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Ask Aunty Pam

Dear Aunty Pam,

Can you help? I feel like such a coward. I had a couple of dates with a guy I met online. I guess I’d describe the dates as nice. He’s nice, he has nice manners and we had a nice time. The problem is that after two dates, I feel zero chemistry or any real attraction for him at all. It’s not that he’s unattractive, in fact, I’m sure other women would consider him nice looking.
The problem is that after our last date, I guess he assumed it went really well and he asked if I’d like to go out again this weekend and because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, I said sure, and now I’m dreading it. I know he’s going to call me to ask when and where and I want to tell him I don’t want to go and don’t want to see him again, but how do I do that without hurting his feelings?

Cowardly Cathy

Dear Cathy,

Oh, my, we have gotten ourselves in quite the pickle, haven’t we?
Well, this isn’t what you’re going to want to hear but Aunty Pam is going to overrule your decision. Consider me Justice Roberts: you were so sure I would go one way, then upon reflection, am going quite the opposite. What do you expect from a newspaper Agony Aunt?
Call it intuition, but I think you should go out with Mr Nice again. Look, I get that the guy doesn’t shake your cage, you know? But let me tell you something, Cathy—just because you don’t feel any chemistry now doesn’t mean you won’t feel it a little later? And what is chemistry, anyway? Well, it’s basically lust, isn’t it? It’s the snap, crackle and pop of animal instinct, firing on all cylinders. And it doesn’t last, I don’t care who they are. You could breathlessly accept a date from Bradley Cooper, and I’m telling ya, within a year you’ll find yourself muttering, “Would it kill you to maybe not leave your dirty underwear on the floor?” and “Eww, would you please not kiss me before brushing your teeth? Makes me gag…”
And maybe, just maybe, there’s part of you (this is where I pretend to be a psychologist) that feels you’re undeserving of someone who is truly nice and thoughtful, with lovely manners?
Because here’s the deal, Cath: Life is hard. 2020 has been hard as hell. And 2021 might even be harder. (I don’t even know how one would have a date while wearing masks, or sitting 6’ apart, but that’s another story). Wouldn’t it be ’nice’ to go through life with a ’nice’ person? Someone you don’t have to walk on eggshells around? Someone who really is interested in how your day went?
If none of this appeals and you insist on letting this fellow slip through your fingers, there’s no way you can give him the heave-ho without hurting his feelings, so you’re just going to have to be honest. You’re going to have to say something like, “Hi Mr. Nice, I know I agreed to a third date, but I’m at this point in my life where I think I not only need to find a nice guy, but one I’m insanely attracted to, with off the charts sex appeal, which, of course, doesn’t exist, so that I can then sit home alone and kick myself for not having pursued a relationship with you, K? Bye.”
That’s all I got.

Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam