How to Reject Someone Without Being Mean

Finding someone to date is hard, and during a pandemic, it is only harder than before. The hardest part about this endeavor isn’t always find the right person though, but dealing with the rejection. Whether be the rejection you get, or the rejection that you give out, that is usually the hardest part of finding a partner for the long run. 

When it comes to actually rejecting someone, it can be tough. What words to use, what platform or medium to talk to them on, and you’ll obviously be wondering if you are going to hurt their feelings. All of it can be tough, so we put together this guide with some examples, making it as easy as a copy and paste game. 


  • “You seem to be a great person, but I just don’t feel any attraction to you. Im sorry.”
  • “Hey I think you are awesome, I just don’t think the chemistry is there.”
  • “Im sorry to tell you this, but Im not interested in a romantic or sexual relationship with you right now.”
  • “Hey I appreciate your energy and your interest in me, but I’m not looking to date you right now”
  • “I’m not having any feelings for you right now, and if I’ve learned one thing in my past, its to not try to force feelings.”
  • “No thank you, I’m really not feeling it right now.”
  • “Thanks, I’m flattered, but I don’t think we would work out right now.”
  • “I think you’re very attractive, but I’m not interested in a romantic relationship with you right now.”
  • “Ive been talking to someone else for a few weeks now, and I don’t think going out with you would be fair to him or to you. Thank you though!”
  • “Im not interested, and I know how much courage it takes to ask someone out! So thank you, and I hope you have a great day!”

Not all of these are going to fit the mood perfectly, but they are going to give a very direct answer to their very direct question. If there’s anything you can do for someone that you don’t plan on taking out, its being direct and to the point with them. Any beating around the bush is simply you playing games and nothing more than that. They will always appreciate the honesty and the lack of games. 

As we can all attest from a time or two of experience, getting the progress dragged out for a week or two is simply exhausting. If you ask them out and they say something along the lines of “I would love to! Im not free this weekend but sometime next week should work!” And then setting up a time for next week never works, its a process that simply never gets anyone excited for the next time you ask someone out. If you don’t want to go out, simply say that. If you have gone out and you don’t want to go out another time, don’t sugar coat anything. 

Do I Have to Respond?

No, not always. Obviously there’s a level of respect for people we need to maintain with online dating, but that doesn’t mean anyone is obligated to talk to you. Now if you have taken them out a time or two, or vice versa, its only good form to let them know that you’re not feeling it anymore. The best way to approach this one is if you think that they deserve an explanation or at least a message saying you’re out, give it to them. No one understands the situation and the feelings better than you do, so trusting your own git and instinct is the rule of thumb here. 

If you feel like the feeling may be mutual or at least understood already on their end, no reason to pour salt in the hypothetical wound. Most adults are pretty good at reading the room, so unless you were overly flirty on the first date or two, they can understand that it’s not something that you are likely looking into for a further relationship. 

What To Expect 

What should you be expecting after you hit the send button? It really depends on each person. I would say about a third of people simply won’t respond. No more energy being put into you, and rightfully so. You just told them that it’s not going to be a good fit. Another third of people will likely respond with something short with the same amount of enthusiasm that you just gave them. It won’t be them begging you for a second chance to be impressed by them, but rather them thanking you for a fun time and the blunt honesty. Like we’ve mentioned, most grown adults really appreciate the fact that you aren’t toying around with them. 

Then there’s the last third. This last group is going to be the ones that think you messaged them to simply say “please try harder” even though we all know thats not what you meant. When it comes down to it, you never have to message someone you don’t want to, but you sent that rejection message because you want them to know you don’t want to be with them, but respect them enough to at least let them know what you’re feeling. So when they start fighting you on it, or even disagreeing and wanting another chance, simply say this. “Hey (name), I sent you that message because I appreciated you giving it shot, but I respected you enough to let you know I wasn’t feeling it. Please respect that.”

Its direct, to the point, and it lets them know you are for sure. Nothing else to say there. 

If you have experience rejecting people in nice ways, or even getting rejected in nice ways, let us know in the comments below. Sharing is caring in the online dating world, and letting someone else know what worked for you could be a piece of literal life changing advice! 

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