How to Tell a Guy You’re Not Interested (With Examples)

One of the hardest things to do is let someone down. After all, no one likes rejection. But what if you’re just not into that person?

How do you tell a guy he’s not your type, or that you already have someone else, or that you’re just not interested in him?

Here are examples from experts that may work for you:

Elizabeth Overstreet

Elizabeth Overstreet

Love Strategist and Relationship Coach

“I enjoyed our dates, but I want to be upfront with you. I don’t feel we are compatible for the long term.”

The dating game can be tricky. But, it’s even trickier when you aren’t clear on what you want from someone you’re dating, and you don’t know how to use the proper techniques to communicate your needs.

Related: How to Figure out What You Want in a Relationship

Instead of allowing yourself to fall into the wrong scenarios, here are five proven strategies to help you disconnect from someone you’re just not interested in dating:

Use technology to your advantage

Sometimes, you may have told someone you’re dating, and you just aren’t interested. But, inevitably, they didn’t pay much attention or even act as though you haven’t had this discussion with them.

Use the power of texting or a phone call to make the message clear. Texting them that though you appreciate who they are and what they bring to the table is impressive, they are not the right connection for you at this time.

Putting things into words in black and white can help to provide more clarity, and this is entirely appropriate if you have had less than four dates to use the text option to opt out of the relationship. If you have dated longer than this period, having this conversation via phone would show sensitivity and maturity.

Keep it short and simple

People hate it when you say things like, “It’s not you, it’s me!” It both of you, and the bottom line is there isn’t a connection pushing you to stay or want to be in a relationship with this person. Let them know that.

You can simply state something like, “I enjoyed our dates, but I want to be upfront with you. I don’t feel we are compatible for the long term.”

Be freaking honest

When someone likes you, giving them hope can be like telling your bestie they look great in that dress they don’t look so great wearing! There is nothing like giving false hope to someone or having them think something is better than it actually may be.

It’s why when we want the truth, we go to the friend we know will be honest.

So please, please don’t friend zone a guy you don’t like or have an interest in dating. It’s like the indefinite tease. Just do that one thing you would want someone to do for you instead of stringing you along if you feel them and aren’t feeling you.

“You have a lot to offer, but I don’t feel you and I are the right fit.”

Be honest. You could say something like, “You have a lot to offer, but I don’t feel you, and I are the right fit.” If you want to take it a step further, you can add to this statement:

“You deserve someone who will appreciate everything you bring to the table, and I don’t want to be the one who is standing in your way of you receiving that connection.”

Think of all of the people who may have led you on in which you lost time. And how you could have possibly been with someone in which you could have had a real connection. Now reverse this and do the favor for this person in which you have absolutely no interest in dating for the long-term.

Be the good karma we all would like to receive!

“It’s flattering that you’re reaching out, but I’m in a relationship.”

It’s not uncommon if you are attractive and desirable to get some DM action via social media. Social media is great in that you can connect with people you may not have met before. But social media can be exhausting in that a lot of people think they can shoot their shot with you.

Don’t despair! If someone reaches out via social media that you just aren’t interested in, just let them know. Here are a couple of cool responses, “It’s flattering that you’re reaching out, but I’m in a relationship.”

Use this if it is actually true because remember you are practicing the power of honesty. Or, you can say, “Thank you for the message, but I’m taking some me-time right now.”

“I want to be straight with you; I’m seeing other guys right now.”

If you are in a relationship, dating someone with whom you have better chemistry or a better connection, or dating multiple people, you can be direct and share this information.

You might say something like, “I want to be straight with you; I’m seeing other guys right now.”

As you probably noticed, there is a pattern of showing disinterest. It’s keeping things short, simple, and to the point! It’s being direct, so there isn’t confusion or a misunderstanding.

Next time someone you’re not interested in shows up in your life, stay on topic and let them honestly know where you stand. It will earn you some respect and credibility. More importantly, it will help put you on the right path to discovering the person in which you actually may have some interest.

Justin Gottlieb

Justin Gottlieb

Love Coach and Founder, Tantra Love Coach Miami

“Hey, I had a great time with you, but I’m just not interested right now.”

