I’ve never been good at telling someone I’m not interested in them. One time I very obviously (and in my supreme awkwardness) made a detour just to avoid a guy I went out with once and wasn’t interested in. I think he got the hint after that (belatedly I’m putting it out there that I’m sorry I was too cowardly to tell him).
There’s a guy I have to pass by every day on my way into work. I can’t avoid him unless I make a detour that would take me 10 minutes longer to get to work. My friend, Albert, tells me I’m much too friendly and people mistake that as flirting. I hate that. I hate that my kindness is mistaken as a weakness or a flirtation.
Back to this guy I have to pass by daily, let’s call him NPG. I’ve seen him almost everyday for the past year and we always say hi to each other. I always have earbuds and music playing when I walk to work so it’s not an invitation for people to talk to me. NPG asked my name one day and then the next day he asked if I work at X. I said yeah and then he asked me out. I don’t want to be mean so I said ok, gave him my number then made my escape. I got to work and texted my friend, Amelia who said it’s probably because I’m the only person who stops to chat. But I really don’t. All I say is hi because he started saying hi.
I’m really not in the slightest bit interested in this guy. I’m going to sound shallow but I have my standards and my deal breakers. I know my job and I know NPG’s. My job makes considerably more than his and in a relationship I can’t be the financially responsible for everything especially since I plan on caring for my parents. He’s the quiet type and I’m attracted alphas. I’m being shallow again but in the looks department one of my former boyfriends has probably become a standard that I measure men against. I had friends tell me my ex look like a rather handsome hockey player (I personally didn’t see it). NPG is no former ex in that way. And also, he looks something like 20 years older than my actual age. He looks 25 years older than my looks-age!
I’m cautious about telling people I’ve just met that I’m not interested because sometimes they just want a friend. My friend Lisa (of previous blog post fame) told me that when she first moved to Vancouver she’d ask people out for coffee because she wanted to make friends in a new city. Almost everyone told her they were involved with someone. It wasn’t a fab experience for someone new to the city who just wanted a few friends. So I don’t want to assume but at the same time I’m getting the sense that he’s hoping for more. And who knows, maybe he wants to find out how he can get a job at my workplace.
I had a night of anxiety about seeing NPG the next day. The scene replayed over and over in my head. Was he expecting more?? Was I reading too much into it? I should have told him on the spot I’d go for coffee with him but that I was not interested. Amelia and I had a conversation about leading people on and I wondered if I was leading NPG on. I don’t think I ever gave any indications that I was interested. So then it lead to a conundrum, how to tell NPG. I thought about telling him that day via text (I really wasn’t feeling comfortable calling); it would have been more immediate, less painful and less awkward (at least for me). But I decided in person was best though it did mean waiting till the next day.
The next day I went up to him and told him as gently as I could that I might have given the wrong impression and that I have a boyfriend. His response was “Oh…” and in that moment, hearing the tone of his voice, I knew he was disappointed.
And then I made my escape. Confrontation is not my thing.