Luke Ford writes: The “Let’s just be friends” announcement is a putdown. She’s saying she has no romantic or sexual interest in you. That’s fine if she has no such interest, but why do I have to listen to her announce it to me like Martin Luther nailing his 99 theses to the wall?
I’ve never told a girl early on, “I just want to be clear, I’m never going to lend you money or give you a ride to the hospital or be there for you just before you menstruate and your other friends are sick of your whining.”
I’d never dream of making such an announcement because I am an old-fashioned Victorian gentleman. I believe too deeply in preserving people’s dignity.
It usually strikes me dumb when a woman makes this little speech to me. I usually just assent because I’m passive by nature but then I feel one-down. I’ve allowed her to put me below her.
I need to change things up. I think I’ll go with, “I’m not going to put definitions on what we might be to each other. You brought this up. I didn’t ask you out on a date or lean in to you for a kiss. So you’re making this pronouncement that you will never have romantic or sexual interest in me and it’s a putdown and I’m not going to put up with it.”