Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

7 Ways to Let a Guy Down Easy

He likes you*.  Really, really likes you.  You can’t ignore it any longer.

Lucky you.

He’s such a , he is.  He’s just not, um, attractive.

And this isn’t a case of all nice guys being unattractive (that’s so another post). No. It’s him.  He’s unattractive.  And oh, so, unsexy.

At first you thought you could just ignore it.  Just keep it, “as friends” and ignore his little romantic overtures.  But that’s so not going to work.  Nope.  He just keeps coming at you with bigger and goofier attempts to win your heart.

What’s a girl supposed to do?

  1. You could lie, tell him you’re seeing someone else. Of course, that has a tendency to backfire when you have mutual friends.  Somehow the truth always comes out.
  2. You could tell him you’re done with men.  All men.  That you’re switching teams.  Again, this can backfire if you have mutual friends.
  3. You could change the way you act towards him, be cold and bitchy in the hopes that it will drive him away.  But depending on how deep his crush is, he might not even notice (plus, you’d feel guilty about the way you treated him).
  4. You could cut off all contact for a short while, in the hopes that when you resume contact his feelings will have changed.
  5. You could tell him you’re still getting over your last, devastating, breakup and that you’re not ready to date again. This works well, until you start dating someone else.
  6. You can set him up with a friend, someone you think he might hit it off with.  If you successfully find him some other woman to date, he’ll stop obsessing about you.
  7. You can tell him how much you like him and value his friendship, but that you don’t feel “that way” about him.  You know – BE HONEST.  This is, by far, the most effective method, however, it’s frequently overlooked because it’s awkward and occasionally painful.

*Today’s post comes with an to writing teachers (and writers) everywhere. I was bored and this was my attempt to amuse myself.


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13 to “7 Ways to Let a Guy Down Easy”


  1. TerrySimpson says:

    Opt for #7 – it is the least cruel and the fastest, but the hardest. Don’t do the friendship thing though- because face it- most guys don’t want to “be friends” with the girl they were romantically interested in. It just prolongs the inevitable – that the relationship is over and time to move on. So it flys against when Harry met Sally – reality is– when we are done with a relationship it is best to be done with the person and move on.

  2. lostplum says:

    you could tell him you are in a 12 step program….. they frown on dating (no matter which one it is!) great list…

  3. @icounsel4food says:

    as a possessor of the Y-chromosome, I authoritatively say that option 7 is best. Sure the guy may be so dense that he keeps reminding himself of how his grandpa persisted and won grammy’s heart but most men SHOULD get the message… how they take it is another issue.

    Although adding this caveat might be good:
    “Whatever choice you make, just don’t be a b!@#h about how you tell him… unless he crosses the line and is inappropriate (that’s when b!@#hiness is necessary)”

  4. sfsingleguy says:

    There’s also the ‘Marcia Brady’ option. “I’m sorry, but something suddenly came up!”

  5. sfsingleguy says:

    I’d say #4 is the best approach – except don’t resume contact for a few years (if that). The problem with #7 is that he will often mistake your niceness for mixed feelings, and he’ll keep coming back. He may also have people tell him ‘you just have to be persistent’, and keep trying.

  6. Jonsi says:

    Tried posting earlier but my web broke in the process — oh noes — anyway, I’m a n00b but I love your blog!

    @sfsgingleguy: the best thing to do is both #7 and THEN #4. Be honest, then fade away, if not expressly tell them “we need space if we are to be friends.” I say this because Simone’s post is not necessarily about that “friend” you’ve met for drinks twice. It could be someone you’ve dated for several months and the sexual attraction could be there, but the point is the same: it is uncomfortable being honest. It is awkward. But really, the reason why you feel discomfort is not because you are hurting the other person; it is because that by being honest, you are making yourself vulnerable to the other person being honest with you, and they could say something in return that could hurt YOUR feelings! Not being honest is selfish not just because you are withholding information from the other person, but because really, you are putting your own feelings above the other persons. Of course, that is just my take. I have never said anything but “thanks for your honesty. I feel valued that you were so upfront with me” to someone who has acted #7. What causes drama for me is when I am told “it has nothing to do with a lack of feelings for you. If I wanted a relationship with anyone, it would be with you. All the chemistry, romance, and passion are there, but (I’m not ready for a relationship, blah blah blah.).” Personally, I want to be told “I don’t think you are the one” because the sooner I embrace that, the sooner I can move on and perhaps even be friends with her. I can’t do that as long as I think “there’s a chance” no matter what the evidence to the contrary. I’d rather be treated with cruelty — to be kind — than kind in such a way that is vague and evasive and in the long run, cruel.

  7. dikke kus says:

    There’s no such thing as easy. No matter what they will be hurt. Be tactful but tell him the truth. It will be a quick death that he can rebound from. If you say it’s someone else they will want details. If you ignore them they will think your sick in a hospital. If you tell him your done with men they will take it as a challenge. If you are cold and bitchy they will think you are having a bad day and call tomorrow to talk. If you set him up with someone else he will not understand. If you say you are not ready again, he will continue. The truth is the best way.

  8. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles says:

    Number 7 all the way! I’m a big believer in responsible dating, which means treating people with consideration and respect, the same way you would want to be treated. If we agree that we would want someone to be honest but gentle with us, we should treat others in kind. Yeah, it’s not always easy, but life shouldn’t be about doing the easy thing and getting away with it; it should be about doing the right thing.

    When a guy I don’t like that way asks me out, I say something along the lines of, “Thanks for asking me, but I don’t see us being a good match” or, “I appreciate the invitation, but I don’t get a romantic vibe when we’re together.” Then, if I want to try to stay friends (dumb idea, I know), I might add, ” We can go as friends, though, if you’re okay with that.” It’s now the guy’s responsibility to decide if he can or can’t handle a platonic friendship. If he chooses to stick around but persists in trying to hit on me, then I feel justified in removing myself from the picture because I was upfront with the ground rules and he didn’t follow them.

  9. Simone Grant says:

    First things first -Jonsi
    Welcome to the blog.

    So glad to see that most of the guys prefer #7 and that my instincts are right on this. Although I love the additions of “something came up” and “I’m in a 12 step program”. Thanks for those. Always good to have a couple of extras in the arsenal.

  10. Filipina Girl says:

    If I were to turn down a guy, I would pick tip #7, nothing beats honesty! Because if you evade that guy without settling the real score then chances are he will keep coming back to you and keep courting you over and over again to win your heart. Honesty is still the best policy.

  11. Nkirdizzle says:

    I met this guy like 2 years ago, he was into me from the first moment he met me. I tried number seven on him, because I wasnt attracted to him at all, but i thought he was a really nice guy. so we tried the friend thing, but he always tried to make it something more. Eventually I had to stop being his friend because he wanted so much more, which i could not give him. So a few months later, we started talking again, then we ended up dating, then he broke my heart. So I really should have stuck my guns and cut off all ties with him, would have saved me a lot of heartache.

  12. Hey there, awesome blog, just curious what filtering software you use for comments because I have been hit by so many spammers on my website.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thanks. I use a plugin called akismet. I think that’s it. Seems to work well. BTW, it put you in the spam folder (it puts lots of legit people there, I check a couple times a day).