Ask Smitten TBT: Letting Him Down Gently

by Ariel Kiley and Simone Kornfeld


I recently went out with a guy a couple times but wasn’t really into him. Now he won’t stop texting me. I’ve tried to gently let him down, but he’s just gotten more persistent. What to do? Ugh. This situation always sucks. You don’t want to be mean or hurt his feelings, but the fact that he’s not acknowledging your flashing red light has started making things awkward. Sometimes in an effort to be gentle we don’t clearly convey our real meaning and we wind up with a dangling chad on our hands. Under such circumstances Smitten suggests falling back on your most trusted friend – Truth. When he’s not getting the message you can make a clean cut by being bluntly honest: “You kissed me too quickly on our first date, it turned me off.” Or, “You regularly use cocaine, and I just can’t hang with that.” Or, “As much as I’ve enjoyed meeting you, I can feel in my bones that you’re not my soul mate. Nobody’s fault. This just ain’t written in the stars.”

However disappointed he may be upon hearing this information, it’s much better than the death-by-a-thousand-cuts approach. We know it can be tough. It’s tempting to stay passive with rote responses about being busy or replying with noncommittal texts. But it’s much kinder to cleanly clip a dangling chad than leave him wondering and waiting for the opportunity to re-attach. The self-realizing woman communicates clearly as an act of respect toward the other guy, and respect for herself. So darling, give him a call and speak your truth. That way both of you can cleanly move on.