How to Reject a Guy Without Hurting His Feelings

It’s happened: The guy in whom you have no interest is standing before you waiting to hear if you’ll go out with him. Here's how to reject a guy - politely.

Love or attraction is really just about finding someone who you have a genuine two way connection with, but for many it becomes about feeling judged if the person they have found does not feel that connection with them. Rather than seeing it as a lack of connection, or a need to learn to communicate better (as this is essential for anyone to be seen and loved), many people berate themselves for having an “unlovable personality.

So, is there a way of letting them know you aren’t interested without hurting their feelings? Well, ultimately, how they feel is up to them, but there are certainly ways of easing the blow. Here’s how to reject a guy, without making him feel (too) bad.

#1 First Rule First

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Even if someone is an assh*le, boring as anything, or simply just not your cup of tea, it’s better to act in a way you would be proud of, not in a way that mirrors their personality. Act in a way you’d be happy about even if you have to see the guy every day for the rest of your life. In other words: Treat thy neighbor as you’d treat yourself.

A good way to be able to do this is to keep in mind that everyone has a heart even if their behavior does not mirror it.

#2 Second Rule Second

Don’t lead people on. It’s not polite to flirt with people who you don’t really want to flirt with. You can be flirtatious with the waiter or the playboy who doesn’t really care if he gets you or the next girl – someone who understands that flirting is just flirting.

When it comes to people who might consider flirting to be more than just flirting, like a co-worker or your neighbor, it’s not appropriate to lead them on. If they see you regularly, they might develop feelings for you. Rather keep your flirting to random strangers and people you are actually serious about. Similarly, if someone is interested in you but you don’t feel the same way, make it clear to them as soon as possible.

Complimenting someone isn’t being flirtatious – compliment people to your heart’s desire, but don’t use sexual nuances in your compliments.

#3 General Rules

Handsome blonde man sitting in outdoor cafe listening to his girlfriend

Unless it’s after a first date, don’t dump someone by text message.

Be honest, but don’t be mean. Always remember that you are talking to someone who has a heart.

Always be polite and as nice as possible. Compliment someone’s good sides.

Never say, “It’s not you; it’s me.”

Don’t say anything that will leave the other person with false hope, such as: “The time just isn’t right now; maybe in a couple of months,” or, “I still have feelings for my ex; maybe when I’m over him I will be more ready for a relationship.”

Don’t go on a date and then sit bored staring into air. If someone’s making an effort to be there to meet you, be respectful enough to engage in the conversation whether you find the other person interesting or not. There’s nothing worse than being rejected by someone who makes a point of showing just how much they dislike your company.

#4 The Not So Interesting Meeting

If someone chats you up in a social setting, or you just randomly end up next to someone and more or less have to make conversation and you know you aren’t interested, then there are polite ways to end the conversation.

A simple, “Lovely to meet you, but I want to get back to my friends now/circulate the room/go make a phone call” usually works. To be even more polite, wish them luck with whatever you have been talking about and tell them to have a nice evening. Say something like, “So nice to meet you, but I need to get back to my friends now,” or “Good luck with the acting job and I hope you have a lovely evening – looks like this place is starting to heat up now. Enjoy.”

If you meet someone who you want to be friends with, but whom you know you don’t want to date, the sooner you turn it into a friendship, the better. Sneak in comments about who you are in love with, or that they seem like someone who can become “your brother from another mother,” or simply ask them what their dating type is and then go onto explaining yours (which presumably is nothing like them).

Some people do end up offended being friend-zoned,but if you like them but don’t want to date them, that’s inevitable. There’s not much you can do to prevent that apart from dating them, which you don’t want to. The one thing you can do is throughout it compliment them – that will remove the blow of you not wanting to date them. And I mean a few compliments throughout the conversation, not as an “apology.”

#5 The Not So Interesting Date

Whether you have meet someone online who isn’t so great in reality, or you meet them in the local pub but are less enthused at second sight, there are ways to go about the date to make it pleasant enough.

Even if the guy you have ended up on a date with proves to be nothing to your liking, there is no reason to downplay them. If they are degrading you, you can simply tell them to stop and walk away, but if they are simply not for you, do your best to keep the conversation flowing and be polite. Maybe they are nervous. Maybe they are having a bad day. Some people go over the top to be impressive (read: sounding like egotistical jerks) when they’re nervous, while others say the most boring things because they simply can’t think straight.

Try to make the atmosphere more relaxed by joking and talking about things that they’re comfortable talking about. Compliment them (genuinely) and respect that they are trying their best – even if what they are providing is not at all what you are looking for.

Instead of focusing on how the date is a mistake, see it as a challenge to try and bring out their heart in the conversation. Sometimes you might even find another side to the person and, even if you aren’t attracted to them, find you start to enjoy their company. Remember that you can learn something from everyone.

Whatever you do: If you don’t like someone, don’t flirt with them. Don’t lead them on. Be friendly, but avoid flirtation. What hurts the most is if people feel “played.” Then they start feeling not only rejected, but that they can’t trust their own judgment, or that women are purposefully misleading them. Friendly but reserved tends to work.

By the end of the date, thank them for making the effort to see you – thank them for their time. After all, they came there hoping they would find something, too. If it doesn’t work out that way, they will be as disappointed as you are.

#6 Let Them Down Easy

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When the “next day text/call” arrives (if it does), then be honest. There are some different variations of a theme:

“Thank you so much for the date, I enjoyed it. I didn’t feel like we clicked like a couple, but I’d love to get to know you better as a friend. Maybe we could grab a coffee next week? Would you be up for that?”

“Thank you for the date. I don’t really think we clicked, sadly, but I appreciate you coming out to see me and had a good evening, thank you.”

If someone tries to be friends with you and you don’t want that, just tell them that you didn’t think the two of you had clicked. Even though they seem like a lovely person, personal chemistry is important for you, and you simply didn’t feel that the two of you had it. Maybe you are going through a funny phase, but you’d still prefer not to pursue a friendship.

#7 The Not So Interesting Fling

Sometimes when we meet someone, we may feel an instant attraction.That doesn’t necessarily mean that we are attracted to all of them. We might just be physically attracted to them, or they mentally stimulate us and make us laugh. We might have gone through a period of upheaval and need a hug… Whatever it is, it makes us want them, but as time goes by we realize that the attraction is not enough to form a solid relationship. You might even find you really don’t like them.

Honesty is usually the best policy forward. Don’t suddenly start dodging messages; rather be upfront about it. Meet them in person and say that you feel you’ve had a nice time together but you’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t want to turn it into something serious. If they ask why, just tell them love is funny – you enjoy their company, but you just don’t feel you are a good match. It doesn’t click for you. If you want to continue being friends, say so, but, of course, also say that you respect them if they don’t want to.

Whatever the situation is, always try to let the other person down as gently – and respectfully – as possible. Remember, if the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn’t you want to be treated the same way?

About the author

Maria Montgomery

Writer. Social Entrepreneur. Foster mommy (twins). Change maker. Foodie. Health freak. Nature lover. Creative nutcase. Blogger (Confessions of a Dizzy Blonde). A friend of mine once described me by saying “One minute she’s like the Dalai Lama, the next a dizzy blonde” and maybe that does sum me up…

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