A Gentle “No,” “No,” and “No”

refuse his attentions courteouslyQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I have this best friend in school and he is like a best mate to me, but he asked me out and I don’t feel the same way about him. I felt guilty refusing him, and every time we see each other we tried to avoid each other. I just wanted to go back as we use to be. After about three months of this we finally started talking but then he asked me out again. I don’t know how I can gently say no without starting this silent treatment all over again. Can you help me?

Yours faithfully,
G. I.

A Dear G.I.:

Some boys just don’t get the hint, do they? Sometimes a plain and simple “no” said over and over again is all you can do. Here are some thoughts on the topic from Evelyn Millis Duvall’sFacts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers. We can only hope he’ll eventually see the light.

1956: When You Don’t Want to Date

It is discourteous for a boy to ask why when a girl tells him that she cannot do something that he asks. When a boy pushes for explanation of a girl’s refusal, she is justified in kidding him about his persistence, or in simply changing the subject.

If a girl does not ever want to date a particular boy, she does him a kindness when she gives him no encouragement whatsoever. To lead a boy on, when she never intends to go out with him, does him an injustice and unnecessarily prolongs the refusals. There are many reasons that a girl may refuse to consider dating a particular boy. He may drink, or run around with a fast set, or have a bad reputation, or be the kind of person whom for other reasons she does not feel she can associate with. If he is not datable from her point of view, she will be wise to refuse his attentions courteously but with firmness and finality.

Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers. New York: Association Press, 1956.
~ p. 307 ~