34 comments
  1. ona555 said:

    Seriously, never do that. It most likely does not end well for either of you.

  2. Jae said:

    *lol* Now that was easy!

  3. Karyn said:

    exeunt, pursued by bear

  4. VVendetadlc said:

    Sure, never go out with someone you don’t like just because “he’s a nice guy” or other pressuring.

  5. espritdecorps said:

    I loled!
    But seriously, go with your gut.

  6. Azz said:

    If he is no good as a friend, he is super no good as a date or anything more than that. Made that mistake and now celebrating 13 years of not being dead.

    • Legacy of silence said:

      Jedi Hugs if you want them.

      • azurelunatic said:

        The process didn’t leave me too bad off because I got out in time. I realized that we weren’t a good match within a year and before getting married, and we broke up reasonably amicably. Then there was the year+ of slow dawning horror as I realized how bad the gaslighting had been, how very much I didn’t like the person that I’d been around him, the various ways in which he’d attempted to mess with me, and how I likely wouldn’t have escaped the marriage alive — and fortunately I had access to very, very good counseling, with very supportive friends. (He blamed my new friends for our breakup, which is exactly how it worked from his perspective — girlfriend meets new friends at college, girlfriend realizes that mutual like, mutual respect, and mutual trust are great things in a friendship, girlfriend compares this to current relationship, girlfriend flees.)

        Seriously though, the thing where men and women are basically different species and the best you can hope for is someone who is sexually compatible and will tolerate the time you spend with your real friends (who must always be of your same gender)? SO MUCH BULLSHIT. SO MUCH COMPLETE FUCKING BULLSHIT.

        • redheadedgirl said:

          Oh my god, are you me?

  7. EdelC said:

    if you do, you’re likely to like yourself less for going out with someone you dislike..

  8. Helen Damnation said:

    But if I don’t, he might have sad feelings. Surely I should subsume myself entirely to prevent any men ever having momentary sad feelings.

    • staranise said:

      Which is something you can totally do, since every woman has telepathic healing skills which we only deny random men out of sheer cruelty. This is why we ourselves never feel fear or doubt; we only feel bliss, or shrill contempt.

      • JenniferP said:

        I like the idea of a mood board with only two options: Bliss vs. Shrill Contempt. You put the marker on which one you’re feeling and voila! Your coworkers know exactly which one it is.

  9. A. Y. Mouse said:

    At best dating someone you don’t like will turn out to be a massive waste of your time.

  10. attica said:

    Well, if you’re an anthropologist, you might find the experience educative….
    But, srsly, nope-ward, ho!

  11. MellifluousDissent said:

    I will point out that if the question-asker is very young, this could be a genuinely confusing thing. I know in HS there was a lot of “but he likes you! and he’s nice! and he’s cute!” from friends, particularly when the guy was also part of the friend-group and it would make everything neat and convenient for all the friendly friends to now be friendly dating friends.

    The Captain’s answer is still clearly the only correct answer, but as someone who did “date” someone I wasn’t crazy about at 15 (for about eight days) because of social pressure + the standard Geek Social Fallacies running rampant across the friend group, I have a bit of empathy for the question, I guess.

    That said, it would’ve been awesome if, when having the “but I’m not sure I like him that way” conversation with friends, someone would’ve just said “cool, so, don’t date him then?” So on behalf of confused girls everywhere, Captain, please continue this public service. 🙂

    • JenniferP said:

      I’m also a veteran of the 3-8 day high school relationship! We should form a club. Or an army.

      • staranise said:

        I dated for a week in high school. It was the last week of high school and I figured I should at least get my kicks in.

    • Helen Damnation said:

      Honestly, this is a trap I’ve fallen into repeatedly and I totally get where the LW is coming from, but seriously, LW, don’t. Trust me. There are always reasons and also there are *never* reasons. It won’t work. Don’t do it.

    • ThatGirl said:

      I did the week-long relationship in college with a guy in my gaming group, because his crush on me had become super awkward during games and my (male) friends thought dating him and getting it over with would help, and if it didn’t work out we could go back to being friends. It didn’t work out, AND it was even MORE awkward during games.

    • Moi said:

      I have been there too. To my shame, 7th-grade-me thought the solution was, on finding out that another mutal friend actually was crushing on this guy, to tell them they ought to date instead (never mind the fact that he didn’t reciprocate her interest).