It can be quite difficult to have this revelation when you’ve already invested time & energy in someone. It’ll be even hard if you have already let your friends know about him as well.

It’s never simple to break things off, but the longer you wait, the more time you’re wasting. There’s no easy way to get it done, but these tips can surely make things go smoothly.

There are two ways to say that you are not interested:

  • Face to face
  • Via text or email

Although face-to-face is the best and more mature way to go, if you have been only on a few dates, it’s acceptable to just say it via text/email. Just don’t ghost him after that. You don’t want karma to step in.

If he wants to have a conversation, and if you feel comfortable, you should have that. However, if you don’t feel like it, just tell him that you are not interested.

When to use text and face to face?

Less than 3 dates: If you have been to only a few dates with him or maybe one, you should consider doing this via text. However, face-to-face is much more preferred.

More than 3 dates: Suppose you have been on more than 3 dates and have already invested time in that relationship. It’s in the best interest of both to do this face-to-face. It’ll make you seem more mature and make the process easier.

Tips for text

Have a simple outline and two to five sentences max. No one-liners or full-on case study is needed for this. Finish with your initial at the end. A guy can be on multiple dates. The last thing you want him is to confuse you with someone else.

For example:

“Hey, I had a great time with you, but I’m not feeling a connection between us. I’m not interested in continuing this any further.”
– Your name

Tips for face-to-face conversation

Be straightforward and quick

You don’t want to drag the conversation too long as it’ll make things even more awkward and hard to do. Being straightforward and quick is the way to go. Remember you are there because you are not interested, so why waste both of your valuable time.

Be honest

Don’t make things up for the sake of that conversation only. You have the right to choose with whom you want to spend your time with. Being honest is the best way to go.

  • Good example: “Hey, I had a great time with you, but I’m just not interested right now.”
  • Bad example: “I’ve decided not to date anymore. I’m taking a break. It’s not you; it’s me.”

Stay polite during the conversation

Just because you are not interested, it’s not fair to be rude during the process. In a calm voice, politely tell him that this will help you end that conversation easily without creating a scene and both of you will have each other’s respect.

The world’s a small place—you might end up running into him again at some point or another. Burning a bridge, or piling on things you hated about them after delivering the news, isn’t the best way to handle things.

Tell him exactly what you feel

During the process, you should tell him exactly what is making you feel that way. If you can just tell him the reason and they are legit, he’ll totally understand your situation.

If you have been on more than 3 dates, there should be no valid reason to just say that you are not interested. Remember being upcoming and honest will go a long way.

Be respectful

Maybe you rushed to get involved with him after being single for a long time, or maybe you were too excited at the beginning but made a wrong call and lost interest after a while. Maybe you even continued the dates because you were bored.

Center your conversation around the facts that truly justifies the matter.

Fill the conversation with compliments too

Don’t just make the conversation highlight what you don’t like and why you are not interested. Make sure to squeeze in a few positive sides and compliments during the conversation.

This will keep the conversation within the boundary of acceptance. If you think about it, there will be a few things that maybe you liked about him. Make sure to compliment him about that.

End the conversation with a position tone

After the conversation, make sure to end things on a positive note, and both of you have a mutual understanding. This will help to get over it quickly and move on.

There is no one solution that can cover every aspect of the conversation. Still, if you follow these tips, you can get out of the situation while maintaining a positive and healthy connection with him.

The world is a small place; you never know what you might get in the future. So, be honest, respectful, and have a positive vibe.

Chris Pleines

Chris Pleines

Dating Expert, Datingscout

Take the time to send an honest text

Instead of ghosting the guy and making him wonder what happened, try to take the more direct approach by sending them a direct but nice message. If the tables are turned, you would want the same treatment.

Send them a text, thanking them for their time, but it just wouldn’t work out between the two of you. Make it clear that they are not unlovable; they are just not the right fit for you. This kindness would make it easier for the both of you to be cordial and move on without being bitter.

Give out hints through body language

If you are not comfortable turning him down through an awkward conversation, you could slowly let him know by giving clear hints using body language. Just make sure that your actions are clear and don’t lead to confusion.

