Turning down "Dates", Help

Assuming there are some people with experience in the “dating” or Courting area…I need a little help.

I am 19, and never have been on a “date”, and I DON’T want to. I just don’t like to. It gives me anxiety. What do you do if someone confesses “feelings” for you and asks you if they can taks you out? I am wondering if I handled this right. I don’t like to hurt people, but I’m not going to hurt myself and force myself to go. I said as kindly as possible that I was flattered, and thank you. But I don’t date, I never have, and I just don’t like to go out, but Thanks!

How have any of you handled situations like this?

Sounds like a very polite and firm response! You did just fine.


That was a lovely answer, which could not offend a young man, who may be asking for the first time himself.

The nicest way to get used to being round the opposite sex is to be in a group that socialises and looks after each other when they go out. Just friends!

You may want to examine why going on dates gives you anxiety as well. There is nothing wrong with saying no (done it often) but there is also nothing wrong with saying yes.

Just an obesrvation that may or may not apply to you- Modern society seems to assmue that going on a date means 2 things- one is that you are obligated to have sex with the person. The second is that you will be getting married. Neither of these has to be true. You can date for what I like to call “compatibality”, that is to see if this is the “kind” of person you want to be with. You can try outgoing or shy, quiet or loud, ones that like football and video games or ones that like reading or theology, or perhaps music. You can experiment with compatiblity. So if this is it, don’t let society or the society of “marriage now” bother you. Learn something about what you need and in doing so you can learm something about who you are as well.

That would be a wonderful add-on if the OP doesn’t mind seeing the young man in a social setting!

“I’m actually not doing any one-on-one dating, but a bunch of us are going skating on Friday, want to come along?”

Do you hope on ever having a relationship and marrying ?

If you do then dating is just a modern day term to begin getting to know someone who you don’t already know.

Dating can mean doing the things you enjoy too. It don’t have to be all about pubs and clubs and drinking alcohol and sex. But going for a ramble or the theatre or to have lunch or just a coffee. Any activity can be carried out via dating. Dating is just a term that is used and you don’t have to use it if it a word that puts you off as with other words we choose to use and not use.

But your response sounds fine and don’t be alarmed if that boy comes back in a few weeks because some respond to the answer of ‘no’ thinking you may be ‘playing hard to get or doing the right thing by saying no first time’ So he may come back and ask you again. Say the same thing as before if you really don’t hope to ever have relationships and get married. Some get married on their first relationship. Many more have to try and keep trying before they find their husband. Its healthy and okay to do. Its how one goes about it is at question, not the process of finding a husband. You need to go out with them before marraige to get to know each other and that is just another term for dating in reality.


If the person is someone you think is nice, you could suggest to see him in a group setting, such as a party or a dance. If you really have no interest in the person, I think “Thank you, but I’m not dating right now.” is a reasonable response.

The OP is only 19, so she has a good while to worry about getting married. Frankly, when I was 19, I didn’t know a single boy my age who was in any position to even consider getting married. I currently have a 19 year old brother and the idea is hilarious to even consider. The boy can’t even get his car registered without a “grown up” coaching him through the process step-by-step. She didn’t say that she will never ever want to date, just that she is uncomfortable and anxious about dating at this time. If you have a look at the average boy her age, you probably would see her point.

I don’t get asked out anymore–I’ve managed to break the men I know of the habit–but when a man would ask me if I wanted to “have coffee with me sometime,” I’d ask him “Why?”

If he just likes coffee and wants some entertaining conversation, no problem. I have numerous platonic male friends that I absolutely adore, and will meet them for coffee or even dinner to catch up on each other’s lives.

But if he “wants to get to know me better,” I’d tell him that he already knows everything about me that I care for him to know. :wink:


Precisely why I said the above because I do see her point and that dating isn’t about sex, beer and loud music and to lump all 19 year old boys as though they are all ugly and thick as you are giving the message about your brother and lumping all 19 year olds like your brother is such a social error it so I calmly pointed out that dating isn’t necessarily about sex beer and loud music but about getting to know each other which can be done anyway and agreed at 19 she mayn’t be thinking about long term relationship viewing to get married but she may also have an antiquated idea about how one begins to find a husband and thinking it wrong because the church teaches sex before marriage is wrong and that dating could be construed as sex before marriage when indeed it does not have to mean sex before marriage. Dating is just a term used to find that husband however one learns about each other.

