Let’s say you’re friends with this guy…when he suddenly asks you out on a date.
I mean, he’s a great guy, don’t get me wrong, but you just don’t see him as more than a friend. You don’t want to hurt his feelings, but you also don’t want to say yes. What should you do?
It’s easy to feel bad about turning him down. But when done correctly, saying “no” doesn’t have to ruin your friendship.
So if you’re in that situation, here’s how to say no to a guy in a kind way. Try including these three things in your response.
1. Thank him for asking you out.
He put his heart out there when he told you he had feelings for you, and that takes a lot of courage. Honor him for that. Thank him for the courage he had to share his feelings, and let him know you are honored that he asked YOU out.
2. Give a straightforward answer.
As girls, we sometimes want to “beat around the bush” because it makes us feel like we’re not being “mean.” But most guys I’ve met prefer it when girls are straightforward, because they take your words at face value. Here’s an example:
Your guy friend says he likes you.
You say, “I’m not interested right now.”
He thinks, Sweet! Maybe in a few months I’ll ask again!
You walk away thinking, I ended it once and for all! I have no interest in him.
He walks away thinking, There’s a chance that she might like me down the road!
In that situation, you could unintentionally be leading him on without even realizing it!
So be kind, but also straightforward. Let your no be no, your yes be yes, and your maybe be maybe.
3. Let him know he’s a great guy.
You don’t want him to walk away thinking, There must be something terribly wrong with me! Let him know the things you appreciate about him and his friendship, so that he knows you’re not saying “no” because he’s a terrible person. You’re just saying no because you don’t share the same feelings.
What you might say
So here’s an example of how you can put these three pieces together. Of course, you’ll want to say this in a way that reflects your personality and feels genuine to you. But I think examples are helpful.
“Wow, thank you so much for asking me! That must have taken a lot of courage. To be honest, I only see you as a friend, so I’m not interested in pursuing more than that. But I think you’re an amazing guy and I really love our friendship.”
There you go: It honors his courage, it’s kind but straightforward, and you let him know there’s nothing wrong with him.
Things might feel a little awkward for a short while afterward. There’s no way to 100 percent prevent someone from feeling hurt when you say “no.” But when you handle it in a kind way like this, typically the relationship bounces back very quickly. I know people whose friendships have lasted years and years down the road after a kind but honest conversation like this. And who knows? You might even find you’re closer afterward than you were before!