Lifestyle

Just Say No?

"How do you turn down a date without hurting the guy's feelings?"

The Candy eds share their date decline techniques. How about you, what's yours?

steph.jpg Maybe you could just tell the guy that you could still hang out... as "friends." :) —Steph, Art Director
jennie.jpg I usually just tell him I've got pressing family matters and am not really ready to date. But how would I know? I've been off the list for 7 years na! Hehe. —Jennie, Beauty Editor
angel.jpg No matter what your excuse is, just be polite. Don't just brush him off because it would show that you're disregarding his feelings. If he insists, be firm without being rude. If you really would like to go out with him, then maybe you can suggest an alternate date when you will be free. :) Angel, Assistant Features Editor
marla.jpg I'd probably suggest that we go on a group date. That way, it's not just the two of us and I don't end up giving him false hopes. The "I'm busy" excuse usually works, too. Marla, Assistant Lifestyle Editor
macy.jpg My general rule in life is "be honest." If you don't like the guy, don't go out with him. (What's the point of leading him on to think that you're into him, too?) Or if you're scared you might hurt his feelings, maybe you can tell him that you can hang out with each other's barkada. :) —Macy, Web and Mobile Producer
roch.jpg I usually say I'm busy or I have to go somewhere else. But if I don't really like the guy, I tell him straight that maybe we could just go on a group date. :D —Roch, Web and Mobile Producer

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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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