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Yellowdog's avatar

The most painless way to quell someone's unwanted romantic attraction/interest in us would be to repulse them in a subtle way. But why is it hard for us to make ourselves repulsive for this purpose?

Asked by Yellowdog (6781points) 1 week ago

What are some of the things one can do, to quell someone’s interest in them, by seeming gross or deliberately turning them off, or repulsing them slightly?

The rationale: (1) Breaking up is hard to do. It hurts someone we care about and don’t want to hurt, but maybe don’t love.

And, (2) maybe someone is after YOU, pursuing a relationship you don’t want. To deflect them, snubbing them off or acting disinterested only breaks their heart / gives them a sense or melancholy / unrequited love. Even being willing to be friends still hurts them.

So in order to NOT hurt someone who is good to you but wants more than a ‘friend’ relationship, one option would be to repulse them.

Make yourself look or smell nasty. Make yourself appear to be a looser. a weasel, a no-talent bum.

But why is it hard to do these things to our image or persona?

For fun, you can also list some things you could do to gross out / drive off an unwanted romantic interest.

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11 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I’d never resort to anything like that. For one, it would be hard to control as to when and where you allow this grossness to happen. At some point you’d revert back to your real self and be back with the same old problem.
The only circumstance I could see myself doing that is to avoid an imminent rape. In fact, I once turned a rapist off by telling him I was on my period, and I’d show him the tampex if he didn’t believe me. He chose not to proceed.

As far as deflecting, I just keep saying, “No, thank you. No, thank you. No, thank you.” Eventually they get the picture. They may get pissed off and threatening, but at that point I leave.

gorillapaws's avatar

That’s a cowardly way to approach it. The correct way is to be direct, unambiguous, and polite.
“I’m flattered that you have feelings for me, but I don’t see you in that way.”

Jeruba's avatar

No need to work on cultivating repulsive habits. Just wait and they’ll come with time. Tough luck for the spouse, though, who went and married you before they showed up.

But painless? What makes you think so? It could mean a lot of conflict for the other party, who’s struggling between loyalty and disgust. If it’s deliberately done, I’d call it cruel.

rebbel's avatar

Or try the “be honest” tactic.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m trying to understand who anyone would want to make themselves repulsive. Seems like a totally ass-backwards way of accomplishing the goal.

I’m with @gorillapaws and @rebbel – be honest even if it hurts.

Zaku's avatar

What worked immediately on me was “I love my boyfriend and I’m going to marry him.”

Trying to convince me my love interest is not interesting seems foolish and very unlikely to work as intended.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@gorillapaws I’m not sure how cowardly it really is. It would depend on the situation. Perhaps if a woman finds herself in an abusive situation, and tries to leave, it could get dangerous for her. If, on the other hand, she could convince him that HE is the one who wants to leave, I can see that as being the safest option.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Its hard because its wrong, that is why.
This calls for maturity in handling this delicately.
How would you like it if someone you liked did that to you?
And if you did do this and this women found out later, who knows how she would react
( violent?) to being treated so callously.( immature).

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or she could just shrug her shoulders and go, “Boy is he weird!”

flutherother's avatar

You don’t have to make yourself repulsive, just making yourself honest should be enough.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You could help them find someone else better. They will leave you without feeling hurt.

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