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25 Tips on How to Politely Tell Someone You Don't Like Them

While dating, we often encounter people with whom we do not feel any connection. After a few initial dates, you feel the person is not for you, or you are not ready for a relationship. What do you do in such a situation? How do you tell someone you don't like them?

We will look for things you need to keep in mind while telling someone you are not interested in them. You can also do it with a text when rejecting someone with whom you have only gone on a couple of dates. To make things easier for you, we have also covered how you can tell someone you do not like them over text.

Table of Contents

How to Politely Tell Someone You're Not Interested after a Date

Saying ‘no’ to the person one is not interested in can be difficult for some as it involves disappointing others.1 However, if you are not feeling a connection with someone, it is best to let them know as soon as possible. Below are some things you should keep in mind while rejecting someone you do not like.

1. Do not feel guilty

You are bound to feel at fault if you think you are rejecting someone. Therefore, tell yourself that it is in the best interest of both of you if you go your separate ways, as the two of you are not a perfect match. After all, healthy relationships involve people who are crazy and sure about each other.

2. Ask yourself why you are not interested in him

ask yourself why you are not interested in him

There might be several reasons why you might not be interested in a particular man; however, to politely tell someone that you are no more interested in dating them, you first need to know the real reason behind your feelings. Doing this will help you have better clarity in the future.

3. Do not waste any more time

If you are not interested in dating the particular man anymore, let them know as soon as possible. Dragging things only because you are not ready for a conversation will cause more hurt.

4. Take responsibility

As you are the one initiating the break-up, take full responsibility for your decisions.2 The man in question could be a thorough gentleman, and you might be breaking things off only because you are not ready for a romantic relationship. Here, let the man know that none of it is his fault.

5. Pick an appropriate time and place to talk

When choosing to tell someone you are not interested in taking the relationship further, pick an appropriate place and time to deliver the bad news, so things do not get too awkward.

6. Give them an honest reason

After understanding your feelings, it is time to talk to the other person about how you feel. Now, it might feel tempting to be a little vague about breaking things up to protect the other person’s feelings, but doing this will only cause long-term hurt. Therefore, it is better to be as honest and transparent as possible.

7. Compliment them

Getting rejected will hurt someone’s feelings, the best you can do is sandwich the rejection with a compliment. You can thank them for their attention and efforts, which will help you break things off on a positive note

You do not have to do this if they make you feel uncomfortable or if their off-putting body language was something because of which you rejected them.

8. Don't apologize for turning them down

don't apologize for turning them down

There is no need to apologize for not being interested in someone unless you have given them false hope. Plus, apologizing will only give the man a feeling that you pity them.

9. Don’t tell them you want to remain friends

If you shared the bond of friendship with the man before starting the romantic relationship, it might not be easy to remain friends anymore. Therefore, it is wrong to tell someone that you want to be friends when you are breaking the bad news that you are no longer interested in them. Letting them decide if they want to continue the friendship with you is better. 

10. Do not lie

If you are not interested in someone, do not tell them this by giving them false facts. Lying to them about your interest in someone else might make them want to try harder to pursue you. However, in some cases, when the guy is not taking the hints, it is better to lie to get them off your back.

11. Put yourself in their shoes

Getting rejected is never easy. So, while speaking, put yourself in their shoes and talk accordingly.

12. Keep the conversation short

Getting rejected always hurts, even if the other party feels the same way about you. So use a direct approach and keep the conversation as short as possible to avoid unnecessary drama.

13. Be ready with an excuse

Although the golden rule is not to make an excuse while telling someone you have lost interest in them, sometimes, it is the only option when your date is having a hard time understanding that you want to end things with them.

14. Be firm

If you are not feeling happy in the relationship, it is vital to talk honestly with your man about it. However, sometimes the situation is such, or the relationship is so new that you do not feel comfortable telling your date about what you are feeling. In these cases, you must be firm with your ‘no’ and to the point.

15. Do not give them false hopes

Talking to someone about you not having any feelings for them is going to be hurtful. However, avoid making false promises or giving them attention only to make them feel better as it will do more harm than good.

16. Stay respectful

Just because you are no more interested in them does not mean you should not respect them. The world is small, so it is no use to burn bridges with someone you might meet again in the future in different circumstances.

