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Polite Ways to Say No to Going Out with a Boy

Updated on February 28, 2013

Just Saying No

There are lots of ways to say no. In fact, in every culture there is a different way to decline an offer. However, saying no to an offer of a date or relationship has the added problem of having hurt feelings going along with it. There are many things you need to be mindful of when saying no to going out with a boy - or girl, or anyone!

Be Firm and Don't Lead On

This is both two things yet the same thing. The first part is that you need to be firm with what you say, yet polite. This is a hard line to follow, because it is easy to state it in a way that leads to hope, or thinking that there is a chance of something later on. Often, people look for the best possible outcome of things. In giving being polite yet leading someone on, you haven't finished anything and it will just be a nuisance to you and painful for the other person.

For instance the following are polite but lead people on:

  • I am not ready for that right now.
  • I am not free then.
  • I don't like ____, maybe some other time.
  • I am sick right now.

You get the idea. Instead, try something that is polite but firmly a "no":

  • I am not interested in you that way, sorry.
  • I think of you only as a friend.
  • I would not be comfortable with going out with you, sorry.

You get the idea there as well. Firm, polite, and not leading anyone on.


This is one of the worst questions to be asked when you decline going out with someone. Honestly, a lot of times it is hard to articulate why you don't want to be with someone. There are a few explanations that you can give - of course you should think about it yourself and come to your own conclusions, but here are some thoughts as to why going out with someone could be a bad idea.

  • "I like us as friends." Honestly, friendships usually end when there is a breakup unless one side is leading the other on. One person once put it that "just staying friends" is the same as keeping a dead pet around - its only painful and serves no purpose at all. It is rare that relationships last naturally and without a lot of work after one side leaves another. Therefore, if it is articulated this way, it is a valid reason to not want to date a friend - "I would not want to lose you as a friend if something went wrong with our relationship." Furthermore, if they don't want to be friends after that, it probably wasn't a real friend anyways.
  • "I like you, but I don't like you that much - or could not like you in that way." You can't force something. If it happens it happens but you can usually feel if something has the possibility of working out or not.
  • "You're not my type." Along the same lines of the last one, you can usually tell if someone is your type or not, both mentally and physically. Sure, you might get over not being attracted to someone physically, but it makes things harder. In no way be shallow, just be realistic about what you are looking for in a person.

There are, of course, many more things. However, there can not or should not be a guide to tell you everything. You need to find out what you want on your own, and be able to articulate it.

I hope you find what you are looking for!


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