

Yeah, definitely don't blame it on anything circumstantial - don't tell him you're not ready for a relationship or you can't date now or anything like that. For some reason, most people understand those as codes for "I'm not feeling this" in the abstract, but then proceed to believe them literally when in the receiving position, leading to all kinds of problems when the dumper starts dating someone else. Some variation on "not sure why but I'm just not feeling this" is what's called for here.
posted by Ragged Richard at 11:14 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Aaaaaaaannnnnd here's where I link for the hundredth time how some dude rejected me. It's firm while still being decent/kind. Copy and paste, my friend.

Your reasons don't matter. You're not feeling it, don't waste his time.
posted by AlisonM at 1:51 PM on March 4, 2011

Arg, I didn't mean to say that your reasons aren't important. They are. But you just don't need to go into it. You've gone out for only a month or so. Reasons = no biggie. You're not feeling it.
posted by AlisonM at 1:55 PM on March 4, 2011

At the end of the day, there's no easy or nice way to end things. Especially when this guy obviously wants to pursue a relationship with you. So you have two choices. The first...just end it. Do it in person. Tell him what you've told're a great guy, but I'm just not feeling the attraction. And that's the bottom're not attracted to him. Give him a chance to talk with you about it and get out his feelings. Please...don't do it over the phone, via text, or email. That's just not cool. Your second option here....give this guy a bit more time. You're a socially awkward girl right? Well, do you think that there are times when guys write you off after a couple of dates because you're socially awkward? You know the answer. What if those guys gave you some more time? You might actually relax and not be so socially awkward. What if this guy has a similar problem...he might be inexperienced, just nervous, unable to be himself. And you might actually come to find that you are attracted to this guy. At the end of the day your reasons for ending things are valid. But I think you might not be giving this guy a fair shot. Who knows. I'd give it another 3 or 4 dates. Unless he's just awful...but I don't think that's the case.
posted by ljs30 at 4:25 PM on March 4, 2011

The kindest way to end things is to do it sooner than later and to not leave room for false hope.

I've had a great time getting to know you. Unfortunately, I don't feel a romantic spark.
All the best,
Anonymous Girl
posted by J. Wilson at 5:35 PM on March 4, 2011

« Older Discs + Paper Punch = Circa notebook?   |   Girls, distances, and decisions about them. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.