17. Be polite

No matter why you refuse to have a romantic relationship with someone, if the person is genuine, you should be polite while delivering the bad news. Be polite but firm when you tell someone you are breaking things with them.

18. Focus on your needs

focus on your needs

Avoid talking about the negative traits of the other person and instead focus on what you want from a relationship and how you cannot get it from the relationship, as you both are not a perfect match.

19. Don't leave them in the dark

When dating online, you will meet various men. While you do not need to tell all these men about your dreams and expectations, if you have gone on a few dates, then instead of giving them a silent treatment, provide them with the closure everybody needs.

20. Play it cool

Telling someone they are not your love interest does not always have to be intense and heartbreaking. If you have gone on only a few dates, the other person might not have any serious feelings for you. Here it is best to keep your talk casual. Most importantly, keep your calm while having this conversation.

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21. Send him a text if you cannot do it face-to-face

No doubt, breaking up with someone in person shows your respect towards them; however, if you are not too confident about what to speak about in person and have gone out only on a few dates, breaking up things with a text is okay. 

22. Let them know you had fun

Most new relationships fade out because the people involved need different things. If this is your situation, communicate with them that you are in a different place than them and you had a great time while it lasted.

23. Keep things between the two of you

Getting rejected is a bad feeling, and the feeling becomes worse when everyone around you knows about it. So, to protect the other person from embarrassment, keep things between you two.

24. Give them space

Different people handle rejection differently, and when in this situation, they might want to avoid people. So give them some space to manage their feelings effectively.

25. Ghost them

If all the reasons have failed and the man is not taking no for an answer, and you cannot break up with an honest conversation, then you have no choice but to ghost them and avoid talking to them. Doing this will help them realize how you feel.3

ghost them

How to Tell Someone You Don't Like Them Over Text

Although rejecting someone over text is not the best way to tell them you are not interested in them, this method works if you have gone out only on a few dates. Below are some tips when looking to tell someone you do not like them over text.

1. Do not drag things

There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are not feeling the connection after a few dates. The kindest thing to do is tell the man about it so they do not keep false hopes. 

2. Say no to abbreviations

Make sure only to use proper grammar in your texts. It will make your message clearer and show the person on the other side of the screen that you have put some effort into typing the message. 

3. Do not use text to break up with a long-term partner

It is better to talk to someone about your lack of interest in them face-to-face; however, a text is manageable if you have just started dating and have gone out only on a couple of dates. However, in no situation should you break up with your long-term boyfriend of years over a text. After spending years with you, they at least deserve a proper response from you.

4. Talk to your friends first

talk to your friends first

If you are still trying to decide what to type in your text, there is nothing wrong with getting help from your friends so they can help you frame your text better.

5. Be careful

Before typing the message, cross-check the name and ensure you send it to the right person. Also, when complaining to your friend about the guy and how you will reject them, make sure you send it to the right person, not the guy himself.4

6. Decide on a time frame

It is never easy to reject someone, even if it is over a text, and doing this requires a lot of strength for some. Do not worry if you are in the same position and tell yourself you do not have to send them a text then and there. Instead, type the text and give yourself a time frame, no more than a couple of days in which you have to send this text.

7. Text them when you think they would be free

Nobody wants to receive a rejection text when they are in the middle of an office presentation. Therefore it is best to text them at night or on weekends.

8. Have small talk first

Nobody likes receiving an 'I don't like you' text in the middle of the day when this is not in their mind. So instead of just dropping a bomb on them out of nowhere, ensure you have a decent back-and-forth of texts going so they are not caught off guard.

9. Prepare them

Instead of just blurting out that you do not like them, lead them into it by saying you have something to tell them, which might hurt them. Doing this will give them a hint and prepare them for what to expect.5

10. Do not double text

After you have sent the dreadful text, give them some time to process things, and do not double text as it is one of the most annoying things to do.

11. Be patient

After you have sent the message, be patient, as they might not instantly reply. Try to keep yourself busy, so you do not overthink.

12. Keep it simple

Make sure the text you send is short and simple so everything is clear.

13. Be blunt

If you do not like the man and he is still pursuing you, there is no other option than to be blunt.

14. Do not give them mixed signals

Be sure about what you want. Texting can be tricky, so take extra care that the person understands you do not like them, even if it means you have to be a little rude.

