I want to reject him, but don’t want to hurt his feelings. What should I do?

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xmayx92 asks:

I went on a first date with a guy and he seems to really like me, a lot more than I like him. He thinks the 1st date went well but I think that the 1st date went bad, I didn’t feel any connection and we had nothing in common.
He wants to go on a 2nd date but I don’t want to hurt his feelings. He asked me when I’ll be available again, but I haven’t responded yet. I don’t think I want 2nd date. What should I do? How to I let him down gently?


Demetrius says:

I appreciate your concern for your fellow man, but I think that you might need to harden your heart a tiny bit when it comes to dating. No one wants to purposely go out of their way to hurt people of course, but you have to realize that there is some pain associated with online dating. Mainly when it comes to getting and receiving rejections.

I’ve written before about  rejection, how to reject someone who seems great…but you’re not necessarily interested in, and how I overcame my fear of rejection, so if today’s post doesn’t resonate with you maybe those will. With that said, there are ways to reject someone who you’re interested in that minimize the chances that they’ll get hurt, but hurting someone by rejecting them is always a possibility. You can never predict how people will react to a rejection, but you can work to make a rejection as painless as possible. Even the kindest, sweetest, most well-meaning rejection is still a rejection, so just bear in mind that if you reject him and it hurts him, you’re not a bad person.

Since you’ve only been on a first date, feel free to reach out to him via telephone and reject him. Yes it might hurt, but if he’s a well-adjusted guy it wont get him down for too long. How to do it is simple: Give him a call, be honest about your lack of interest in going on a 2nd date, be direct about why, but do so with tact, don’t lead him on by suggesting there is anything he could have done differently that would have made you want a 2nd date, use the 3 C’s (Be Concise, Be Complimentary, and Be Conciliatory.) and don’t circle back. If he circles back to you, respond if you want, but once you’ve rejected someone you don’t need to explain yourself any further. That might seem callous, but making him feel like he still has a chance is only going to lead to more pain.

Just remember, you owe the people you date a bare minimum of decency, and while rejecting someone might cause them pain, at least it removes the pain of doubt and that’s a very decent thing to do. “What if…?” is the absolute worst thing to put into someone’s head, so while saying “Sorry, not interested” seems harsh, Ghosting is even harsher. At least you’re decent enough to reject him instead of disappearing. Take some solace in that.

Good Luck Out There

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