Rejecting a Date Offer

You can decline a date without being rude.
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Although getting asked out is flattering, sometimes you need to say no. Whether you don't have the time, or you're just not interested, consider the feelings of the person asking you on the date as you decline. After all, you'd want the other person to treat you kindly, if the situation was reversed.

1 Reading Potential Reactions

Before you reject a potential suitor, consider how he'll feel when you break the bad news. You don't want to get stuck in an awkward situation in which you bluntly say "No" and then have to spend the rest of the semester as his lab partner or end up with an aggressively rude dude on your hands. As you formulate a plan of action, remember that it's good to be kind. You can thank him for the invitation, then politely decline. Keep your response short and sweet. Avoid harsh words or a brash tone that may further damage his ego and think about how you would react if the roles were reversed.

2 Cooling It With Commitments

Sometimes it's not the person who is asking for the date that you object to, but the actual day of the event itself. If you're over-scheduled or already have other commitments at the same time, let her know you're interested, but that you already have plans. For example, if a girl asks you to your school's winter formal, but you already have a date, telling her that you have already accepted someone else's invitation is a must. If you want to accept a date in the future, add in that you have time free next weekend or suggest a alternative event to go to when you do have free time.

3 Not-So Brutal Honesty

Beating around the bush when rejecting a date offer may not get your message through. That said, there's no need to get harsh with your honesty. The experts with TeensHealth point out that while you might want to reject a date from a not-so-stellar looking guy or you already have your eye set on someone else, you don't need to point out the person's flaws. Instead, you can simply say, "No, thank you, I can't," or "Thanks, I appreciate the invitation, but I'm not interested in you that way," instead of telling him, "I would never go out with you. You're not nearly as cute as your roommate."

4 Tech Times

While ending things with a long-term love, or even someone who you've been casually dating for awhile, by text or email is far from polite, rejecting a new date via technology is a method to consider. For example, if the person who is asking doesn't seem to want an answer immediately, respond after you aren't face to face with a sincere text saying that you've thought about the offer, but the timing just isn't right. There's no need to write a lengthy explanation, as you may not even know this person well. Instead, briefly say thank you but no thank you. Although you can respectfully decline a date through a text or email, never make the rejection public by putting your answer on social media -- that can make the rejection feel harsher for the person doing the asking.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.