After a week of swapping morning selfies and TikToks about dogs, you finally met up with your new crush for drinks. Though you were
flirty over text, the chemistry in person was just... not there. So, when you see their name pop up in your messages the next morning, you start to worry, wondering the best way to them you're not interested after a first date.
Even though you might feel like slowly backing away into the bushes like that Homer Simpson meme, if you don’t want to
ghost them or agree to another date when you know you have no intention of ever seeing them again, then being upfront may be your best bet.
As dating and relationships coach
Clara Artschwager says, not every date is going to be amazing. And while telling someone you’re not interested can feel uncomfortable in the moment, it may help you out in the long run. “Even if a date is a one-off, it’s part of a larger practice,” Artschwager tells Bustle. “You’re practicing direct, honest, transparent communication, being vulnerable with another individual, and allowing yourself to be seen.”
Here are 21 examples of how to tell someone you’re not interested over text.
“I had a lot of fun hanging out, but after sleeping on it, I don’t think I felt a connection. Best of luck!”
While you may want to drop a “you seem so nice,” Artschwager shares that over-explaining or adding too many niceties is a
people-pleasing response. “It comes a place of wanting to explain or take the pain away from the other person, and that’s not our job,” Artschwager says. “It’s not your responsibility to manage their feelings.” “I had fun the other night, but know we’re not looking for the same things. All the best.”
If you got the sense your date
only wants to hook up — or if you just want something casual and they’re looking to settle down — let them know you’re not aligned. Thalia Ouimet, a matchmaker and dating coach, emphasizes the importance of using the phrase “I know” rather than “I think” when you’re telling someone you want different things. “If you’re more assertive, and you say ‘I know we aren’t looking for the same things’… then it’s letting that person know that you’re not changing your mind,” she tells Bustle. “It was really fun sharing music recs, but after thinking on it, I'm just not feeling a romantic vibe. I think it’s best if we don’t meet up again. Take care.”
If you get the sense your date is super into you, you may feel pressure to explain your feelings or come up with a million reasons it wouldn’t work out. Yet,
Lori Salkin, senior matchmaker and dating coach, suggests keeping it short and simple. “Nothing good can come of a long text explaining what about them did not work for you,” Salkin tells Bustle. “That can actually do more harm than good. Simply say that you enjoyed meeting but don't see this as a match.” “Hi, it was fun going out, but I’m looking for a serious partner right now. I know we’re not a long-term match. All the best.”
When you know there was no connection, online dating expert
Julie Spira suggests being king and truthful. Again, you’ll want to use the phrase “I know” over “I think.” “You’ve got to be assertive, you can’t give people the room to [argue],” says Ouiment. “Thanks so much for dinner the other night, I think we both felt more of a friend vibe. Wishing you all the best.”
Sometimes a date flops and all parties know it. Still, sending a text can help ensure you’re on the same page. “The best way to close out a rejection text is ‘wishing you all the best,’” Ouimet adds. “It’s a great closeout line.”
“Hi Sara, thanks so much for drinks the other night. After thinking about it a little more, I’m not ready to be dating right now and don’t want to lead you on.”
Maybe you thought you were
ready to get back out there after a breakup, then realized after the date that you totally weren’t. It’s OK to change your mind, but let your date know where you’re at. Plus, this shows that you actually took some time to reflect. “I had fun getting Thai food the other night, but ultimately I didn’t feel a spark. Wish you the best.”
Sometimes the spark just isn’t there. As Artschwager says, “Be direct in a simple, kind, and straightforward way.” Do let them know you enjoyed your time, just not in a romantic sense.
“Hey, I just didn’t really feel a spark last night and I just wanted to be transparent with you that I think it’s best that we go our separate ways.”
If you experience
a bad date, like them yelling at the waiter or saying something upsetting, Ouimet suggests sending something super nice like this. “When someone’s that mean and horrible on a first date, I’m extra nice,” she says, because you never know what’s going on in their life. There are meh first dates, then there are straight-up bad first dates, and as much as you might want to call them out, it’s best to go quietly and politely. “I had so much fun biking with you, but I don’t think we’re a romantic match. I’d love to do something as friends, but totally get if that’s not what you’re looking for.”
As Artschwager says, “let’s be friends” should only be dropped when you really mean it. If you really think you’d want to hangout platonically, see if your date is down. Otherwise, you don’t need to pretend you want to hang out again.
“Hey, I know we mentioned meeting up for dinner later this week, but after reflecting a bit, I don’t think we’re a match. I wish you all the best.”
