3 Guy-Approved Ways to Turn Down a Date Without Hurting His Feelings


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For Online Daters: Keep Messages Short (or Dont Respond at All)

If most of your dating interactions happen online, things can be a lot different. People online have no idea who you really are, and most people reach out to as many people as they can, so it’s not like they get that invested in you. Because of that, Laurie Davis, an online dating coach and founder of EflirtExpert, suggests ignoring their message completely if you don’t see something you like:

Don’t break up with someone before you’ve even said hello. Unless your match writes a particularly long and thought-out message based on your profile, there’s no need to respond. Engaging in conversation brings false hope and opens the door for a negative conversation about why you’re not interested.

They have probably already moved on to their next match anyway, so why waste both of your time explaining things to them? Of course, if you still want to be nice, there’s nothing wrong with that and there are plenty of ways tell them you’re not interested. The Guyliner at The Huffington Post recommends one of these all-purpose, but kind responses:

“Thanks for the interest. I’m chatting to a couple of other people right now who seem to be more what I’m looking for. Best of luck with your search!”

“I’ve looked at your profile and, while you seem like a really cool guy, I’m not sure we’re a good match, so I don’t think we should go on a date. I don’t want us to waste each other’s time.”

“I’ve kind of got my eye on a certain someone on the site and don’t think it would be fair to date you while I’m still working things out. Hope you find what you’re looking for.”

Now they know the door is closed and you can feel better about not ignoring someone completely.

Treat Them How You Would Want to Be Treated

A direct “no” can sound pretty harsh if it isn’t handled tactfully, so always try to apply the golden rule to these situations. There’s no reason to be offended or act like your disgusted (unless they’re intentionally being offensive or disgusting). It’s flattering to get asked out, so be polite and try to at least show some appreciation for the thought. Remember, it takes a lot of courage to approach someone, especially in person.

Dr Neil Clark Warren, founder of eHarmony, suggests you show them the same respect you would want if the tables were turned. Always keep your tone in mind, stay calm and be gentle, while you also make sure you still sound assured. It comes down to what you say and how you say it.

Lastly, keep the situation to yourself. If you’re in a group situation or share the same friends, don’t tell everyone what happened. If you’ve turned someone down, they already feel rejected and don’t need to add embarrassment to the list.

6. Let them know you’re focusing on other things right now

This is a pretty good ‘excuse’ as it can quite often be truer than you may first think!

It’s a good way of letting someone know that you don’t want to date them, but not because you dislike them!

You can just say that you’re busy with your career, or spend most of your free time doing a hobby.

It’s much nicer than just flat-out rejecting someone because you’re not attracted to them, and it might push you to genuinely spend more time focusing on other things.

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10. Be honest

Of course, straight-up honesty is always a good one.

You can just politely say that you’re not interested, or that you think you’re better off as friends.

It can be a bit brutal, but they might actually appreciate it. It stops them from wondering how you really feel, or being upset if you say you don’t want to date but then get a boyfriend the next week! 

Rejecting somebody and turning down a date can be really tricky, but, most of the time, it’ll end up being fine one way or another.

At the end of the day, do what you’re comfortable with and don’t force yourself into a situation that doesn’t feel right.

It’s much better to feel a bit awkward rejecting someone than agreeing to go on a date with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable or is rude and unpleasant to be around!