I Want To Decline A Date Politely

Aug 16, 2010 • Q&A

In the Q&A section, the staff of Sex and the 405 takes a break from chasing headlines and having wild orgies to sit down and brainstorm solutions to your issues.* Have your own question? Write us!

Dear Sex and the 405,

I met this guy the other night at a networking event here in Los Angeles. He was interesting and possibly a good business contact. Unfortunately, he sees our interaction as more than business. This morning he sent me the following message:

“Nice to meet you last night. Hopefully its not direct, but I would love to buy you a coffee or drink sometime to get to know you. My twitter handle is @[redacted], LinkedIn [Redacted] and Facebook [Redacted]. Let me know if your up to grabbing a coffee or drink, or movie sometime. My cell is [Redacted].”

How should I respond? I want to be cordial but make it clear this is not the direction I want to go.

Polite Rejection

It took us a moment to cut through the excess of information and grammar fails on behalf of her wooer, but once we did, the answer seemed pretty clear. Here’s what we came up with:

Thank you, [Redacted]! Your invitation is very thoughtful and while meeting like this is not possible, I do look forward to seeing you at other events in the future. Take care of yourself!

The use of exclamation points keeps the tone light, softening the news. The lack of explanation gives him no grounds to really suggest alternatives. A lot of people believe giving concretes makes it easier for others to accept rejection, but this is not the case. Saying things like “I am busy this week” or “I am seeing someone else” may be taken as invitations to keep approaching until you become available.

Our editrix wrote a whole post about the art of declining at Twirlit with more points and suggestions and her usual brand of humor. If you don’t know how to say “no, thanks,” we strongly recommend you start there.

* Our attorneys want us to reiterate that we’re not experts and all suggestions given are to be taken with the same level of caution that you would take those given by a friend who has nothing but his own experience on which to base his responses.

Photo by Beatriz AG.