On How To Get Your Intentions Across Clearly [Dear DBN]
Have you communicated well today? Been honest? Acted with integrity? Without fear? Whether you’d like to join someone in romantic bliss or never cross their path again, the only assured way to get what you want is to be forthright and clear. This week, how to say stay and how to say go away.
Fall semester starts tomorrow. Going through the class roster and I see THAT person. No, not the one I was in love with for too many years, but the one who every girl within our group of friends knows — the creepy, desperate, hits-on-anything-with-a-vagina dude who is still somehow friends with all my friends. I know how he’s going to want to have “study sessions,” etc. Any suggestions on how to diplomatically handle this situation?
You smile and say, “no thanks.” That is being polite, and that is all you owe someone who makes you uncomfortable. What is not polite is when they ask you why. That is an invasive and unnecessary question. You gave your answer, and it was no. Should you feel the need to offer them further condolences, say, “I prefer to _____ alone.” I have done this so many times on so many different levels. I’ve told people I prefer to bike alone, eat alone, walk home alone, sit alone, and in general, be alone – and while I may have ended up looking rude half the time, I also ended up alone. You have no obligations to people who make you uncomfortable.
Some people make you uncomfortable simply because they irritate you, they’ve wronged you, you find them unhygienic, whatever, but some people make you uncomfortable because your gut knows something you don’t. You owe people a polite answer and nothing more. Smile, be polite, be short, and walk away as though you had somewhere to be, because you do: anywhere else.
What’s the best way to have the boyfriend/girlfriend/exclusivity talk? I’m pretty sure I know what he’s going to say, but I can’t seem to bring it up myself.
Sober, in private, and in person. Rather than dance around the subject trying to feel him out, just tell him how you feel and then ask him how he feels. Commitment scares a ton of people. Approach it like a dog on the street. Most pups are friendly, but you should make an offering first. Put your hand out metaphorically and say, “I really like you, and I’m not interested in being with anyone else… how do you feel?” I know that can be scary – but you need to be honest, and you need to be because the integrity of your feelings matters. You don’t want to be with someone who does not want to be with you.
Though it sounds like your situation is peppered with hope, it’s always best to be prepared for every answer. If he said he was not willing to be exclusive, how would you react? Is exclusivity the most important part, and are you willing to forgo labels for the time being? Come prepared with your honest emotions, lay them bare, and hope for the same.
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