Dear Bitter Amanda,
Last week, I was asked out by an amazing guy. He's apparently been in love with me for almost 16 years, is one of the last few genuinely good people I know, and would make me the luckiest/happiest girl alive... if only I were the least bit attracted to him.
Now I know that these things can't be forced, but I also know how much rejections hurt. It's one of the greater tragedies of life that I keep falling for the wrong men, so I'm pretty experienced in that area. This guy deserves better. How do I let him down easy?
-- Loveless Monster
No. No no no no no. You can't force attraction! If you're positive it's not there, then it's not there. I'm guessing you've given it some thought and always wind up back at this same answer?
I'm sure he's a very nice guy. Actually, I'm not that sure. I'm 99% sure he's got Typical Male Behaviors lurking in him somewhere. However, I won't argue that with you right now. I'd hardly expect you to believe me on this, considering none of my friends ever do. (Ladies, stop asking what I think of your new boyfriend! I can only come up with so many neutral statements. "He is very tall!" "Wow, he was wearing red!" "He texts a lot.")
We'll go ahead and assume he's a real-life Lloyd Dobler, hoisting an ipod dock above his head to declare his feelings.
You're not Diane Court. Yeah, that sucks. But I've said it before and I'll say it again: You deserve better than someone who doesn't want to be with you. Don't be one of Those Girls and string him along until you've ruined him for the real Diane Court of his life.
You have to be the bad guy and just tell him. There's really no easy way to let someone down, if you think about it. It always comes back to "no." Take care of yourself first, and worry about his rejection second. (We all have to get used to it.)