Dear Shan Tell’em,
I recently just got back into the dating game. After my relationship ended, I decided that I wanted to take a break and focus on my career. I had moved to a new city, and I really didn’t know anyone other than my co-workers. So it was pretty easy to put love on the back-burner. Anyway, I met this guy and he treats me pretty well. We go out on dates and he’s very consistent with following up and making plans. The only problem is that he is too affectionate. He likes to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and kiss in a strange and dramatic fashion, or he will ask the taxi driver how long we have before we get to our destination so we can make out. It’s just a lot for me. Two weeks ago, he went out of town and I decided to hop back on Tinder. I clicked on this guy’s profile to show interest and he responded. It turns out that I actually met him at a house party awhile ago. We exchanged numbers and have gone out a few times. He is amazing and I want to get to know him more. I am not all that interested in the first guy anymore. He comes back on Sunday and I know he’s going to want to see me. How do I tell him that I don’t want to see him anymore?
Letting Him Down Easy
Dear Letting Him Down Easy,
Okay first of all, you guys have gone out on dates. That still doesn’t mean that you are dating and even if you were, you have the complete right to change your mind. Unfortunately, in the game of love, someone will always get hurt — even when you’re playing by the rules. A couple of questions: One: Have you tried talking to the guy about his overt and dramatic affection? If not, maybe you should, but that’s only if you would consider dating him if he tones it down a little. and Two: Why not date them both? (Shrugs).
The last time I checked, the love categories (for the most part), are as follows: “friends with benefits,” “dating,” “exclusively dating” and then a “relationship.” The beauty about love is that you can define how you wish to participate. The difficult part about that is finding people who are on the same page as you. Being honest isn’t always easy, but it is the most effective dose.
A lot of times, people confuse honesty with being a jerk. If you’re really sure about letting this guy go, then simply tell him in person if possible. It sounds like he’s been kind to you and does not deserve the cold shoulder. Explain to him that you are just on two different wavelengths and express the importance of him finding someone who appreciates his dramatic gestures. Unfortunately, you’re just not that girl. But I’m sure there’s a woman out there who will absolutely love his impulsive bursts of public affection. Make sure you remind him of that.
As for this new guy, congratulations on finding someone that you connect with! With that being said, take it slow. I’d hate for you to be all invested in the idea of something more with him while he is just having fun. Take time to find out exactly what it is that he is looking for and most importantly, to discover who he is when the mask comes off. Two weeks is not a long time to know someone and while chemistry does not lie, people have a very crafty way of presenting their best selves to you initially.
Good luck and I wish you the best.
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Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.