Wedding Woes

If you want to live in your 'truth', this will include your dating life.

Dear Prudence,

I am a woman in my late 20s who’s back in the dating scene after being in a committed relationship for the past six years. My question is about the proper etiquette for turning a guy down. I had a long and pleasant enough conversation with a guy at a bar the other night who asked for my number at the end of it, and I sort of reflexively gave it to him, even though I didn’t think we had much chemistry and didn’t really intend to see him again. When he texted me the next morning, I simply didn’t respond. I felt bad about it—I think ghosting is wrong.

It occurred to me that I could have texted back something like, “It was nice talking to you last night, but I’m busy with grad school and want to focus on my schoolwork.” But this isn’t the truth, and I try to live my life with honesty, so I want to avoid lying as much as possible. But just telling someone you’re not interested in them seems mean if it can be avoided. If we’d been dating a while I’d be fine with pointing out specific reasons I don’t want to take things further, but that kind of feedback seems unwarranted when you’ve only recently met someone. What’s the kindest and most tactful way to turn someone down? (Obviously, the simplest solution would be to not give out my number in the first place… But that’s an awkward thing to turn down, too because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings at that moment!) Help!

—Bad at Saying No

Re: If you want to live in your 'truth', this will include your dating life.

  • Options
    Women are socialized to put men’s feelings before our own feelings, comfort, or safety. 

    LW you can just say there wasn’t much of a spark, or you’re not interested in another date. You can say no, regardless of if his feels are hurt! 
  • Options
    I hate being ghosted and LW’s is perfect, even if it’s not the truth!

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