For instance, if he tries to initiate skin contact with you, keep a distance and be sure to let them see that you are setting that boundary. Just remember to always be respectful about it.

“This is Joe, he’s like a brother to me”

Do you want to friendzone a guy? Introduce him as your brother from another mother. Nothing beats this subtle tactic of telling a guy you’re not interested in him romantically.

If you can’t handle confrontation because you’re afraid you might break his heart, hinting is your best strategy.

Tell him you want to focus on something else – like yourself

Admit the truth that you are not yet ready for a romantic relationship, and once you do, it would probably be not with him. Let him know what things are keeping you tied at the moment.

It can be your career, a goal, a hobby, a passion, or focusing on yourself. A good guy would understand but take note that to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs—he will be hurt, but being the good guy that he is, he’ll get over it.

Dr. Brenda Wade

Brenda Wade

Clinical Psychologist | Relationship Advisor, Online For Love

“I’m sorry, I just didn’t feel a connection.”

So you met someone interested in you, but you are not interested in them? While communication is an essential part of the dating world, telling someone you aren’t interested in them isn’t always easy. We all fear rejection to some extent, and justifiably so.

It’s no fun to put your heart on the line and have it crushed into tiny little pieces.

If you aren’t proactive with conversations, go days without texting him, and avoid physical touch, you are most certainly not interested in him. Body language is the truth serum that indicates whether or not you are interested in someone. Most of the time, the other party will be able to read your body language and understand that you may not be interested in them.

Some ways to tell someone you aren’t interested in can go in various ways and can be unpredictable.

It’s extremely important to be kind and respectful before communicating your feelings towards them. Remember, you don’t have to go into detail as to why you are not interested. However, do keep in mind that hearing ‘no’ from someone hurts. Going into detail about why you aren’t interested in them will be hurtful to hear.

If you are not sure what to say, here are some suggested statements:

  • “Thank you. However, I don’t feel it’s a good fit.”
  • “I’m sorry, I just didn’t feel a connection.”

However, if they do push, they are crossing a boundary. If they are adamant about pushing their interest onto you, use the “broken record technique” to stay assertive. With that technique, simply say, “thank you, no,” and exit the stage. No one should ever make you feel guilty or uncomfortable because you aren’t interested in them.

Lastly, remember to practice the golden rule. Treat them as you want to be treated: Reject them the way you’d prefer to be rejected when you’re doing the asking.

Again, if they cross any boundaries, stay firm and clear.

Sandra Myers

Sandra Myers

President, Select Date Society

“I’m just not interested in dating you.”

It’s okay to tell him, “I’m just not interested in dating you.” Sometimes it’s best to be direct and avoid leading someone on. Most guys appreciate when they’re dealing with someone who is a straight-shooter.

Guys tend to be pretty direct without adding a lot of emotional fluff to the conversation, so he’ll appreciate that you’re speaking his language!

“I love the fact that you make me laugh, but I don’t see this as something with long-term potential.”

Tell him what you appreciate about him before letting him down. Say something like, “I love the fact that you make me laugh, but I don’t see this as something with long-term potential.”

When you genuinely compliment him, it will be easier to let him know that you are not interested in dating him.

“I don’t want to ghost you because I have too much respect for you.”

Explain that you’re being honest about your feelings because you have a high level of respect for him. Say, “I don’t want to just ghost you or avoid having this conversation because I have too much respect for you.”

You can also tell him that you try to always operate with a high level of integrity and hope that he can respect that in return. It’s hard to be mad at someone who has respect for herself and for you.

“I love hanging out with you, and I want to continue to spend time with you, minus the romantic stuff.”

Tell him that you value his friendship, but only if you really do! Don’t say, “let’s be friends,” unless you truly mean it. If you do want to remain friends, talk about what you see for the future of your relationship.

Say, “I really love hanging out with you, and I want to continue to spend time with you, minus the romantic stuff.”

Think about how it would feel if the roles were reversed

Ask yourself how you would want him to handle it if he were the one telling you that he’s not interested. When you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, it’s easier to see the right way to handle the situation.

