Despite the overly optimistic nature of rom-coms, crushing on someone is not as easy as it looks.
Falling in love with the beautiful body who sits behind you in math class in no way guarantees they will return your feelings of adoration. Sadly, rejection is always a possibility where crushes are concerned.
But what do you do when the tables are turned and someone you’re not interested in admits that they have feelings for you? Even though rejecting someone is a tricky thing to master, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to do things.
We have yet to master the perfect method of dishing out a dose of rejection, but experience has taught us what we absolutely should not do. Keep scrolling for tips on how not to tell someone you’re not interested.
While lying your way out of a sticky situation might seem like the best option, it will only make things worse for you in the long run. Telling someone that you “just don’t want a boyfriend right now” or you “aren’t allowed to date” is a semi-successful method of rejection, but it fails to get to the heart of the matter—that you’re just not interested. Telling these lies may seem harmless, but it leaves the door open for your admirer to continue fanning the flames of their feelings towards you. Instead, it’s better to be honest from the beginning and gently explain that you just don’t feel that way about them. It gives them the opportunity to move on, and it saves you from having to keep track of the lies you’ve told.
Because chatting about feelings with someone who has a crush on you can be awkward, it might be tempting to pass the responsibility of breaking your admirer’s heart off to someone else. While recruiting your besties to pass along the difficult news is an effective way to avoid a difficult conversation, it is ultimately inconsiderate to the person who is crushing on you. Waiting for someone else to turn your admirer down can lead to a lot of confusion and anger on their end, and a sense of guilt and worry on yours. Having a one-on-one conversation ensures that you are able to get your point across in the nicest way possible, and it offers the other person a sense of closure that only you can provide.
When it comes to communicating to someone that you don’t have feelings for them, it’s always better to do it sooner rather than later. If you’re still responding to every text message and portraying a general sense of carefree normality, they are going to be totally blindsided when you finally work up the courage to break the news. It’s better to pull them aside as soon as you’re made aware of their feelings and communicate your disinterest kindly. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for both of you.
If you’re really afraid of turning someone down, it can sometimes seem like a good idea to agree to “just one date” as a gesture kindness. But we’re here to tell you, it’s never a good idea. It’s likely you already know how you feel about this person, and saying yes to a pity date will only delay the inevitable. Agreeing to a date also gives your admirer hope that you might feel the same way, which will only make things more painful when you tell them you don’t. As a rule, don’t ever agree to a date that you don’t wholeheartedly want to go on. It won’t save anyone from getting hurt, and you’ll be forced to sit through an awkward evening of forced smalltalk.
Number one rule of rejection: do not ghost someone. In case you haven’t heard of ghosting, it’s a method of rejecting someone that involves cutting off all communication with no explanation. No texts, no calls—just a disappearing act that would make a magician proud. It leaves your admirer completely in the dark, and it’s honestly the worst. Beyond the fact that ghosting does not allow for a very functional relationship in the future, it’s also incredibly confusing and frustrating for the person who has been ghosted. Having a conversation to communicate your feelings (or lack thereof) might be difficult, but it will definitely make things better in the long run for both you and your admirer.
If you think ghosting is bad, click HERE to learn what breadcrumbing is and how to deal with it.