General Etiquette > Dating

Letting a Friend Down Easy.

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I seem to be the date guru out of my friends because of E-Hell now :)I get good advice and impart it to them.

My friend Jenni met a man at a wine bar a couple months ago. This is her friends bar and so she goes there quite often as does he and they started chatting one day and she found him very sweet and interesting. Let's call him Max.The issue is Max is 30 years older than her and she was dating someone at the time so she felt comfortable becoming friends with him.

Over the last couple of months Max has started developing some strong feelings for Jenni, making it known he would like to date her one day. She is now single but she finds while they make good friends, they are different in many other aspects of life and she cannot get over the age difference. She has said when he gives her advice she feels like it's her dad lecturing her and he will say things like "hey drink your water!" when they are out as a group and she feels like he feels like he can boss her around because she is younger.

He does a lot of for her and she has told him there is no need, she can pay her own way but he will always pull the credit card out, offer to drive her far distances so she doesn't have to...and she feels like she's using him if she says yes, but he gets very sad when she says no so she gives in.

He has been inviting her to meet his extended family and to holidays and Jenni says she is afraid that if she let's this continue he is going to be even more hurt.

She needs to tell him she doesn't want to see him anymore (no being "friends"), and stop letting him do things for her.  She needs to recognize that being "sad" when she says  no is actually a form of emotional blackmail.

Completely agree with guihong.

She needs to learn to say "No" and mean it.  No "friendship", and stop accepting favors.

Hands down, she needs to stop accepting huge favors and stop letting him pay her way.  We can blame him for acting sad, but the fact of the matter is that she does bear some responsibility for accepting the money and favors.  She needs to stop that, immediately.  Then the next time he brings up dating, she needs to say that they wouldn't be a good match.  The age difference is a perfect reason if she feels like giving one.  No need to say much more.  If he doesn't understand that, then he's not a nice guy and I'd cease to care about letting him down easy at that point.

I agree. The longer it goes on, the more he will be hurt and likely feel "used", even though your friend is doing nothing of the sort. I think it would be a kindness to end things now, before he becomes more emotionally invested in the rel@tionship, whatever he thinks it is. It may be difficult to do now, but it will have to be done eventually, and later on will be much harder on everyone.


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