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How to Turn Down a Date Gently

Tired of going on pity dates with people you're not interested in because you don't know how to say no? Here's how to deal with it like an adult – almost.


  • Step 1: Be truthful Try the truth. Simply say, "I'm not interested." After all, everyone says they appreciate the truth --and it's hard to argue with blunt honesty. Even barflies who lack self-respect know this, which is why they often target people too nice say so.
  • Step 2: Say you're involved Say, "I'm involved." This is one of the most common little white lies -- it's simple in theory, easy to execute, and makes everyone feel good about themselves.
  • Step 3: Claim a recent breakup Tell the person, "I just got out of a serious relationship and I'm not ready to date." It's important you include that last part; otherwise you leave yourself open to the "I don't want anything serious either" argument.
  • TIP: Beware -- your unwanted suitor will know you're full of bull if you are later spotted sucking face with someone else.
  • Step 4: Feign homosexuality Say, "I bat for the other team." But before you do, take a moment to consider if you really want to go there.
  • Step 5: Plead insanity Plead insanity. Here, you have lots of options -- you could talk about the CIA agents who are following you, dip in and out of the seven personalities you claim are living in your body, or wax poetic about your conversations with deceased historical figures.
  • Step 6: Pull out all stops Pull out all the stops -- inform this person that you are over 40, live with your parents, and are unemployed. This is the trifecta of turnoffs -- you've pulled the age card, the pathetic card, and the broke card. If they stick around, they're either hopelessly in love or hopelessly horny.
  • FACT: According to one survey, 43% of singles have searched a person's name on the internet before going on a first date with them.

You Will Need

  • White lies
  • A smooth delivery

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