You might feel flattered, or flabbergasted. No matter what the reason may be, you can say no to a date with some semblance of grace and tact. Yes, hotshot, it’s not always that cut and dry.

Most of us don’t like saying “No” or want to hurt someone’s feelings. But there could be legitimate concerns. Maybe you can’t say no and tend to go through with decisions despite the gut check.

You could be in a different place in your life, where you don’t want to take a step back into the dating scene. There are many reasons for this. It could be dating burnout, relationship figure, or you need to be alone. You don’t want to push going into a relationship too soon after a breakup or other life changes not everyone is ready to take the scene on.

Being honest yourself will save grief if you go back to dating post-breakup too soon. Now we got that out of the way! So what if you’re ready?

Great, let’s look at what we should do to turn them down. Honesty is the best approach unless the person is a stalker. Tell them you’re in a relationship if you don’t want to be honest, or say you’re not ready.

Keep it short. If you’re the type to get into a big story about it be prepared to risk accepting the date. How if it is a friend? Tell them you’re not into them on that level. Life Hacker covered this dilemma:

“When it comes to turning someone down, being active is always better than being passive. Address it as soon as you have the chance. Don’t stall, avoid confrontation, or just assume that they will eventually “take the hint.” Give a definitive no so both of you can move on with your lives.”

Tell them you value them too much and dating would be an issue and could ruin the friendship. How if you go on one date, and regret it? This happens so much! Sometimes the chemistry is not there. You have nothing in common--they say things that make you want to change addresses, or something that’s a huge turnoff. Tell them you still want to date others and tell them you have nothing in common. Tell them you are looking somewhere else at this time.

You can tell them you want to be alone and not date. This is up to you. Use caution with people you don’t know how unsafe they can be, so if you feel uncomfortable give them a wrong number. Tell them you will take down their number. This will give you control and take charge, and if you really don’t like them it gets them out of your hair.

Match.com shared this way they feel like they accomplished something and it’s nicer than saying something really rude. “Let’s say someone has just asked for your number: When you ask for his information instead rather than giving out yours, you’re putting the ball in your court—which means you call the shots.” Don’t be a jerk.

EHarmony Founder Dr. Neil Clark Warren wrote it is not easy to put yourself out there to be rejected. Most peeps are really nervous, or shy. They might ask someone to ask for them, since they are knotted with anxiety. Be nice, and short. Say “thanks,” but “no thanks.”

Warren also reminds daters to not be nasty, resentful, or condescending. There are better words and actions for you to use during the conversation, if it even gets beyond “no thank you.”

“If you need some help with the actual words you use, here’s a good place to start: "This is not easy for me to say, and perhaps it won’t be easy for you to hear. But in spite of the good times/conversations we’ve shared, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best not to continue dating. You’re a wonderful person with many great qualities. But I am looking for someone who matches with my unique interests, goals and personality in a different way.”

Rejection stinks, and we all have felt it. Use good judgment if you’re asked out and don’t want to date the person. Never forget the gut check, honesty, and refrain from being nasty if you can.

But also be on guard because there are some people that could be dangerous.

It is all part of the great world of dating. Good luck!

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