Dating in the digital age can be, for lack of a better word, complicated. There are so many different ways to engage with someone, which can vary based on the intensity level and directness of the interaction. For example, watching someone's Insta story can be a form of communicating, even though it's incredibly indirect. So, when push comes to shove — if you realize you don't feel a certain way about a date, you might find yourself wondering if you can reject someone over text. The truth is: You definitely can, but the circumstances in which you do so can have a huge impact. So, carefully consider what you want to say.
"Everyone knows that you don't connect with everyone you meet.," says Trina Leckie, breakup expert, and host of the podcast breakup BOOST. "I feel it is OK to reject someone via text if you just went on one date with them and decided there was no chemistry." It can actually be respectful to be direct and honest with that person early on — even if what you're conveying to them is that you don't want a second date. Rejecting someone over a text conversation can come down to how you phrase it, as well as the way you treat the person you're turning down.
"I think it is inappropriate to reject someone via texting if you have actually been dating the person," says Leckie. "Spending a lot of time with someone, only to then make them feel like you are just throwing them away via text is pretty cold and insensitive." There may be a distinction between rejecting someone over text after a first date, and doing so when you've been dating for quite some time. If you've spent a decent amount of dates with this person, consider talking it through with them IRL. "Ideally, you should meet in person, but if you are too uncomfortable with that, at least call them to have a discussion," Leckie says.
When rejecting someone over text, it's important to remember that there is a person on the other end of the screen. If you are stumped on what to say, Leckie recommends that you start by typing something positive, in order to ease into it. Try something like, "I think you are really funny and I had a good time with you." She goes on to say that you should then gently explain that unfortunately, you don't feel as though you are the right match for each other. Saying "each other," is a softer choice rather than, "You are not the right match for me," because it takes the emphasis off of them and places it on your connection.
Leckie also emphasizes that while rejection comes with the risk of hurting this person's feelings, you don't necessarily owe them an explanation. Sometimes it can actually be kinder to reject someone over text, because you may not know each other well enough for a phone call or scheduling time IRL. At the end of the day, it's all about what works best for your specific circumstances. Above all, treat each other with the respect and kindness you both deserve!