The Bintel Brief

Bintel Brief: Lisa Loeb Says Honesty Is the Best Policy

By Lisa Loeb

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Dear Lisa,

Not too long ago, a friend set me up on a blind date. Being a very shy person, I was naturally a bit nervous. But the guy was perfectly nice, and we had a pleasant conversation. There was no chemistry between us, however, which I recognized at the time, and so I planned to pursue it no further. Nevertheless, I left the evening somewhat encouraged because it was my first date in quite some time, and it wasn’t a painfully awkward experience — we managed to find things to talk about for a few hours and closed the evening on a friendly note. I told my friend that I appreciated the set-up.

Within the next day or so, I received an e-mail from the date. Though the e-mail was in theory a nice note — he was following up on some music suggestions I had mentioned — he also made a point to say that maybe we could hang out again sometime “as friends.” Now this, to me, was infuriating, like he was beating me to the rejection punch or something.

I had not contacted him, and so apparently his purpose in writing was to convey that he was not interested. Before receiving this e-mail, I felt there was no need for rejection until a second date was proposed. Was I wrong about that? Was there any way I could have saved face in my response to him and conveyed that the rejection was mutual without simply sounding like sour grapes?

Thanks for your thoughts on this matter.


Lisa Loeb replies:

Please read the letter that you sent to me. It sounds like you’re sending mixed messages to others and yourself, but mainly to yourself.

If you really want to meet someone, then give a guy a chance. If you have some good conversation, definitely go on the second date.

Also, if you didn’t really like the guy, then try not to take it so hard that he was letting you know it didn’t work out romantically for him either.

You can’t have it both ways. If you’re interested in him at all, go ahead and hang out with him “as friends” another time. Maybe something will become more clear or change or “click” for you guys.

Also, I think it’s actually really kind that he wrote something to be clear. He was probably just trying to be straightforward and not leave you hanging. That’s good manners. Good luck, and remember, most people are shy. You can always say that you’re shy. Sometimes it’s a great ice breaker.

Lisa Loeb is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter whose hit single “Stay (I Missed You)” topped the charts. In 2006, she came out with a compilation album, “The Very Best of Lisa Loeb,” and launched her own E! reality series, “#1 Single,” which followed her as she looked for love. This month, she is revisiting her roots with a double-disc reissue of her 1992 debut, “The Purple Tape,” featuring original acoustic versions of some of her classics.

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Louise Mon. Jan 28, 2008

I think you should simply reply to his email: "Who is this??" That'll beat his punch.

Abby Tue. Jan 29, 2008

I say, thank him for his kind offer of friendship, but tell him that you will have to decline b/c you're only able to be friends with men you find attractive.

Shy Guy Tue. Jan 29, 2008

This guy sounds like a tool. As a shy guy myself I'd be happy to take you out and see where it leads. I have a convertible if that helps. If you aren't game I got my eye on you Ms. Loeb...

George Costanza Tue. Jan 29, 2008

Tell him you were a self doubting Lesbian and jut wanted to see if you were attracted to men and that after visitng with him you knew you were not on that team. The say "It wasn't you it was me"

Ilana L. Thu. Jan 31, 2008

I don't think that you should reject him out of hand - being social isn't a bad thing, especially when you're shy, and, who knows, maybe he'll become a good friend. On the other hand, you want to make it clear that the non-attraction was mutual so you don't feel like he's patronizing you. Next time you socialize with him, slip in a comment like: "It's so good we met. The fact that I didn't feel any chemistry means we can hang out without complications - do you have any cute friends?" :)

Bar Kafka Fri. Feb 15, 2008

Alas, Pat Benatar was right. Love really is a battlefield.

Wyman Brent Sat. Feb 16, 2008

How about doing a reality show with the talented Lisa Loeb and myself working to create the Vilnius Jewish Library? It gets lonely out here on the road by myself. :)

Frank Mon. Dec 1, 2008

Wow.... I find most of these comments unbelievable. Why are most of you suggesting that someone lie? Being polite and tactful does not mean lying. It shows that you have no respect for others when you lie.

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