15. Do not keep them waiting

After you have sent the text with the bad news, they might send you some follow-up messages. While it is important to take your time to reply, do not keep them waiting for hours only because you do not have a perfect answer.

do not keep them waiting

16. Tell them you had a great time

If you have been on a couple of dates, make sure to tell them you had fun till it lasted, but you cannot continue as you do not feel the connection or whatever the reason you want to give. You can tell them you would like to spend time with them in the future without romantic feelings.

17. Do not be mean

Even if you are not feeling the connection, there is no need to be mean or angry when you talk to the person in the text. Take your time and reply with a calm mindset.

18. Tell them your friendship will not change

If you were friends before you started dating and do not want to lose the friendship, let them know about this. However, the decision on whether you can remain friends should lie with them based on how comfortable they are in the situation.

19. Keep it casual

People usually take it lightly when things do not work after a few dates. So relax and keep things light. 

20. Do not lose your cool

Getting rejected can be a terrible experience for some, and bitter words can be spoken. Try not to take these words to your heart, and be proud of yourself for staying truthful.

21. Stick to your decision

If you have broken up in a text, there are chances that they will try to talk you out of your decision either with subsequent texts or when you see them face-to-face. In such a situation, be firm with your decision and confident about what you want.6

22. Tell them you need your space

‘Me time’ is essential for your personal growth. To get the man off your back, tell them you do not have time for relationships and want to concentrate on your growth.

23. Delete their number

If the man in question is not a friend or an acquaintance, you can delete their number after telling them you do not like them. This will ensure you do not message them again when you are feeling lonely.

24. Have a back up plan

Things sometimes have to go differently than expected. There are chances that instead of getting upset, they tell you they were also feeling the same and were waiting to tell you the same thing. It would help if you were prepared with answers for all situations.

25. Use this as a learning experience

Even if the other party shows disappointment and does not handle the situation very well, you should not overanalyze the situation. Refrain from thinking about what else you could have said.


How do I nicely tell someone I don't like them?

To tell someone nicely you don’t like them, make sure to have an honest, clear, and brief conversation with them. You do not have to apologize or explain yourself but be respectful. In the end, no matter how you do it, they might still be upset, so give them some time to move on.

How do you politely avoid someone you don't like?

To politely avoid someone, limit your connection with them by avoiding their calls or interaction on social media. Avoid eye contact with them and excuse yourself as soon as you see them approaching you. 

How do I deal with someone I don't like?

It is perfectly okay to not like someone, and you should let it go. However, in a situation where you cannot avoid this person, the only option is to look at their positive side. Nobody is perfect, and we all have our positive and negative sides. The best way to deal with someone is to look at their positive qualities and ignore the negative ones.


Rejecting someone is never easy and can make you feel responsible. However, going out with a person you do not feel any connection with can be bad for both you and them. When looking to tell someone you do not like them, you should be polite, clear, and honest. Doing this will help you break the connection that is not right.

Were you ever in a situation where you had to reject someone? How did it go? Was the person able to accept the rejection? Is there something you wish you had done differently? If you know someone who is looking to reject someone they are not interested in, share this article with them to help them

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.

6 Sources:
  1. Bohns, V. K., & DeVincent, L. A. (2019). Rejecting Unwanted Romantic Advances Is More Difficult Than Suitors Realize. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10(8), 1102–1110.
  2. Solferino, Nazaria & Tessitore, M.. (2019). Human networks and toxic relationships. 10.13140/RG.2.2.18615.68001.
  3. Rhoades GK, Kamp Dush CM, Atkins DC, Stanley SM, Markman HJ. (2011). Breaking up is hard to do: the impact of unmarried relationship dissolution on mental health and life satisfaction. 25(3):366-74. doi: 10.1037/a0023627. PMID: 21517174; PMCID: PMC3115386.
  4. Norona, Jerika & Welsh, Deborah. (2016). Rejection Sensitivity and Relationship Satisfaction in Emerging Adulthood: The Mediating Role of Differentiation of Self. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice. 5. 124-135. 10.1037/cfp0000056.
  5. Leary MR. Emotional responses to interpersonal rejection. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015 Dec;17(4):435-41. doi: 10.31887/DCNS.2015.17.4/mleary. PMID: 26869844; PMCID: PMC4734881.
  6. Bohns, V. K., & DeVincent, L. A. (2019). Rejecting Unwanted Romantic Advances Is More Difficult Than Suitors Realize. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10(8), 1102–1110.

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