How To Say ‘No’ To Someone Asking You Out (23 Respectful Ways)

It can be a cringeworthy experience saying no to someone that asked you out. Nevertheless, if you have no interest in taking things forward, you'll need to decline their request in a manner that doesn't hurt or offend them. 

If you're wondering how to reject someone asking you out, you're in the right place. We've compiled twenty-three ways to dish out rejection in a subtle and polite manner (without the need to sugar coat your response). 

If you were tongue-tied before, this article would give you the confidence to say, “no.” Continue reading to find out more. 

23 Ways To Say No To Someone Asking You Out 

1. Thank them

The most important thing to remember when you want to reject someone is to appreciate them for their effort. Asking someone out takes a lot of bravery, so outright saying ‘no' can hurt more than you imagined. Therefore, it would help if you declined with appreciation to help that person get the message without feeling bad.

Tell the person something like, “Thank you for asking me out. It means a lot to me, and I appreciate the effort. However, I don't think this is the right time.” Irrespective of the reason you give, saying, “Thank you,” will communicate your intentions better.

2. Politely say ‘no'

Sometimes, outright saying ‘no' to someone that asked you out can help them understand why you made your decision. However, this act needs to be done politely. If a guy asks a girl out, it means he adores her. Therefore, respectfully declining an offer is critical. It would mean a lot if you didn’t disrespect them merely to scare them away. 

Tell the person, “I'm sorry, but I have to decline your offer,” and then state your reasons. This method of communication is simple but effective because you're direct without being mean. It's also a recommended option for those that don't want to sugarcoat the truth with too many unnecessary words. 

3. Explain that you're busy

If someone asks you out on a date, you can pass across the message that you're not interested in saying you're busy. This move will soften the blow and give the person enough time to think about taking things forward. 

If the person picks a date, tell them some days before that you'll be unavailable. You can ask them to reschedule or be direct enough to say that you're not ready for a date yet. 

Your sincerity will mean more to them if you're not interested. You don't have to waste their time by constantly rescheduling. You can outright tell them how you feel.

4. Write a note

If you don't want to seem like a jerk by saying the wrong things in person, you can opt for writing instead of speaking. Writing a note is the perfect way to express how you feel without messing up your words or hurting the other person's feelings. If you want to say no in the most polite way, you can write a sweet note that will convey the message appropriately

Adding extra designs can help the person know that you put much thought into it. The way you deliver the message will also play a critical role in how the person perceives your message. In a nutshell, be nice in whatever approach you choose. 

5. Never use hurtful words

No matter how you feel about the person asking you out, it would help if you never used hurtful words to decline their offer. More so, don't act unruly around them to scare them away. Ensure you communicate in a way you would like others to treat you in the long run. State your reasons politely and give them time to process the information.

You can say something like, “I don't think dating is the best option for both of us. We're merely just getting to know one another.” If the person still insists, politely decline instead of resorting to using mean words. 

6. Explain that the problem is from you and not them

explain that the problem is from you and not them

Rejection can make a person overly critical of themselves. They might start to feel they have a problem, which it's essential to emphasize this fact. Saying “no” to someone that asked you out should demand telling them that they're not the problem and make them see reasons. 

If you're merely not interested, it will help to communicate that your disinterest is causing you to say, “no.” Explaining things this way will help you stay on a good note with the person even after declining their offer. It's one of the ways to help them get through your refusal.

7. Don't use a third party

If a guy asks you out directly, it's only mandatory that you decline his offer directly. Telling someone to pass across the message worsens the situation and reduces your chances of staying on good terms with this person. Always remember that asking someone out takes bravery, so you have to be courageous enough to say “no” straight off. 

You can mention how dating isn't what you want right now, but you'll appreciate a friendship. You can also include any other reason for your disapproval. Communicating things this way shows that you're mindful of the association, which will leave a good impression. 

8. Explain how your studies come first

One of the best excuses to give to someone who asked you out is to mention how immersed you are in your studies. However, you shouldn't use this tactic if you're clearly not the bookish type. It will be obvious to the person that you're merely trying to push him away. Instead, say this if you're indeed serious about your studies. 

You can say something like, “I appreciate that you want to go out with me, but I would rather concentrate on my studies for now. I don't want to get distracted and start to flunk my grades.” You can conclude by thanking them and mentioning how great they are. 

