Forks and Spoons: The P’s and Q’s of dating

Most manners are taught – or should be taught – while growing up, but what about the manners of dating?

While on a date, if my fly is unzipped, I would not mind someone pointing it out so I can fix it – it is only slightly embarrassing.

I say please, thank you and you’re welcome on a routine basis. I even hold the door in almost every instance, whether for a woman or a man. Overall, I think I am a very polite person.

But how do I kindly refuse a date or let someone down?

It would be really nice if dating were a clear-cut process with no feelings attached – just a please and thank you business.

“Would you please have one date with me?”

“Sure, that would be lovely,” or “No, thank you.”

“Great,” or “Oh, no problem.”

Unfortunately, there is no easy button for dating. It is rough and tough, but it is something everyone has to deal with and figure out. Turning someone down even has to be mastered.

There should be a list of manners for letting someone down easy. Let’s take a look at some options.

First, there is honesty.

Tell the person pursuing you there isn’t anything between you, you can’t see yourselves together or you think you are better off as friends. Some people can take and appreciate the honesty, although others see it as an attack on them personally.

Another option is beating around the bush.

Your pursuer calls you, you pick up and make short conversation. Then they ask you to hang out but you have plans, no matter what day they ask to do something. While this might be a bit rude, it usually gets the point across.

Another option is to ignore the person in the most polite way possible.

If you see them on the street, pretend not to notice. In the best-case scenario, you will never run into them again. But if you do, quickly look in the opposite direction or pick up your cell phone and pretend to have a conversation.

Unfortunately, sometimes it is not a matter of running into the person because you know you have to see them. If you are in a class together, you are forced to see them frequently. If you work together, it’s only inevitable you will see them on the job. And if you have mutual friends, either find new friends or learn to deal with being around that person.

How would I want to be let down? I guess a mix between the first two options.

I am not the kind of person who gets every guy – far from it. So when it does not work out, I want the truth, but it would be nice to have my feelings spared as well.

I would be fine with someone saying, “I don’t want to be with you right now because I think we make great friends,” or “I’m not looking for a relationship right now.” I feel those are pretty standard rejection lines, but they work well – at least I think they do.

I even admit I have used some of the aforementioned clich

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