Being asked out is always a compliment. Whether or not you are interested in the person doing the asking, it always means that someone out there thinks you’re worth risking potential humiliation for, and they still selected you out of everyone else they could have chosen.
While it is certainly a very flattering gesture though that doesn’t stop it from also being highly stressful if you need to reject them and tell them you’re not interested. This means taking the compliment and throwing it back in that earnest person’s face and potentially hurting their feelings by letting them know you don’t feel the same way. At the same time it can sometimes be even worse – say for instance if you actually know the person prior to having to reject them meaning that you will have to encounter them again and meaning that you are hurting the feelings of a friend (this also means that you can’t lie about your reasons for rejecting them as they will know that you made up the excuse). In some cases you might be rejecting someone after you’ve already been on several dates and doing this of course makes it much more difficult as you’ve got to know the person (which also means your criticism (implied through breaking up) is more personal).
So how do you go about rejecting a guy without hurting his feelings too much? Here we’ll look at some of the aspects to consider when trying to let a guy down gently.
First of all you need to decide if you want to lie to protect the person’s feelings or if you want to tell the truth. Of course lying means that you can say that you can’t go out with the person in question because you are already in a relationship or because you have just broken up out of a serious one and this can be a tactful method in some cases that places the blame squarely off of your suitor’s shoulders. However the first downside of this method is that it won’t always be feasible as in some cases you will know the person asking you out and they will know that you are single and haven’t been in any recent relationships.
Another problem with lying is that they can conceivably find out, or they may at least not find your lie to be particularly convincing. If you are the sort of person who doesn’t like lying – or isn’t very good at it – then you might want to consider a different route.
If you do want to lie, then some useful excuses to consider are:
• I just got out of a long term relationship and am not ready for a real relationship
• You look too much like my brother
• I’m going out with someone
• I’m not allowed to date outside my culture
• I’m going through some issues at the moment
• I’m into women
Be careful with the options such as ‘going through some issues’ or ‘just came out of a long term relationship’ however, as if they are persistent and a little thick skinned then they might see this as an acceptable reason to try again at a later date when you’re ‘over’ it.
If you do need to tell the truth however then there are ways and ways of going about this and some methods will certainly help you to soften the blow.
Think about the genuine reason you have for not wanting to go out with them – perhaps they just aren’t your type, perhaps they’re too close friends and you think it would be awkward, perhaps you just aren’t attracted to them, or perhaps they have some serious character defect that means you can’t imagine dating them. In most cases they deserve to know the truth and telling them shows that you respect them. But think about how to word it and remember to throw in some compliments along the way – like a sugar pill to help them swallow the bad news. For instance if you don’t find them attractive:
‘I’m sorry but I just don’t see you that way/you’re not my type/I only really date rugby players/Italian guys/older men/younger men’ followed by ‘but you’re a really sweet and good looking guy, whoever says yes will be a very lucky girl’.
If you wanted to make it even sweater then you could even offer to set them up with a friend of yours which could be seen as a ‘consolation’ prize. This way you could also cement the fact that they’re just not your type – but that you still recommend them to other people.
Alternatively if it’s the character defect you can again sugar coat this as being something that just doesn’t work in that situation. For instance:
‘I’m sorry but you’re so energetic/quiet/noisy/sarcastic/party-oriented/obsessed with football and I’m so quiet/noisy/reclusive/immature/sensitive just don’t think it would work out between us. But you’re a lovely guy and there are plenty of girls who would kill to go out with you.’
Again what you’re doing here is emphasising the fact that it’s the unique combination of that guy and you that doesn’t work – as opposed to their being something wrong with just them. This isn’t lying as the reality really is that we are far more matched to some people than others and while there’s someone out there for everyone, other people just don’t go together.