This is more appropriate where you know the person in real life.
Note: While this post pertains to dating advice and dynamics, it’s also entirely relevant for general social pursuits – eg.
Expressing interest in a platonic friendship of someone you admire, or forming a business/professional relationship.
I’ve found a common dynamic when it comes to dating and friendship is I’ll invite a friend or a romantic interest to spend some time together, and I’ll either get no response from them at all, or I’ll get a some kind of ‘I can’t this week, but maybe next week? While these two responses are distinctly different, what they have in common is that being on the receiving end it can be unclear what the response means, In this post, while I use online dating as an initial vehicle for discussing the dynamics of no-reply and I’m-busy responses.
The more important dynamic I’m really interested in, is these responses from people who you know a bit better.
One could be honest and say ‘I’m not attracted/interested in you’, but that can be quite an awkward conversation, and lead to further awkward interactions in the future.
Instead, one uses ‘Sorry, I’m busy that night’ and hope that they get the hint, and the lack of explicit rejection allows the parties to continue interacting in a platonically friendly way.the person is the person is a stalker, or following a big fight in which you break up), I’m generally of the opinion that this isn’t a progressive social technique.In my opinion it’s more indicative of social immaturity, and a desire to ‘win the break up’. In a similar vein, ‘I’m busy’ type responses can be used as a less confrontational alternative to saying ‘I’m not interested’.Add into the mix an optimism bias, which is seems likely that men have in regards to their attractive appeal, and you can have a situation where the person whose reply has gone unanswered will interpret it as a ‘they’ve forgotten’ rather than as a ‘they’re not interested in me’.Similarly, receiving an ‘I’m busy’ reply can be ambiguous.This creates quite a clear communication protocol: The person asking for a date: If you ask for a date, (or have a date cancelled), do not ask again, it’s up to them to suggest an alternative.