How to Turn Down a Date Politely

Written by remy lo
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How to Turn Down a Date Politely
You don't have to be rude when rejecting someone. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

While much attention is given to how to secure a date by professionals, not as much focus is placed on the other side of dating; turning down someone. For anyone who is considerate of another’s feelings, it can be uncomfortable to give a ruthless rejection to someone seeking your company. Since there is a fine line between being rude and being firm when turning down someone for a date, injecting sensitivity helps make the process easier.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Thank the individual for there time. One of the best ways to start of a statement when turning down a date is to reply to them in a response that begins with “thank you but I don‘t think we should continue seeing each other.” Or say something like, “I appreciate the offer but I just don‘t think we connected.” Taking the time to let someone know you are flattered helps them keep their esteem somewhat intact and save face.

  2. 2

    Point out positive points first. When you have already went out on a date with someone or you spend lots of time with them, saying that you enjoyed some aspects of your time together will help soften the blow when turning them down. For instance saying that you had fun with someone but you are looking for something different can be a positive way to let them down easily.

  3. 3

    Make a personal appearance. Avoid turning down someone through a friend or in a way that puts them on edge. Preferably, a turn down should happen in person or on the phone. Posting to the person’s public page on social networking sites or intentionally trying to embarrass them can have numerous negative implications. Turning someone down in person gives them resolute closer and also shows the confidence to say no to their face.

  4. 4

    Tell as much of the truth as possible without giving specific details. Saying that you are looking for a more serious relationship, or someone with there head on straight, or even a person who lives on their own can be harmful to your cause. False hope can sometimes derive from giving someone specifics when turning them down. This can mean that they come back when they feel like they have achieved what you are looking for in the future. Try giving truth while remaining somewhat vague so that the person has a reason to move on.

  5. 5

    Show some empathy. Without seeming as if you are too heartbroken, letting someone who you are turning down know that you understand no one likes rejection can show sympathy. Letting them know you hold no ill will towards them can also be helpful when giving them the axe.

Tips and warnings

  • Taking some time to affirm that the person you are turning down understands what you are saying can help your message to sink in quickly. Saying “I just don’t feel the chemistry there with us, you understand” can also give them a way to agree with the situation seamlessly.

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