How to Let Women Down Easy on Dating Sites if You Are Not Attracted Physically

by Anthony Oster

Online dating is becoming a mainstream way to meet people. While it can give you a chance to meet women that you may not run across in your traditional social circles, you also run the risk of attracting attention from women you are not physically attracted to. While many dating sites give you the option to list preferences and screen out women who do not meet your personal preferences, little is in place to stop women from contacting you. Letting these women down easily and tactfully provides closure to their inquiry and gives them time to pursue other, more interested parties.

Be honest and brief. Avoid dragging out your explanation or explaining that she is not your physical type. Make a statement such as, "Thank you for contacting me, but I'm not interested. Best of luck!" If she presses for information about why you have refused her advance, look for an attribute on her profile, such as her religious preference, activity level or reading interests, to cite as a potential reason for not indulging her on a date. "I'm sorry, but our political views are just too different," comes across less harsh than, "I'm sorry, but I'm just not attracted to you."

Use the automated "Thanks, but no thanks" services offered by your dating site. Research conducted in 2010 by Stephanie Tong and Joseph Walther at Michigan State University suggests that users of dating sites are more likely to utilize canned responses when refusing a dating advance than writing a personal rejection letter. While this method is impersonal, the canned messages are typically benign and unoffensive.

Don't say anything at all. Although this method doesn't do the job of letting the woman down directly, your lack of a response will send the message that you are not interested. Individuals are more likely to not send a refusal message if they do not anticipate interacting with the interested person in real life, suggest the Tong and Walther study. Though this tactic is not impolite, be warned it also does not send a clear message that you are uninterested and may give the impression to the sender that you may at some point reply.

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  • Politeness goes a long way when sending a rejection. Don't say anything to a woman that you would not want said to you.

About the Author

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.

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