When you’re in the dating scene, you’re likely going to meet a lot of different people. And because this is the way the world works and not everyone likes or has an attraction to every person they meet, you’re occasionally going to have to reject someone at some point down the road.
But the question is…how? Rejecting someone is never easy, unless they did something rude, obnoxious, and/or disrespectful which may warrant a big ole “go kick rocks and never contact me again.”
But what if you’re just not feelin’ it? What if the spark isn’t there; the chemistry? What if you find the person annoying or unpleasant or boring? How do you let someone down in a clear, straightforward, non-offensive way?
I’m not sure you can.
I’m learning there are a few ways to “reject” someone—but I’m still grappling with what the best approach is when I’m faced with this uncomfortable situation. I’ve learned there are four basic approaches, each which has its drawbacks.
This is when you straight disappear and fall off the face of the Earth. You don’t answer calls, you don’t respond to texts or Facebook messages—and as far as the other person thinks, your ass went into the Witness Protection Program.
The problem with this approach: Some people can’t take a hint. Despite your efforts to shut this thing down by ignoring this person’s every attempt at contacting you, they still may try. And that can get ANNOYING. Sometimes it’s better to just rip that Band-Aid straight off instead of slowly and painfully dragging this thing out.
2. The Blatant Lie.
“My cat died.”
“I’ve started seeing someone.”
“I’ve been really sick.”
Liar, liar, pants on fire. This one is pretty straightforward. You make something up in an effort to get out of seeing someone.
The problem with this approach: It’s mean and childish. While I admit that most of these options suck, this one is the ultimate copout, and I fear the Karma Police may come and get you for lying.
3. The Blow-Off.
This is when you don’t actually say no to a date, but you definitely don’t say yes either. You avoid the situation by continuously giving excuses on why you can’t go.
“Ah, this week isn’t good for me—work is crazy!”
“I have something on the calendar EVERY weekend this month. Rain check!”
The problem with this approach: See #1. People don’t always take a hint. And if you keep giving excuses instead of saying you aren’t interested, you might continue to be asked out. How long is this game gonna go on?
4. Good Ol’ Honesty.
Quite frankly, it’s the one everyone should be using—but coincidentally, it’s the hardest. This is when you spell out for someone that you are not interested. It doesn’t have to be harsh, but it does need to be concise. Maybe you’ll give a reason, maybe you won’t. But you rip that Band-Aid RIGHT off, stop delaying the process, and just give ’em a straight NO.
The problem with this approach: Let’s be honest; feelings can get hurt. In options 1-3, you’re either being shady and/or MIA or maybe just confusing and ambiguous. But you aren’t telling another human being that you’re not into them. And sometimes—not all times—people can get all butthurt and might have a negative reaction to your blunt rejection.