How To Tell A Guy You’re Not Interested In The Kindest Way Possible

As a woman, it was more or less ingrained in me growing up that I had to be “nice,” and being nice meant that I should always keep other people’s feelings in mind. Unfortunately, that can make telling a guy that I’m not interested in him romantically even harder. While I don’t want to hurt his feelings, I also don’t want to be pressured into a relationship that I don’t want. If you struggle with the same thing, here are a few great ways to tell a guy that you don’t want a romantic relationship with them.

  1. Tell him that you like someone else. Who knows, this may very well be true. If you have another crush, this guy should be understanding, especially since it’s not a personal diss to him. Even if the guy asking you out really is great, sometimes you might just not see him in a romantic way. Don’t feel bad about it. Also, don’t tell him who your crush is on. You don’t want him to find strange ways to retaliate or try to sabotage your chances. Most guys wouldn’t think of going down that road, but men who haven’t learned how to handle rejection yet might.
  2. Let him know you’re not in the same place as him. Maybe you’re not even looking for a relationship and this new guy just took you by surprise. Some people thrive with being single. This answer is kind, yet also very personal. If you’re not set on dating right now, there’s nothing you can do to quickly change that.
  3. Try to send it through text. If you don’t know him all that well, a text rejection may be best. It’s much better than ghosting but might not be as awkward as telling him face-to-face. Just make sure to answer him quickly, since it’s cruel to lead him on for a weekend just for him to realize you aren’t interested. Give him time to move on.
  4. Pad it with a compliment. Maybe this guy is really sweet but just not for you. Tell him you think he’s a great person but just don’t have time in your life for a relationship right now. A truly good guy will understand. If he gets pushy, that might ruin his chances down the road, in case you ever reconsider. It’s also nice to thank him for being bold and asking you out, as it’s a scary thing to do regardless of your age.
  5. Tell him you see him more as a friend and don’t know if that will change. Nobody likes being in the friend zone, but it happens sometimes. If you really see him more like a big brother than a future husband, it’s really hard to change your perception, especially overnight. Let him know that you’re flattered and expect your friendship to change a little. It’s not pleasant, but it’s hard to go back to the same level after admitting a crush.
  6. If you’ve been on a date or two with him, say you can tell that you’re not a match. The truth can be hard to handle, but if you’ve given this guy a shot, it’s pointless to waste any more of his time. Send a text and tell him you had a lot of fun but that based on your interactions, you’re not seeing a ton of chemistry. Hopefully, he’ll accept that you’re letting him down easy. If he responds with any sort of rebuttal or criticism, don’t take it seriously. He’s getting defensive and proving further why the two of you were never meant to be.
  7. Keep things short. You don’t want to write or speak out a novel of text — that only hides your point. Try to keep rejections to just a few sentences. If you get too wordy and try to detail everything that happened, he may not understand what you’re really trying to say. Keep it simple, and keep it kind.
  8. Don’t lead him on. If you know that nothing will blossom from this relationship, don’t give him false hope that it will. Sure, things may change up in five years when you’re in different headspaces. But if he really likes you, telling him that may inspire him to put his life on hold. If you don’t like him, don’t tell him that things may be different down the line when they won’t. If you can’t help but slip a line like that in, you may want to re-evaluate how you actually feel about it.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.