Getting asked out is the best feeling in the world. Correction, getting asked out is the best feeling in the world when it’s someone you actually like. When it’s someone you don’t like, however, the situation can quickly turn awkward, with you floundering for a reasonable excuse to say no.
So why bother taking the nice girl’s route of turning someone down? Because the alternative is so unpleasant. Nice girls want to spare the guy hurt feelings, potentially keep their friendship, and give a well thought-out rejection that leaves everyone looking and feeling respected.
And for the rest of us? Our blunt but honest ways land us guys who argue against any reason we’ve got, and we get left looking like giant a-holes while being called sluts behind our backs. In the words of The Lion King’s Scar, “Life’s not fair, is it?”
How nice girls let him down easy
Regardless, it can be hard to wrangle an excuse when you’re on the spot. Somehow, “You bore me to death,” or “I am thoroughly unattracted to you” just don’t make the cut of polite ways to turn a guy down. So, nice girls, we’re giving you 9 failsafe tips on how to turn down a guy without seeming like a bitch.
#1 The easy way out. In life, there are rare moments when you can say that there is actually an easy way out of a situation. When getting asked out, usually there are only two ways out: the truth or an excuse. However, there are also some pretty legit reasons for your saying, “No Way Jose!” These are your easy ways out of an awkward ask-out.
-You are already seeing someone and it’s serious.
-You live a reasonable distance away from the person asking you out and “can’t do long distance.”
-You are moving far, far away.
Basically, that’s it! While he may still try to prod to some extent, usually, these three will do the trick. For those who are free, single, and not looking to move any time soon, the rest of these nice girl excuses are all yours! [Read: The 20 most creative excuses for getting out of a date]
#2 The standard line for rejecting a guy. The typical line for turning down men politely usually goes a little something like this: “Wow! I’m really flattered, but I just don’t see you in that way. I hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings. Your friendship means a lot to me, so I hope that we can still keep hanging out.”
Basically, “Nah, but can we still be friends and pretend like this never happened? K Thx.” The problem? Men don’t like to take no for an answer. If you say let’s be friends, he may translate that to “I don’t like you now, but maybe after a little more time I will.”
This method is also admittedly a little tired. Let’s face it, you’ve probably been using it since high school! The message is all there, but there’s definitely a better, or a more honest way of expressing yourself. [Read: 12 of the worst ways to break up with someone who loves you]
#3 Don’t explain yourself. Sometimes, the ways nice girls handle themselves is by being perfectly clear and just saying no. No is a clear and concise response that dually leaves little, yet so much to the imagination. Remember, if you don’t want to explain your reasoning for turning the poor guy down, or can’t think of a polite way to do so, don’t! He’s not your mommy, and he doesn’t need the 411 on why you’re saying no.
#4 Nip it in the bud. If you smell a crush-reveal forthcoming, try and nip it in the bud before anybody ends up embarrassed! For example, if you feel like your friend in question is on the verge of revealing his feelings, start talking to him like one of the guys. Tell him how you’re dating, talk about your ex a lot, or use your charming wit to tell him that if another guy asks you out, your head is going to explode. Basically, anything that will send the hint his way NOT to say anything. [Read: 10 tips for setting boundaries with difficult people]
#5 Try not to hurt his feelings. For nice girls, it’s important not to be cruel or needlessly blunt when turning down your fella. Don’t find him attractive? That doesn’t mean you have to laugh in his face and call him ugly.
The truth is, sparing someone’s feelings is one of the biggest concerns women have when they’re turning someone down. After all, rejection sucks, whether you’ve known someone for ten days or ten years! But to be honest, you should never mistake having compassion with responsibility. It’s sweet that you don’t want to hurt his feelings, but that doesn’t mean you owe him anything.
#6 Tell him you’re not interested in dating ATM. Don’t say this unless it’s absolutely true. Otherwise, when you do get a boyfriend, your reject will be sure to throw it in your face that he thought you “weren’t interested in having a boyfriend, you lying liar.” Definitely a bad scene. If it’s true, however, you’re golden!
#7 Let him know that you’re dating other people and it just got serious. One bonus of the digital age is that at any given time, you could be dating a bunch of people at once. If this is the case for you, turn your guy down with the classic “it’s not you, it’s me!” line. Let him know that while you think he’s a great guy, you’ve been seeing someone else and it JUST got serious. Whoops, sorry dude, but thanks! [Read: 20 texting etiquette tips & tricks for classy dating]
#8 Explain that you just don’t feel a connection. Do you have a giant passion for travel, music, business, or some other hobby that absolutely *must* be reciprocated in a relationship? Let him know in your rejection that while you’re flattered, you need someone who is as genuinely passionate about *insert hobby here* as you are. Just don’t let him take this as a hint to purposely do what you like to do.
#9 After rejection footnotes. After you’ve pulled off the perfectly polite rejection, don’t start avoiding him like the plague, especially if you were friends beforehand. Yeah, it’s awkward, but the sooner you get back to hanging out, the sooner things can go back to *quasi* normal. [Read: How to break up with a guy without a messy struggle]
In the end, nice girls can say no, too! Besides, wouldn’t you rather suffer through a slightly awkward conversation about shooting the guy down than suffer through the date from hell *and potential pity-date repeats*? Point proven, oh-so-politely.
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Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...
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