How to let a someone down gently
It’s never fun to let down a date, but there are ways of making it easier. Give up ghosting and use our advice to discover how to let someone down gently
An essential aspect of successful online dating is the willingness to go out on a limb a bit and date people you are not 100% sure that you will be compatible with. This gives you a wide playing field and ensures that you are not being too picky. The downside is that, not only will you have to learn how to deal with rejection yourself, but you will also need to learn how to let other people go.
The first and most important thing is to not play games with anyone’s affections. Nobody likes to hurt another person’s feelings, but it is better to be upfront and honest about how you are feeling rather than stringing someone along because you don’t know how to tell them you aren’t interested in seeing them again. It’s a good idea to allow a few dates before you make your mind up, but you’ll know in your heart if there is no chance of a relationship developing.
Clear and direct communication is best whether it is face to face, on the phone or online. If they say ‘Can I see you again?’ it is better to answer, ‘No, I’m sorry,’ than to make an excuse and then hope that they never try to contact you again. It is also better to make it clear that you’re not going to change your mind. Saying vague things like, ‘I’m just not ready for a relationship yet’ can lead someone to believe that when you are ready you may like to see them again. Don’t leave the door ajar, shut it firmly, but gently.
Try to treat people as you would like to be treated. If you go on a date and know in the first five minutes that it is a non-runner, don’t be rude or dismissive. Stay for the duration of the date and adopt the attitude that you are going to learn as much from this experience as possible. You want to go home feeling good about yourself and you will only do that if you feel like you have behaved well towards the other person, despite the fact you don’t want to see them again.
Don’t block people
What often happens is that you have been chatting online for some time, finally meet up and then the person blocks your communication. This is a horrible way to treat anyone and leaves the person on the other end of it with lots of questions, insecurity and uncertainty. It is very hard not to take this personally and you can really damage someone’s confidence by treating them that way. Tell them why you don’t want to see them again. You don’t have to go into a character assassination just a clear, straightforward bit of feedback like –
‘Thank you for taking the time to meet with me, I really appreciated it but didn’t feel like there was any chemistry between us, sorry. I wish you the very best in your search for someone. Thanks again.’
It is better not to enter into a situation where you are giving them detailed feedback about what you did or didn’t like about them as that will keep the door very much ajar.
In extreme circumstances
If there is something about a date’s personality or behaviour that you find disturbing, offensive or abusive, please have no qualms about cutting the date short. Above all you need to keep yourself safe and comfortable and while the vast majority of our members are good, honest and respectable, as in any other group, there will be the occasional bad apple. Please report any instances like this to eHarmony customer support and block further communication with the person in question.
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