Turning someone down can be hella awkward. No one wants to be mean, right? Most of us go through life trying pretty hard not to hurt other people’s feelings, and we all know that getting rejected never feels good. But you know what feels even worse? Being strung along and holding out hope for something the other person already knows they don’t want.
For example, have you ever told someone that you’re not interested in a romantic relationship “right now”? While you might feel like you’re making it clear that you’re not into them, they might take it to mean you’re not interested right now but could be open to something in the future.
So, really, the kindest thing to do when someone is interested in you but you’re just not feeling it is to turn them down firmly and clearly. Not sure how to do it? Here are seven phrases that can help you get the message across.
1. “I had a good time, but let’s leave it at that.”
2. “Thank you—I’m very flattered—but I’m not interested.”
3. “I think you’re great, but I don’t think we’re a great fit.”
4. “It was nice meeting you, but I didn’t feel a spark.”
5. “I’m sorry, I’m just not interested in seeing you again.”
6. “You’re great, but I’m not looking for a relationship.”
7. “I think we’re in different places and looking for different things right now, so I don’t see it working out.”
It can be really hard to turn someone down, which is probably why ghosting is so popular. But think of it this way: You’re racking up great dating karma by being honest and direct. Wouldn’t you want someone to do that (nicely) for you?
BTW, if things are still pretty casual, it’s totally legit to break it off by text. Don’t let the fear of talking to someone IRL stop you from doing the right thing.
And when you do find someone you click with, make sure you’re using birth control you click with, too.
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