How to Say “I’m Not Interested”: A Guide for All Occasionsby Chiara Atik on January 26, 2011
Oh, rejecting someone is the worst part of dating! Some of us are mature and straightforward enough to tell someone plainly that we aren’t interested. Some of us…aren’t.
In a perfect world, everyone would be imbued with the capability of gracefully telling a prospective suitor “Thanks, but no thanks.” in a kind and gentle manner. But this isn’t a perfect world, and sometimes we’re forced to choose between mature and effective.
Whatever the situation is, we’ve culled together exit strategies for everyone, whether you’re an upfront person, or have a more roundabout way of dealing with things. Straightforward is better, guys! Straightforward is always better! But you do what you gotta do.
The Scenario: You’re at a party, having a great conversation with someone of the opposite sex. You’re laughing! You’re having fun! You’re not interested. Suddenly, you realize that they seem just a little too engaged in the conversation: friendly has veered into flirtation. You better nip it in the bud before giving the wrong impression.
Casually mention a significant other, because you have one.
Casually mention a significant other, because you made one up. Ok, not super mature. But at least they’ll know exactly where things stand.
Bring up someone you’re interested in. It’s hard to do this seamlessly, so chances are they’ll know exactly what you’re doing here. Not necessarily a bad thing.
Bring up a single friend. “You know, I think you’d really get along with my friend _______.” sends a clear “not me!” signal.
Be as gracious and pleasant as you can, making sure there is absolutely no reciprocation of flirtation on your part.
The Scenario: You’re at a bar, about to leave. Someone you’ve had a polite conversation with asks for your number, and says they’d love to see you again.
Simply say “No, I don’t think so.” If you really don’t like them, and don’t mind being blunt.
Give your email instead, if it’s someone you’d like to keep in touch with, but not necessarily date.
Give your work card, but warn that you’re pretty swamped lately, if you aren’t interested but don’t feel like you can flat out reject.
The Scenario: You get a text or email inviting you to get a drink from someone you vaguely know, either professionally or through friends (aka someone you are going to see again).
Say ‘Sure!” and schedule it for early evening, making it clear you have somewhere to be right after, and do your best to keep it friendly.
Say “Sure! But I feel like I should tell you, I like you as a person and as a friend, but I’m not interested in anything more.” and don’t let yourself think about their horrified reaction.
Say “Actually, not sure that’s a good idea, but hopefully I’ll see you soon at the next [wherever you guys see each other].
The Scenario: You went on a date and it was…….fine. But clearly not going anywhere. And you don’t want a second.
At the end of the date, say “I think you’re awesome, but I’m just not feeling it.”
The next day, say “I think you’re awesome, but I’m just not feeling it.
At the end of the day, say, “That was fun!” and then slowly fade away by never responding to subsequent phone calls, texts or emails. NOT a mature, adult way to handle things (though, sadly, shamefully, who hasn’t done this?)