Thursday, December 14 , 2017, 11:01 pm | Smoke 43º


Louise Palanker: Learning How to Reject a Guy, Focused on Popularity, Breaking Up Protocol

Question from Tina

Hi. So there’s this guy. I’ve know him for years, but he recently started texting me and asking how I am, what am I doing and saying that we should meet for coffee. We met once, and now he keeps texting and talking about casual stuff.

The thing is he’s a lot older than me. I’m 20 and he is 36. Because there’s this age difference and we knew each other, I was sure his intentions weren’t romantic and it will be just a friendly meet. But he keeps searching for an opportunity to hang out with me.

He said he hasn’t watched movies in a while. I said “me neither.” Then he says we should go to the cinema, or if I like swimming, that we should go swimming. Before sleep he texts me to say goodnight.

I am confused because I don’t know what he wants from me. He is too old and I don’t like him. His texts are also annoying at times. I actually have a hard time when it comes to being honest and rejecting guys.


You don’t have to be completely honest. You can ignore him. Tell him you are really busy, and then ignore him some more. You do not owe this guy any of your time or attention. Learning how to clearly reject someone or something is an important skill. You need to acquire it. Consider your clarity a gift to the person. They have their answer. They can move on.

To me, it sounds like he was waiting for you to grow up so that he could ask you out, and he is definitely asking you out. You DO know what he wants from you. You are not interested. You are under no obligation to be completely honest with him. In the interest of kindness, most brush-offs are less than direct. If you feel that your friendship and history with him require a more informed response you can say, “This is a friendship only. I don’t see us being romantically involved.”

But, honestly, when a 36 year old is hitting on a 20 year old, he is being brazen and a gentle let-down is not on that menu. Your only obligation is to yourself. Remove this burden from your mind. A quick and concise response from you is all he really deserves, if that. You can give him a, “So sorry. No time to talk,” and then ignore any subsequent texts. He will get the message. If he doesn’t, block him.

Here is some more really good advice from Benny McNugget and his accent is awesome:

(bennymcnugget video)

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Question from Tanya

Hi, I am a junior in high school. All my past relationships have ended terribly. I was always dating very popular, but mean guys. You know, guys who were just full of themselves and big headed because of their popularity. I dated these guys because, well, I was very popular.

I am now dating a guy who is quite different. He was never very popular. Some people didn’t even know who he was. He has a big heart, a deep mind, and honestly doesn’t like the kind of people I have dated or hang with. I fell hard for him and we spend all of our time together. We are both now each other’s only friends.

He completely changed me. I stopped wanting to be only the pretty and popular girl. It’s just that recently I am starting to feel selfish. I wish he were popular and that he didn’t wear V necks that don’t look good on him and that he were cuter. It’s like I miss being in the spotlight. Everything he does is annoying me now, including how he’s always telling me how beautiful I am; it’s just so constant and I feel like he’s being too much.

My whole view has changed on him now. I am no longer popular because I chose to “downgrade,” as someone said. Like I am the one driving him around, the better looking one. If we ever do go to parties, it’s through my connections. Right now, I feel like I want a guy who can take charge, and maybe be the popular jerk but treat me like a princess.

I am just at a place where he is annoying, and I wish he was almost a bad boy. I almost feel like I am in love with the drama I used to have with other guys. I don’t know if I’ll be happy with the nice or bad guy.

Is it a phase? Are we spending too much time together and that’s why I am thinking this? Am I being selfish? Should I tell him how I feel?? Help!


You are tremendously introspective and you have a pretty good read on all that has been happening. You are someone who goes all in. That is where I believe you may be going wrong. The world is not black or white. It’s all different shades of all different colors.

This current guy went all in with you and for awhile that was enough. You were tremendously popular WITH HIM! That fulfilled you ... until it didn’t.

Remaining popular is like balancing on the head of a pin. And you are doing all of that work in service to a goal that is pretty hollow. There are a lot of guys in between the popular jerks and the devoted fan boy. Ideally, you will find a guy who has a lot going on for himself. A guy who is involved in many activities. A guy who treats you like you are very important because you are!

Get yourself busy and immersed in talents and interests that matter to you. When you are no longer focused on popularity, you find all kinds of time for clubs and activities that connect you with people of value like yourself.

Once you know who you are outside of popularity you will find a guy who is into music or photography or writing or public service, or many wonderful pursuits. Join an organization that gives back to your community. I think you just need to find a different perspective, and that is where and how you will find yourself, and ultimately a wonderful relationship.

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Question from Cassie

What is your ex trying to do if, after 10 days since breaking up with you, he starts staring and smiling at you, and his friends start doing that, too, and he posts stuff about you like “With you, it’s different” and he does crazy things to get your attention?

In my opinion, if he wants to get back again, he should say sorry instead of pretending like we never broke up. I’m trying my best to ignore him and give myself as much space as I can, but he’s not letting me. What do I do?


What do you want? It sounds as though you would really like an apology. However, if you do not see yourself ever getting back together with him, then there is no need for you to seek that apology. Just ignore him and move on.

If, however, you would like to get back together with him, then tell him what you told me. Be nice about it. Say, “Help me understand what’s going on.” Let him talk and then say, “I would love to hear an apology, and then I would love to know how things between us could be different moving forward.”

When a relationship ends badly you should not just fall back into someone’s arms the moment he opens them. Instead you should say, “How will things change? They were broken. We should not just repeat our mistakes. What have we learned?”

Have that conversation and then take things from there.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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