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  • Writer's pictureKaralynn Cromack

How to Let Someone Down (kindly....kind of)

Alright, folks, it’s the time of the year when everyone is going to feel just a bit pressured to find the love of their lives. This will lead to the vulture currently in your circle looming over you, bloodthirsty, patiently waiting to strike. You know who they are. And while there’s nothing wrong with a healthy bit of romanticism, there’s also nothing wrong with being on your own this Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, there isn’t always a way to assure others that that’s not just something you have to tell yourself. And there’s also the previously mentioned vulture who might not respect it. 

For all my conflict-avoidant friends, here is your way out: 5 ways to let someone down (kindly....kind of)

  1. Throw Up!

Now, this is a surefire way to get someone to lose interest. Don’t ask me how I know. It’s also fairly straightforward: In the midst of the encounter and in the buildup to the big question, toss your cookies. The closer you can get to the perpetrator’s shoes, the better. Sure, this is embarrassing for you, but you know that it was purposeful and necessary. Purposeful and necessary in the way that people have to crush snail eggs. It might feel a little morbid, but it’s your civil duty to society to end the threat of something invasive and unnecessary. If you do have a hard time getting your stomach to churn initially, picture yourself going out on a date with this person.

2. Tell them yes, but ONLY because they look a lot like your favorite cousin.

The glory of this response is that you don’t actually have to reject this person, you can give them the idea that it was their idea to reject you after. Let the trash take itself out. And listen, I acknowledge I might make some enemies with incest supporters this one…….which is why I will be doubling down. There is a downside that this person might be into that whole spiel. On the off chance that that happens, cancel on them before the date because you’ve changed your mind, and they actually don’t remind you ENOUGH of your cousin.

3. Let them know that your being together would go against “the system,” but never actually specify what “the system” is.

Everybody loves a good enemies-to-lovers situation, right? Well, what we’re trying to accomplish is the opposite here. The goal is to be ominous to the point of the subject's visible annoyance and, eventually, their hatred of you. Not only is this a bonus for your sanity, but it is also a great chance to practice your acting skills. Have fun with it! Get in there with some improv. I can imagine pacing back and forth in a panic, saying to yourself, “They would NOT like this.” If you’re looking to really seal the deal, try and look as paranoid as possible the next couple of times you two are in the same room.

4. Say that you’d love to, but you have goals of becoming a living statue, and it would only get in the way.

Relationships require so much moving with all the dates, and hugs, and talking to each other. It would really set off your career ambitions as a living statue. Y’know, the people you see in the parks who are all shiny and statue like. If the person you’re letting down claims that they know this isn’t true, just let them know that you were actually doing your act in the local park last week. But maybe you were doing such a good job that the other person just didn’t notice you. Make them feel bad about doubting you like that. Proceed to stand still in front of them for a really long time and once they get worried reply with, “See!? That’s what you’re asking me to give up!” But don’t get too emotional about it, at the end of the day you just don’t want the moving around of being in a relationship to tarnish your reputation as a thing that isn’t supposed to be moving.

5. Tell them you can’t because your mom said no

This really is the pinnacle of excuses because nobody can fight the authority of a mother’s no. If someone chooses to violate that, it could put your life at stake. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how far away she is. She said no, and if you bring it up again, she might also ground you. Now immediately, this person might say that you didn’t even ask your mom, and that was an automatic response—clever observation on their part. Maybe tell them that you didn’t have to ask; she’s just in a bad mood right now, so if you ask, she might get really angry. An alternative is to say that you and her had already talked about it because you can’t go out without giving her a heads up, and she said no. If the person you’re telling this to doesn’t understand, they have A LOT to learn and are probably a bad influence anyway. So you can walk away knowing it wasn’t even a rejection, just a test. And either way, you win.

As much as I hope this list helps, be encouraged knowing there’s also nothing wrong with a simple no. Your rejection doesn’t even have to be explained away. But while there’s nothing wrong with it, I think these are more fun. And no matter who you spend it with, Valentine’s Day deserves to be fun.


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