Since I'm not the most tactful person I had to enlist some help. So I asked e and also consulted this website. (Interesting note - When I looked at this the other day this was level "Easy", now it's been elevated to level "Moderately Easy". Yeah, I'll say!) This is what I came up with:
Hi Cap'n,I struggled with the "lead you on part" because I didn't want to assume that I was leading anyone anywhere, but I wanted to make sure it was clear clear clear that there wasn't anything romantic on my side of things. But overall, I'd say it's pretty good, right? Clear, to the point, pretty nice, but doesn't leave any loopholes. I was very satisfied to get this reply back from him.
Thanks, that's a nice offer. But while I think you are a terribly nice fellow I don't think we are all that compatible. I wouldn't want to lead you on or anything.
I hope you have a nice Christmas break!
Hooray! Success! I wouldn't have to go out on anymore lame dates. Ding Dong Merrily on High! I ran around my office giving random people high fives declaring, "Who's da man? Dat's right! I's da man!" (I'm not very good at saying 'no', so this was a pretty major success for me.)
Have a nice Christmas.
But then 20 minutes later this little gem arrived in my inbox:
Gretchen,My overwhelming thought after reading this was, "Well, DUH! I'm fun to be around, that's why you enjoy my company. Buuuuut the problem is that YOU aren't so fun ... so you can see why this won't work for me."
Now that I've taken a few minutes to actually think and to take care of some matters at work, let me give you a more complete (and appropriate) response.
I appreciate your directness, and I have to agree with you that we aren't very compatible. Still, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy your company.
Take care my friend and I'll see you around.
P.S. If you know of someone with whom I might be "compatible," please feel free to share. :-)
My second thought was, "Yes, I think I know someone you'd be compatible with, but I don't really want to talk to her because she's kind of annoying. Perhaps that's why I think you'd be compatible."
My third thought was, "Man, I really sound conceited."
And my forth thought was, "Next time, I'm sticking with my original plan of telling him that I'm moving to Cuba with my new boyfriend Mario, so going to dinner with him would be really weird. Telling the nice version of the truth doesn't work out that well."
The moral of this story is that telling the truth is out, and lying and avoidance tactics are back in. It's just a lot less messy.