Dr. Kathryn Bingham

Kathryn Bingham

CEO, LEADistics LLC

Use the “like-concern-suggestion” technique

I’ve taught a technique that works for both organizational or group situations and personal conversations, called LCS, or “like-concern-suggestion.” LCS helps us have confident, courageous conversations.

The following two examples demonstrate how to frame our wording in a business or organizational setting, that could also be used for telling a guy you’re not interested in him.

Using LCS in a Group or Team

Let’s start with an example from a project team. Imagine a small group has been brainstorming how to improve their project’s results, and a team member wants to provide feedback on some of the discussion. She might share the following:

  • LIKE: “What I like about Stan’s idea is the potential for improving A and B…”
  • CONCERN: “I’m concerned this doesn’t yet help us with problem X…”
  • SUGGESTION: “I suggest we consider thoughts Y and Z to help with our objective.”

Using LCS in a Personal Setting

Now let’s apply the technique to find a kind way to tell a guy you’re just not interested. We don’t have to say we’re not interested specifically with “him.” Notice, too, that we can adapt the language while reflecting the intention of LCS.

Like

  • “Martin, I like the time we’ve spent over the past [insert time frame]…”
  • “Martin, I’ve enjoyed [insert event(s)],…”

Concern

  • “As I’ve gotten to know you better, I think our interests differ in ways that are important to me…”
  • “While this has been fun, I’m looking to connect with someone more aligned with my interests …”

Suggestion

  • “I prefer to explore meeting up with some new people.”
  • “Why don’t we try the speed dating event next week at [insert local hot spot] to see if we can each meet some new people?”

Sometimes I’ve made the statements silly or outrageous and, because these were said in fun, obtained the desired result. At the end of the day, if we’re able to communicate “I’m just not interested” in a way that doesn’t burn bridges, cause hurt, or humiliate the other person, we both win.

Robin Sutherns

Robin Sutherns

Relationship and Style Editor, Galtelligence

No one likes to reject people, and no one likes receiving a rejection. However, it’s a part of life. We can’t avoid having to leave people, especially when it comes to dating guys. We have our standards and likes, sometimes, guys don’t meet them, and we have to reject them to stop them from expecting anything further.

Once you see the signs that he’s interested in you, yet you don’t feel the same way, it’s time to tell him you’re not interested.

Here are 3 ways to tell a guy you’re not interested:

Do not ghost the guy

If you’re not interested in someone, never think about ghosting the guy. If you’ve never been ghosted, let me tell you: it’s very frustrating!

Give some respect to him and don’t just disappear from the face of the Earth. There’s nothing wrong with being upfront and honest to him that you’re not interested and tell him why. Most of the time, a guy can understand.

Send him an honest text

If you’re someone that doesn’t feel comfortable rejecting someone in person, it’s okay. You can always send him an honest text. Make sure, to be honest, and say it like it is.

Sometimes, it can be easier to put our feelings into writing, so if you’re more comfortable with that, go for it. However, take note that some physical cues aren’t there when it comes to texts, so they might be misunderstood.

Craft a message that he can understand clearly—one that has no room for misunderstanding.

Do the sandwich method

You’re giving bad news, so deliver it in the best way possible. The best way to do this is by using the sandwich method: Sandwich the bad news in the middle of compliments.

Let them know of any great qualities they have before and after you say you’re not interested. This method will help lessen the hurt that they will feel.

Expect that it will be complicated and awkward—there’s no stopping that. But it’s great to know that you’ve done your best to be respectful and do the rejection in the best way possible.

Jenny Muscolo

Jenny Muscolo

Relationships Writer | Marketing Director, Connection Copilot

It’s important to be nice, but also be firm at the same time so that you’re clear on what your boundaries and expectations are. Honesty is always the best policy. Lying can lead to more lies.

There’s also never a need to apologize for not being interested unless you’ve been purposely sending them mixed messages or something malicious.

Finally, how you word things will depend on the situation. For example, if you still want to be friends, it’s going to warrant a different response versus cutting someone off completely.

