10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

You’ve just received a text from someone interested in you⁠—they want to go on a date! Unfortunately, the spark isn’t there for you. Rejecting someone politely and respectfully, especially over text, can be awkward and difficult to do, but we’ve got some helpful tips for you to keep in mind.

Steps

Method 1 of 10: Be tactfully honest.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

Being truthful about your feelings clears the air quickly. Phrase your rejection as politely and respectfully as possible⁠—the other person will appreciate your honesty rather than having to guess at how you feel about them. This reduces the chance that their feelings will be hurt later from false expectations.

  • Instead of just replying with “No” or “No thanks,” try texting “It was so nice meeting you, but I’m just not really feeling a connection” or “i’m sorry, but tbh i just don’t think we’re compatible.”

Method 2 of 10: Get to the point.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

Reduce awkwardness and hurt by keeping it short and sweet. You should word your text as kindly as possible, but let the other person know where you stand sooner rather than later in your response: you don’t want to suggest that you’re open to changing your mind.

  • For instance, instead of starting off with “I think you’re a really nice person and I enjoyed the date a lot,” start off by texting, “Thanks for the date yesterday, but I didn’t really feel a connection.”
  • If you want to be more direct, you could text, “No thanks, I’m not interested.”
  • Compliments (like saying you had a great time or that they’re a great person) can help soothe the other person’s feelings, but try not to front-load them too heavily⁠—you want to avoid giving off the impression that you might be interested in the date.

Method 3 of 10: Be clear and direct.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

You don’t want to send mixed messages and create false hope. It may seem nicer to say you “might” be open to a date or that you are a “maybe”—but you shouldn’t say “maybe” if you mean “no.” It seems cruel to reject a date upfront, but it will only be crueler in the long run if the other person is on a different page and thinks they still have a chance with you⁠, leaving you to break the news to.

  • For example, try not to text things like “I might be down!” or “Maybe some other time?”
  • If you wouldn’t mind hanging out in a platonic sense, you could consider texting something like “I would love to hang out again, but as friends.” This can soften the blow without totally cutting off the connection⁠—but be aware that this is riskier than just offering a plain rejection because it can still lead to incorrect expectations.

Method 4 of 10: Include a compliment.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

This can help the other person feel better about themselves. It might flatter them or boost their confidence, reducing the chance that they’ll take the rejection personally. This will allow you both to minimize any awkwardness and move on.

  • For instance, try texting, “I’m really flattered, but I’m not interested in you in that way” or “I had a wonderful time last night, but I’m looking for something else.”

Method 5 of 10: Explain that you’re busy.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

Giving the other person a reason can ease the pain of rejection. You don’t owe them an explanation, but you could clearly explain that you just don’t have time, or that you’re trying to prioritize other things in life.

  • For instance, you could text, “I’m not interested in dating right now” or “I’m trying to focus on work” or “Sorry, I’m just really busy with school.”
  • Be aware that telling the other person you’re busy is less strong of a no, and might lead them to keep up hope that you’ll be ready go on a date later⁠.

Method 6 of 10: Highlight your differences.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

Incompatibility is a valid reason for rejection. If you let the other person know that you don’t think it’s a good match, they’ll be more likely to understand why you’re rejecting the date. It’s perfectly understandable if someone just isn’t your type.

  • You could try texting, “I don’t think we have enough in common” or “I’m sorry, but I think we’re really different people” or “You’re super cool, but you’re not really my type.”

Method 7 of 10: Friendzone them nicely.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

It’s better to be clear about boundaries than create false hope. Phrase your friendzone as kindly as possible⁠—it’s still a rejection, but this will help the other person appreciate that you’re being upfront about not feeling a romantic connection, instead of sounding vague or stringing them along.

  • For example, try texting, “Let’s hang out as friends instead!” or “I’d love to get to know you better as a friend.”

Method 8 of 10: Let them know you’re already attached.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

Be honest if you’re in a relationship or seeing someone else. This is a straightforward response that makes it totally clear to the other person why you’re not available for a date⁠.

  • For instance, you could say in your text, “I’m talking to someone else right now” or “I’m sorry, but I already have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner.”

Method 9 of 10: Use “I” statements.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

Focus on your own rationale rather than bringing in the other person. This helps prevent the rejection from getting personal and lets them know that it’s not their fault, which can soothe the sting. Don’t blame the other person or point out their flaws; instead, emphasize your perspective.

  • For instance, you could text, “I think you’re cool, but I’m looking for something else right now” or “I see you as a friend, I’m sorry.”
  • Stay away from statements like “You might not be the best match for me.”

Method 10 of 10: Provide a timely response.

10 Polite Ways to Reject a Date Nicely over Text, with Examples

Being ghosted can be confusing and painful. You don’t have to respond instantly, but get back as soon as you can to prevent prolonging the situation⁠—you shouldn’t leave the other person hanging or worse, on read. Though you might be scared to reject the date, ignoring or putting off the rejection can hurt the other person more. Handling it in a timely manner is kinder, more mature, and also saves both of you time.

  • Try to also avoid texting things like “I’ll get back to you” or “Let me think about it” if you already know you’re going to reject them. This might create an unrealistic expectation that you’ll only shatter later.
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