As fun as dating is, it's also very daunting. There's a chance that you could find true love and live happily ever after, but at the same time, you could get hurt or, worse, have to hurt someone else. But saying no to that second date or simply telling someone that you're not interested shouldn't have to be that complicated. It's the best thing that you could do for yourself and the other person.
You've spent hours on some of the best dating sites and have been on a few semi-successful dates. You wouldn't consider it as time wasted because, at the end of the day, you did have fun getting to know someone. But would you waste your time doing it again if you knew that you absolutely weren't interested? If you're not really interested in dating someone, you won't be giving them the best version of yourself, and in turn, you'll be wasting their time as well. Be respectful of your time and theirs by giving someone else a chance and allowing them to do the same. They will find the right person eventually, and so will you.
As we're sure you'd appreciate the honesty and directness of a simple, "no, thank you," so would the person that you're dating. We understand that turning someone down is a difficult thing to do. It's not very pleasant, and unfortunately, it's easier to take the coward's way out. But, how often have you turned someone down the wrong way, and you've ended up feeling really bad about it? No one has ever regretted being kind, polite, and honest, and it leaves you parting ways in a positive light.
The fear of rejection and being hurt can affect the way you experience dating and how you handle difficult situations. A simple way to ensure that you don't end up hurting someone else's feelings is to consider how you would feel in their situation. "Treat someone how you wish to be treated" is a timeless piece of advice, and with good reason.
With all due respect, you need to stop playing hard to get. You're sending mixed signals, and it's a game that no one has time to play. If you're interested in someone, say so. It doesn't make the first few weeks of dating any less exciting. And on the other side of the spectrum, if you're really not interested, instead of playing hard to get, hoping that they will take the hint, be upfront and move on with life. There are plenty more people to date, and you're wasting time that could be spent with the right person.
The "ghosting" culture needs to stop. You know that it's a terrible thing to do, whether you're on the giving or receiving end of things. Instead, be honest, kind, and genuine. You can say no, without hurting someone's feelings. Yes, it isn't great when you're dating someone, and they turn you down - we know that it hurts, especially if you were really interested. But being told off politely still feels better than being shut down and left to wonder what you did wrong.
Some helpful phrases to let someone know that you're not interested:
Remember, everyone in the dating game is looking to find love. Yes, often, people are only in it for the fun of it, but for the most part, the end game of dating is the same for everyone - to find a healthy, long term relationship with the right person.
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