Got a problem with your love life? Ask LaRue for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a hard time saying no to guys who hit on me and then I end up giving them my number and have to screen my calls until they give up. I feel bad and I don't want to hurt their feelings, but I'm tired of screening. So what do I do?
- Polite Polly
Coming from a girl who can't say no, heed my advice and try, try anyway. Now, I'm of the firm belief most people know within the first 30 minutes, if not 10, if dude's a dud. In some ways that's the easy part. The hard part is most of us know what it's like to be rejected by someone we are interested in and we really don't want to inflict this on anyone else if only so we are making good bar karma, or barma, as I like to call it.
Now, I've heard some girls actually say, "But LaRue, he bought me drinks. I should at least give him my number." So you end up giving him a fake number or, WORSE, your actual number and now you are more consumed with ducking this guy than he probably was with you once the buzz wore off. You start hanging out in different places, you hide under the bar when you see him coming, you change your name, enroll in the bar girl protection program and are now known as Simone the stewardess.
Why go to all this trouble? You are not a free gift with purchase. He chose to buy you the beer, shot or cordial. You are under no obligation for further service. Further, you are only encouraging him and giving him false hope, bad barma.
If we really think this guy is so fragile and consumed with us at this point he'd chase us down the street plaintively crying that he gave us the best drinks of our life, file the restraining order toot-sweet! Nine out of 10, not going to happen. Wait, it's Juneau: Eight out of 10, not going to happen. You spent maybe an hour of this guy's life and 20 bucks. Not really worth beating yourself up over.
Furthermore, my darlins, you approach a stranger ya takes yer chances. There is already some built-in expectation of rejection on the boy's part.
You can't win 'em all.
Honesty is really the only kind way to go here, though it's tough. But really, you don't want to hurt his feelings or waste his time. Don't get his hopes up with a number you'll never answer or manufactured interest you can't keep up.
Let me tell you a story. Now I preface by saying it's an extreme example of honesty and requires pluck and moxy.
A boy comes up to me at the bar, good-looking but sloppy drunk. He also was a spitter - not so attractive really. I was a little cranky. I ignored him. He talked louder. I moved away. He moved closer. I pretended to be a mute. He told me he was sensitive. Grr.
Finally, I looked him in the eye and said let's cut to the chase, bub, you wanna get in my skirt and it's flying solo tonight. Now you're a good-looking cat and not especially annoying so before you waste anymore of your time, talents and spit on me, because as I may have mentioned, it's a no-go here, look around you: There are plenty of other good-looking girls in this burg that would be overwhelmed with sweat to go home with you. Me, not in the mood. So go try them, good luck and Godspeed.
Yes, he looked at me like a doe in headlights and, yes, he saw my advice briefly as a challenge to pursue, like, "Ooh, what a biscuit," but after seeing I was serious, he slunk away. Incidentally, he left with a blonde I pointed out to him and smiled as if to say "thank you" as they left.
Now that's good barma. I didn't lie to him. I didn't make him feel like he was a jerk for talking to me, complimented him and I pointed out a more viable opportunity. I didn't waste his time. I allowed him to go find his happiness elsewhere and tried to do it in the nicest, yet most honest way, I could.
It's hard to do. And it takes a little while to get the stones to do it, but in the long run it's better for both of you.