29 Jun 2016

How to be kind and let someone down gently

Category: Features
Author: Karen
If you're playing the online dating game well you should be dating lots of different people, and types of people that you wouldn't usually consider so, unless you're lucky enough to fall head over heels on your first date, there will come a time when it's your turn to say no. It's a scary thought, but you can let someone down gently and remain on good terms with them. Here are a few ways how.

Be upfront

If you know there's no future in a relationship, tell the person sooner rather than later. The longer you leave something like this, the harder it gets and you don't want to end up married and mortgaged three years down the line just because you couldn't figure out how to tell them you weren't keen after the second date (and people really do get themselves into these crazy situations). If you don't tell them quickly you also run the risk of looking like you've been stringing them along, so matter how good your intentions, a situation you'll want to avoid.

Be kind

It's important to be kind if you're saying no to someone during the online messaging phase, so you should definitely be kind if you're letting someone down after a few dates. Being rude or dismissive will only make them, and you, feel bad, so be nice about it. Tell them it's been great to meet them, but you don't think it's going to work out. Try to treat them as you would like to be treated in the same scenario.

Soften the blow

We're not advocating telling barefaced lies, but you can fudge the truth a little to save someone's feelings. If you find them completely unattractive and there's not a snowball's chance in hell of things progressing any further, you really don't need to say that to them. Sticking with something generic like saying you just don't feel the spark will work well for both of you.

Tell them face to face

Obviously you shouldn't do this if you haven't had a date yet - that would be mad - but you should tell them personally if you've met up a few times. It's common courtesy and will make them feel better than if you dump them by text or online. It's super important that you actually do tell them too: ignoring someone's messages or calls until they disappear from your life is the worst kind of behaviour. People need some kind of closure and leaving them hanging is both mean and cowardly.


If you're finding someone's behaviour upsetting or offensive then you absolutely reserve the right the block them or cut a date short. You should feel safe and comfortable both online and off and therefore if someone does anything that you don't like, then you can let them down as abruptly as you please. If someone does make you feel uncomfortable please get in touch with us and let us know.

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