Editorial:How to politely reject a date

Living/Athens Editor

In college, dating can mean many different things. To some, it means hanging out and occasionally “hooking up.” To others, it means being in a serious relationship with one person for whom they care deeply for. Either way, dating can be fun or miserable, and that all depends on personal experience.

Many people, especially young adults, want to date around and have casual fun. When openly single, it’s common to be asked out by a number of people that are interested in getting to know you on a more personal level.

In some instances, it’s exciting to be asked on a date or to be told that someone finds you attractive. But, there are also those times when someone that you aren’t the slightest bit interested in asks if you’d like to “Netflix and chill.” Those are the times when it’s vital to handle the situation in a way that gets you off the hook without completely ripping the other person’s heart in two.

It’s easy to hurt someone’s feelings when having to tell them that you have no interest in dating him or her.

According to lifehacker.com, it’s best to be honest with yourself and the person you want to turn down. If you have a gut feeling that it would never work out, don’t agree to go on a date just because you would feel bad otherwise. Being honest with the person you plan to turn down is also very important because it’s never okay to give someone false hope.

According to lifehacker.com, marriage and family therapist Heather Viets said, “Don’t make up lies, but be graciously honest. If you already have a boyfriend or girlfriend, let the person know. If you don’t have a sweetheart, but you are still not interested, tell him or her the truth. It’s okay to simply say, ‘No, thank you.’ If it’s true, you can tell him or her that you are just not interested in dating anyone right now.”

Another thing that gets tricky while rejecting someone for a date is not being rude about the rejection, even if you do feel that you are out of his or her league. There are several ways to approach this situation in a respectful manner.

Simply saying, “no” could be pretty harsh for the person on the receiving end. Though they may not be your dream date, you should still be flattered that someone sees something special in you, so try wording your negative response in a more respectable, compassionate way.

Dr. Neil Clark Warren, the founder of eHarmony, recommended that when turning someone down, you should show them the same respect you would want if the tables were turned.

He said, “Always keep your tone in mind, stay calm and be gentle, while you also make sure you still sound assured. It comes down to what you say and how you say it.”

Sometimes the situation can be frustrating when you feel as though this person is coming on too strong or won’t let up when you’ve already told them no. In this case, you should become firmer with your responses, without becoming impolite. You could always say, “I appreciate the offer, and I’m sure there is another person out there for you. But, I don’t think it’s me, so please don’t ask again.”

If the situation becomes threatening and you feel as though the person is inappropriately pursuing you, it may be time to contact a person in authority to help dissolve the situation.

Dating should be fun. In my opinion, it’s perfectly okay to date around and try seeing new people, and when you don’t want to date a specific person, there’s nothing wrong with saying no. What’s not okay though is to reject an offer for a date in a disrespectful way.

It’s not fair to be cruel to someone or make him or her feel bad about his or her self, just because you don’t find them cute or cool. If someone shows interest in you and it’s not mutual, you should politely decline his or her offer and move on. It’s as simple as that.