I’m Getting Way Better At Saying No To Dates Who Aren’t My Person

For a long time, I had a hard time rejecting people so I’d subject myself to more dates I didn’t want to be on. This has all changed over the years and I’m definitely getting the hang of saying “no” to anyone who just isn’t a match for me.

  1. Rejection gets easier with practice. Saying “no” or “I don’t want to see you again” felt impossible the first few times I needed to say them. Although it felt torturous to send those texts, the more I did it, the easier it became to reject people. After all, rejection is just a normal part of the dating process. Like anything else, it gets more palatable with practice.
  2. Being told “no” myself has been a helpful exercise. Not only has rejecting others been good for character-building but so has being the rejected one. I’ve had plenty of times where I was told “no” or “I’m not interested in you,” and I didn’t fall apart never to be put back together again. Rather, I got over it and it helped me next time I either was rejected or needed to reject someone.
  3. I know I’ll hurt someone’s feelings more by being dishonest. One of my biggest fears about turning someone away was that I’ll totally destroy them emotionally. While I may hurt them, I just don’t have the power to pummel their heart into the ground after one date. In reality, I’ve learned that I’d hurt their feelings much more if I just dragged them along, pretending I like them when I don’t.
  4. What they think of me is less of a concern. I used to be wildly worried about what my date would think about me if I told them that I wasn’t as into it as they were. I’d be terrified that they’d think I’m a bitch or a crazy person. In truth, they might think these things, but it doesn’t really matter. I have no control over what others think and their opinions don’t determine anything about me.
  5. I’m more concerned with doing the right thing than I used to be. Dragging people along was my M.O. I’d be guilty of only liking the attention someone gives me, but I wouldn’t be interested in dating them. This was super unfair. In my more recent dating days, I care deeply about what the right thing to do is. I try to act kindly and not play games.
  6. My trust in my intuition has grown. I didn’t have all of these maladaptive dating mechanisms because I was a bad person. Rather, I hadn’t developed self-trust yet by learning what’s right for me. Now that my intuition is strengthening, it’s become easier to choose the right thing and to say “no” when it’s time to. 
  7. Jamming a square peg in a round hole isn’t my tactic anymore. Since my self-trust was virtually non-existent, I didn’t really know if someone was a good fit for me or not. I’d end up liking them because they were attractive or had some ideal characteristic, but in reality, we weren’t a match. This didn’t stop me from trying to make it work anyway. Thank goodness that today I throw out the round peg if it isn’t fitting in my square hole.
  8. Making excuses for unacceptable behavior is a thing of the past. In a previous life, I definitely would have gone on a second date with a dude who talked incessantly and didn’t let me get a word in edgewise. After all, he was cute and had some of the same interests as me. I’d have told myself that maybe he just talked a lot because he was nervous. However, now I have more respect for myself. Instead, I told him on the date he was talking too much and he still proceeded to continue doing it. That was when I said goodbye. No excuses!
  9. My self-confidence is higher. Part of the reason why it’s become so much easier to say “no” to people is that I value the crap out of myself. I truly believe that I’m an awesome woman who’s so deserving of love. As a result, I act that way. I only accept the love I think I deserve, which is loving and respectful.
  10. Settling for less just isn’t an option. Somehow I used to be able to spend lots of time with a man who clearly didn’t care about me, but I just can no longer stomach someone who doesn’t treat me right. Call it a product of self-love, but rejecting those who aren’t a fit is becoming second-nature.
  11. I’m no longer using people to try to fill a hole. One of the biggest driving forces to staying with people who weren’t a match for me was because I felt like I needed someone to fill me up. I had this insatiable hole inside. It’s the same gnawing that calls for alcohol, sweets, or some sort of escape. I used to use people in an attempt to satisfy this crater but I now know that what I’m truly craving is self-love and acceptance.
  12. My person is out there. I don’t have to waste so much time anymore with the wrong people. Once I start to get the hunch that someone isn’t my person, I’m out. This leaves space in my life for the right one to come in. After all, I hold out hope that my person is out there somewhere. Though if they aren’t and I am destined to be alone forever, I’ll be okay with that, too. 
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.