I have been telling all my girlfriends that we women need to learn the art of saying no. (And it is an art!) Miss Manners agrees:
Dear Miss Manners:
There is a young man I met through mutual friends at college who has been asking me out. I considered him an acquaintance -- an acquaintance I had become increasingly unfond of.
He likes to be argumentative (I am sure he thinks of it more as intellectual debate), and I have actually found him rather offensive (although I am sure he does not know). I avoid arguing or disagreeing with him, and he now thinks that we have everything in common and lots to discuss.
He has asked me out to lunch/dinner, and it has not been easy to say no. He asks things like, are you free anytime this week? How do I tell someone, who may see me on campus not being busy, that I am available never?
On one occasion I made a move to avoid him (I didn't think it was that obvious), and he asked me about it later (I made up some mostly true excuse).
Do I need to tell him I don't like him, not even as a friend, leave me alone? (He is friends of some good friends of mine, and I might have to see him sometimes if I want to see them.)
Miss Manners, how does a lady navigate this situation?
Read Miss Manner's answer here. (Also check out her brilliant answer to a 12-year-old "unpopular" girl.)
Image: 'The Rejected Suitor' by Francis William Edmonds