Onto the examples:

Option 1: When you want to remain friends

“It’s really flattering that you want to take our relationship to a different place, but I have to be honest, it’s just not something I’m interested in at the moment. However, I genuinely enjoy your company and want to make every effort to continue to be friends. I really hope you understand.”

Option 2: When you want to cut them off completely

“To be completely upfront with you, I’m just not feeling the compatibility between us, and I think it’s best for us to go our separate ways. A romantic relationship is not something I’m interested in, but I really do wish you the best.”

Option 3: When you want to leave it open depending on their feelings

“I’ve had a great time getting to know you, but I don’t feel that our chemistry fits for a romantic kind of relationship. Personally, I’d really like to continue seeing you as friends if you’re open to it, but if you’re not then, I totally get it.”

Adanna Jideofor

Adanna Jideofor

PR Manager, My Speech Class

“I know you mean well for me, but I’m just not interested in being with you.”

Telling a guy you’re not interested in him has to be done with tact because some men don’t know how to handle rejection well, especially if they’re used to getting their way with the women that they usually toast or flirt with. This can be done in person or via text, whichever one works best for you.

Use your words

Be upfront with the guy that you’re not interested in by telling him how you honestly feel about his advances and hope that he takes it in good faith. Use compliments as a cushion before dropping the unexpected bomb.

  • “I think you’re an amazing guy, but right now, I’m dedicated to focusing on myself and my career. Please understand.”
  • “You’ve been nothing but sweet and kind to me, and at the moment, I do not have space in my life for anyone.”
  • “Hey (guy’s name), I respect you a lot, and I have to be honest with you. We can’t be more than friends.
  • “I know you mean well for me, but I’m just not interested in being with you.

“There’s someone else in my life right now that I’m interested in, and I felt you should know.”

If you’re currently seeing someone else and this guy thinks he stands a chance with you, just tell him, and hopefully, he’ll back away.

  • “There’s someone else in my life right now that I’m interested in, and I felt you should know.”
  • “I know how you feel about me, but I have feelings for someone else.”
  • “I’m currently seeing someone.”

Let your actions do the talking

Call it cruel or childish, but some guys just can’t take “No” for an answer. To avoid the unnecessary drama and outbursts that come with these kinds of guys, ghosting is the way.

I hate to say this, but this is one of the best ways to tell a guy who has been on your case for a while that you’re not interested in him. I personally prefer ghosting; they’ll get the message one way or the other. I’ve done it a couple of times, and it worked for me. It’s like he never existed after ghosting him.

How to ghost a guy you’re not interested in:

  • Ignore his calls and messages.
  • Mute and block him on social media.
  • Avoid going to places you know he frequents.
  • Change your social media handles and pictures, and he won’t be able to find you.

If the guy persists and continues to be a pest, you have every right to report him to the police for harassment.

Alina Clark

Alina Clark

Growth Manager and Co-Founder, CocoDoc

Telling a guy that you’re not interested in him takes some guts and courage. However, it still has to be done because leading someone on is an absolute no-no when it comes to relationships.

More often than not, it all comes down to how you want to approach it and the impression you want to put across. All factors considered, the following tips should work just rights.

Tell them early

There’s nothing worse than leading someone on for months, then breaking the news on them when they’re in deep. If anything, you should weigh out your likings and decide whether you’re interested in a person within the first two dates.

Letting your flirting and meetups go for long will lead to deeper attachment. This will make it harder and extremely awkward to tell him that you’re not interested.

Don’t ghost

Ghosting is not a good option when it comes to severing attachments. It breeds contempt and leaves the case unclosed. If anything, try to gather your guts and face him with your decision. Besides, telling him that you’re not interested will bring closure!

Use text if words fail you

Telling someone that you have no interest in having a relationship with them is tough. Quite often, you may not have the words to convey the feeling.

And here comes technology. Although it may seem escapist, using text will help you keep the message to the point. Besides, a text will convey the message just fine.

Don’t offer friendship as an alternative

The “We can’t date, but we can still be friends” or “you feel like a brother to me” type of rejections are disastrous. Avoid using such messages if you can. Offering friendship as an alternative doesn’t make someone feel better about you. It just reinforces the rejection instead.

