Although many of us fantasize about being chased by a mob of eligible suitors á la The Bachelorette, the truth is that being pursued can also present some obstacles. Especially if it's by someone who you aren't into. Knowing how to tell someone you just aren’t interested isn't easy, but it's a very necessary part of the dating process. I spoke to licensed clinical psychotherapist and relationship expert Dr. LeslieBeth Wish about the best way to let someone know you aren't into them.
Before taking the plunge, however, Dr. Wish warns against jumping to conclusions too soon. "Too often we fool ourselves into thinking that we really know ourselves and let previous dating experiences interfere with our assessment of a person," Dr. Wish tells Elite Daily. "Many romance comedies start with two people not liking each other and they have to overcome their biases and inaccurate assessments of each other. Remember, you can be your worst obstacle in seeing the other person — and yourself — clearly." So, if you suspect you might be rushing to make a judgment based on limited information, Dr. Wish recommends implementing a three-strike rule. Once they've demonstrated three solid reasons they're not a good match, you know for certain it isn't worth pursuing. If you're already sure about how you feel, it's time to start considering the best way to break the news. Here are some tips on how to approach this uncomfortable conversation.
1. Consider Doing It Over The Phone Or In Person
"Before you start practicing what you want to say, think first about how you would like someone to tell you that he or she is not interested," says Dr. Wish. "Would you want someone to tell you in a text? Email? In person? [Just remeber that] impersonal communication [like texting] can make you look insensitive, immature, and cowardly."
If it's someone you really care about or would like to remain in contact with, having an IRL conversation may give them more clarity. However, if you have a feeling they aren't going to take it well or things could escalate, communicating via text or over the phone is always an option.
2. Don't Go Into Unnecessary Detail
"Keep in mind that hearing 'no' from someone really hurts, and being respectful is extremely important," says Dr. Wish. "But, don't drag out the rejection. The other person will most likely sense the 'no' in your voice or in your eyes."
Plus, it's likely that the honest reason(s) you don't want to date them would be hurtful for them to hear. So, there's no need to go into too much detail. IMO, simply stating that you don't think it's a good fit and highlighting a couple of general reasons should be enough.
3. Give Them A Brief Explanation
Although you shouldn't drag the rejection out, Dr. Wish notes that having a clear explanation can help the other person get closure. Consider phrases like: "You're a really great person, but I don't think we're in the same place in life," or "There's someone else who could be a better match for me," recommends Dr. Wish. If you'd rather put the emphasis on yourself, that's also an option. "For example, you might say that you realized that you are not the right match for them, or, that you realized you still need some time to [work on yourself]," says Dr. Wish.
Regardless of your approach, being rejected is probably going to be painful for them. But, it's so important to be honest and avoid wasting their time once it's clear you don't have any romantic interest. Even though having a conversation is tough, being direct can avoid even more intense rejection and pain down the line.