sugarmama has asked for advice on how to be unambiguous:
how does a woman withdraw from the running "politely and clearly"? i would like to learn how to be better at dissing someone. seriously.I'm glad you asked. It's a simple answer, but one that seldom comes to mind, if my own experience passes as any indicator. Here's how.
Don't hide behind a fear of conflict, don't expect him to "get the message" through hints and half-truths. He's fixated on you, more than likely, and may honestly be surprised that you don't think he's the successor to sliced bread; don't look down on his cluelessness--it's probably a great compliment to you. Have the respect for him as a human being (and for your own reputation as a considerate person) to meet him in person or call him on the phone and have the following conversation:
Him: Hi, sugarmama, it's great to see you again. Did you get the tokens of housepet-like infatuation that I left?This isn't really how Gabby and I worked (the option was open for the future, for one; more of a see-you-later-tiger than a good-bye, and it was actually a nice little farewell, with no sniveling and lots of wellwishing), but mark my words, unless he's a complete nimrod he'll remember you fondly for caring enough to tell him and not drag things out or just disappear. But he will get the point.
You: Yes, I did, and they were sweet, but here's the thing. I like and respect you enough to let you know that I don't think we should see one another any more.
Him: (Pause to react.) Oh, well, that hurts. I'm very hurt by that. Yep, that really stings, and I want you to know that I'm hurting from that.
You: I know and I'm sorry, but I don't want to lead you on, and like I said I respect you-the-person enough to give it to you straight.
Him: Oh. Hurt. Owwie. Ouch. Whine. Complain. Well, thanks, I guess. You know, I'm not used to a woman honestly giving a crap what I feel in a breakup.
You: Well, you're a human being too, and if you're good enough to date you're good enough for a firm, considerate break. Thanks again for the tokens, but if it's OK I'll be going now.