      Middle school, I do not miss you.

    • Laurel said:

      I started dating someone in high school even though I didn’t like him… and since I had absorbed the “relationships take work” paradigm, proceeded to waste 4 years of my life with someone who I actively disliked up until the end. Do not make the same mistake.

    • Cactus said:

      I am also familiar with this, having been pressured into dating someone I initially found creepy because he obviously had a thing for me. And then convincing myself that I actually must like him, because after all, no one else wanted me, right (I was 15, ugh, there’s so much internalized cultural badness there). We dated for two years, I was an anxious mess the whole time, I always felt like I had to “prove” to everyone that everything was great, plus there was sex/intimacy pressure, and slut-shaming, and then an eventual rape! And he was the kind of guy who tried to strangle a random dude in our school’s hallway because the other guy (probably accidentally) kicked his roller-backpack. And sent what was apparently a threatening e-mail to a teacher once (I never read it, but apparently the teacher was alarmed enough to alert his guidance counselor). Obviously, not all the stories of dating dudes you’re not really into will turn out like this, but yeah: here’s my giant cautionary tale!

  12. Yarnspider said:

    With all the bad advice floating around in the social ether, it would have been really nice to hear this back in high school. As an adult it seems obvious, but it really wasn’t back then.

  13. Yes. Also it’s totally normal and fine to be friends with the opposite sex. It’s not “ooh, we’re just friends”. It’s “yeah, we’re friends and it’s awesome!” Friendship isn’t a consolation prize.

  14. lilithgothica said:

    Echoing the above comments about being confused as a young person, the other idea that many young people face is that dating anyone is better than dating no one. This is also wrong. Being single is better than being in a relationship you hate.

  15. Alienor said:

    But maybe you should give him a chaaaaaaance!

    Note: that was heavy sarcasm. I hate the “give people a chance” logic like burning when it means “give people you are not interested in a chance at sex or romance.” I hate it even more when people make the Nice Guy(tm) claim that you’re somehow “selfish” if you don’t “give him a chance,” as if a chance at sex with someone is an entitlement.

    The “no” is excellent advice.

    • annejumps said:

      I can’t help but think that in contrast, for a guy, “Should I go out with a girl I don’t like” or “Should I give that girl I don’t find attractive a chance” would never even be a question.

    • jenfullmoon said:

      I got brought up on “give him a chaaaaaance!” Especially when my mom married a “give him a chaaaaance!” dude that she turned down two times before finally caving in. And got engaged to him because I guess the other “give him a chaaaance!” guy she was dating and didn’t like was even worse?

      This is not to say that my dad was a bad egg, but clearly he didn’t quite grill mom’s cheese in the right way for her either, and I had that figured out by around age five or so. Ditto my dad, for that matter. But seriously, “give him a chaaaance!” did a number on my head and it’s why about 95% of the dudes I’ve dated were ones I didn’t even want to be sharing air with–because it’s not nice to say no because you don’t like him like that! That’s no reason to not date someone! Meanwhile, all I was doing was leading guys on by giving them chances that they never really had in the first place. And we all know THAT gets ugly.

  16. Sascha said:

    Especially if he has already asked out every other person in your friend group! 🙂

    That happened twice in my teenage years – lonely guy just wanted a girlfriend, asked out each girl in turn, they all said no, I was the last option (woohoo!), and when I turned him down, all the girls who rejected him gave me the “but whyyyyy he’s soooo sweeeeet,” to which I retorted, “Then why aren’t you dating him?” Awkward stuttering and subject changes ensued.

  17. TJ said:

    Seriously, user of the search terms, the Captain got it right, do not. I’ve had the learning experience and trust me, it’s hard to get rid of a person once you’ve said you’ll do regular meetup type things with them because the guilt just gets worse over time so just say “no” the first time.

  18. She may if she likes the pocket. Lol 🙂

  19. Alienor said:

    I love this so much. There is no need to “give him a chance,” a phrase I have come to hate. (No one is entitled to a chance at sex with you. And I’m not even sure it’s possible to give someone a “chance” if you’re not interested, because sitting through a first date that you don’t like doesn’t actually increase the chances you’ll like him–it just increases the chances he has to pressure you into further unwanted contact.)

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