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The same guidelines apply here that you would utilize during the online process (check my previous blog). Though, rejection in person is a more delicate issue. Online you can respond nicely that you’re not interested, delete the email or block the person. When someone is standing right in front of you it’s not that easy.

When a man or woman approaches you in the gym, a bar, at work or anywhere else still keep your non-negotiables in mind. Weed them out the same way. Unfortunately unlike reading a dating profile, their qualities are not going to be tattooed on their forehead as bullet points. It would be easier if it was! You’ll have to engage in small talk to figure these out. Don’t make it feel like an interview, be casual about it. You can already tell if you’re physically attracted, that’s the easy part. Finding their stats is going to take some digging.

For instance, I was on the elliptical today at the gym and a man was jogging on the treadmill in front of me. He had a super-hot body, so it caught my eye. He then turned around and appeared a lot younger than me. When his workout was over, he walked by and struck up conversation. While he was talking I noticed he had something silver in his mouth. I couldn’t tell if it was braces or a grill, but despite that he wasn’t very articulate. His arm was also covered in tattoos. Three major items on my non-negotiable list within the first two minute conversation.

He asked if I had a boyfriend. Sometimes it’s easier in this situation to tell a small white lie than the truth. With aggressive guys, most the time they won’t leave you alone if you say you’re single. Since I knew he wasn’t meeting my non-negotiables I just said yes, I did have a boyfriend, even though I don’t. He then asked if I could have friends. Of course I can have friends, yet I didn’t want to be friends with him because he kept starring at my ass. He proceeded to ask for my number, so I responded with, “How old are you?” he said 25. Oh my way too young for me! I’m turning 35 in a month and granted I’m flattered a guy 10 years younger finds me attractive, but no thank you.

I was polite enough and he soon moved on once I told him I was faithful to my imaginary boyfriend. Try to be civil and let someone down in an appropriate fashion. There’s no reason to be rude and it takes a lot of courage to approach someone in person. Though, don’t lead them on if you know there’s no attraction there on your end. Plus you never know the mental stability of other people and you don’t want to mess with crazy. Crazy maybe on a cocktail of psychotic medication.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.