Digital etiquette

4 ways to reject someone on a dating app rather than ignoring them

Do you clearly reject someone on a dating app with a reply message or just ignore them?

For every profile that says, ‘Please block or ignore if not interested,’ you’ll come across someone else who states, ‘I will always respond to all messages – I think it’s rude not to.’

It’s a dilemma for which there is no right or wrong answer.

Besides disinterest in engaging in conversation, why do we not respond? Sometimes because we don’t like to reject someone for fear we’ll make them feel bad; Maybe we don’t know what words to use; sometimes we just think no response is a response.

However, if do struggle to find the words, here are four simple lines to default to.

1. He’s asked if you’re interested in meeting or if you can unlock more photos

You can respond: “Thanks but I don’t think you’re my type so I’m going to respectfully decline. Enjoy the rest of your day.”

Good manners cost nothing and thanking someone if they’ve paid you a compliment is… well, good manners. As is wishing them well.

2. He keeps sending you messages but never actually asks to meet

You can respond: “Hey, I’m always happy to chat online, if that’s what you’re looking for, but I don’t think you’re my type and thought it better to say so as I don’t want to waste your time if you’re seeking more. Hope that’s OK with you.”

People who send endless ‘Hey’ and ‘How you doing?’ messages tend to want to ask something else but can be shy of getting to the point. Help them get to the point. Life is short.

3. But what if don’t want to chat online to the guy, either?

You can respond: “Thanks for the message. I’m only really here to chat with guys with a view to meeting up, and I don’t think you’re what I’m looking for – no offense. All the best with your search though.”

You don’t owe anyone your time and there’s no shame or embarrassment in not wanting to talk to someone.

4. Lastly, keep it short and simple

“Thanks for your message, I’m flattered but not interested/available to meet. Take care.”

Resist going into reasons as to why you’re not interested in someone, as it may come across like you’re criticizing them. You’re not interested, so leave it at that.

This can be hard if you’ve detailed a preference on your profile for a certain type of person and they fall within that category. However, at the end of the day, if you’ve got a thing for red-headed bears and they’re a red-headed bear, it still doesn’t automatically mean you want to jump into bed with them.

“We often hear from our service users about how tough it can feel navigating the apps and online dating,” says Monty Moncrieff, Chief Executive of LGBTQ counseling service London Friend.

“The more we can do to make online environments a friendlier space the better, and a polite ‘thanks, but no thanks’ kind of message goes some way to this.

“It might have taken the person sending the message some courage to send it, so take the compliment. They find you attractive, that’s a nice thing to hear. Even if you don’t fancy them back it’s friendly to acknowledge them and politely decline taking things further.”

Rejecting other people can be difficult, especially if you have tendencies to be a people pleaser. Rejection can sting, but you’re not responsible for how other people react.

Be honest, be kind, and bear in mind what sort of message you would like to receive if you were the one being rejected.

And remember, you don’t have to respond. However, you might want to warn people in advance on your profile that you don’t respond to all messages.

“Add a friendly warning in your profile that you respond very selectively thanks to your notoriously bad taste in men,” suggested Kris Verlé, an Online Life and Performance Coach.

“That way you can prepare guys for the chance they might not hear back from you. You don’t owe anybody an explanation of why you’re not interested. But by using a more humorous variation on the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ theme, you can actually help someone reframe the rejection they might feel after being ignored.”

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