9. State that you're a breadwinner

Another excuse you can give to someone asking you out is to mention that you're the breadwinner of your family or that you cater to your family's needs. This reason is viable to disapprove of dating in the meantime. 

If you indeed have a lot on your plate, saying this will discourage the person from taking things further. They might offer to help you out, but politely declining altogether will help you establish boundaries. 

Tell them something like, “I'm looking out for a lot of people now, and I don't think I can handle a relationship at the moment. I hope you can understand.”

10. Too busy with work

Another way to reject someone without hurting their feelings is to mention how busy you are with work. If you have a demanding job, don't hesitate to state specifics if it will discourage the person wanting a relationship with you. For example, you can say, “I work two jobs, and I'm trying to build a career on the sideline. I don't think I can date right now. I'm sorry.”

Any man asking you out will understand the situation and will try not to pester you. You can also state how you prefer a friendship in the meantime if that will pacify the person.

11. Say you're not the one for him

If the major reason why you're saying ‘no' is because you feel that the person isn't the one for you, you should outright state this. However, ensure your statement is objective and not subjective to soften the blow and make the person feel less hurt about your disapproval.

Instead of saying, “You're not the one for me,” say, “I'm not the one for you.” This comment puts you in their shoes and shows that you're truly concerned about what's best for them. You can state your reasons or merely say it's what you feel. They'll likely understand the situation more if you explain things better.

12. Not emotionally stable

not emotionally stable

Any guy that's asking you out won't question your emotional stability if you state it as a reason for your disapproval. Therefore, if you're not in the right state of mind to date someone, you can tell them straight off. You can say, “I'm dealing with a lot in my life right now, and I can't handle a relationship. We can still be friends if you're okay with that.”

Your sincerity will help them understand the situation and make them back off from pursuing a relationship. On the contrary, they might offer to help with what you're going through. Insisting that you'll handle things on your own will establish some distance.

13. Explain that both of you are similar but different

A subtle way to say, “Sorry, I'm not interested,” is bringing up your differences with the person asking you out. However, mentioning how similar the both of you are will pacify the person more. 

You can say, “We both like the same sports and enjoy hanging out together, but I think our views about life are too different to consider being in a relationship. We can still be friends for now, but I don't think we should date.”

Giving the person valid reasons for saying “no” will help them accept your decision better. Your honesty will likely also keep both of you on good notes after the situation.

14. You're too crazy for him

Another way to discourage someone from pursuing a relationship with you is to tell them how crazy you are. Expressing your bad qualities can turn out to be useful in such a situation. You can choose to mention how badly it ended with your exes and how you don't want to ruin your friendship with them over a relationship issue.

Include how you're certain they can't handle you. The more pessimistic you sound, the more discouraged they'll get. At some point in time, they'll lose hope in a relationship.

15. You need time for yourself

Men are likely to accept rejection better if you give them plausible reasons. A fruitful option is mentioning how you need time for yourself. Self-development is critical before anyone can be in a successful relationship. Stating that you need to work on areas in your life before considering seeing someone will discourage them from asking you out.

For example, you can say, “I need some time to work on myself and to deal with my past breakups. I'm not ready for a relationship now.” This statement is direct, honest, and hard to refuse.

16. Express sadness

Stating how sad you are about saying “no,” to someone can make the situation less painful. If you weren't expecting them to take things further by asking you out, you could share your remorse for the situation. More so, you can state your expectations for keeping the friendship solid.

For example, say something like, “Wow, I wasn't expecting this. I'm extremely sorry that I have to do this; I'm not ready for a relationship. Can you forgive me? I cherish our friendship more than anything and hope we can remain friends.” Ensure you make sincere eye contact to communicate your emotions accordingly. 

17. Parents are too strict

If you're not interested in dating someone, you can tell them how strict your parents are and how you wouldn't want to get into any trouble with them. They might suggest that you keep everything secret, but you can insist on not having an issue with them. 

Tell them something like, “I'm honored by your request, but I can't date at the moment. My parents wouldn't allow it, and I would prefer not to have problems with them. We can still be friends and hand out as often as possible if that helps.” Being sincere about the circumstances surrounding your disapproval can help both of you remain friends after everything.

