This three word phrase is almost as dreadful as the four word phrase “we need to talk.” Why do people even utter the words? We all know what it really means, having decoded the line the first time it was used:
They’re not really going to call.
I guess I always wonder what the point is in lying? Please don’t worry about sparing my feelings — I’d rather you be up front with me. If you’re not interested, want to pursue other prospects, the timing is wrong, whatever the case may be… just say it.
And when did this whole “let me spare your feelings” thing start? When did people stop being straight with each other? Were people EVER straight with each other? If you’re not really going to call, and you’re never going to see her again, what is the point in trying to let her down easy? Why try to gently sever the ties, only to risk her calling you anyway to figure out what happened, why you haven’t called?
In all honesty, I think that you earn so much more respect when you can be up front. No one’s asking you to be lovey dovey here; all I’m saying is don’t say you’re going to do something if you really aren’t going to. There’s no good that can come from creating an expectation that you have no intention of meeting. Just let her know what it is and walk. She won’t break into a million pieces — women are stronger than you think.
Seriously, I would say it to you…
Grow a pair.