Made a Match That Didn’t Quite Work Out? Here’s How to Reject Someone Nicely
By Cady Drell
Bumble can help you get to know tons of new people. But if you’ve been making romantic matches, chances are good you’ve also made some connections that weren’t quite the right fit. Hey, it happens! Compatibility is complicated, and sometimes what seems like a great online repartee doesn’t quite transfer to an IRL date. So what now?
Anyone who’s ever been ghosted knows it isn’t a pleasant way to end things (if it’s ever happened to you, you might want to check out our survival guide), but sometimes it can seem like the easy way out of an awkward conversation. Instead of disappearing, read on for how to reject someone nicely—no hard feelings necessary.
Don’t drag it out.
Whether it’s the first date or the fourth, there may come a time when you realize you don’t want to continue seeing someone. Or maybe you haven’t even met up yet, but you’re just not feeling the conversation anymore. That’s a normal part of dating and definitely nothing to be ashamed of, but the kindest thing you can do — for both of you — is to let the other person know that you’re not into it.
If you just got home from a date and all the signs are there that you don’t want to proceed, try texting or calling them the moment it’s appropriate. If it’s really late or you’ve had a few drinks, think about saving this conversation for the morning, or if you’ve changed your mind on meeting up with a strictly-online prospect, tell them before plans are made that you don’t want to go any further, and wish them the best.
Either a call or a text works.
You can decide between having the conversation with a call, a text, or a Bumble message depending on the type of connection you had with someone and how comfortable you are with breaking things off with them. If you have a mostly text-based relationship or have been messaging on Bumble, then stick with that (and here’s are some great tips on breaking up with someone over text). However, keep in mind that if this is a break-up after five or more dates, a phone convo or even an in-person chat — with COVID precautions — is called for.
Be honest and don’t over-promise.
It can be tempting during a breakup to want to offer something that makes the other person feel better. “We should still be friends,” is a common refrain, and a wonderful idea—but only if you actually want to be friends with that person. Leaving a door open in this way when you know it’s really closed can end up being more hurtful, even if you’re trying to let someone down gently. You can only control how you deal with this situation, and the other person is allowed to feel however they do about it.
The good news is that rejecting someone with kindness can be as simple as saying, “Thank you for the fun date, but I’m not feeling a romantic connection,” or “It was great meeting you, but I don’t feel a spark.” Even if they don’t react exactly how you want them to, you can feel good about being direct and making a clean break.
Acknowledge the other person’s feelings.
You don’t owe anyone more explanation or time than you feel like giving, but if the other person expresses sadness or frustration, sometimes they want to know that their feelings are valid. If you’re comfortable with it, even just saying “I understand your disappointment” can make them feel seen and heard.
Check in with yourself, too.
There’s no one-size-fits-all reaction to ending things, so listen to your feelings. Maybe the next step for you looks like taking a breather from swiping, or maybe it looks like jumping right back into the dating pool. The point is, just because you’re the break-up initiator doesn’t mean you should disregard your own emotions. Kindness should be shown to both people involved, which includes you.