When it comes to dating, one of the most frustrating things is thinking about how to reject someone nicely and in a respectful way.
You’ve been on a couple of dates (or you haven’t even dated) and you’ve realized that you’re not really interested in further dating (or ever dating).
You don’t want to give them false hope and perhaps you would like to stay just friends, right?
Now, how to explain this to a girl or a guy nicely, without breaking up the contact entirely or without sounding like the ultimate asshole?
You don’t want to give them a heartbreak with thoughtless words but you don’t want them to think there is still hope. You need to be realistic and authentic. Easier said than done, right?
I understand you. But, hey, not all hope is lost!
You know what they say: Honesty is the best policy! Here is a list of the most effective texts you can use in accordance with your situation!
Note: Feel free to modify the texts in accordance with your situation or style. Also, make sure to check out a list of essential tips below that will help you master the art of rejecting nicely!
12 Of The Best Message Templates To Help You Reject Someone Nicely
1. “I’m not ready yet”
“Hey (someone’s name). I really enjoyed spending time with you on our first date but I’m afraid I got some bad news.
I want you to know that I’m not ready for a romantic relationship or anything serious yet and that’s why I think it would be wise to stop dating for the time being.
I don’t want you to think that there’s something wrong with you because there isn’t. It’s me.
I’ve got some things to sort out in my head and that’s why I cannot continue dating you. (Once I’m done with it, I’ll definitely let you know.)”
This is a great way to reject someone nicely because the accent is on you and not them.
The other person needs to know that they are not the problem (especially if they are a really nice guy or girl and you want to stay in contact with them).
Also, this text message is great for people who are indecisive (like myself), so I put the last sentence in brackets for that purpose.
If you’re not really sure about rejecting them completely, you can add that last sentence in case you change your mind in the future.
2. “I just want to focus on my studies/work right now”
“Hi (someone’s name). I’m sorry to disappoint you but I think you deserve to know that I can’t really date anyone right now.
I just want to focus on my studies/work at the moment, so I don’t really have time for anything else, which includes dating.
I don’t want to waste your time and that’s why I’m telling you all this in advance. I hope you understand.”
If you’re busy with other things at the moment and you don’t have time for dating or a relationship, you should accentuate that and add that the reason why you’re telling them is that you don’t want to waste their time.
This will show them how considerate and polite you truly are, because you care about other people’s time and feelings.
Also, you can add this at the end of message if you feel like it: I’ve got your phone number, so I’ll make sure to contact you once I free myself from the shackles of obligations.
3. “I’m not the right girl for you”
“I’ve been thinking about telling you this for days and whenever I gathered the courage to do it, something stopped me. So, I’ll be as firm as possible. I just want you to know that I’m not the right girl for you.
At times, I can be really annoying or needy and sometimes I’m also overly excited about stupid things. There are also days when I can’t control myself and I do things on impulse.
I think you should know all this before things get serious.
You might not understand it now but trust me, you’ll thank me later.”
This is the perfect way of telling the other person: It’s not you, it’s me. By adding all those silly things like being annoying or excited about stupid things, you’re making it less serious and therefore, less painful.
The message is catchy and playful and, most importantly, honest to the core.
4. “I don’t think we’re a good match“
“Hi (someone’s name). Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the two of us and I concluded that we’re not really a good match. I’m into rock music, you’re into country. I’m an introvert and you’re an extrovert.
There are plenty of other things we discussed which made me realize that we’re two extremes.
I think you deserve to know how I feel about the whole thing, so I’m letting you know because I don’t want to give you false hope.”
There will be times when you’ll meet someone who is the total opposite of you and when that happens, you shouldn’t pretend you’re okay with it (if you’re not).
If that is the case with you, the best way to reject them nicely is by saying that you’re not a good match.
It’s objective and it’s your personal opinion and they cannot judge you for that or get insulted. They can only appreciate you being honest about it.
5. “Obligations, obligations…”
“Hey (someone’s name). As I’m writing to you, I’m thinking about all the deadlines I need to meet this next month, my two jobs, little sister, pet, you name it.
As you can see, I don’t have time to breathe, let alone spend some quality time with someone and I’m truly sorry for that.
My free time consists of one to two hours in the evening when I turn on the TV and try not to fall asleep while watching something.
