Turning a Guy Down Nicely

Tell him ‘no’ without being mean

It’s happened to everyone. A nice guy asks you out, whether a first date or a second date, and you aren’t interested. How do you turn him down without being rude?

There’s no easy way to do it, but some methods are better than others. Our relationship experts share their tips to help you navigate the oh-so-complicated waters of dating.

Turning a Guy Down Nicely

Be honest with him

Don’t lead him on. It's as simple as that. Don’t make up a reason about why you don’t want to spend time with him by pretending to be overbooked or tired. Be upfront and don’t waste his time. It might not seem like it now, but he’ll be thankful for your honesty later, assured Lori Bizzoco, relationship expert and founder of

Laurel House, author and relationship coach at, agrees with Bizzoco. She said, “Rejecting someone else can sometimes feel worse than being rejected. At least, it can be more stressful. You've got to just rip off the Band-Aid, in the kindest and most honest way possible. Don't prolong or put off the inevitable, because then you just have this lingering stress on your shoulders, plus it's not fair to him. Instead, say, 'Thank you so much, I truly am flattered and you've honestly made my day, but I just don't feel like we are a fit.'”

Rejecting someone else can sometimes feel worse than being rejected.

Turning a Guy Down Nicely

Tell him via email or text

Surpringly enough, House said that when it comes to how to deliver the info, text or email is best. “The last thing you want to do is deliver that information to their face or on the phone. Why? Well imagine if the roles were reversed. Would you want him to call you and say, ‘you know, as great as you seem to be, I just don't really like you.’ No you wouldn't. That would be super uncomfortable for both of you,” House said.

Make it clear that you’re not interested

“Sure, it's tempting to flirt with him just for fun, but don’t send him mixed signals by beating around the bush. You can be friends with him, but make sure he knows that’s all you are. Knowing he wants more, he may not be ready to be just friends. If that's the case, respect his feelings and back off,” Bizzoco said.

Tell the cold, hard truth

From the male perspective, Brenden Dilley, relationship coach and author of Still Breathon': The Wisdom & Teachings of a Perfectly Flawed Man, said, “I don't want you to sugar coat it or try and spin it. Doing that just insults my intelligence and makes me think you've got low character. If you truly care about the person you're denying, then you'll do what's right even if it's uncomfortable for you. That means being brutally honest, but in a thoughtful way.”

Dilley said, “For example, if the man isn't very attractive, you don't need to say, ‘Hey pal, that's a face only a mother could love!’ However, there is nothing wrong with saying, ‘You seem like a nice enough guy, but I'm just not attracted to you at all and you deserve someone who does find you attractive.’ That's it. You don't need to say anything else or keep talking. Just state the truth and then be quiet. You aren't always going to make friends being this honest and direct, but you'll earn respect and feel good knowing you were upfront and honest.”

Turning a Guy Down Nicely

Don’t hide behind a lie

Do not hide behind boyfriends, husbands or children. Just be politely honest. When you “hide” you inadvertently tell the man that if you were single or your child was gone, you’d go out with him. Then if you do breakup or your child is with others for an extended stay, he may quite rightly expect a yes, said Scot Conway, Ph.D., J.D., and relationship coach for

The key points to remember when turning a guy down is to be nice, but firm. Don’t accidentally leave the door open for possibilities down the road, as can occur when you tell him anything but the truth. When a guy likes a girl, he’s willing to wait on her, if he thinks there’s any chance of her changing her mind. So if the truth is you’re not attracted to him, but you lie and say, “I’m just not ready to date right now,” then he will check back in with you in a few months. If you tell him that you are going back to your old boyfriend, again, he will check in with you down the road to see if you guys broke up again.

The nicest way to tell a guy “no” is to tell him the truth. That leaves him open to meeting other women and finding someone who appreciates him and finds him appealing.

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