The "Sorry, Not Feeling It" Script
What’s the most polite way to decline a second or third date when you’re just not feeling it? Alli and Jen provide a fail-proof script that’s both kind and to-the-point.
Q. Can I get some scripts I can use to politely turn down someone who I had a good first date with, but don’t want to see again? I have these dates all the time where there’s nothing necessarily wrong with the person, but I don’t want to go out again because I don’t see a long-term thing happening.
Mary-Ann, 26, Boston, MA
A. Funny you should ask, Mary-Ann, because we have a formula that we share in our show, How To Break Up By Text. The whole point of the show is that we actually don’t think people should ever break up by text. That being said, it’s nice to send a “hey-just-letting-you-know” text if, after a date or two, you’re not interested. This way, the person isn’t left hanging or wondering.
First, for everyone reading — no one wants to send these texts, so it might be helpful to know what signs a person gives that they’re not into it. It’s worth noting the discrepancy between women and men when it comes to telling their date they outright are not interested: only 14 percent of women feel comfortable being blunt, compared to 29 percent of men.
What can we gather from this tidbit of data? Men, you might want to pay better attention to the subtle signs of disinterest women give off — namely, declining another drink, or saying she has to be up early the next day.
But back to the situation at hand — what exactly to say in a rejection text. I applaud you for wanting to send this text at all. We’ve all been on the other side of this equation, constantly checking our phones to see if the other person has finally texted. It’s an icky feeling, yet so many of us don’t have any qualms about putting others in that same anxiety-ridden position.
Without further ado, the formula:
- Mention something positive and specific about the person and the conversation you had. For example, “I love that you’re so passionate about [insert company],” or, “That story about your trip to Nicaragua was hilarious!” Do not mention anything physical. This is not the time to compliment someone’s rock hard abs.
- One you have mentioned a positive, it is safe to move onto the rejection. Tell your date that you, “just didn’t feel the spark.”
- Close with the following: “I really enjoyed our date, but I felt pretty platonic about our connection.”
14 percent of women will tell their date they are not interested, versus 29 percent of men.*
No one can argue with platonic. The very definition is, “intimate and affectionate but not sexual.” In other words, you’re great! You’re wonderful!
…but I don’t want to get naked with you.
“Platonic” says everything you need to say, kindly. The word makes it not about the other person. People are either matches or they aren’t. There’s chemistry or there isn’t. No one can argue with that.
This formula steers clear of mentioning something wrong, such as “you have mommy issues.” There’s no need to get into offensive commentary. Most of the time, as you mentioned, there isn’t necessarily something wrong with the person at all.
In our show, we’ve met a lot of people who make up excuses, the top one being that they “met someone else.” They think this is an easy way to get rid of someone. Well, maybe it is easier, but it’s definitely not nicer. Telling someone, “I met someone cooler than you!” never leaves the recipient feeling good.
Essentially, this formula should be used instead of ghosting or fading out, which are terrible results of our digital world. Go forth and fight the good fight! Let’s treat people like people, not profiles.
What do you think of Alli and Jen’s rejection script? Let us know in the comments.
*May 2017 survey of Hinge members
ALLI GOLDBERG AND JEN JAMULA
Allison Goldberg & Jen Jamula are the creators of two live comedy shows — Blogologues and How To Break Up By Text — both of which look way too closely at online dating, and now they’re here to share with you all the things they can’t unsee. Their work has been featured on Good Morning America, in WIRED, Forbes, VICE and more, and at one point Time Out NY ranked them among the top ten funniest women in NYC — but they were ranked as one person. Send questions to Alli and Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org.