One of the greatest things about online dating is that it gives you easy access to all the fish in (your parameters of) the sea. When you’re swimming in a pool of potential partners, your chances of finding a good match are pretty high. Unfortunately, wading through those extensive waters also means you’re probably going to need to turn down quite a few fish in your pursuit for the right one.
The go-to rejection strategy for too many online dating users is “ghosting” or to simply stop responding to someone. But there are other, more compassionate ways to turn somebody down without leaving them frustrated and wondering what went wrong. If you’re just not feeling an online connection anymore, use these tips below to let them down easy!
It takes guts to ask someone out, even online, and rejection can hurt. Keep this in mind as you craft your response, trying to be polite while still being firm. Thank the person for their offer, letting them know you appreciate the thought but are not interested. Approaching them calmly and gently will also help to soften the blow.
But don’t beat around the bush.
As much as you want to be kind as you’re rejecting someone, you also need to be honest and direct to ensure they get the message. Being too nice or dragging out a conversation out of pity can send mixed signals. On the other end of the spectrum, ignoring them or avoiding the issue is just rude and will leave them hanging. The best approach is to tell a person directly when you’re not interested. You can give an explanation if you’d like, but remember that you don’t owe them one if you just want to leave it at, “I’m not interested”.
If you do offer an explanation, make it about you.
If you do decide to offer up a little more detail with your rejection, be careful about what you say. Telling someone what you don’t like about them or why they’re not good enough can be damaging to their self-esteem. Instead, keep your explanation focused on you and try to use “I” statements.
For example, “I’m not feeling a strong connection”, is better than, “You’re not attractive to me”. Also remember that you don’t have to write an essay when giving an explanation—short and sweet is better than a long, drawn-out discussion that can get confusing and emotional.
Don’t be afraid to let them down hard if they do become aggressive.
Again, above all else, know that you do not owe anything to anyone. Being nice about rejecting someone is not as important as making your feelings and boundaries clear. If after your first attempt at rejection a person is persistent about meeting up or continuing to chat, do what you must to ensure it’s a clean and final break. It’s not usually a good idea to try to stay friends with someone you’ve met through online dating and rejected, as this could keep them on the hook. At the very least, give it some time before you try to continue a friendship.
If you don’t want to continue communicating with them at all, don’t feel pressured to keep responding after you’ve told them you’re not interested. If you’ve made it clear you no longer want to hear from them but they keep sending you messages, you should block and report them to the dating site to prevent further harassment.
At My Safe Dating, we make it easy for you to call the shots when it comes to who you talk to, how you talk to them, and when you’re ready to take things offscreen. Vancouver members are free to talk to each other directly through our secure instant messaging, voice-only, and video chat options. You can rest assured that your profile information is secure, so people only know what you want them to know about you, when you want them to know it.
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