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Best Way to Turn Down a Date

Group Therapy: What's the Best Way to Turn Down a Date?

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Today after work I stopped to put gas in my car. While I was waiting the guy next to me said I was beautiful, asked if I was in a relationship and asked for my number. I was put off by his approach and the fact that he didn't even ask my name. Whenever I am asked out it is usually by a classmate or someone I have hung out with before or met at work, so I was caught off guard. I turned him down by saying "sorry, but you are too old for me." I know, horrible thing to say. But, it was true (I'm 21 he was 30). When he left I felt really bad and now I am wondering what is the best way to turn down a complete stranger who asks for your number?

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kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
OP, don't feel bad, hun. You were caught off guard and you were feeling put-off by the way he approached you in the beginning, so that blurted out without even thinking (from what it seems there may be another convo after the refusal because you now know he's 30, he probably tried to convince you that he's not too old for you--some guys are just that persistent! LOL), and nothing wrong with refusing a guy at all, or feeling put off, it's natural. I didn't react too well when some stranger hit on me out of the blue too (it's happened a few times in the past). Next time, so that you don't feel bad (it appears to me that you're rather sensitive to feel bad for a stranger who put you off and hit on you), just have a line ready if someone asked you out and you're not interested. Either "I'm taken" or "No, thanks." Or combination :D Good luck.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Betty, I'm not nicer than you, at all. I'm just older and have had different life experience than you, so I have different opinions.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Betty Wayne, that's a great line, a great response, I'm glad you've shared it, thanks! I'm not a 10 in anything, and I have plenty of experience getting shot down. And I have no anger toward this guy at all. I'm only saying that when a guy, any guy, makes this kind of approach with absolutely no social prelude, he's taking a chance on the result he gets, and can't be too upset or offended when he hears something he doesn't like. There may be plenty of 21 year olds who don't find 9 years to be too much. She's not one of them, and she doesn't have to be, it's not a requirement. It's up to her. Some people go thru their whole lives not being open to seeing someone who's a decade older, or younger, or whatever. The valuable lesson, the lesson that we all learn in our own time is "well, that didn't work. I have used the "sorry I'm taken...." kinds of lines, like most of us. What I believe, in my own case, is that I've done that for a couple of reasons. It's easier to say "I'm not available", than "no thanks." Or I've felt the need of a false man in the background as a protective presence. I hate both of those reasons. I want to be strong enough, sure enough of myself to be able to let a guy down, and to be able to protect myself if and when I need to. I've also found that telling a lie, even a little social fib can backfire, sometimes in a big way. Just my personal experiences. It sounds as though you have some great social skill, and I appreciate your sharing that line, that response. It's honest, it's smart, it's funny. It's great! Pazuzu, I have a story about a nerd who got seriously brazen with me, if you ever want to hear it, I'll share. :) We all have differences of opinion, of experience, and I'm sorry, Betty Wayne, and others, to have implied that your opinions, your advice was wrong. The great advantage of this site is all of the voices, the different points of view. I was arrogant about my voice, and I apologize. I learn a lost listening to the voices that contribute here, and I appreciate the different experiences shared. .
dikke-kus dikke-kus 5 years
Men don't know any better. They'll hit on you as you pull a can of tuna off a grocery shelf. They'll ask you if your getting paint at Home Depot. They'll bug you while you're buying a ring for a boyfriend, or eating lunch with your mother. Thats what they do. There's no better laugh sometimes, but really its only a compliment. You better get used to it, and figure out what to say. Just smile and look away. No thanks is all you have to say. Don't get upset. Its only life at 21.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
One other line I use, for some reason I get hit on a lot at gas stations. I'll say, "Do I really look like the sort of girl who gives her number out to random-ass dudes at the gas station?" I say it with a smile, then they smile, they still know they're shot down. But everyone walks away happy.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Yeah, that nerd thing is far reaching, just trying to make a point that there's no way to know this guy's life situation, so there's no way to know how a remark like that would effect him. Henna I see you think the best way to deal with socially awkward people is to shoot them down so they learn? Interesting. Was the valuable lesson that he's too old to ask women out on dates? And there are 21 year olds with enough experience under their belts to want to date an older man. 21 to 30 is not a big enough age difference to call the guy out like he's a perv. Maybe he thought she was older when he approached her. And I never said she was shallow or stupid, don't twist my words around to make me look worse than I make myself look. I said that's the impression she (or anyone) leaves by turning him down like that. He didn't drop any corny pick-up lines or innuendos, no inappropriate staring or groping, no persistence after she said no, no intent to offend her. I mean not good enough to get her # but not that bad. It's hurtful to specifically name a character/physical trait when turning someone down, "I would date you but you're too _____." Like, "I'm not turning you down due to me or my situation or your approach, I am turning you down because there is something wrong with you." Henna maybe you're a 10 in the face and a 10 in the ass and you don't have a single personality flaw, so you really don't know what it's like to get shot down. But I do know what it's like to get shot down! And it stings, especially when someone deflects the blame back onto you by listing what trait you have that turns them off. Maybe you've never dated so you truly don't know this, but dating is hard enough as is, as others have said best to be polite and have an arsenal of denial-lines so you don't walk away from an encounter with a guilty conscience. And I don't know what point you're trying to make with that whole "different definitions of bitch" thing, I mean you're nicer than me so I'm sure your definition of bitch is more all-encompassing than mine. Henna you're always so free-spirited and preaching love and kindness, but for some reason you seem to have a lot of anger toward this guy? Something makes me think that if the roles were reversed (guy shot a girl down by telling her she's too old, after she bumbled her approach), you would somehow manage to put the blame on him.
