We’ve all been there – maybe it was in person or over the phone, but we’ve heard the question, “Can I take you on a date sometime?” Instantly we panic. How do we let them down gently without sounding like a jerk? Is a friendship possible if we say ‘no’? If we just ghost them out, will that solve the problem? Let’s look at some ways to speak your mind confidently without sacrificing kindness.
The man’s goal in asking us out is for us to say ‘yes’. When it doesn’t work out that way – they may be pretty bummed or upset, but that’s okay. It’s not our job to say ‘yes’, or come up with an elaborate story of why we’re unable to go – in order to make the situation less awkward. We have just as much of a right to politely say ‘no’ as they do to politely ask us out. Also, we need to understand that it will not destroy them if we say ‘no’ to a date. They are powerful, they will move on, they will find love. We don’t have to put so much pressure on ourselves to be the “one” for them!
Don’t: Lie and say you’re not in a season to date when you are. Or say you’re in a relationship when you’re not. Or say that you’re too busy for a relationship when you know it’s not true.
Do: Own up to the fact that you’re not interested. You’re capable of communicating your opinion without being mean. Just keep their feelings in mind. They’ll respect that more than being lied to.
“That’s so kind of you to ask me out, but I’m actually not interested. Thank you again for the offer, hope you have a good rest of your day!”
When we’re communicating a ‘no’, we need to remind ourselves that it takes courage, risk, and a whole lot of boldness for a man to ask a woman out. So we need to be aware of how we choose to respond. Remember, how we respond says everything about us and nothing about them. Meaning, if they respectfully ask us out and we respond rudely, or make a joke about them behind their back – it reveals our character, not theirs. Sounds harsh, but it’s true. It’s moments like this that we get to choose the kind of woman we want to be. Will we be the one who walks in integrity and respects the opposite sex? Or exposes them? Remember that respect attracts respect, so if you plan on having a relationship one day, now is the time to learn how to honor the men around you! You got this!
Don’t: Give a pity date if you’re not into him.
Do: Respect your heart and his. If saying ‘yes’ to another date makes you uncomfortable, let him know you’re not interested! If you genuinely want friendship, work out some clearly defined boundaries. That could mean holding off on deep conversations for a bit to avoid building an intimate emotional connection. Or maybe just sticking with group hangouts. Boundaries give you both freedom! You probably also really care about him, so make sure you give the space he needs to pursue someone who will pursue him back.
“I enjoyed our time together, but moving forward I’d love to remain friends.”
Be Very Clear
Never leave someone in a place that causes them to second guess where they stand in relationship with you. If you’re not wanting friendship and you’re certain you don’t want a relationship – make sure you’re not giving him false hope and leading him on. Practically, that looks like having the hard conversation and being clear about your intentions. At the end of the day, you’re worth building a relationship with someone you’re actually interested in. Don’t settle just because it’s easier!
Don’t: Ghost. Meaning, you suddenly stop responding to their messages and hide anytime you see them. (Don’t lie, we’ve all been there!) Men hate ghosting as much as women do!
Do: Be direct about how you’re feeling. If they’re not hearing you and continue to bombard you with messages after you’ve clearly communicated, then feel free to block them. You don’t owe them a thing!
“I had fun getting to know you, but because I respect you so much, I’m going to be up front. I just don’t feel like we’re a good match. Thank you for understanding, I’m sure we’ll see each other around!”
I’ve got a few questions for you as we wrap this up: Is there a fling that you’ve continued in because you didn’t have the words to end it? Is there someone you’re avoiding in hopes that the whole situation will disappear? What would it look like if you decided to be honest with yourself and end it? It might take some courage, but in the long run – you’ll be proud of yourself and your heart will thank you for it. Dating is meant to be a season of discovery, and the reality is, you can’t marry everyone! There’s going to be some “no, thank you’s” along the way, but it makes the “yes, I do” a lot more valuable!