When it falls to the man to say "not interested"


First of all, please accept my sincerest assurance this has nothing to do with any form of ego-feeding or bragging about being in the position to say no etc. (please do not post any accusations of that). In fact, knowing it could be seen this way almost stopped me from posting. In fact, I’ve actually stopped once but decided to try again. Let me explain one thing first: I’m definitely not clueless but I need feedback on how certain things feel from the female side of things. In return, I will always gladly provide information on how things feel from the male side, or otherwise share whatever I know.

The background of this hypothetical is a tame, Catholic dating website where almost everybody is polite, well-mannered and keeps the boundaries, so messages are often formal-style and don’t typically go further than asking if the other person would be interested in getting to know each other more closely and people behave appropriately for strangers and then new acquaintances if any conversation starts. The ladies who have written to me are adult professionals in late twenties, perhaps an occasional student below 25 now and then or a very rare person in early thirties. The unique factor is that there’s no body language, no face expression, no voice etc. and no possibility of immediately explaining anything you’ve just said. So it has to be in the words of a message.


  1. The most important and at the same time vague thing is how explicit do I have to be so that the information that I’m not romantically interested and this is final and won’t change is understood? (I don’t want to amplify any sad or solemn moods beyond necessary. I would keep it light-hearted if I could. I know it would be awfully hard to turn someone down and make his day better at the same time but I would like to if I could and I want to do it if at all possible.)

  2. Also, is it better on average, (without knowing the addressee’s specific personality), to keep it short and clear at the risk of being a bit cold (which can hurt) or keep it longer, softer and warmer, at the risk of “dragging it”, making it sound artificial, insincere, or on the contrary increasing the pain of her being turned down by showing her a caring side?

  3. Is it better to give an assurance that a friendly conversation would be welcome or to shut up about it to avoid the risk of rubbing salt into the wound? If better to say it, then include another “as friends” caveat or was once enough? (I want to avoid any impression of a chance for changing my mind, no leading on, no vain hopes.)

  4. Do I give a reason? From what I know about women, it should be better not to and it could be damaging. However, I’ve learnt to question myself on what I know about women. And, as a man, I would be much happier with “sorry, chev, you just aren’t my type” than any silence or unconvincing story.

Also, one more question, one concerning a real situation:

  1. Suppose a couple of e-mails have been exchanged on a lady’s initiative. No flirting whatsoever, no hint of romance, no signs of anything, but obviously some sharing of information and becoming a little closer as acquaintances (still far from friends) but I’d hate to keep allowing her to invest her time and emotions in vain if she’s in fact doing it. Initiating the typical “friends” conversation would be rude here (too forward and too assuming). For the record, a white is out of the question (I don’t use white lies), so there’s no excuse other than lack of sufficient attraction, even though I like her as a person and I’m certain we’d make great friends if given chance. Any hints? I could frame it as two messages, one good (or at least I think) and one I don’t know (and wouldn’t like to be assuming), the good one being I can see we could make good friends with time, the other being I can see we couldn’t be anything other than friends, after which I would say I wasn’t assuming anything on her side but feeling the need to be honest because I would hate to disappoint her on the odd chance I might be given an opportunity to do so, without presuming I would. Sound acceptable?

Thank you for your precious time and I appreciate your help. Please don’t hesitate if I can return the favour.


You are WAY overthinking and overanalyzing this.

You aren’t friends with someone you’ve only exchanged a few emails with. I suggest you simply say that you have enjoyed the correspondence but will be discontinuing it as you do not believe you are well suited.

And, no, don’t try to be “friends”.


This seems like a tactful way to put it, if a bit matter-of-fact. I would maybe add, “you seem really nice and I wish you luck in the future!” Or something like that. :slight_smile:

Don’t worry too much. I’m sure there are lots of situations like this in online dating sites. You can’t get a winner with every encounter!!


Man, when I tried that line (well one similar to we are not well suited) with a fellow I got DRILLED for WHY. It was the most annoying thing. Haha.

That said, I do agree that it’s the best approach. :thumbsup:

closed #5

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