12 Excuses I Use To Get Out Of Dating Someone I’m Not Interested In

If I get asked out and I don’t want to date the guy, there’s a whole Rolodex of excuses I use to shut it down when a simple, “No, thanks” will do. Sometimes what I’m saying is a big fat true and sometimes it’s a big fat lie — either way, they always seem to work like a charm and keep the creeps far away from me.

  1. “I need to focus on myself right now.” I know it’s incredibly cliche, but sometimes I need my personal space. I’m not even lying when I say this. Most of the time it’s coming from a real place of just wanting to focus my time and energy on myself and there’s nothing wrong with that. Thankfully, most guys usually understand and back away accordingly.
  2. “We’re better off as friends.” Yes, I’m technically friend-zoning them, but at least I’m still letting them know that they’re cool people that I want to keep in my life. Guys get so worked up about getting friend-zoned, but it’s really just a way to tell them they’re still totally awesome and dateable without actually being the one who has to date them.
  3. “I tend to ruin lives.” Yeah… let this be a warning. Their lives are gonna fall apart if they date me. I’m doing them a huge favor by letting them know that I’m bad news. They don’t wanna get tangled up with a girl like me. It’s not that I’m evil, I just always seem to end up in messy relationships and at this point, I’m almost 100 percent sure it’s all my doing.
  4. “I have some issues that I need to deal with.” This is a prime excuse. When I use this, I end up seeming like some tortured artist who just has a lot of stuff to do. They’re probably picturing me working double shifts just so I can feed the homeless person I’m letting sleep on my floor. They won’t ask questions, which makes this one a no-fail.
  5. “I just got out of a long-term relationship.” Sigh, the classic “I”m not ready” line. I’ve used this one way more times than I can count. Sure, my breakup was six months ago, but it’s still affecting me — or at least I can pretend it’s still affecting me. “There’s no telling how long it’s going to take for me to grieve this out of my system.” This is usually enough for them to never call me again. Just what I wanted…
  6. “I’m not into guys.” This doesn’t really work with guys I know…but if it’s some rando who’s trying to get my number, it’s pure gold. They actually end up being really friendly about it. They don’t feel rejected and I don’t have to deal with their creepy advances. Everybody wins.
  7. “I don’t feel a spark.” This one is a little hard to say, but sometimes I’ll use this when I’m feeling extra noble and honest. Sometimes I wanna be “real” and just be like. “Hey man, I’m not feeling it.” They’ll usually come back with, “Oh, me neither — I just thought we could fool around.” Phew, looks like I dodged a bullet on that one.
  8. “I’m not in the right headspace to date.” I just don’t feel like dating right now. Is that so wrong? There isn’t even a reason behind it — I just straight up don’t wanna. Either something stressful is happening in my life or I don’t feel like I deserve any love and attention right now. Whatever the reason, I’m gonna be kickin’ it alone for a while and I’m okay with that. At first they wonder why, but it doesn’t take long until they get it and drop me like a sack of potatoes.
  9. “I’m too busy.” I feel like I barely have room in my schedule to eat, let alone go on “dates.” I don’t have the time right now to be running around town, drinking wine and falling in love. Although that does sound like fun… Most guys don’t buy the “too busy” excuse, so I always make sure I’m never available when they want to hang out and never respond to a text right away to help sell my excuse when I end up using it.
  10. “I’m still not over my ex.” Yeah, this one’s tough, but it instantly shuts the whole thing down. I’ll bring up how I don’t feel a connection, but instead of blaming that on our chemistry, I’ll blame my ex. It really is the perfect excuse. It’s not my fault, it’s his!
  11. “I really value our friendship.” I actually mean this when I say it, and maybe by telling them how much our friendship means to me, I’ll convince them to stop pursuing me in a romantic way and see me as just a buddy. This isn’t 100 percent foolproof, but it makes for a pleasant conversation between friends as opposed to pure, awkward rejection.
  12. “I think you’re really awesome, we’re just not compatible.” Sometimes all they need is a hard dose of the truth. This is what we always WANT to say but rarely ever do. It’s true that everyone is great in their own way and it’s also true that some people clash. It’s not a diss at all and I find that most guys respond really well to this “logical” way of looking at the situation as opposed to just “I don’t like you.”
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.