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How to Nicely Reject a Guy After the First Date

by Christie Hartman, studioD

Most women know how unpleasant rejection feels. However, rejecting a guy when you know he’s interested in a second date isn’t all that fun either. This is especially true when you honestly think he’s a great guy, but you just aren’t feeling a romantic connection. To make sure he really understands you aren’t interested in going out again – but in a kind way – it’s important to follow a few rejection guidelines.

Avoid Mixed Messages

Sometimes, women have trouble making it clear they aren’t interested in a guy. When he calls or asks for another date, they avoid the calls, make excuses (such as “I’m busy with work”), or give other mixed messages. This only confuses men. If you aren’t interested in another date, it’s kinder to be 100% clear about that right away instead of stringing him along. You can say something like, “You’re a cool guy, but I don’t think we’re a match.” Despite being rejected, most men will appreciate knowing exactly where they stand.

Don’t Say, “Let’s Be Friends”

When rejecting a guy after a first date, some women will say, “I don’t see this going anywhere, but I’d like us to be friends.” That's a mistake. While offering friendship seems nice in theory, men rarely appreciate it. He took you out because he’s interested in dating you, not acquiring another friend, and he knows you’re more interested in letting him down easy than in real friendship. Thus, unless you already know him and friendship is a possibility, resist the temptation to make the offer.

Don't Point Out His Flaws

No matter what, once you’ve told a guy you aren’t interested in another date, never tell him why you aren’t interested, even if he asks. Your lack of interest is good enough reason by itself. Elaborating on the fact that he talked too much or that he isn’t your type implies that there’s something wrong with him, which only makes him feel worse. After all, another woman might like whatever you found unattractive in him.

Be the Right Kind of Nice

In many cases, women will make these kinds of mistakes because they’re trying not to hurt the man's feelings. Instead, what they're doing is making the rejection more unpleasant. If you really want to reject a guy in a nice way after one date, be kind in other ways. For example, you can say, “I really enjoyed hanging out with you” or “You’re really amazing.” Always show gratitude and thank him for the date. He may not get another date, but at least he’ll feel appreciated. However, make sure the statements are genuine; otherwise, they don’t work. If you didn’t like him or had a bad time on the date, you don’t have to make up kind words; sometimes the best thing to say is you don’t think it’s a match and leave it at that.

About the Author

Christie Hartman is a psychologist and author of five dating and relationship books. She has written for several online publications and has been published in numerous scientific journals in the areas of mental health and addiction. Christie earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado.

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