What’s the best way to let a nice guy down?

Dear Women,

We have to protect the nice guys, right? If we aren’t nice to them and treat them with respect, they’ll turn into one of the a-holes that women despise. You know, the men that give all men a bad reputation. A close friend of mine is the object of her co-worker’s affection but unfortunately for him…she’s not into him. So now she’s trying to figure out the best way to let him down. She says it’s not him, it’s because she’s busy focusing on other things now. Hmm…where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah I’ve said it and I’m guessing you’ve probably said it too. Isn’t it one of the nicest ways to let someone down? Sometimes we are legitimately busy focusing on other things, but 9 times out of 10 this is my default “let him down easy” line.

Now getting back to my friend’s situation…let’s call the guy Mike. His real name is one of those oldddddd names that people never have anymore and when you hear them you say, “why would your parents name you that?” Think Orville, Edgar, and Thaddeus. After learning his name, I automatically felt sympathy for the guy and assumed he was a sweetheart. After all, you cannot be a player if your name is Edgar—sorry for the Edgars of the world who are trying to be—and I know people who would never seriously date you because your name is Edgar.  And yes that is a little superficial, but that’s life. So how did Mike let my friend know he was interested? Typical shy, nice guy fashion: he wrote her a note telling her how beautiful she was to him and how he hoped she would give him the opportunity to get to know her better outside of work and left it on her desk during lunch.

My friend, who admits he is a nice guy, decided to simply ignore the note and pretend she didn’t get it when he asked a couple days later if she had received it. But this didn’t deter Mike. He wrote a second note and hand-delivered it to her. (I guess Mike isn’t so shy after all!) Since he’d gone through the trouble of writing two notes to her, she felt guilty and gave him her number. This is when we learned how persistent Mike was since he did not give up hope when his requests to take my friend out were always turned down because she “already had plans.” (Sidenote: if women weren’t rumored to and never played hard to get, I wonder if he would have moved on after he was turned down the first time…)My friend vented to me that she wished he’d just stop asking her out.

I felt sorry for the boy because of his name and the fact that he was really into someone who was not the least bit interested…so I told her she had to let him down easy. I told her to say, “I’m really flattered and think you’re a great guy, but I have too much other stuff going on right now. I hope you understand.” I didn’t want him to get discouraged from pursuing another girl or jaded towards women if she would have started ignoring his calls/texts. Plus, I like to think hearing someone is busy makes the person feel like they’re still a great person, but it’s just the wrong time—thus keeping nice guys nice…right?


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This work by bellereveur.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



  1. What your friend said was actually the best way… better than it’s not you, it’s me kind of response.

    Greetings from california.

    • Thank you for your comment. I agree, I think the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” has gotten so cliche that people automatically think it is them when they hear it.

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