Reject with respect! How to reject someone online (without ignoring him)

By Emen8, updated 3 weeks ago in Sex and dating / Dating and relationships

man texting on phone with emojis to show rejection and blocking

If there’s one thing dating apps have given us, it’s choice. No matter who you are or what you’re into, there’s an absolute buffet of men online, available to fulfil your every fantasy.

But among all the guys you’re hoping to meet, there are always going to be just as many who don’t appeal. All that choice means you’re probably going to spend at least as much time rejecting guys on dating apps as you are chatting to your next fb.

Rejecting someone respectfully is one of the great skills of online dating (others include ‘advanced sexting’, ‘taking a magnificent dick pic’ and ‘notifying him when you’ve got an STI’). It’s worth getting it right – he might be a stranger online, but he’s still a person who deserves respect and kindness, just like you.

Here are our top tips for letting a guy down gently but firmly, so you can both move on to more promising connections.

1. Use your profile

When it comes to letting guys know you’re not interested, your profile can do a lot of the heavy lifting. Fill it out with all the details of what you’re looking for and how you like to use the app, so it’s clear what you’re about.

This includes stating your preferences when it comes to top/bottom/vers/side, HIV status, sending nudes, woofs/taps, blocking etiquette, any kinks, showing face pics and hooking up ‘right now’.

Get it right and you’ll weed out a lot of the unsuitable suitors straight away — and without a single line of awkward rejection chat.

Just remember, that there are people reading what you put in your description, so be respectful — avoid language that is racist, body shaming and fem-phobic. While we all have a preference, having an awareness of others and their feelings is a highly attractive quality.

2. Be efficient

If you’re not interested, let him know straight away. Whether it’s because you’re not enjoying the chat or you’ve checked out his profile and he’s just not your vibe, ending it quickly means you can both move on. Some options include:

  • ‘I feel like we’re after different things but it was nice chatting.’
  • ‘Thanks for the chat, I’m not interested in taking this further but I wish you all the best.’
  • ‘I’ve had a look at your profile and I’m not sure we’re compatible. Hope you find somebody great!’
  • ‘I can see you’re after a hook up right now, unfortunately I’m already in bed with a good book! Happy to chat, but I’m not looking for any action tonight.’
caucasian man screws up his face at mobile phone he holds in both hands

3. Don’t just ignore him

If you’re trying to avoid hurting his feelings, ignoring him is not the way. Being ignored can feel dismissive and rude, even if you’re just hoping he’ll take the hint. Most guys will appreciate you telling them you’re not interested directly.

And if you’re old enough to use a dating app, you’re too old to be ghosting people. As awkward as it can feel to reject someone, pretending he doesn’t exist doesn’t benefit anyone.

That said, if you have politely refused (as mentioned above), then there is no need to continue engaging.

4. Keep it short

There’s no need to coach him through it, you don’t need to justify your disinterest (see below), especially if you haven’t been chatting for long. Composing a lengthy apology or explanation can come across as a little patronising and is more than likely a waste of time. If he has questions or is confused, he’ll let you know.

“… if you’re old enough to use a dating app, you’re too old to be ghosting people.”

5. Make it clear whether it’s ‘not now’ or ‘not ever’

Don’t say ‘maybe another time’ when you really mean ‘never in this lifetime’.

It might seem like a softer option to brush him off with a maybe, but it leaves the door open for him to approach you again. And again. And again — until you finally tell him you’re actually not interested at all. By this point, he’ll likely be a bit annoyed that you’ve been wasting his time.

6. Be tactful and kind

There are any number of ways to tell him you’re not keen. The best ones are respectful, polite and direct, often with a friendly sign-off. They use ‘I’ phrases. They also make it clear that it’s not up for discussion.

Some possible options are:

  • Hey, thanks for asking! However, I’ll pass politely and wish you happy hunting.
  • It’s been nice chatting but I’m not keen to meet. Have a good night!
  • Thanks for the tap/woof/message, but I’m not feeling it and I don’t want to waste your time.
  • I don’t think we’re looking for the same thing. Goodnight and have fun!
  • I’m very flattered but I’m not interested, sorry. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
  • Thanks, but I’m not looking to date/hook up/swap pics.

7. You don’t have to explain yourself

This is one of those times when ‘I don’t want to’ is all the explanation you need to give.
There’s no obligation for you to unpack why you aren’t attracted to him. Online dating is different for everyone, and you don’t need to justify doing what feels good, fun and safe for you.

If he won’t take no for an answer, getting into the specifics may only make it worse

young asian man holds mobile phone and shrugs

8. Have strong boundaries

If he doesn’t respect your decision and persists in contacting you, your best option is to block him.

You’ve made your position clear and it’s okay to stick to it. Engaging with him on a dating app after you’ve rejected him may give him false hope. Plus, getting constant pings from people you’re not interested in might distract you from pursuing the other babes you are keen on!

9. Rejection is not an excuse to get abusive

Every dating app has policies against abuse and harassment.

If blocking him doesn’t work (for example, if he starts a new account) and his behaviour starts to bother you, use your app’s reporting function to notify the moderators. You have the right to be safe and free from harassment online, and rejecting someone doesn’t change that.

Online dating opens a whole new hot world. Whether you’re after Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, great sexual connections are only a tap and a text away. Staying respectful in your hunt is the best way to make the community a safe and fun place for everyone.