Shalom Love With Stacie Ikka- How Do I Let a Guy Down Easy?
Stacie Ikka answers your questions on dating and love.
Matchmaker and dating coach, Stacie Ikka, has been writing for Shalom Life for about two months- covering topics ranging from great places to meet singles to the best way to introduce your new partner to your family for the first time.
Shalom Life readers love Stacie, but started having questions of their own that weren’t covered by her weekly articles. We were flooded with emails with questions for Stacie, so we decided to switch our format and give our readers what they want.
If you have a question for Stacie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every week, Stacie will choose one question to answer. Don’t worry- everyone will remain anonymous.
M. from Toronto writes:
I’m curious to hear what Stacie suggests when it comes to letting guys down easy. I get asked out on a lot of dates and I find it difficult to say “no”, or to tell a guy after a first date that I don’t want to see him again. Instead, I just end up dodging his calls or avoiding him, hoping he’ll take a hint.
I’m so glad you asked this question. You are not alone. Most daters I know struggle with this very dilemma…and not just women. Men too. This has never been a problem for me, personally, so I’ve been naturally curious over the years to learn why others find it so difficult. The reasons I’ve been given vary from not wanting to hurt the other person’s feelings to not wanting to deal with potential conflict. My philosophy is that honesty – when coupled with diplomacy – is always the best policy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when confronted with an opportunity that you are not interested in pursuing:
- Presumably, if we’re talking about being asked out on a first or second date, the person who’s doing the asking is not that invested in you…or, at least, they shouldn’t be. We tend to get so worked up and concerned about hurting the other person’s feelings that we inadvertently flatter ourselves. Assuming the person doing the asking is emotionally stable, refuting their offer will not crush them or be the one thing that pushes them over the edge. Realistically, and in most cases, they barely even know you. Trust them and give them the benefit of the doubt that they can recover – within a reasonable amount of time – and will be able to easily move on to someone else with minimal collateral damage. On the flip side, if they cannot handle the rejection and do behave inappropriately…be grateful for the bullet you’ve just dodged. How people react to conflict and adversity is always a good show of character.
- How many times have you wondered if the object of your affection feels the same way toward you? How much time and energy have you spent with your girlfriends assessing a potentially romantic “situation”, weighing the “facts”, and interpreting the “signals”? In those circumstances, wouldn’t it be nice if everyone’s cards could just be on the table…alleviating the need for guesswork? When you find the tables have been turned, why not do for someone else what others have not done for you, and save your suitor the time, agony and heartache of having to wonder how you feel about them?
- Think about the times you’ve been rejected, let down, hurt or
dumped (by someone you’ve dated or met only once or twice). Who was there to support you? How did you recover? Did life – as you knew it –
continue, or come to a screeching halt? Chances are you did
recover. Chances are your devastation
was short-lived (because you didn’t know the person that well and they
hadn’t yet become a significant part of your life). More likely than not, your friends
and family were there for you (if you chose to involve them). Guess who wasn’t there for you? The person who rejected you! They were not there to console you
and make you feel better after they
let you down. And, guess
what? You still
survived! And…you know
what??? So will they!!!
I think it’s important to remember that it takes courage to ask someone else out and that everyone we encounter in our lives – romantically, casually, professionally or otherwise – deserves to be treated with respect, courtesy and dignity. We are not, however, required to go out with everyone who asks us and we are entitled to say “no”. The dating world would be a much more satisfying experience for all if everyone would commit to do the following:
- Understand ourselves better. This would go a long way in helping us understand why we don’t want to go out with someone so that we’re in a better position to communicate it.
- Be brave enough to speak our truth. If people were not so afraid to speak honestly and with authenticity we could all receive more frequent and meaningful feedback that would likely help us in our pursuits of love and happiness.
- Diplomacy. Often it’s not the message that hurts others, but the delivery.
However you decide to handle these matters moving forward, please remember that the person doing the asking is a human being, with feelings. I believe it’s far more humane to confront than to avoid…leaving the other person feeling as if they’re invisible and that they don’t matter. I believe that the worst truth is better than the best lie…but, hey, that’s just me.
If you have a question, please feel free to send it in to the ShalomLife team and I’ll be happy to answer.