You are so cool, but I don't want to date you.
April 26, 2012 10:42 PM   Subscribe

Date-fail: I initiated the date, it was fun but just okay, was about to tell him no thanks to a second when he texts me and tells me he had a really good time and can't wait to see me again. My friends love him.

I in post-breakup bravery decided to ask a guy I met online out tonight. It was good to meet someone new, and he is definitely a really incredible, interesting person, but I did not feel anything around him. My friends thought he was awesome, and he apparently feels the same way about me, but I was going to tell him that though I had a great time, I wasn't feeling it though I was glad to have met him.

Given that I was so jazzed to meet him at first and that I initiated the date, what's the protocol here for letting this guy know "you're awesome but this isn't a good fit"? I'm disappointed that I'm not attracted to him, but I know better than to push past that. I don't know how to respond to his message now that I know I don't feel the same way.
posted by iLoveTheRain to Human Relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"You are cool but I wasn't feeling what I am after. Good luck."
posted by ead at 10:49 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Maybe I'm a strange, but I try to avoid letting first impressions get the better of me. You have a sample size of one. That isn't very statistically significant. People get nervous on first dates, sometimes it's just a bad day. Maybe you weren't in the right frame of mind, who knows?

Unless it's really bad, I'll usually go on a second date. If I was in your shoes I would downplay any enthusiasm, but be willing to give it a second try.

Of course, if you really really don't want see this person ever again you can do that! Just be polite and say you don't think it's a good fit. But come on, we're talking about ONE date.
posted by Jurbano at 10:57 PM on April 26, 2012 [27 favorites]

what's the protocol here for letting this guy know "you're awesome but this isn't a good fit"?

Send him an email. Tell him what you just told us. You've said it to a bunch of internet strangers — you can say it to him.
posted by John Cohen at 11:01 PM on April 26, 2012

"Thank you, I had a good time, but our date clarified what I feel is just admiration. You're amazing, and I'll be pleased if we run into each other casually."
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:23 PM on April 26, 2012 [8 favorites]

You could give it another shot, if you wanted. Maybe you'll like him better the second time, some people take more than one meeting to really shine. Or if you're sure that he's just not for you, then you can just politely but clearly tell him that you're not interested in another date, and life will go on.

Either way, try not to base your decision on whether your friends like him or whether he likes you. None of that matters if you are not into this guy. If your friends like him so much, they are free to ask him out themselves, no? And even if he eventually decides that you are his One True Love, if you don't return the feeling then you'll never be happy in a relationship with him.

Give him another meeting or not, but regardless you need to base your decision on what you feel about this guy. Others' opinions are irrelevant here.
posted by Scientist at 11:24 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

On one hand, from what you described he sounds cool and all things considered, you can try a second date and let it totally confirm your feelings about not going forward. Sometimes you find out things you didn't know before on the second date that may make you like the person more. (I don't believe the spark is always immediate.)

On the other hand, you felt strongly enough about your feeling to spend an AskMe question on it. That makes me think you know what to do going forward. If you feel you'd only go on a second date with him begrudgingly, then that's that.
posted by ichomp at 12:20 AM on April 27, 2012

I in post-breakup bravery

Is this the real issue here? That it's too soon for you? You could go with that - I think you're awesome, but, you know what, I realized it's just a little too soon for me to start dating again.

Because, otherwise, if you do think he's awesome, I would attempt a second date before making any so long-farewell decisions.
posted by mleigh at 1:53 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

When you say 'not attracted to him' does that mean physically? Or did you just not feel any 'spark'?

Because if you just don't find him physically attractive, yeah, that's not likely to change and I would let him off the hook.

