A. First, let me convince you that approaching this right (or at least my version of "right") - even if it's awkward or anxiety-provoking - is absolutely crucial. You like him and are excited to spend time with him, but you have certain needs that don't completely mesh with his. This is the Super Bowl of boundary-setting, with great opportunities to assert yourself, rise above black-and-white thinking, and open yourself up to honest and respectful communication in order to get your needs met. Done right, it will help you get even closer.
Ditch the false dichotomy that either you should want to sacrifice your work for someone on a daily basis or you're not into them. You can even tell him how you were hesitant to turn these daytime dates down - not just because you don't want to disappoint him but also because you really do like spending time with him. Emphasize the bottom line: Your work style just can't accommodate it - but you have X, Y and Z suggestions about what to do next on a weekend or evening.
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A. Ah, the old "I'll storm off and silent-treatment you for weeks, but then pretend like nothing happened, even though I'm fooling no one and am in reality just trying to gain power in the situation" type. (Love these people!)
So, she didn't get a full apology from you, even if it was due to her own storming off - but that's still justification for trying to apologize fully one last time. It will be awkward (today's theme!), but it will also fight the perpetuation of this dynamic of not talking about difficult things. Be the example of respectful, honest communication - and trust that if she storms off anew, at least you've chosen to be the adult.
Bonior, a Washington, D.C.-area clinical psychologist, writes a weekly relationships advice column in The Washington Post’s Express daily tabloid and is author of “The Friendship Fix.”