I think we were all devastated at the end of My Best Friend’s Wedding when Dermot Mulroney’s character rejected Julia Roberts and decided to marry the perky tone-deaf heiress played by Cameron Diaz. Was it just the fact that Julia Roberts was forced to swallow her pride and cake alone at an empty table at their wedding? Or was it that Mulroney was so stone-faced and cold as he rejected Roberts to pursue his bride?
Either way, it was enough to make even the most stolid attention-getter think twice about delivering a rejection. You don’t want to break his heart, but you definitely want to avoid the date. Fear not; there can be a happy medium. Follow these tips to saying no nicely, and you’ll both avoid a little devestation.
I don’t want to ruin our friendship. I think we’re better as pals. The timing just isn’t right. Sound like typical lines? They will to him too. A cliché©d response will be received as nothing more than quick escape route. Not only will it leave him confused, but he’ll be more hurt that you didn’t grant him the courtesy of a real answer. Even if you just don’t think of him that way, try to use unique words to describe your feelings, so he knows you put some thought into it.
Get to the point, and quickly. If there’s no chemistry, then say so, and say it right at the beginning. That way, you won’t lead with false hope or give a confusing response. While it might sting in the moment, he’ll appreciate that you didn’t try to beat around the bush.
Keep it short
If the answer is no, it’s no. Simple. Make your point, then end the conversation. You risk talking yourself in circles by drawing out your response, and create the opportunity for debate, which you don’t want. Rip it off like a band-aid.
Don’t say you’re seeing someone if you’re not. Don’t say you’re too busy with work, friends, family or school. Little white lies may have worked before Facebook, but the time has passed. Better to deal with just his disappointment now, rather than deal with his ire and disappointment later when he finds out you lied.
Breaking up on a post-it is tacky; I’m sure Carrie Bradshaw would agree. So is proposing a date via BBM or making a declaration of love on MySpace. And sorry, declining a date any way besides in person is just bad form. Even if he made the first move on Facebook chat (*cringe*) a little face time could go a long way in keeping the relationship amicable. With a quick in-person chat, you’ll have body language and intonation on your side, and you run less risk of miscommunication. Meeting up also shows him that while you may not be interested in him romantically, you care about his feelings enough to chat face to face.