18. Strict older brothers

strict older brothers

An easy alternative to saying you have strict parents is talking about strict siblings. Telling someone “no,” on the basis that your brothers won't accept the relationship will help them accept rejection better. You can also mention that it'll be hard to hide the relationship from them, so it's best to avoid the scenario altogether. 

If you mention them getting into trouble with your brothers, they'll be discouraged about pursuing you. Tell the person something like, “My brothers won't fancy the idea of me seeing you. I don't want you to get into any trouble, so I think it's best we remain friends.”

19. Another girl will love you better

You can discourage the man who wants to date you by telling him you won't love him enough. Give reasons for this statement, like how both of you aren't compatible or that your job won't allow you to focus on the relationship efficiently. If he believes that a relationship won't be all that he imagined, he'll stick to just being friends.

Tell him something like, “I'm flattered by your request, but I don't think I'll be able to love you the way you want. I have personal challenges and a career I'm building. I feel another girl will love you better. We can still be friends in the meantime.” 

20. There's no chemistry

Having no chemistry with someone is a viable reason to reject their proposal to date. You can straightaway be honest with this fact, which will give them reasons to find someone else. Let them know that they're great, but you have no special connection with them that'll keep a relationship going. 

You can tell them, “You're an amazing person, and we get along quite well. Dating you sounds like fun, but we don't have that kind of chemistry to keep a relationship. If things were different, I would definitely consider your proposal. But now, let's stick to being friends.”

21. Dating someone else

Telling a guy that you're dating someone else is an easy way to discourage him from pursuing you. He'll deal with the rejection better because he'll understand that you're already taken. This statement is quite easy because you don't need to give further explanations afterward. Tell the person that you can't date them because you already have a boyfriend.

You can say something as short as, “I have a boyfriend,” or give a more heartfelt response like, “I never knew you felt this way about me. I would have considered a relationship, but I'm already with someone. Perhaps, we can still be friends?”

22. You see him as a brother

If you want to tell someone asking you out, “Sorry, I'm not interested,” without giving false hope, state that you only see them as a brother. Guys generally don't like being friend-zoned, so this statement will discourage any male individual from pursuing you. Being straightforward about 

how you feel will help the person embrace the reality of things sooner.

You can say, “I'm sorry, but I don't see you that way. I take you as a brother, but I wish the situation were different. We're close friends, and I don't want to ruin our friendship because of this.”

23. Be honest and direct

The golden rule about telling a guy you're not interested in dating him is, to be honest, and straightforward. Don't lead him on or make up stories you can't keep up with. The more sincere you are with this person, the more respect they'll have for you in the long run. More so, you can preserve a great friendship if you stick to the truth.

You can say, “I wouldn't want to lie to you…” before completing any statement you make to let the person know you're honest. This act will preserve your credibility in the long run.


How do you reject someone nicely?

The golden rule about rejection is, to be honest about your reasons. It's one thing for a person to be rejected, while it's another thing to find out they lied about their motives. Sticking to the truth will always pay off in the end and is the nicest way to tell someone “no.” More so, you'll earn respect for your sincerity. 

How do you reject a date over text?

Explaining that you can't make it because you're busy with work or any other important activity is the easiest way to reject a date over text. Consequently, you can explain that the both of you are not an ideal match if you're not interested in having a relationship with that person. 

How do you politely say no to someone coming over?

There's no easy way to decline someone's offer to visit you at your residence. You merely have to summon up the courage, to be honest. An easy alternative is asking to reschedule the meeting at a public place or telling them that you're not in a good state of mind to entertain guests. 

Is it okay to reject someone?

If you have no solid interest in someone, rejecting them is much better than leading them on. They might be offended or heartbroken about being rejected, but they’ll feel much worse knowing you were pretending merely to make them feel better. 

How do you friendzone someone?

Telling someone you only see them as friends or siblings is the best way to friendzone them. They'll understand that a romantic situation can't occur between the both of you and will be discouraged from pursuing one.

To Sum Up

Did you enjoy this article on telling someone you're not interested in being in a relationship with them? The best tactic remains to tell the truth. In the long run, they'll appreciate you for being honest with them. Kindly leave a comment below if you liked this article or share it with someone that needs to see it.

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