I wish we had met earlier or sometime in the near future when I will potentially have more free time but that’s just how things are at the moment.”
If the reason for rejecting someone is your tons of obligation at the moment but you’re interested in hanging out with them at some point in the near future, it’s important you tell them that.
You need to accentuate the fact that you’re interested in hanging out but prevented from doing so at the moment.
6. “Broken-hearted girl/guy”
“I want you to know I have really enjoyed every second of your company but there’s something you need to know about me.
I’m not ready for anything romantic yet because I need more time to heal my wounds from my previous breakup.
I could have continued dating you without telling you anything about it but it wouldn’t be fair toward you.
That’s why I’m telling you honestly that I need more time and space to absorb and accept everything that happened in the past.”
Breakups are tough and it’s always wise to take some time for yourself and heal before jumping into a new relationship.
Also, the other person deserves to know the truth in case they’ve already developed romantic feelings for you.
See also: 20 Things You Must Know To Help Yourself Heal A Broken Heart
7. “I’m only interested in friendship”
“Hey (someone’s name). I was thinking about telling you this earlier but I waited to be sure about it.
I want you to know that I really like you as a person and I’m interested in being friends with you but nothing more than that.
I truly think we have the potential to be good friends but if this is something that’s too hard for you, I totally understand and respect that.”
This one is pretty much self-explanatory.
8. “Lack of chemistry or attraction”
“(Someone’s name), you’re an awesome person and I’m sure you already know that. You’re kind, you’re supportive and you’re fun to hang out with.
However, I’m afraid there’s no real chemistry/attraction between us, which is the essence of every relationship. It would be awesome if we could stay friends though!”
If you notice a lack of chemistry or attraction, this is a serious red flag that they’re probably not a potential partner but just a potential friend.
9. “Travel girl/guy”
“Hey (someone’s name). I’m going on a trip tomorrow/next week, so I’m afraid I’ll be too busy to hang out.
I guess I’m an adventure-seeker and traveling is in my blood (well, my mom told me that), so I hope you understand that and hear from you soon.”
This one’s my favorite. I mean, who could get mad for being rejected by a passionate traveler?
10. “Already dating someone else”
“I think you’re a really nice person but I’ll be straightforward with you: I’m already dating someone else. However, we could definitely stay in touch!
I’m just telling you this because I don’t want to play games with you. I respect you and I think you deserve to know the truth.”
Remember to always tell the other person if you’re already dating someone else because if you don’t, you could risk experiencing some seriously awkward situations (not to mention a broken heart).
11. “I don’t feel the same way”
“You’re a really cool guy/girl and I have enjoyed texting with you/hanging out with you but I need to tell you that I don’t feel the same way about this whole thing.
I rather see you as my big brother/sister/friend and I think you should know that, so that we can avoid any potential awkward situations or disappointments.”
By telling the other person that you don’t feel the same way, you are letting them know that things are not the way they seem.
Sometimes, people tend to overthink and misinterpret some clues, so it’s important to let them know how things stand.
12. “I want you to respect my feelings like I respect yours”
“Hey (someone’s name). I realize that you like me a lot because of all those grand gestures and the way you treat me is truly impressive. I respect your feelings but I need you to respect mine, too.
I thought I would be able to reciprocate but the more I have spent time with you, the more I have been feeling odd about this whole thing.
I think you’re a great person and I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me. I respect your feelings and I hope you’ll respect mine as well.”
Mutual respect is one of the most powerful things when it comes to friendships, relationships or dating. Seeking it from the other person is one of the best ways to reject someone nicely and politely.
How To Reject Someone Nicely: 6 Essential Tips
Because just randomly picking one message template is not enough! Here are some things you should pay attention to that will help you reject someone in a polite way:
1. Be honest with yourself (and them)
Before deciding to reject someone, I suggest first asking yourself whether this is exactly what you want at the moment.
Doing something on impulse is the biggest shortcut to regret, so you need to be completely honest with yourself before deciding to do anything about it.
Think about all the pros and cons of dating them (or being with them in a relationship). This will help you see the bigger picture and it will help you figure out what you really want.
Write down your thoughts on a piece of paper to put them in a tangible form and make them more clear.
