I know there are a lot of "how to tell a guy I am not interested" posts but this is slightly different due to:

  1. I am interested
  2. I want to keep going to the cafe he works at
  3. I am in an open relationship


My boyfriend and I (we are both guys) decided to be in an open relationship last year because we both travel a lot. The rules dictate that other people can only satisfy physical needs, and emotional attachments are not allowed. None of us have acted on this, as far as I know.

I met a waiter getting brunch on Saturday and we exchanged numbers to meet Wednesday. When I told my boyfriend, he was upset because to him, meeting someone in real life (vs. an app) and exchanging numbers implied an emotional connection. To his credit, I didn't tell the waiter that I had a boyfriend and was only looking for a one night stand. It was spur of the moment and I thought I could explain the situation later.


Thinking about this, I have decided that it would probably be the best if I don't meet up with this guy. How can I tell him that I don't want to meet up but still stay cordial? He works in a cafe the same block as my apartment and I would want to keep going to his cafe. I can't be friends with him as he is very attractive and my boyfriend would probably not appreciate us being friends.


  • We are in NYC
  • My boyfriend and I have been dating for four years
  • My boyfriend has cheated on me two years ago (we weren't open then)
  • 3
    Sounds like the "open relationship" rule is that your boyfriend is allowed to cheat (as he did two years ago), but you are not? Open relationship or not, surely a relationship should be one of equals?
    – Baracus
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 22:17
  • 1
    @Baracus You think it is healthy for a relatinship, that if someone makes an honest mistake, that the other partner is allowed to do the same and hurt him as well? That's not how relationships work. If something is taboo and one made a mistake, the other one making the same one helps noone in the long run and only induces hurt feelings and nothing more!
    – MansNotHot
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 8:57
  • 1
    Agreed with @MansNotHot Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 2:40
  • This isn't related to question. Gay is prohibit in our country, so I have very less knowledge about it. You called your partner as boyfriend. So your partner also called you as boyfriend? Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 7:19

2 Answers 2


Just be honest.

If you want to keep going to this café it's likely that you'll keep running into this waiter indefinitely. It will be hard to maintain any story about why you couldn't go out with him after all that is satisfying to him and does not fall apart at some point.

So instead, you can just tell him that you're in an open relationship but your boyfriend is uncomfortable with this specific case and so to preserve your relationship you can't go out with him [the waiter]. That's it!

  • Going to accept this answer even though both answers are pretty similar, just because there is a bit more direction here. Thank you both! Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 2:40

First, question: does the waiter anticipate this is going to be a one night stand or does he think there may be a potential long term thing that could come of it?

I’m sorry to preface with my own two cents, but I think it sort of leads into my answer. I think, given your current position (having made plans and at least part of those plans being sexual in nature), it will be very hard for you to a) cancel this, b) continue going to that cafe, and c) interact with the guy in a strictly platonic, employee/customer manner.

I think you should tell him the truth the same way you told us here. You are in a relationship that you’d like to respect and meeting a guy at the coffee shop and going out with / staying in with him later would not be respecting the relationship. Disclose the open status and your misunderstanding of your boyfriend’s interpretation of “no emotional connection” if you please, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

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