Tonight, I was asked to put this scenario before you in order to get feedback.
Man: (hangs head) I got turned down by someone. I was interested in her and thought I was going about it the right way, however, through a friend I heard that she was a bit unsure of my intentions. So, I decided to make them known.
Me: And she turned you down?
Man: Well, she sort of freaked out and gave me the "friend" spiel.
Me: (eyes wide) Oh, no. I'm so sorry. ... (pause) ... may I ask how old she was? 19 ... 20?
Man: (a bit nervous ... had I guessed her identity) What?!
Me: (Content with that answer) Well, I only asked because that's the sort of reaction I would have given when I was 19/20.
Me: (continued ...) At that age it wouldn't have mattered how absolutely amazing you are. I would be just so unsure about so many things in life that I'd be more comfortable with not thinking about you in a complex way.
Man: So how should I respond?
Me: Well, when you let your intentions be known you obviously had planned on investing a lot of time and energy into making this relationship go somewhere, yes? Is it worth maintaining a friendship with her when you know there will be no return? You could always stick around and be her pal and bring it up again later ... but if that's too painful for you or you see it as a waste of time, just let her go.
Man: So, I should say (tongue in cheek) "Sorry, your loss."?
Me: Ha ha ... well, to put it more tactfully, you could say ...
How should he respond?