“Yeah, I think if he really were Mr. Right, it wouldn’t matter which ski pass he had—or even if he were a skier at all,” I said. My friend had just explained that a guy she’d gone on a few dates with had a different ski pass than she did—and she was beginning to wonder if the relationship had a future.
“I mean, there are just logistical issues,” she explained. It brought up an interesting dilemma. After a couple of dates, when you realize the guy isn’t someone you want to tie in with for the long term, how do you break it to him? Here are 15 subtle—and not-so-subtle—hints to give him a clue that maybe it’s not the right time to buy that new bicycle built for two.
If he’s super into cyclocross, continually ask him, “Why doesn’t everybody just ride mountain bikes?”
Tell him you were really inspired by Wild, and need to do more backpacking by yourself. And buy him a copy of Into the Wild.
When he asks you to go climbing, invite a bunch of other friends to join without telling him, and then proceed to tie in with someone else for the entire day.
Explain to him that this year, you’re only going to ice climb with other women. They really get your climbing style in a way a guy just can’t.
The night before the first big snow of the season, send a text saying only, “No boyfriends on powder days.”
Become overwhelmingly interested in female empowerment. Sign up for all the women-only 5Ks and MeetUp Groups you can, and explain that you’re really glad he’s a feminist, but he’ll never actually be able to understand.
Brag about the awesome new bike rack you bought for your car, but only attach the parts to hitch one bike to it.
Is he a snowboarder? Loudly comment about how annoying slow snowboarders are getting off the lift.
If he’s a big boulderer, tell him repeatedly that bouldering is really just practice for real climbing.
Going on a bike ride together? Make sure your interval training days coincide with his recovery days and vice versa.
Excitedly break the news to him that it’s time to take the road trip you’ve both been dreaming of. In your SmartCar. With your dog.
Brag loudly about your new one-person tent.
Schedule a girls’ vision quest week of climbing at Indian Creek—and when you come back, tell him you found yourself in the desert. And a voice told you that you need to be free, like the wind.
If he gets a membership at the fancy new climbing gym in town to stay in shape over the winter, start spending all your time at the janky old gym on the other side of town because it’s “more rootsy.”
Sign up for a 24-hour mountain bike race—solo. Tell him training starts now. You need to make sure you can really hack all that time by yourself.