How To Tell A Nice Guy You’re Not Interested – The Dos And Don’ts

Undoubtedly, one of the hardest parts of dating is having to tell a nice guy that you’re not interested in him. We all face this kind of rejection sooner or later, so you know it hurts. But not wanting to hurt his feelings isn’t enough of a reason to keep seeing him when you know you don’t like him. So how do you have this difficult conversation? Keep reading for the dos and don’ts.

  1. Do: use gentle and polite words. It’s never easy to be rejected. Try to always keep that at the front of your mind when you’re telling someone you’re not interested in them. Although you don’t technically owe anybody kindness, it’s the decent way to be. You’re telling someone something that’s difficult to hear, so try to be nice and polite about it. You could thank him for his interest and tell him you’re flattered or let him know that you want to be friends.
  2. Don’t: be fake. While it’s important to be gentle, don’t be fake. Compliment him if you feel it’s appropriate, but don’t go on about what a fantastic guy he is and how any girl would be lucky to have him. Don’t say things along the lines of you’re not good enough for him or that you wish you could be with him but you can’t. Anything too dramatic could make him more uncomfortable than he already is.
  3. Do: be clear. It’s difficult to strike the right balance between being gentle and being clear. But it’s important for him to understand your feelings, so you have to communicate clearly. Don’t say that maybe you can try for a relationship in the future, but for now, it’s a no. Or that you might change your mind. Although those additions might save his feelings, don’t say them if they’re not true. It’s better to rip the Band-Aid off rather than string him along. If there’s no chance of him being with you, let him know that so he can continue his search for love elsewhere.
  4. Don’t: say anything brutal. As previously mentioned, it’s tough to hear that someone you like doesn’t like you back. So try not to be too brutal in your delivery. Definitely don’t get aggressive and put him down as you tell him how you feel. Don’t say anything unnecessary about why you don’t like him. Keep cool and calm and remember that you’re talking to a real person with real feelings.
  5. Do: tell the truth. It can be hard to be honest and also avoid being brutal at the same time. But try and tell the truth to avoid tangling yourself up in a web of lies. Don’t say that you’re just not looking for a relationship if he’s going to see you dating someone else in a week’s time. If you just don’t like him, simply say you don’t share the same feelings.
  6. Don’t: go into too much detail. Even if there are several reasons why don’t like him, you don’t have to outline every one. If he really doesn’t get the picture and you have to narrow it down, you can tell him exactly why you don’t like him. But as a rule of thumb, don’t say anything unnecessary that’s going to hurt his feelings. Keep it short, sharp, and shiny.
  7. Do: pick the right time and place. Because it’s so hard to hear that someone doesn’t like you when you like them, pick the right time and place to deliver the news. Don’t do it at a party in front of all your friends. Don’t do it on a public social media post. Respect his and your privacy. It’s best to have the conversation alone, in person if you can.
  8. Don’t: involve other people. If you like someone else, try not to involve that person when you turn the guy down. This is a conversation that should happen between the two of you. It only involves the two of you. Saying that you like someone else instead could lead the guy you’re not into to take it out on that person. Or saying that your friends/family don’t approve could leave the guy resenting them. Just focus on how you feel and what you’re deciding, regardless of anyone else in the picture.
  9. Do: prepare for a nasty reaction. By being clear, kind, and gentle with your delivery, you can reduce the chances that the guy will react aggressively. But you can never be sure. Even the nicest people can turn hostile when their feelings are hurt. Hopefully, it goes smoothly and the guy is mature enough to handle hearing your feelings. Still, brace yourself for a nasty reaction so you can handle it if it does happen.
  10. Don’t: put up with abuse or harassment. If he does become aggressive, remember that you don’t have to put up with abuse or harassment. Simply leave him behind ranting and raving if you’re out in public. Or if you’re having the conversation over text, you can block his number and unfollow him. Don’t engage and don’t feel like you have to sit there and take verbal abuse. It’s not fun being rejected, but you are always within your rights to reject someone. Saying no doesn’t make you a bitch!
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.