If anything, any future friendship after your message will be awkward. A more practical way to do so is to let them decide whether they would want to be friends with you.

Jennifer L. Bennett

Jennifer L. Bennett

Founder & Managing Attorney, Law Office of Jennifer L. Bennett

Be straightforward

Despite your methodology, being rejected is most likely going to be difficult for them. However, it’s essential to be straightforward and try not to burn through their time once it’s unmistakable you don’t have any heartfelt interest.

Even though having a discussion is extreme, being direct can keep away from significantly more harsh rejection and agony down the line.

Keep the conversations short

If you will do it over a call, after the typical howdy’s and welcomes, do whatever it takes not to steer clear of the real issue a lot before getting to the essence of things.

Essentially, in case you’re messaging, pass your message across in a couple of lines. On the off chance that they pose inquiries, answer them as cordially as possible, let them realize you need to go. The equivalent goes for face-to-face associations.

Federica Bressan

Federica Bressan

International Researcher and Science Communicator | Podcast Host, Technoculture

Men can be persistent. Sometimes it is a good sign, sometimes a red
flag
.

When it comes to letting them know I’m not interested, it depends
on who I am dealing with. Is this someone I care about and want to stay
friends with? Or someone I want to delete from my contacts as soon as
possible?

If you care, explain your reasons

If you care about the person or wish to keep them in your life, you may
want to consider giving them a sincere explanation. This will probably
make you feel vulnerable, but it is the best approach when the other
party is worthy of respect and tact.

Even if you think that they may not understand or desist, you owe them one explanation. I said one. If they don’t pick your cue, the silent treatment may be your only option.

Silence may not always work, but it is your best option

When the person you are trying to discourage is too persistent, whether
they are annoying or threatening or just sweet and helplessly in love,
the silent treatment may be your best option.

Mind you; it may not always work.

But if you are sure you have delivered your message, and it’s not going through, there’s nothing else for you to do than ignore the person altogether. Be consistent; this is very important. Don’t pick up the phone or reply to a message, not even to say no—radio silence.

Blocking their number is the last resort. I personally try not to do that too easily, but if nothing else works, that should land the message.

Vanessa Magdalenova

Marketing Manager, Independent Fashion Bloggers

As a woman in her late twenties, I can confidently say that I’ve had my fair share of boy trouble and funny (or not so funny) dating stories. Without a doubt, one of the most awkward situations to ever be in is when you have to tell someone you’re not interested in them.

You’ve gone on a date or two with this really nice, funny, attractive guy—but the spark is just not there, or you’ve figured out that for some other reason, it simply wouldn’t work between you two.

So now you suddenly find yourself in a very very uncomfortable situation and start thinking of ways to let them down easily.

Ghosting is a big no-no

No matter how unpleasant it may be, the one thing that’s a big no-no for anyone who considers themselves a somewhat decent human being is ghosting the person you’re not interested in.

For some unknown reason, ghosting people has started to become a very frequent occurrence, and many of my friends have complained to me about it happening to them.

To be honest, I find the whole concept to be quite disrespectful and just plain rude—even if you don’t end up liking someone, at least let them know that you wouldn’t want to see them again. It’s just the nice thing to do in such an unpleasant situation.

Be honest with the person and let them know it’s not working

In my opinion, the best way to tell someone you’re not interested in them is to just be honest with the person and let them know it’s simply not working. Everyone is different and is looking for certain things in a significant other, which is why I believe there isn’t a person alive who hasn’t been rejected at least once by a love interest.

If you just talk to the guy and explain to him that you’re either looking for something more (or less) serious or that there simply isn’t any chemistry on your part, I am certain this person would be thankful to you in the long term.

With that being said, and even though honesty is the best policy, there is a difference between being honest and being rude and insensitive. That’s why you really need to make sure to be mindful of the guy’s feelings; otherwise, you might end up creating massive insecurities for him that will haunt him for months or even years.

Just treat him the way you’d like to be treated if you really like someone, but they don’t like you back—be honest, be respectful, and don’t keep him on the hook.

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