Heart not Lit AF?: How to tell someone you’re not into them

You know what’s the worst?

Well the worst is getting stuck on a waterlogged highway for 10 hours in an Uber. But I digress.

Here’s the other kind of worst: realizing you have no dating chemistry and agonizing over telling someone you’re not into them.

Why. is. this. so. hard?

Here’s what: It’s okay to say no when your flame has no fire

Telling someone you’re not interested in them shouldn’t be this hard because it’s okay to fess up that you have no dating chemistry with them.

Our busy lives often make it super hard to build meaningful connections with a person – we’re either too tired, spaced out, or have zero brain space to deal with things that may otherwise inconvenience us. So dating, which pretty much triggers our very primal instincts of pursuit, should be fun and effortless rather than a drag.  

(However, sometimes we hold on, waiting to feel that spark even though that annoying voice at the back of your mind has smugly told you there wouldn’t be any. Oh, and another major cause of deliberation is because we’re wary of hurting somebody else’s feelings, don’t you think?)

Besides, isn’t it better to tell them when you know you aren’t willing to give your 100%?  


Telling someone you have no chemistry doesn’t have to be hurtful and awkward. If you want to know how to tell someone you’re not interested, let them down easy, follow our cues.

How to tell someone you’re not into them without hurting their feelings

Let’s face one hard truth here: telling someone you’re not into them can never elicit a rush of positive feelings towards you. This is probably what makes things so hard. We just really want people to like us, don’t we?

However, think of this as damage control rather than inflicting actual damage.

Ghosting is never an option

Did you just pick up your phone, noticed a text from your date, and put the phone face down, wishing you didn’t have to respond?

Are you thinking what if, what if, you could just slip away, evade the blue tick, and never ever talk to them again?

Well stop right there.

Ghosting someone is never an option okay? We really need to exorcise this disrespectful dating practice right now.


Besides, why would you want to ghost someone when you can actually send a short, thoughtful text telling them how you actually feel? Unless you’ve been dating for at least a month, calling it quits on text is perfectly acceptable. 

Pick your words carefully

“Hey. Dis not working out. Yolo.” is probably not what you should say when you’re trying to let someone down easy.

Our advice? Be honest but also respectful. Even if you’re not digging their outlook, habits, or opinions, avoid bringing these up in the conversation if you don’t want things to escalate into something ugly.

Now, if you want to sound genuine but firm on your stance, it may be worth using the following formula to compose your message:

Salutation + appreciation for their time +  something you liked about the date + a clear statement that you didn’t feel a spark

Here’s what it should look like when you finally put things together:

“Hi John, thank you for dinner and your time last Friday. While I enjoyed the literary discussions on our date, I didn’t feel a spark.  I hope you understand. Best, Karen.”

See? Easy, honest, and respectful.

Don’t avoid it if it comes up on the first date

If the opportunity falls right into your lap when they’re asking you whether you’d like to go out with them again, feel free to speak your mind.

Take a moment to gather your thoughts and tell them you’re not interested in taking thing further, without being rude or too apologetic.

(Being too apologetic could be counterproductive in such situations – this could mean that they can talk you out of it. But more on that later.)

Don’t string them along

So you don’t like them as much. May be this means you can choose to put in a little less effort and still have them around?

Doesn’t sound very healthy, my friend.

If you think you can invite such complications in your life without them snowballing later, think again. And we’ve all been there – this is downright hurtful and disrespectful.

Don’t string them along if you’re having a hard time making up your mind. Instead, focus on giving yourself time and space to build a connection with someone you actually enjoy spending time with.

Ask them if they’d like to be friends

Now, this is a potential dynamite if you’re only saying it as a consolation. If the other person is too involved or had an adverse reaction to your dwindling interest level, it’s probably a good idea not to propose this.

However, if things went amicably, you can actually end up making a new friend. Lastly, you need to remember it’s ultimately their call if they’d like to stay friends – don’t insist, which could send some really mixed signals.

Don’t let them talk you into winging it

Remember when we said how being overly apologetic could be counterproductive?

Well, if you’re too apologetic (or insisting that they stay friends), it could indicate you’re not too firm on your decision of not seeing them again. For someone who’s being broken up with, it would be natural to try to convince you to give it some time.

Here’s the thing though: if you keep agreeing to wing it, you may end up in an unhappy relationship for months, wishing that you could’ve said no when you had the chance.

Sometimes it’s okay to put your happiness first

There’s no easy way to tell someone you’re not into them, but it’s healthier in a lot of ways.

First, it rules out setting any unreal expectations that could’ve made both of you miserable at some point down the line. Second, you’d be doing the right thing by allowing yourself and your date the time and space needed to find people who’d be interested in you.

Dating someone doesn’t have to feel like one of those (allegedly) fun nights where you have to say “yes” to everything. I mean, these nights are probably only fun tolerable because they’re mostly limited edition evenings with a potential to expire at some point.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *