DEAR MISS MANNERS: When a man asked if I would date him, I politely declined his request. I told him that we could still be friends. Since then, he has been acting as if we are in a serious relationship. He has been calling me “hon” and putting his arm around me. This makes me feel very uncomfortable. How do I tell him I am not interested and still be kind?
GENTLE READER: There is only one response that this man would consider kind, and he does not merit it. Miss Manners recommends instead a noticeable coldness, including saying “Please don’t touch me,” as being both more deserved and more effective.