However if you just didn't feel a click, I would give it another date at least to make sure.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 2:23 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'd avoid saying you're not into him because you are still getting over a breakup - he'll end u thinking he has a shot in a couple months. Just say "you were really great, i had a good time, but I just didn't feel a spark, sorry."
posted by backwards guitar at 3:00 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yeah, no, do not blame your post-breakup status, which will give him false hope. Just tell him what you told us: "You are cool, but I don't want to date you/didn't feel a spark."
posted by J. Wilson at 5:06 AM on April 27, 2012

It's perfectly fine to not want to go out with him again, but I do want to say that you might want to see him one on one. It's really hard to feel a spark when you're amongst your friends as well. Then it becomes a kind of performance piece and he can't really fully be himself. You probably didn't meet him. You met the job interview version of him: [polite, friendly and fun, but not real.

Now if you just plain don't physically like him, all of this is moot. But I do think there could be a benefit to seeing him once alone if it's more a personality thing.

But no matter when you do it, just be honest. "I really enjoyed meeting you and you're a wonderful guy, but I just wasn't feeling a connection."
posted by inturnaround at 5:14 AM on April 27, 2012

I was this guy in another situation, and the lady told me "I really like you and enjoyed spending time with you, but I didn't feel any chemistry and I don't think a relationship is possible. Can we hang out just in a friendly way, or would that just be weird?" I felt it was very well phrased, combining clarity with diplomacy. We're still friends, and both of us are in relationships with other people.

Of course, if you're not interested in seeing him for any reason at all despite his alledged awesomeness, the usual protocol is simply not to write back, or write back "Sorry, I didn't feel that spark." A quick one-line message is best - it shows you respect him enough to write back, but you're not going on a patronizing ramble about how you're sure there's someone for him, just that you can't be that person, etc. (Ie, the "get over yourself" mail.)
posted by wolfdreams01 at 5:45 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Why do your friends even have an opinion about your one-time internet date? It's confusing enough figuring out how you feel about a stranger without immediately introducing them to your whole social circle.

Also, if you had fun, go out on another date. Fun is nothing to sneeze at.
posted by Scram at 6:53 AM on April 27, 2012

It doesn't matter who initiated or how excited you were - if you're not into it, you're not into it - just email/text/call (whatever is appropriate) and tell him so. I have actually had a few good first dates that didn't make it to second dates. I don't necessarily think I have to have instant sparkage, but I just knew I didn't want to go out with them again. That's fine.

However, I think that sometimes when we are overly excited about meeting someone and have a lot emotionally riding on the meeting, we set our expectations too high. Is this a possibility for you? Be really honest with yourself about what you are looking for and what was missing with this guy - it can only help you be more successful at dating in the future.

And another thing; I usually don't let people I'm dating casually meet my friends, in part for just this reason - you are confused by their enthusiam and your lack of it, which probably makes it harder/more awkward to just let him down.
posted by sm1tten at 8:23 AM on April 27, 2012

I recommend you call him and casually mention that while you had a good time, you don't reciprocate his feelings and that you would like to remain friends. Then give him space and time to get over you.
posted by lotusmish at 8:54 AM on April 27, 2012

honestly, it was one date. you don't even have to call him or text him again. if you really don't want to date him again, don't. there doesn't have to be a reason. it was one date. I've had people just stop returning texts, I've done the same. It happens. If you really want to tell him something, just give him a one or two sentence honest explanation. "You're great, but i don't think it'll work. take care."
posted by shmegegge at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2012

How about "Hey, I had a great time, my friends really liked you, and I think you're a really incredible, interesting person. I don't think we're a good fit as a couple, but if you want to come with me to [friend]'s house for [some event] with my other friends, it would be fun to hang out with you. You up for that, or were you thinking couples-or-nothing?"

Also, a question: you said "he had a really good time and can't wait to see me again." Was that literally it? "I had a really good time and can't wait to see you again?" That doesn't mean he was smitten, necessarily. In fact, since he didn't follow it with "How about I see you again at [place] on [date]", then he left it open-ended and didn't ask you out again. It is entirely possible that he isn't feeling it, either. All the more reason to respond honestly (about having a good time, thinking he's incredible, your friends liking him, and you not being interested in being couples but as friends it'd be fine.) That assumes you would like him as a friend, of course.
posted by davejay at 4:26 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

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