My experience--as an outside observer, generally, since most of my friends are guys--is that men actually tend to be very straightforward creatures. We just misinterpret them because we look for hidden meanings that aren't there, and they have problems with us because they expect what's on the surface to be what's there, and frankly that's the way it SHOULD be.
Preach it, sister!
Tell you the truth, there have been times I've had to come out and tell someone "I'm not a lawyer: I don't speak in loopholes". Because quite honestly, that seems to be the way some people think...
If I say "I can't make it to your
Unfortunately, even a straightforward "not interested" gets ignored nowadays. It's almost like some people have become salesmen: if they just try a little bit harder, they'll convince you to do whatever it is you have already said "no" to. What IS it with that?
Thankfully, I don't (generally) have that problem with Spoon: she hears what I say*, takes it at face value, and goes forward. And she's learned to, generally, tell when I start "speaking in code": means there's trouble where we are, and she starts paying more attention to what's going on around us.
Sabra's right on this: start out as you intend to go forward. Folks, you can't have a decent relationship with someone if you're treating every conversation as if it were a high school lit assignment, where you have to figure out the author's intent behind their words. Instead, be open and honest, and expect (if not demand) the same in return.
*THE biggest fights we have are when she starts not hearing what I say, but what she THINKS I'm going to say. Whole other topic, there.