If you still want to reject that someone after you’ve done all that, then keep in mind that you should be honest with them about the real reason why you don’t want to date/continue dating them or be with them.
In other words: Just tell the truth but in a nice, polite way.
Also, keep in mind that the worst thing you could do is break up with someone or stop hanging out with them for no specific reason, just to find out that you made a mistake.
2. Prepare yourself for every possible outcome
The essence of learning how to reject someone nicely lies in the ability to prepare yourself for every possible outcome. By outcome, I mean their reaction to your statement.
Not all of us are that good at accepting refusal. Some people will get offended even if you reject them in the most polite way possible and there’s nothing you can do about it.
So, the best thing to do is prepare yourself for such a situation and think in advance about how you’re going to react if something like that happens.
You don’t want to lose your cool and start saying things you don’t really mean just because their reaction forces you to do so (and you don’t want to involve their friends or family members in it).
You want to avoid any potential awkwardness and you want to do the rejecting thing in a nice way. So, no matter what happens, don’t overreact or overthink. Stay polite and stick to what you really want and mean.
Also, remember that even the worst outcome is still better than ghosting.
3. Do it in person (if you can)
If there’s one thing I hate most about these modern times, it’s a lack of face-to-face communication; we do everything via social media and texting.
Honestly, I am waiting for the day when being ‘in a social media relationship’ will become legit.
So, please, do the rejection thing in person (if you can, of course). If not, then send it as a text.
The reason why it’s better to do it face-to-face is because the other person can see your genuine facial expressions and see whether you’re being honest with them. That effect is hard to achieve via a text message.
People tend to overthink things because they can’t hear the tone of your voice and they can’t see your face and therefore they cannot know for sure whether you’re being honest with them.
I understand that doing it in person requires more courage than doing it via text message but the effect is not the same and that’s a fact.
4. Avoid putting blame on the other person
If there’s one thing you should definitely avoid doing, it’s putting blame on the other person, like with something like this: I don’t want to date you because you drink/curse too much.
This type of statement is a direct attack on a person and you would want to avoid doing that at all costs.
You don’t want to make the person feel bad about the whole thing. You want them to understand what you’re trying to say to them and how you feel about it instead of blaming them for it.
Just imagine if someone told you that they didn’t want to date you because you drink too much. You would instantly feel insulted and start thinking that it’s none of their business if you drink too much, right?
Judging and gossiping are two of the most toxic things in the world and they never have a positive outcome.
Now imagine that someone said to you they don’t want to date you because they don’t think you’re a good match.
It’s neutral, polite and it’s really hard to get offended by a statement like that. And that’s the effect you need to achieve when rejecting someone nicely!
5. Don’t wait for a right time to do it
I understand that you will have a hard time gathering the courage to reject them but there is never a right time to end things with someone.
You might think that if you postpone it until tomorrow, next week or next month, things will be different. But they won’t.
The longer you wait to do something, the more you’re anxious about doing it (definitely speaking from experience). So, don’t wait for a right time to do it because the right time doesn’t exist.
The right time is now. You can never know what’s going on in that person’s life at the moment, so how can you know when it is the right time for them? You cannot know, right?
So, one of the best expert tips out there is the following: Waiting for the right time to do something will only result in prolonging it.
And prolonging it means giving them false hope when they could’ve started dating someone else instead and moved on.
Don’t wait for the right time to do it but just do it! (As Nike would say.)
6. Don’t sugar-coat it
If you’re one hundred percent sure about rejecting them, then don’t sugar-coat things, aka giving them false hope.
If you know that you don’t want to date them ever again, don’t make them think that you might reach out to them at some point in the near future.
They deserve to be told the truth in a nice way. You should avoid playing mind games with them because if you do, they will continue living in an illusion, still thinking that things are just fine.
Instead, you should learn how to reject someone nicely and honestly.
As already said: Honesty is the best policy
Rejecting someone is one of the hardest things to do but it’s necessary for both your happiness and the other person’s. If you feel like it’s something you should do, you shouldn’t prolong it any further.
Telling them how you feel about the whole thing will make you feel better and it will be beneficial for both of you in the long run. Everyone deserves to be happy and sometimes rejection is the first step toward it.
See also: 9 Signs He Likes You (But He Is Afraid Of Rejection)