Give up the ghost: 9 ways to say you're not interested

Getting ghosted sucks. One day, the person you’re into just stops responding to messages. You’re left hanging, wondering what the hell happened.

But when you’re the one who doesn’t want to move forward, it can feel easier to fall off the face of the earth and skip an awkward convo. Maybe that’s why so many of us do it, even though doing the ghosting doesn’t feel good either.

The next time you’re tempted to ghost, try one of these lines instead.

After getting flirty

You’ve exchanged a few playful texts with another cute, single person, but you don’t want to move things forward. Take responsibility and keep it brief.

  • “Sorry if I gave you the wrong impression, but can we just be friends?”

  • “Let’s cool it on the flirty texts, but I definitely want to stay friends.”

  • “I know we’ve been flirty, but I don’t want to take things to the next level.”

After a date or two

Whether you met on Tinder or through a friend, the first date was just okay and you don’t want to keep seeing this person. Try this fill-in-the-blank text (yep, you’re allowed to text), or one of these lines.

  • “It was great meeting you, but I’m not interested in taking things further.”

  • “We don’t have the romantic buzz I’m looking for.”

  • “Dinner was fun, but I don’t think we click.”

After hooking up

You’ve been intimate, but you don’t want something serious. (BTW, here are our tips for safer hookups.)

  • “I’m not looking for a relationship.”

  • “I don’t want to be intimate again, but I do want to be friends.”

  • “I enjoyed our hookup (obv), but let’s keep things casual.”

If you’ve made it clear that you’re not into it and they aren’t taking no for answer, it’s okay to cut off contact. You shouldn’t feel any pressure to flirt, go out, or hookup again if it’s not what you want. Calling it quits on a more serious relationship? We have advice for that, too.

Whatever you choose to say, don’t wait too long. The more time that passes, the closer you get to ghosting—or accidentally benching someone. One last word of advice: only suggest a friendship if you truly want one.

Be safe and be kind,

P.S. Still need to sign up for 2017 health coverage? We’re hosting a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, December 21, at 3pm ET, to answer all your burning questions about sexual health and health insurance.

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