Love, Lindsay

'How Should I Respond To A Guy's Text When I Don't Want To See Him Again?'

All your relationship questions answered — right here, right now.

Lindsay here, A Plus's resident relationship guru/columnist. While I may not know everything, I do know a lil something about love and our seemingly endless pursuit of it. Having written dozens of A Plus articles about dating, relationships, and sex, I'm ready and willing to investigate all of your romantically-inclined questions (submit here!) — because I've asked them myself. What I hope to bring to A Plus's readers is a sex-positive, body-positive, and most importantly, you-positive perspective on modern love. Consider Love, Lindsay your digital Cupid. 


Dear Lindsay,

I recently went on a date, and I had an OK time, but there just wasn't any spark. We didn't talk for a couple days, so I figured he felt the same way, but then he recently reached out again to ask how I was doing. I don't really want to see him again, but I don't want to just ghost on him. How do I respond? I don't want to reply right away with a rejection because I think it will come off very presumptuous, but I also don't want to unintentionally lead him on when I don't really want to see him again.

Thanks, Mackenzie 

Dear Mackenzie,

I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine: The Official A Plus Rejection Text. This text is a short and sweet way to let someone down easy, and looks a lil' something like this: "Hey, I think you're nice and cool, but I'm just not sure our personalities meshed in a romantic way. Thank you for the evening." 

Is it particularly poetic? No, but it's polite, firm, and most importantly, effective. 

Here's why it works: 

1. You begin with a compliment. This guy wasn't repulsive or offensive, he just didn't click with you. This can happen to anyone, but when people get rejected, their knee-jerk reaction is often "What's wrong with me?" By starting off with a quick, vague, but nonetheless true, compliment, you're rejecting someone while still reassuring them they're a decent person. 

2. You make it clear it's no one's fault, it's just a failure of chemistry. If you are the kind of person who relies on their gut feeling when they meet someone new, and you've already made up your mind you don't want to go out with this guy again, it's far kinder to say that plainly, yet politely, than beat around the bush and potentially lead him on. 

3. You thank him — not for a drink, dinner, or anything material, but for his time. Regardless of who paid, you don't owe him anything other than the most basic appreciation you would show to any fellow human. Overall, by being gracious and respectful in your rejection, you're doing your part to end things on amicable terms. 

Best case scenario, this text provides a clean break for you both to carry on with your respective dating lives, but if he happens to respond with hostility, I don't recommend responding. 

When that's his immediate reaction after only spending an hour or two with you, there's nothing you can say or do to change his mind. It's safer for you to take yourself out of the equation entirely. If he keeps texting you, and you start to feel unsafe, block his number and tell someone else what happened. 

On the flipside, he could see your rejection not as an ending, but as a negotiation to hook up with you in lieu of actually dating. Chances are he'll hone in on the "in a romantic way" and say something about how he wasn't looking for anything seriously romantic anyway, but you guys could just "have fun" and "hang out." Now, if you're similarly down for a casual hookup, then go for it. If you don't want to hook up with him, you can just say something like "I'm not really into that kind of thing." Again, it's short, semi-sweet, and more than satisfactory. If he doesn't get the message then, that's his problem, not yours. 

Here's the thing about rejection: it happens to everybody (pretty much). That's why I'm instating The Golden Rule Of Early-Stage Dating: "Reject someone how you would want to be rejected." 

So while I can't guarantee The Official A Plus Rejection Text is 100 percent fool-proof, I can guarantee it's a helpful guideline you can – and should — feel comfortable adapting to suit your particular needs. 

And perhaps most importantly, keep putting yourself out there. You might have another date with a different dud, but you'll be ready for that. And when you meet someone you actually do want to see again, I'm always here to help you craft that text, too. (Seriously, I have A LOT of free time.) 



If you thought all that was TL (too long) and DR (didn't read), check out my quick tip video:

If you liked this article, you'll love submitting to and reading Love, Lindsay. And if you didn't, my name is Jenny, and I'll be your cruise director... 

Cover image via Unsplash


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.