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How do I reject them?


rationalcucumber
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Obviously I'm aromantic, and I suspect a person I know has a crush on me. Just in case they do in fact have a crush and want to confess, how do I tell them I'm not interested?

Before I knew I'm aro, I was confessed love to once, and it was super uncomfortable. I knew what was going on since the first "can I talk to you?", and kind of panicked, because I wasn't prepared. It was embarrassing for both me and them. I'd love to have some sort of a scheme to deal with similar situations.

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There is no prefect, non awkward way of doing this. I think we are all going to have to accept that unrequited love will always be painful. And delivering the news that a love is unrequited is always going to be awkward. I think "I don't feel the same way, I'm sorry" or similar clear but gentle rejection is the best we can do. You will both survive the awkwardness. The first time someone confessed feelings for me I also panicked, by the way x) It was ages ago, I barely remember the conversation, and honestly I doubt he does either. So, take heart that even when it does get weird, it's perfectly survivable.

There is also the option of being very open with being aromantic, and not interested in the whole dating-romance thing. I'm not really a person who specifically 'come out' but the topic of relationships come up with enough regularity that I have had the option of bringing it up naturally with most people I am close to. So most people know i am not actually available. It doesn't mean no one will ever develop feelings for you, and some people might still think asking is worth a shot, but having a baseline of "this person is probably not interested in anything" will at least set some expectations.

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Once, a girl asked me out.  I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I said yes.  Our relationship lasted one and a half years.  It wasn't bad at first, but it became horrible over time.  Honestly, it would have saved a lot of time and heartache to just say no.

So please, for the sake of your own peace of mind...just say no.

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Don't try to soften your response in a way that might give them false hope. You really need to be clear and direct. Far, far too much of society teaches us to treat a "no" as a "try harder", and you don't want to give them an inch that they'll try to run a mile with. Don't make excuses like, "I've got other stuff going on in my life right now." Tell them some variation of, "I'm sorry, but I don't feel the same way and I'm not interested in that kind of relationship with you." Practise some alternative phrasings if it helps! But whatever happens, do not give in to the urge to equivocate.

Something I also find helpful: Tell them that if they need some time to get over their feelings, you'll understand if they need space. But also tell them that if and when they feel comfortable continuing your existing friendship, without expecting anything more, you still care about them as a friend and you'll be there.

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Such a situation has never happened to me, but if it did, I might try being weird or strange to make someone uninterested in me if they had a crush on me. Who knows? I would have to experiment, I think. 

Spoiler

Come to think of it, a person I encountered on LinkedIn tried to flirt with me, I think. It was creepy, to say the least. she asked for my number. At first, I said that my favorite number was 404, as in, 'Error 404 -- information not found'. That didn't repel her, so I played a clever prank, which did repel her, even to the point of removing herself as a connection of mine on LinkedIn. For the prank, I pretended that she had "beaten me into submission", so I gave her my phone number (my actual one). When she texted me, I pretended like I didn't know who texted me. Eventually, I told her that I was one of my friends, that she had been given my friend's number, and that I'd played a prank on her. She eventually removed me as a LinkedIn connection (because of the prank, I think). I suppose that could work if you're trying to repel someone who's romantically attracted to you...

 

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