1. “I’m not ready for a relationship.”
The cold hard truth is that everyone is ready for a relationship the second they meet someone they actually want to date. If someone positions their lack of willingness to date you as a function of lack of readiness to date in general, they’re either delusional about they way things work, or they’re flat-out lying.
2. “Our friendship is just too important to me.”
This is a maddening statement because whoever says it is effectively trying to position him or herself as the best friend ever, when in fact they’re just too cowardly to admit that they’re not interested in a relationship with you. Everyone knows that true love is rooted in friendship, so, if anything, the fact that you’re such great friends should count as a tick in the relationship upside column. Dating doesn’t mean abandoning a friendship. It means expanding upon it.
3. “You’re too much like a brother/sister to me.”
Oh really? How nice! Not. The most annoying part about this comment is that the speaker is preying upon your natural aversion to incest rather than owning their reluctance to enter into a relationship with you. Ew.
4. “I wish I could find someone as [insert one or more of your most appealing traits] as you are.”
Oh really? Here I am! Hello! If you’re actually interested in dating someone JUST LIKE ME, here’s a crazy idea: date the actual me. People who say this should be tried for nonsense.
5. “I don’t want to risk things going wrong.”
Uh, of course not. No one does. But there’s a risk that things will go wrong when you do literally every single thing every single day, from walking out your front door to choosing what you eat for lunch. You can’t live a minute without taking some kind of risk, so don’t hide behind oh-so-scary hypotheticals.
6. “I don’t want to end up hating each other.”
Obviously, no one wants this kind of ending. Unfortunately, it’s an option whether or not you date. Friends become frenemies constantly. And when things go awry between besties or even just good friends, the aftermath is often uglier than what happens in the wake of the nastiest breakups. Fear of future hate is a pretty lame excuse not to dabble in romance.
7. “If only we’d met [insert any number] years ago.”
Right. Because it’s totally reasonable to suggest the impossible. What about the past would make such a big whopping difference, anyway? If you want to date someone, you try to make it happen at whatever time you’re lucky enough to cross paths. Let’s not blame Time for failing to thrust you into the arms of your Prince or Princess Charming at the exact right second.
8. “If only we could meet [insert any number] years from now.”
Another way to take things out on Time instead of saying how you really feel. Sigh.
9. “You’re never single when I need you to be.”
Hmmm. Interesting. But, no. Not a hint of honesty to this one. If someone really wants to date you, they should have the decency to at least try to sabotage your existing relationship if you’re in one. When someone resigns themselves to moping from the sidelines instead of making a move, it’s an obvious sign that the desire’s just not there so they should spare you the blah blah blah and stop pretending otherwise.
10. “It’s just not the right time…”
Time! Again! The thing about this remark is that it’s pretty much always incomplete. Do yourself a favor if someone ever says this to you and urge them to finish the statement rather than allowing them to spin a half-truth as some kind of hope certificate. Common second clauses include: It’s just not the right time…because I don’t like your thighs and/or I just can’t see myself with a pescatarian and/or I’m in love with someone else who happens to be your best friend and/or I would rather spend my hard earned money on video games than dinner dates and/or I’m still working on having sex with as many people as possible.