I’m never quite sure how to shut down unwanted flirtations. Recently I had someone hit on me at my favorite bar and I want to make it clear I’m not interested but not so it’s awkward if I run into them again. Any tips on how to do that?
Disinterested in Downtown
Well, I’m afraid you’re going to have to be less attractive. I’m sorry, but it’s just too hard to live a normal life when you’re beautiful. People can’t help themselves around you, and that’s totally fair. We’re absolutely certain you’re really effing hot, and that is not your fault.
I totally get the “don’t want to make it awkward” clause, as I work in a bar and rely on these people for money — so I don’t want to piss off my secondary source of income by being a bitch. (On my birthday a guy actually told me he was just waiting for me to take my shirt off, and that he was at the bar with his mom…whaaaaat?)
So, here’s the thing, you can go the tried and true route and say, “I’m flattered but not interested. But, thank
you.” This makes you look like a classy broad/fellow who is taking the would-be suitor’s feelings into account. But it’s not very original.
You could also say you have a significant other (even if you don’t), or pull a Barney Stinson and sell out your friend – “Haaaaaaave you met Ted?” and run away. (This is a How I Met Your Mother reference so if you don’t get it, get thee to Netflix.) You can wear a fake engagement ring (but that might also deter the person in the bar you actually want to hit on you, so use with extreme caution), or you can, like I said before, just be less of a catch. Maybe paint your face with some wicked scars. People might ask you about the cool story behind it, but at least they aren’t trying to get into your pants.
Previous to being able to say simply, “I’m married. Sorry.” I had a hard time with this. Usually it was because by the time I was aware that someone was hitting on me it was past the point of plausible deniability on their part (I’m a little dense and don’t pick up on subtleties easily) so full out rejection was my only recourse.
Except, I’m bad at that too so my “gentle let down” was often too gentle and I found myself on more than one date with someone I had no interest in because I couldn’t figure out how to shut it down. Don’t do that, Disinterested.
I go for the dreaded “friend zoning” instead. Tell them you’re not into dating right now but if you see them around you’ll make sure you say hi. Then throw up your hand for a high five and flounce, and I do mean flounce —as in, merrily flit away, into the crowd.
If you’re a dude shutting down a lady the best way this happened to me was to be told in no uncertain terms that they “weren’t into it.” We then agreed to high five and never speak of this again.
I am of the firm belief that a well placed high five can defuse just about any awkward situation. It shows friendliness without being too intimate and is so ridiculously goofy for grown folk to be doing that it’s impossible to stay mad at someone who shot you down if they just keep high five-ing you. Honestly, it’s probably going to be awkward anytime someone comes on to you and you shut him or her down (or vice versa) so you might as well get a new friend out of the deal.
If it’s real weird and you’re not worried about ever seeing them again you can pull out the tried and true “sorry I’m gay/straight” trick depending on what the situation calls for. This is tricky though, because flat out lying to someone can often come back to bite you later.
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