No matter the state of your relationship status, from time to time you’re going to be dealing with women who are interested in something that you’re not. Even more so if you’re actively using dating apps or meeting tons of people. Most of us don’t love letting people down because we feel mean rejecting them, but it’s way more responsible to be clear about your feelings from the get go than try to ghost away unnoticed. She’ll notice. Here are some polite ways to let a girl know that you aren’t interested.

Talk to her instead of ghosting her.

Ghosting is a popular tactic of non communicating because immature and scared people are resistant to doing hard things. But you’re neither of those! It’s quite simple and totally appropriate after a first date to just thank her for the date but say there won’t be a second one. This certainly doesn’t mean that you need to have a long conversation with the woman if the dating was brief, but in the long run you’re better off.

Let’s say for example that you try to ghost someone and they just continue to text you for a while anyway. Every time you see her name pop up you’re going to feel a jolt of annoyance or even that fearful resistance type feeling. Don’t do that to yourself! There are enough things that we have to deal with, let her free so that she’s no longer in your space. Plus some people really don’t respond well to being ignored and if you continue to do it she might even get angry and start texting you not nice things or demanding an explanation. It’s just more complicated to not talk things out, so do it.

Make a clean break as opposed to slowly backing out.

If you know for sure that you don’t want to be with someone it’s always better to make a clean break than to try slowly slip away. Sometimes people think that if they just start to break plans and get increasingly distant that the other person will take the hint and leave them be, but this can backfire and cause the opposite affect. Some women are egged on by a guy being hard to get, which means that they just might start coming after you with a vengeance. She’ll of course be able to tell that there has been a change in your behavior, but rather than accepting that it’s pointing towards the end she’ll start trying to come up with a plan to make sure that it isn’t.

Give a reason not an excuse.

To effectively and smoothly cut something off you have to give someone a reason…not an excuse. Excuses range from things like “you deserve to get married soon and I’m not going to be that guy,” to “I don’t have time to have a girlfriend.” You might think that you believe those things, but they’re not concrete reasons. In her mind you’re full of shit, because what do you know about who she should be dating? She wants to decide that and she might have already decided on you.

The not having time thing can sound half reasonable but what you actually mean is that you don’t have interest in making time for her. That’s not the same thing. Having a relationship doesn’t take up any more time than dating and sleeping with random people, so that excuse never flies.

A reason on the other hand, might be something like “I don’t feel a connection with you,” or “I can’t see myself getting serious with you.” It feels harsher because it is, it’s personal. But she’s better off hearing the truth and getting a clean break so that she can more quickly move on to someone who does take her seriously. You’re doing everyone a favor in the long run.

Be honest but not excessively so.  

Honesty is extremely important in relationships and the girl deserves to hear why you’re not interested…to a point. You never want to lie and say that you just want to be single right now when the truth is that you met someone else…but you also don’t need to mention that the girl you’re choosing is ten times as hot as her. Those details are better left unmentioned, it’s hard enough getting dumped as it is.

Be clear about the difference between like and like.

You can totally like someone as a person and have zero romantic interest in them right? That’s a very straightforward way to break things off, but again it does require a little tact. In that situation there’s no scapegoat to explain away the relationship, you just have to be clear that those romantic feelings just aren’t there for you the same way that they seem to be to her.

If you like her as a person but just not as a girlfriend feel free to elaborate on that, but try not to be confusing. She might not totally understand why you’re not interested if you’re going on and on about how she’s the hottest coolest girl in the world.  Saying that you don’t feel any chemistry can seem harsh but it’s the clearest way to state it.

Or maybe she feels the same way and you guys could end up being good friends, who knows. If you are interested in remaining friends with her know that people can take that in different ways. Some women feel that to be a bit insulting so don’t be surprised if she isn’t interested in being buddies with you. She might come around but at first some people retreat from the sting of the rejection.   

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