April 19

Online Dating Etiquette: How to Reject a Match



How do you reject someone, as kindly as possible, on online dating apps? Even though it is not in person, it’s still a tricky thing to do.

There is a nicer and not so nice way to do it. Maybe you have even been on the receiving end of those not so nice ways. In which case, you understand that there are ways to cushion the blow.

Here are a few tips and ideas for how to tell someone from online dating that you are not interested.

How to Reject a Bad Match

Although certain dating sites have very accurate algorithms, they still aren’t foolproof. Sometimes, you may match with someone that is not your type at all. Or maybe you did like them but decide against it upon closer inspection.

At this stage, not much has happened beyond the app or website notifying you that you matched. As long as they don’t start messaging you, there is no need to say anything.

If however, they do say something, you can still cut it short. Don’t waste their time by replying for a while and then suddenly ghost them.

Here are a few examples of messages you can send to a bad match.

  • Hey, let me not waste your time. I don’t think we were supposed to match but I’m sure you’ll find someone that is a good match for you. Bye!
  • I didn’t realize you’re (insert their age). I’m actually looking for someone older/younger. I’ll check more closely next time.
  • To be honest, from your bio and photos it looks like you and I are into completely different things. I think we should both try to find someone with more similar interests. Good luck!

How to End a Conversation

Have you been messaging a little but do you find the conversation too boring? Or did they say something that is a complete turnoff for you?

Again, the best thing to do here is to just cut to the chase. Let them know that you’re not interested in continuing the conversation and hope that they find someone else.

If they said something specific that you don’t like or strongly disagree with, you can tell them that. If not, here are a few more ideas to end the conversation and avoid them asking you out on a date

  • I was hoping we’d have more similar interests but it doesn’t seem like we do. We all want someone we can share hobbies with, right? Let’s go find them. Bye.
  • I’m not getting the vibe I was hoping for from this conversation so I’m going to end it here. Hope you find a great connection with someone. Good luck!
  • Thanks for the nice conversation but to be honest I’m not interested in going on a date right now. But you’re easy to talk to so I’m sure you’ll find someone that will be. Ciao!

How to Reject a Date Without Hurting Their Feelings

Sometimes, we let a conversation go on for too long. Maybe they are truly nice to talk to but not exactly your type.

The problem is that the longer you keep a conversation going, the more interested you seem. Since you are online dating, it is only natural that they eventually ask you out.

Yes, it would have been better to end the conversation earlier on but an abrupt end is not an option anymore. There is no need to panic or ghost them.

Here are a few ways you can say no to a date without being unnecessarily harsh.

  • I’ve enjoyed talking to you but I don’t really see it going any further than that. I think you deserve to go on a date with someone that would be truly excited.
  • This was good conversation but I just don’t feel any chemistry. I have to say no to the date but I hope you a lot of fun with other matches.
  • You seem like a great person but to be honest, I don’t think we’re a very good match so a date would not be the best idea. Thanks for the conversation. Good luck with your search.

What to Say After the First Date

Sometimes, the online conversation is better than the actual date. This is something that is actually quite common with online dating.

People that have been using dating sites and apps long enough get pretty good at finding dates on them. But on the actual date there is no screen to hide behind.

It is a good idea to tell them honestly that you are not interested in a second date. It is better to leave things on good terms, just in case you run into each again.

Here are a few ideas for how to let them down gently after the first date.

  • This was fun. You’re good company for (insert what you did during the date). But I have to be honest, I’m not seeing a second date. Like I said, you’re good company so I’m sure your next date will have fun.
  • So the app was right, we do share similar interests. However, this feels like something I’d like to keep platonic. Can we agree to just be friends?
  • Thanks for this. I had a good time. Honestly though, I’d like to leave it at just one date. Better one fun date than a horrible second date, right?

When They’re Not Getting the Message

Despite your best efforts, some people just don’t get it. Even after you have made it clear that you are not interested, they keep pressing you.

You should never feel pressured into a date or continue a conversation when they are being disrespectful. If you’ve tried the nice way and they are not accepting it, just block them.

Blocking a person is one of the benefits of online dating. You don’t need to bring any negative energy into your life.

Are you on a date and they don’t want to accept your kind rejection? Tell them this:

I tried to be nice about it but now you are making me uncomfortable. So, I am going to leave now.

And then just go. They should not be making you feel uncomfortable and you have every right to leave.

Being active on apps and dating sites means we have to reject a few people to meet a truly great one. This goes both ways and it is all part of the game.

As long as we try to stay polite and don’t say anything that is intentionally hurtful, it is okay. Honesty is still better than ghosting.

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