How to let someone down gently?

So, I recently moved to a new city and decided to check out the online dating scene to meet people outside my school. I met several guys, and went of several dates with 3 of them. One of them sort of fell off my radar a few weeks ago, and of the other two one is serious (let's call him Tom) and the other not so much (let's call him Joe).

I don't want to lead on Joe, and I want to be exclusive with Tom... but Joe is a really nice guy and I would love to remain friends. We've been going on dates for over a month, very casually, and the vibe is already just like we're friends, so I'm not sure if I have to make it clear or not. My natural instinct is to avoid any conversation that could be awkward, but I don't want to potentially hurt the guy if he has it in mind that there's more than friendship in the cards.

I've never done any online dating before, and I only dated so many because I assumed the vast majority would be duds, I didn't imagine meeting more than one great person!

Updates:
Ok, to clarify: my online dating ad did say I was hoping to make new friends here, not just dating, and "Joe" has never made a move, kissed me goodnight, or really so much as touched me, which is why I can't help but think he has friendship in mind.

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What Guys Said 1

  • He is on the website to find someone, not to make friends. If you don't want to be in a relationship with him than say so! He is wasting time with you. you are hurting him everyday you go on a date with him and have no interest in him. You are just going to hurt him more when he realizes for the past month you had no interest in him and had your eyes on *Tom. Stop playing games, he doesn't want to be your friend.

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