Pazuzu Pazuzu 5 years
If hes a nerd he wouldn't have done that. I'm a nerd, I date nerds, we're not brazen like that. I doubt his feelings were hurt, he tried to pick you up at the pump. I think a guy should start a conversation first, oh he doesn't say no however you want. But its always better to be polite, unless hes pervy.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
If he's a nerd who's never done this before, then he learned a valuable lesson and will hopefully do better the next time.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Betty Wayne, she's asking because this is the first time she's been in the situation of some strange guy, who can't even be bothered to say hi my name is.....what is your name or start with a little bit of small talk. There's nothing wrong with being straight forward. He was straight forward, she returned exactly what he'd offered. She didn't call him names, and too old for me isn't the same as you're too ugly, and it's not shallow or stupid for a 21 year to think a 30 year old stranger is too old for her. Too old is not an insult. It may not be particularly sensitive, but how much sensitivity does a surprised young woman owe some idjit who can't be bothered with even a modicum of social interaction? I'm female, I've had this happen, been in this postion, and returning courtesy to such rudeness, can be construed as an opening. I've been there, and courtesy can be taken as encouragement. Too many goofs out there who think rules don't apply to them, or who want to see how far they can push that line. She didn't call him names, she just told her truth. And she had the result she wanted, and I very much doubt he was offended, as she apparently was with his approach. And 9 fucking years is a whole lot less at 25 or 35 with some experience under your belt than it is at 21. It's all relative. Just because she has a different standard than yours doesn't make hers wrong, make her shallow, or stupid. And if you think her response makes her a bitch, then you and I have different definitions of bitch. She wasn't happy with her blurt out, doesn't want to repeat it, which is why she asked the question. I wanted to reassure her that a startled truth isn't necessarily rude. And I don't think he was poorly treated. She returned bluntness with bluntness. Oh well.
testadura67 testadura67 5 years
I think it's best to be polite as possible, but sometimes people catch you off guard and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Don't sweat it, just try to have a prepared response ready to go for those situations. "I'm seeing someone, sorry." But I also agree that some stranger at a gas station hitting on me in a really tacky way would make my skin crawl, and I might just say some knee jerk reaction thing to make them go away. Maybe he should have a forum full of people telling him, don't be a creeper, and you won't get insulted.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Check out ehow, how to reject a guy.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Sorry, girls, but it's just not rude for a 21 year old gettin pushed up on by a total stranger who didn't even give his name to tell him he's too old. Any man, who is a total stranger needs to take what he gets, whatever it is. It's fine to softer, but it's not required. It's different with friends, with aquaintaince, but not with a total stranger in a gas station.
lcrox07 lcrox07 5 years
Us girls don't realize how crappy it must be for guys to be rejected so often because we usually don't ask the guy out. So what you said was pretty shady but don't worry, it was an innocent mistake. He might think you're a bitch but what are the odds you'll see him again? Who cares what he thinks? The good thing is you know it was harsh and now you just have to keep it simple. "I'm flattered, but I'm not dating at the moment.Thank you." Bam, he moves on. :)
JessicaM25 JessicaM25 5 years
I've gotten this in the past and my reaction would to be to smile and say that I'm currently involve with someone and I would thanked them. Too old? I agree with ^ ....that was rude...and really uncalled for.. What's done is done though, just know for future references to keep it cool. You don't need to insult anyone to show disinterested. GL!
missmaryb missmaryb 5 years
Agree with the above. A simple thanks but no thanks is sufficient in those situations. It would be different if it was someone you knew, but a complete stranger shouldn't expect any real explanation behind the turn down.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
I don't think there's a thing wrong with what you said to him. He didn't introduce himself, he didn't start a conversation, he judged you totaly on your looks and figured that was ok. He bascally said, "you're a good to look at, I want some of that." You said no, you're too old. You don't actually have to say more than no. You don't have to explain your rejection, but telling him he's too old is fine in this situation. It isn't and insult, it isn't horrible, just a truth he startled out of you. This wasn't a situation where you need to worry about hurting his feelings. He basicaly sees women as a convenience, or worse. If his ego couldn't stand the rejection, he'd never have asked. I don't believe you ever need to tell a lie when you refuse a date. You're not obligated to go out with someone just because it's what they want. So long as you're polite you're fine. If it's a stranger, then "no thanks, I'm not interested" is completely appropriate, and be assertive, be confident. Don't be shy or worry that you need to say something to make him feel ok about it. The fact that you don't want to go out with him is the only reason you need. If a guy refuses to hear your "no thanks", then it's completely appropriate to be rude. In fact, I believe it's actually important to get rude and loud if some guy refuses to hear your no thanks, and gets insistent. That's crossing a line and you need to be very clear about pushing him back across that line. Also, what you said to this man sent him away. That is exactly what you wanted to have happen. So don't worry, you did well. So don't feel bad, you didn't do a thing wrong. What you said wasn't even rude, it was just a truth that he startled out of you.
luckyduckyy luckyduckyy 5 years
"I'm not interested. Sorry." "I have a boyfriend." "I'm married." "I'm not into men." "I don't want a relationship right now. Or anything for that matter. Bye." "I'm flattered, but no thank you." Get creative with your refusals. As for the blatantly obvious lies (to us, not him)...well he'll never know that. If anything, it'll make him feel better knowing he never had a chance. Also, adding "sorry" softens the blow of rejection to nearly everything. Except in the case of insults like "you're too old". Ouch. But oh well. He'll get over it.
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