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What I Say vs What I Actually Mean - Dating

Here’s to letting someone down subtly. Or running away the moment you hear these lines.

1. We should do this again.

Loosely translated - This date was over 20 minutes in.

Most dates usually end with creating an excuse to meet up again, like 'Yes, we should totally go to that café we were talking about’ or 'did you take my watch? I want it back.’

I hate the idea of potentially upsetting someone, so when the end of a terrible date thankfully arrives, I can never bring myself to just simply say Thanks, bye!

So when he looks at me wistfully at the end of the night after I say Thanks, bye!, it’ll probably always be followed by We should do this again.

Sometime last year, I met a guy while working. He texted me constantly the next few days and asked me out to a number of events with mutual friends. Eventually, I agreed to meet him for a dinner date. I figured it wouldn’t be terrible because we’d hung out previously, though in the company of others. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I rushed through dinner because he couldn’t talk about anything other than himself.

I get it; you’ve done great stuff. I’m really happy for you, but can we talk about something else now?

We finally settled the bill and I told him I was headed to a café to get some work done – this is where we say goodbye, right?

No. He followed me to a café and ordered himself a cup of coffee. We sat down and he spent the next 2 hours telling me more about his achievements. Two things were running through my mind.

1. I should have picked a bar because this girl needs a strong pint, and

2. Why on earth did I choose a 24/7 coffeehouse?

At 2am, I finally muster the courage (and energy) to tell him I have to rush home to finish work. He hugs me and I say


Awkward pause. Shuffling of feet. Swallowing my saliva.

We should do this again.

I caved under pressure. Shoot me.

2. You’re a really nice guy

Loosely translated – You are never seeing me naked.

A few months back, a friend pushed me to go on a date with his good friend. He talked his friend up so much that I was excited to meet this guy.

When we finally managed to go on a date, it turned out to be a huge disappointment. He was a nice guy but the only thing we had in common was, sadly, our friendship with a guy who has absolutely no matchmaking skills.

We shared a pot of tea and a slice of cake after dinner. Conversation was pleasant and I was really getting to know my date, but there was no attraction.

So at the end of the night, when a cab pulled up by the side of the road and I was ready to hop in, he leaned in for a kiss and I turned my head to offer my cheek.

Thanks for tonight. I had fun. We should do this again.

Hug. Smile.

You’re a really nice guy.

There wasn’t a second date.

3. It’s not you.

Loosely translated – It is you.

I have this insane ability of not being able to break up with people, so when I finally manage to do so (sometimes with the help of liquid courage), I try my best to let them down as gently as possible. That means

It’s not you. It’s me.

Also, some people like to follow up with ‘I think we should see other people’.

Hint: They probably already are.

4. Sorry, my phone was on a fritz!

Used: After disappearing for a week.

Loosely translated: I lost interest 2 weeks ago.

I am so guilty of not replying messages on every platform – WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger. It’s mostly not intentional – I just tend to read and forget to reply – I get distracted easily. But I have (on occasion) ignored messages from some people because

1. I don’t want to have to tell someone I’m not interested – it goes in hand with the whole ‘ dislike upsetting people’ thing I have going on,

2. I just really don’t want to waste my time entertaining someone I’m not interested in.

3. Lazy.

A week in, I’ll feel terrible and I’ll reply but it always starts the same – Sorry, my phone was on a fritz!

It’s either that I didn’t receive your messages or that my replies didn’t get through.

I’m really sorry.

It’s really not you. But hey, you’re a really nice guy, we should do this again!



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