Yesterday I got a message from one of my lovely readers with an interesting question/situation. She went on two dates with a guy who just wasn’t a good fit for her. Because she’s the sort of lady who tries to treat people with respect and kindness, she reached out to him to tell him that there would be no third date and told him why over text. I won’t post the texts, but the reason why she was cutting him off were as clear as day, and not something that required interpretation. Rather than taking that rejection and moving on, he then asked that she discuss her reasons for rejecting him on the phone, which she refused, then he suggested meeting in person, which she also refused. After that, he continued to insist that he get further clarification over the phone or in person as to why she didn’t want to see him again. She wants to know, how do you turn down someone you’ve already rejected. Especially when they persist, but aren’t being rude about it.
First, let me just say that rejecting someone, whether for the first time or the 5th time, is one of those things where you can try to do the right thing, dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s, and things can still not go smoothly. Certain things you’re in control of, like the actual rejection, but you can never control how people will react. I’ve rejected some people who I thought would freak out but were remarkably calm, and I’ve rejected people I’ve been on one date with who told me I would never be able to relate to women. You can’t control anyone else’s behavior, you can only try to do what’s right and hope for the best. Remember though, sometimes you do the right thing and get rewarded with passive aggressiveness.
In my opinion, she did everything right. She went on two dates with a guy, and realized things just weren’t going to work, and rather than dragging it out, or ghosting him, she did the right thing by rejecting him, and gave him a specific, honest reason why she wanted to end things. There is nothing else you owe someone you’ve been on a couple dates with! I’m a big believer in the idea that not every rejection needs to happen via a phone call or face-to-face, especially not if you’ve only been on two dates. Two years together? They deserve a face to face meeting. Two dates? A text is more than sufficient. If I go on two dates with you, and you plan to meet me in person to reject me on what I think will be our third date, I’m going to be more annoyed than anything else. You made me come to Manhattan so you could reject me, a relative stranger, in person? C’mon man, you should know I’d much rather get a text so I can go home and binge watch a show!
Once you’ve rejected someone, and given a reason why, you don’t owe them a deeper explanation, especially if they’re basically a stranger to you. Once you’ve said “I’m done, here’s the reason why. Best of luck with your dating search” your obligation to them immediately ends. If you want to provide further clarification you can, but you don’t have to. Sometimes when people want further clarification, what they’re actually looking for is a way to convince you to change your mind. Just something to keep in mind.
So, with that out of the way, here’s how to turn down someone you’ve already rejected:
Give them a concise rejection
Again, whether you text, call, or do it in person, reject them in a way that clearly states your reason for not wanting to see them. Whatever way you decide to reject someone is up to you. If you’re wondering whether or not to text, call, or meet up in person based on your dating situation, don’t worry, I already made a handy guide for you:
There shouldn’t need to be any more steps beyond concisely rejecting someone, but some people will be just as insistent as the guy in the example above and insist that you give them more. Here’s how to deal with that:
What if I reject them, but they ask for clarification?
Provide it if you want, but I would encourage you to say “There isn’t anything else I want or need to add” once you’ve gotten to the point where that statement is true for you. If you don’t want to date someone because you’re just not that into them, further explanation isn’t needed, so you wouldn’t be able to provide it anyway. If you end things with someone and you’ve given them every single bit of information about why you want to end things with them, going above and beyond that is something that’s just going to send the wrong message to them. Whether it’s humoring them, or answering hypothetical scenarios, it’s just going to signal to them that this is a dialogue, rather than a closed conversation. If you’re done, act like you’re done, and stop the conversation.
But what if they ask to talk over the phone or meet in person?
Again, up to you, personal freedoms and all that, but you can just say “No thanks, I’m good” and be done with it. Or “I’d rather not”. Or “I don’t see the point in meeting or talking on the phone, my mind is made up”. You get where I’m going here, right?
But what if they continue to insist that you meet or call them after you tell them no the first time they ask?
At this point, even if the language that they’re using is passive or polite, the intention is not. People asking you the same question expecting a different response are trying to change your response, not trying to get “clarification”. Even if it’s done in a way that seems nice, it ain’t nice. If you tell someone the reason you don’t want to date them anymore, and they continue to press you even after you refuse their attempts to get more information, or meet in person, or whatever else, even if they’re doing so in a way that uses respectful language, they are being disrespectful. A lot of self-professed “nice-guys” and “cool girls” do this thing where they use polite or respectful sounding language but are full-on ignoring you when you say “No” and “Stop” and “Seriously, this conversation is over”.“I respect your decision, but I just want you to give me a chance to get more insight” sounds polite removed from context, but if you’ve already rejected someone, multiple times, continuing to press them on the issue is just plain rude.
But what if they still continue to insist even after you’ve been clear that you’re done explaining things to them?
Listen, some people just can’t take a hint, or worse, they willfully refuse to take no for an answer. In that case, you’ve got two options, either block or ignore them, or just tell them point-blank “At this point, you’ve burned all your goodwill. For the final time: No I wont explain things further, no I wont meet you in person to talk about it, no I wont call you to talk it out. I’m done talking about this. Goodbye”. It’s definitely aggressive, but if someone won’t take no for an answer, sometimes being aggressive is your only option.
Good Luck Out There.