It’s always nice to feel wanted, and given how rarely most of us get asked out on proper dates, it really sucks when a text comes through inviting you out this weekend and you’re not feeling it. While you might be tempted to just go with it for the experience and to avoid hurting the person’s feelings, you’d only be wasting your time and theirs. Put the kibosh on things now before anyone gets hurt. Here’s how to turn down a date over text.
Advantages of asking someone out over text
- It’s less awkward if they say no. One of the best things about texting is that it doesn’t require the awkwardness of face-to-face conversations. Sure, that can be a bad thing, but in situations when you’re trying to turn a date down, texts are your BFF. You can politely decline their invitation without the awkwardness of having to do so in person.
- It’s less anxiety-inducing if you’re shy and/or not very assertive. If the person doing the asking is more reserved and less confident, shooting their shot via text is a very attractive option. Sure, they still have to worry about what you’ll say, but it’s slightly less scary when it’s just words on a screen.
- It’s a good way to test the waters. Maybe they weren’t sure how you felt about them. They thought they got some flirty vibes but they weren’t sure. So, they decided to text you to try and gauge your feelings. If it doesn’t work out, they can laugh it off and pretend they didn’t mean it like that. It’s a win-win.
- It avoids putting the other person on the spot. If you’re together at work or school and someone asks you out, it can come as a serious shock. You know you have to say something because they’re right there, but you can’t even process it quickly enough. By making their invite via text, they might still surprise you, but you won’t feel quite so cornered.
- You can take time to think about the situation. Some people would say you shouldn’t have to think about whether or not you’re interested enough in someone to go on a date with them. But hey, sometimes you do! Maybe you never really looked at them in a romantic light, but once they ask you out, you think, huh, maybe…
- You can craft the perfect response and avoid putting your foot in your mouth. If you’re going to turn a date down via text, you can do so with full confidence because you’ve taken the time to think about the message you’re sending. When you reject someone in person, it’s hard not to say the wrong thing. No risk of that (well, not usually) when it’s a text.
Why you should be frank if you’re not interested
No one wants to waste their time, so as awkward as you might feel turning someone down after they’ve bared their feelings to you, it’s the decent thing to do. Yes, you might hurt their feelings. Sure, they might be crushed, especially if they really liked you. However, deciding to just go along with it to avoid disappointing them won’t help you or them.
Putting someone firmly in the friend zone can feel cruel and even cringeworthy, but it doesn’t have to be. If the person who asked you out is a legitimately awesome person, they’ll want you in their life in whatever sense you want to be there. You never know, you might even find a new best friend in them. However, if you know they’ll never be your partner, be upfront about it.
Examples of how to turn down a date over text
- “That would be cool… things are super hectic right now, but we’ll figure something out!” Yes, you’re kinda fudging the truth here since things will always be “super hectic.” There’s also a big chance they’ll continually follow up about when you’re free. However, for those who are good at reading a room, this might be enough to gently let them done.
- “That’s really sweet. I’d love to hang out, but just as friends.” This shows appreciation for their bravery/feelings for you and keeps the door to friendship open while letting them know that’s all your connection will ever be.
- “Thank you so much for being so straightforward, but I’m not interested in you romantically.” You’re doing them the service fo being just as straightforward back. Anyone with any real maturity will appreciate that.
- “You’re really great, but I’m actually dating someone else right now, sorry.” This is a risky move if you’re not actually seeing someone else, but if you truly feel like this is the only way to get out of the situation, this is acceptable.
- “You’re a really great person, I just don’t think there’s a spark between us. Sorry!” You can give them a genuine compliment while also letting them know that you don’t have a romantic interest in them. This is a good way to do it.
- “I love spending time with you, but I don’t really want to date you. I hope you understand!” You’re not saying they’re not a great person that’s a lot of fun to be around. You’re simply saying that your feelings for them are only platonic. They can’t blame you for being honest.
- “I’m so flattered that you like me, but unfortunately, I don’t like you in that way.” This one feels a bit tough and will no doubt bruise their ego a bit. However, if you know they’re someone who responds best to very frank feedback, go with something like this.
- “I don’t think I’m the girl for you, but I know she’s out there. I really hope you find her.” Is this a little obnoxious? It can be if you’re not able to pull it off and appear genuine. However, hopefully you truly do feel this way, in which case, tell them.
- “I’m not really interested in dating anyone right now — I’m happy on my own.” This could totally be the case. Single life is amazing, so if you want to enjoy it, there’s nothing wrong with saying that.
More tips for rejecting someone over text
- Keep it short and sweet. When you’re trying to turn down a date via text, avoid the urge to over-explain or engage in any lengthy conversation at the moment. You want to cut any romantic chat off ASAP and end the awkwardness of the moment as quickly as possible. Don’t drag the moment out.
- Take a step back on communication. Even if you really hope to forge/continue a friendship with them, now may not be the time to pursue that. After you cut off their romantic hopes, they may need some time to process their feelings and shift their mindset. Give them a bit of space for a while.
- Don’t be swayed by guilt. Hopefully, they’re decent enough to respect your feelings and not push the issue. However, don’t be swayed by guilt trips or sob stories if they can’t seem to accept that you’re not interested. Stick to your guns.
- Don’t beat around the bush/give them a reason to hope. As much as you don’t want to hurt their feelings when you turn down their date, don’t text them anything that would make them think you might change your mind or that your feelings aren’t permanent. Make it clear from the outset that what you’re saying is final.
- Keep compliments to a minimum. Yes, you want them to feel good about themself, but you don’t want to be overly effusive. They might start wondering why you don’t want to date them if you think they’re so great!