So you will be in for a shock when your brother does date a girl then because you think he is so juvenile etc but there may well be a girl who is willing him to ask her out etc because she sees what you will never see in him because he is precisely your brother and it is very hard to see our ‘brothers’ like a girlfriend would see them.

I never said, “ever” or even implied “ever”. That is your own interpretation:) and I thought it a good time to approach the subject of a long term relationship to a future possible husband of which some will call this dating whilst others mayn’t.

You misunderstood. I don’t lump all 19 year old boys as “ugly and thick”. I lump them as not mature enough to be considered for marriage. All good men were once 19 year old boys. Your original post seemed to imply that you thought that the OP should be open to dating now, or she might never get married. I feel that it is perfectly prudent and intelligent for a girl of 19 to avoid exclusive dating until such a time that her peer group includes men and not boys. It seems to me that the OP is on the right track for where she is in life and I would not discourage her with statements like, “That’s fine, if you never want to get married…”

Can I just say I sympathize? I try to be polite, but unfortunately I run into a lot of guys who take that as a challenge or personal insult. Especially awkward as for me it involves dealing with coworkers.


If it is Gods will for me to find someone in the future.

To me it seems even if I say yes with a group, it will give the wrong message, I am not interested and I do not want to give false hopes. And I hope I do not sound Judgmental, but If that were ever to happen, It would have to be a good guy who loves the Lord, and a few other things in common, and a couple other qualities. :slight_smile: I remember hearing on Catholic Answers, I forgot their names, how they met each other and had both qualities in each other they liked, on top of that they love God. :slight_smile:


From the male perspective, I can say that when I was younger, it was about her looks. But after dating a few self-centered airheads, I had to shift priorities. I don’t think I was conscious of it at the time. (Nothing against attractive women, just self-centered airheads) But that is what dating is about in the beginning. Many people - including myself - recommend making a list of absolutes. Because, ultimately, dating is about finding a spouse. But how do you really know what is an absolute? There may be some dreamy ideal, but how much of it is rooted in reality? You’ll soon find out by dating.

On a related note, something that popped into mind but not directly related to the OP, but I’ve noticed that as women get older and wiser, they start looking for a guy with a steady job who can fix things around the house. So there’s hope for guys like me who aren’t tall, handsome, adventurous bad boys.

And even after I responded the above, he still told me to “try it”. I just have a lot of things to work out first. And I would like to work, and go to school before I think of this stuff

Alright, I’ve said this in other places I think but it warrants repeating. I think the idea that there is “the one” out there for us and if we miss it we are never going to find a mate is obsurd. I think there are kinds of people we can be attracted to and in those groups we try to find the most “like what we want” and we go from there. Relationships are a ton of work. They take patience, give and take, honesty, and being able to express your needs as well as respond to the others. In some ways, as bad as this sounds, relationships can be a war of attrition- the strong bonds, the ones that are mutually self sacraficing are the ones that last. The ones that are self centered, no matter how noble the reason tend to wither and die.

I guess all im saying is that partly, you will never really be in a place to be able to work entirely on a relationship. You will be in school. You will have a job, and even when you get married (should you choose to) you will have to work at it and work and live with the same person. Sometimes its better to start experimenting so you can get a “feel for it” and learn some of what it means and what it is like.

I get what you’re saying. But it’s not my thing. I don’t like it. I am a very independent person. It’s just who I am. I know how this person is and things they like to do. Just not for me. If the Lord has someone for me, then so be it. If its his will, its bound to happen.

I agree with you ,let the will of GOD BE DONE IN YOUR LIFE.It is your choice to choose whoever you want and no one else and no one has to force you to date someone ,it should be by your own will,me too i can only date a girl who gave her entire life to God and am 19 too and was ask many times for date by girls but just dont want ,i know the right one will come

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.