Sometimes in the heat of the moment (think: trying to get out of a bad first date) you agree to drinks or a walk in the future. If you already made plans for date two, let them know that after some time you’re not feeling a connection. “It’s OK if you change your mind,” Ouimet tells Bustle.
“Hi, it was nice meeting you last night, I enjoyed our conversation. I just wanted to let you know I don't think I see this going forward but I wish you all the best.”
Rather than complimenting their appearance or personality, Salkin suggests saying something nice about the date. By now you may have noticed a pattern in these “how to tell someone you’re not interested” examples, and that’s because there’s a specific formula to it. “You thank them, you appreciate them, then you wish them the best,” Ouimet tells Bustle. “It’s an actual formula.”
“Hi Sam, thanks again for dinner. I appreciate you reaching out, but I want to be direct and say I’m just not feeling something here, and I think it's best if we part ways. Take care.”
If you're worried your date is going to keep texting you or try to change your mind, make sure you clearly express that this is the end of your time together. Ouimet recommends using language like this that clearly indicates you will not be changing your mind. Be firm and assertive from the get-go so you don’t have to backtrack later on.
“Hi, I enjoyed meeting up, but I’m moving soon and I don't see this as a long-term fit. Wish you all the best.”
As Salkin shares, if there’s a straightforward reason it’s not going to work out, you can let the date know. Otherwise, you don’t need to feel pressure to over-explain. Try to avoid using filler words that make you seem unsure of your decision, Ouimet recommends. For example, “I just don’t see this as a long-term fit” versus “I don’t see this as a long-term fit.” Simpler is better.
“Thanks for meeting up today. But ultimately, I don't think we have enough in common to be a match. I wish you the best.”
Stating that you didn’t have enough in common is a kind and concise way to part ways, Spira says. You don’t have to get into specifics — again with the over-explaining. Here’s another example of how wishing them well is the best way to end a rejection text and works in almost every situation.
“Hey, thanks again for the drinks. Unfortunately, I don’t see a future between us, and I think it’s best we part ways. Wishing you all the best.”
You don’t have to lie about having an amazing time if you didn’t. Let them know it’s not a match and set a boundary about communication moving forward. “It’s important to thank them for the drinks because you want to be considerate and polite, but you also set the boundary that it’s not moving forward and there’s no more communication,” Ouimet says.
“Hi, I had nice time the other night, but after thinking about it, I don’t think we’re a fit. All the best.”
Artschwager says that sometimes you need a night to sleep on it. If you’ve taken some time and realized you’re not into them, be honest about where you’re at. “It also lets the other person know that you’re not being impulsive,” Ouimet says, “that you really thought this through.”
“Hi there, I really enjoyed chatting with you, but ultimately, I know we’re not the right fit. I hope you find someone terrific.”
If you feel your date was a good person, but just not for you, Spira suggests offering them kindness and luck. “I think it’s important to note that they deserve someone terrific,” adds Ouimet. “You’re saying ‘hey, I hope you find someone terrific’ because you’re kind of noting that they are terrific, which is a nice compliment.”
“Hey, I’m glad we were able to get together. After our date, I thought about it and I realized I'm looking for a more serious relationship. It’s best we go our separate ways, but I wish you all the best.”
If you and your date were clearly on different pages, Spira suggests explaining where you’re at while wishing them well in the future. “You do want to make sure that you tell that person ‘we are looking for two different things,’” Ouimet adds. “And that this isn’t moving forward.”
“Hey, thanks for drinks the other night, but I think we should end things here. Good luck out there.”
Artschwager says you don’t even have to explain why you’re not into it. “All you have to say is, I had a great time, but I'm not feeling a deeper connection here.” And a nice outtro is a thoughtful touch.
“Hi, thanks again for ice cream the other night. After taking some time to reflect, it’s clear to me that we are not looking for the same things. Take care.”
rejection text is like ripping off a band-aid, Artschwager says. There’s no perfect phrase — just state your piece and wish them well. This is another good example that shows them that you thought it through and ultimately decided you’re not the right fit. “Hey Chris, thanks for cooking with me the other night. As much as I really enjoyed hanging out, we are not the right fit for one another. I wish you the best.”
Though it may feel intimating to call things off, Salkin says letting someone down is more respectful than not saying anything. Honestly, anything is better than
ghosting or getting ghosted. Just be straightforward and honest. Experts: Clara Artschwager , dating and relationships coach Lori Salkin , senior matchmaker and dating coach urges Julie Spira , online dating expert and CEO at Cyber-Dating Expert Thalia Ouimet , matchmaker, dating coach, and founder of We Met Through Thalia
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This article was originally published on
Sep. 6, 2021