Why Is It So Hard To Tell Someone You’re Just Not That Into Them?

These days, ghosting seems to be the universal signal for “I’m just not that into you.” While there are certain situations where ghosting is the most humane and painless way to end a casual dating situation, most of the time people would prefer a little heads up over a radio silence. So why is it so difficult to tell someone when you’re just not feeling it?

  1. Saying nothing requires zero effort. Everyone has plenty of stress in their lives without the added burden of telling people you’ve been on two dates with that you aren’t into them. Generally saying nothing at all sends the message loud and clear and there’s just no reason to reject someone who isn’t demanding an explanation anyway.
  2. You don’t actually know why. People always need to know why you don’t like them. Whether it’s because they want to improve for the future or they just can’t handle the fact that they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no way they’ll be satisfied without a fully thought out explanation. Unfortunately, there are times where there’s nothing wrong with someone per se, they just aren’t what you’re looking for at that moment.
  3. You don’t feel like you owe them anything. Going on a few dates with someone doesn’t mean you’re obligated to dump them face to face, or even dump them at all. If you aren’t exclusive and you’ve only had a date or two, why should you bother with anything more in depth than a quick, “sorry, not feelin’ it” text? Besides, if someone is acting like you’re in their debt after a couple coffee dates, you should be relieved you got away from them while you still could.
  4. You’re afraid of how they might react. Especially for women, if you don’t know someone very well, it could actually be dangerous to turn them down in some situations. It’s a sad reality, but there are guys out there who don’t take rejection well, so it’s important to be careful about where, when and how you do it. No one can really blame a girl who wants to just ghost and avoid the headache altogether.
  5. Everyone else is doing it. When everyone and their grandma knows what ghosting is and has probably experienced it first-hand, it’s hard to go against the crowd. You’ll probably justify it by telling yourself that if he wasn’t into you, he’d probably just stop responding too, so why can’t you?
  6. Rejecting someone is never easy. When it comes right down to it, you have a hard time telling someone you’re not into them because you don’t enjoy the feeling of rejecting someone. So congratulations, that means you’re most likely not a sociopath.
  7. Everyone has a different opinion on when ghosting is acceptable. For some, it’s only okay if you haven’t met them in person yet. For others, ghosting is still an option as long as you haven’t slept with them yet. Everyone has their own moral code they have to live with, and the importance you place on telling someone you aren’t into them varies based on circumstances. Sometimes it’s worth the hassle, other times it’s just not — and there are no hard and fast rules that everyone must follow.
  8. You don’t want to burn any bridges. Now that “benching” is starting to take over for ghosting, it’s becoming clear that people like having a backup plan. If you reject someone to their face, it’s a lot less likely they’re going to respond to your horny 3am text a month from now. Why write someone off completely unless you really have to?
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.