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I don’t know how to let someone down?

Guest WindInTheWillows

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Guest WindInTheWillows

So, stupid problem for a 28yr old but I think I led someone on and I don’t know how to fix it. It’s 100% my fault. I’m aroace and generally just socially dumb. 

The problem; A guy asked for my snap a while ago and I was a little suspicious as to why but I didn’t want to make assumptions about his motives because I don’t consider myself a catch. I Was confident my appearance was a deterrent. I dress very masculine. Short hair, a chest binder, men’s clothes like, I’ve been mistaken for a man more often than not so why? Why try for me? I kinda thought I was safe, if that makes sense.
Anyway. Our conversations were tame, mostly surface level stuff and honestly I just liked talkin to him. I have no friends. I should’ve guessed he didn’t wanna be friends. 

I feel really bad. Today he told me my look was sexy both in person and over snap and I kinda freaked out inside a bit and didn’t respond besides a quick smile and a thanks. Didn’t respond to the snap. He is a customer where I work so I see him every week. I don’t think we should snap anymore, but ignoring them feels rude.

In our convo’s I’ve told him I’m single for life, I don’t want to ever marry, just me and my pets till I’m dead. I’ve told him he needs to go to bars to find girls. He’s asked me what girls like and I said I couldn’t really help and I just.. I feel bad for giving him a false hope. 

Has anyone else run into this, how can I get out without this turning sour? What do I say? Haven’t really talked since that happened and We’re gonna see each other at work.. 

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I don't think you lead him on. You were interested in him platonically. You could just as well said He lead You on, pretending to be interested in a platonic relationship when actually he just wanted romance or sex.

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There isn't much I can say as advice, other than this: be true to yourself; don't compromise who you are just to make him comfortable; don't compromise who you are just because you're afraid you might hurt his feelings. I had something similar nearly happen to me a long while ago at work, too. Granted me and the person didn't get close and I did say that I didn't have SnapChat (which is actually true, I don't), but I thought the dude was interesting and I've had cis guy friends that the guy reminded me of, so I think I may have come off as flirtatious? Though, I kind of don't really remember what we were talking about. I want to say that the day he asked me for my snap, was a day I was dressing particularly boyish as well, so much so that I at least looked a tomboy, or what someone would assume to be a butch lesbian (I rarely pass as a guy to others up close), and so I too didn't think I had the qualities to attract a guy like that, not that I don't think I'm pretty/handsome, but (to me) my very apparent queer appearance I thought was a deterrent. But hey, we can't know what a random stranger is into sometimes, or what their identity is.

But other than that interaction, I have had close friends, or people who I was trying to be close friends with, admit that they had big crushes on me, and I told them (despite feeling awful and even actually considering lying to them and telling them I liked them back) that I didn't feel the same way. Some I even came out to as aro on the spot, just for them to believe me, which I'm not saying you have to do that, but sadly that's how some people found out about me being aromantic.

I know it's not going to be easy, but putting up a boundary, that this guy is unknowingly crossing, I would say is the best bet for you. Tell him that if he is in fact looking for romance or sex or what have you, that you're not interested. Because as I said, you shouldn't have to compromise or sacrifice a part of yourself just for some other person's comfort or assumption.

Sometimes the only thing you can do is just be real to them.

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It doesn't sound like you've given him false hope at all. A) You've told him exactly where you stand. That couldn't possibly lead him on. B) He could have easily been direct about his wishes. He wasn't - that's on him. It sounds like he's ignoring your boundaries and comforts. Unfortunately, there's a lot of men (and people in general), who decided that "no" means "convince me" instead of actually respecting your words. Amatonormativity tells people that true love just means convincing the person you want that they actually want you back. It sends a lot of toxic messages that people don't do enough work on unlearning.

I would send him a message like, "Thanks for your kindness, but it's best we keep our relationship professional from here on out. As such, I'm going to go ahead and block you. I will see you around the store. Best of luck." and then block him so you don't get drawn into any discussion with him.

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