I gulped, then deleted the text message and dropped my phone onto the table like a hot potato. I stared at it as if it was a living thing that might pop up and sink its teeth into my neck. Mentally (and possibly out loud) I repeated, “No no no. Nonononono.”
Throughout my dating history, I’ve had several visceral reactions like this. The first time it happened was in fourth grade, when a classmate tried to kiss me on Valentine’s Day. To this day we laugh about how I bit him right through his winter coat. *Nervous laughter* I’m not even joking. So basically, I know when I like a guy and when I don’t. When I don’t like someone, my stomach becomes a mess of knots and I feel like a caged animal. In the past I would run like hell in the opposite direction, avoid the situation, blow the guy off or ignore his advances until he gave up. I know that there’s nothing mature about that, but you have to remember that the last time I “dated” I was 24 years old (and painfully immature.) This time I figured I’d approach the situation differently.
“That’s flattering! But I’m so emotionally unavailable right now.”
His response was a cop-out, something about me having misinterpreted his initial text (yeah right, dude) but I let it roll by. We exchanged a few more texts about other things and there seemed to be no awkwardness. I was shocked by how easy it was to stop him in his tracks. God, if the younger me had known this, I would have saved, like, months upon months of stressing over how to “let someone down easy.” Turns out there’s nothing hard about it. Now that I have this tool in my belt, I might use it more often. Who’s next?