How to Say No to a Date: Politely Refusing a Guy or a Girl's Proposal

Updated on December 29, 2016

How to say no to a date? This post discusses polite ways to refuse and turn down a guy or girl's proposal while avoiding overused excuses that include 'you are not my type' and 'let's just be friends'.

Rejecting a proposal for a romantic relationship is all about using situation, circumstances and white lies to say no without ignoring and hurting someone's feelings. Avoid sounding bad, rude or uptight by being nice, firm and direct at the same time.

Turn down your date by pretending that you have a crush on someone else.
Turn down your date by pretending that you have a crush on someone else. | Source

1) Say that you have a crush on someone else

An easy way to politely refuse a guy or a girl's proposal is to say that you have a crush on someone else. That way you will not hurt anyone's feelings and you will have thwarted off an unwanted advance without sounding rude.

The best part about this is that you won't have to take any names. You can simply say that you don't want to reveal your crush to anyone because it is a secret.

2) Use studies or work as an excuse to politely say no to a proposal

You can easily use studies, projects and work as an excuse to say no to a proposal. When someone tells you that you have a crush on you, just say that you are too busy to be involved in a romantic relationship. Below are some examples.

  • I have reached a crucial point and I am preparing to get into the college I've always wanted to go to. I don't see myself dating anyone in the near future.
  • My job is my life and I hardly get time to meet my own friends. I don't want to let someone down by giving them false hopes.
  • Don't be curt and explain to him or her how you are completely focused on carving out your career at the moment.

3) Say that you can't go out because your friend had a crush on him or her

You can use morality to your advantage by turning down a date because you can't go out with your friend's crush. Tell the guy or girl that you would be betraying your friendship if you went out. Below are a few examples.

  • One of my friends had a crush on you. I can never go out with you because it would break her heart.
  • It would be wrong if I dated you because my friend had a crush on you.
  • My friend was crushing over you and if we go out it will become way too awkward.
  • I can never do this to my friend. He had a crush on you. Sorry but this will never work out.

You may be faced with a question like 'Who is it?' or 'Who is that friend of yours?' Just be cool and say that you can't reveal it and you would rather keep it a secret from him or her.

4) Say that you have just come out of a relationship and you don't want to date anyone

Politely turn down a date by saying that you have just come out a relationship. Say that your heart is still hurting from your breakup, you are still not over your ex, and that you don't feel like seeing anyone.

Don't give false hopes by saying that you will get back to him or her. Just be direct and say that there is no chance of you getting back in the dating scene.

Write a cute handwritten note to add a touch of warmth to your refusal.
Write a cute handwritten note to add a touch of warmth to your refusal.

5) Give the guy or girl a cute handwritten note

If you don't feel like confronting the girl or guy who asked you out on a date, wrap up the matter by giving a cute handwritten note. Don't turn the note into a letter by writing more than one or two lines. Here are a few examples of cute one-liners you can write on the note.

  • Sorry, I can't go out with you. :(
  • I don't know how to say this, but I don't see us becoming a couple.
  • I can't. I'm sorry.

The whole point of the note is to make your refusal a bit touching. It will show that you have thought about it and you care about someone's feelings. It will also help you avoid a face to face conversation or a chat with the guy or girl on the phone.

6) Say that you have other stress causing problems in your life at the moment

You can say no to being asked out by saying that you have other problems that are causing stress in your life right now. Tell the guy or girl that you want to sort of those issues and get your life back on track before you even think about seeing someone.

If he or she asks you about the problems, just say that it is a personal matter and you would rather not discuss it with anyone else. Say it once and be direct otherwise anyone will be able to see through your lie.

7) Turn down a proposal by a stranger by saying that you are already dating someone

This option cannot be used for people who are in your friend circle or with someone with whom you have a lot of common friends. But you can use this if a relatively unknown guy or a girl approaches you at a party or other social events.

Make sure that you don't use this excuse with a person who is very familiar to you or else your lie will be easily spotted. You will come across as rude if this happens.

Turn down a guy or a girl by genuinely saying that you want to be single right now.
Turn down a guy or a girl by genuinely saying that you want to be single right now.

8) Say that you want to be single and don't want to get into a relationship right now

If you don't want to get into lies and excuses, you can politely refuse a date by saying that you are not in the state of mind to date anyone. Tell the guy or girl that you want to enjoy life while you are still single. Below are a few examples.

  • It's me. I don't feel like seeing anyone right now.
  • My priorities in life are totally messed up. I don't want to date anyone right now.
  • I want to be honest with you by saying that I want to be single right now. I don't want to hurt you by giving you false hopes.

9) Don't feel guilty or sorry when you turn down a date

You will put yourself in emotional turmoil if you start feeling guilty or sorry while turning down a date. First you will fumble when you actually say no to that person, risking hurting someone's feelings.

Your guilt will also make you feel bad about saying no and every time you meet that person, there will be an awkward silence. Avoid this awkwardness by removing any trace of guilt from your mind.


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    • profile image

      Sejal S 

      2 months ago

      What if the guy is stubborn and doesn't understand the refusal in polite manner?

    • profile image

      Confidence Nicholas 

      16 months ago

      How do i turn down a relationship

      In a case where i don't love the guy because he drinks hot,not finically fitted ,but loveble

      But not the kind of guy i want in my life

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      The problem with coming up with different reasons not to go out with someone is that they'll keep trying. I find it best to just be honest and say, "I don't see you that way," or "I just want to be friends" or "I don't think we would work out in a relationship." Voting this Up and Useful.


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