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15 Excuses & Nice Ways to Tell a Guy You’re Not Interested & Don’t Like Him

You know this guy, and he’s really nice, but you’re just not into him. So, you’re now wondering how to tell a guy you don’t like him. Here are the answers.

how to tell a guy you don't like him

One of the most horrible feelings is not being in love with someone who adores you. We have all stayed in a relationship a little longer than we should, either out of fear or the desire not to hurt someone’s feelings. It only makes the inevitable worse, so learning how to tell a guy you don’t like him matters.

The longer you stay, the more a guy becomes attached. Science tells us not only are guys the first to fall in love in a relationship, they are also typically the last to fall out of love.

If you hold onto a relationship so you don’t hurt a guy’s feelings, you aren’t doing him, or yourself, any favors. Likely, he has an idea that things aren’t awesome. Staying means all you do is confuse him.

Firstly, how well do you know this guy?

Have you both been seeing each other for a while? Have you been on a few dates? Or have you hooked up already?

Before you learn how to tell a guy you don’t like him, you really need to evaluate the kind of relationship the two of you share.

If it’s a guy you met on Tinder, or some random guy who’s DMing you on Instagram, of course, you don’t really need to think of anything elaborate. If he texts you and tells you he likes you, or wants to date you, and you’re very certain you have zero interest in getting to know the guy, just text him back and tell him you’re flattered but you’re not interested in any kind of relationship with him. [Read: How to let someone down easy over text or even in person – The full guide to making no mistakes]

It’s relatively simple to turn down a guy you don’t know, all you have to do is be honest and just reject him. He took a shot, and you turned him down. That’s the start and the end of the story.

But everything changes when you know the guy personally, or have even been talking to him for a while. And if that’s the case, you really need to handle this situation with a little more finesse. [Read: What is the talking stage and what makes two people progress to the next stage]

How to tell a guy you don’t like him the right way

If you want to let a guy down easy, the key is to let him walk away with his self-confidence and esteem intact. Don’t drag it out, you’ll likely treat him with less respect and adoration than he needs or deserves.

First, let’s talk about what to do before you tell a guy you don’t like him. It’s really important to prepare for this so it goes well and doesn’t blow up in your face!

1. Make sure you really don’t like him

This might sound silly, but sometimes people have a way of lying to themselves. So, you really need to sit down with yourself and be honest. Do you really not like him? Or are you on the fence about him?

Maybe you do subconsciously – or consciously like him – but the circumstances are such that you can’t be with him.

For instance, maybe it’s your friend’s ex-boyfriend. Regardless, make sure you are clear on your feelings so you don’t change your mind later. [Read: How to stop thinking about someone you like but can’t have]

2. Don’t put it off

It’s so easy to avoid this difficult conversation, because it’s never pleasant to tell a guy you don’t like him. But putting it off won’t make it any easier. It’s like ripping off a bandage. You just have to do it quickly to get it over with.

Break it off as soon as you know. If you think he isn’t the right guy for you, then don’t hold on just to avoid the inevitable.

If you know you aren’t into him, then you have a responsibility to break it off as soon as you know. Avoiding him, missing his phone calls, or trying to blow him off aren’t appropriate ways.

Once you know, he should be the second one to find out. Don’t try to avoid him. [Read: How to stop a guy from flirting and hitting on you]

3. Prepare for the conversation in person

It’s much easier for people to hide behind their phone or screen when they have to tell a guy they don’t like them. But it’s not fair to the guy. It’s much better if you have the conversation in person.

So, you will need to do some preparation. It’s not good to go into it cold not knowing what you are going to say.

It will be much easier for you if you have something written down beforehand so you can follow your plan during the conversation. [Read: How to reject a guy and turn him down nicely without hurting him]

4. Be honest

Guys know when you try to appease them. It can be even worse than being mean. Although you don’t want to hurt his feelings, telling him something that isn’t true to have him find out otherwise, only prolongs his agony.

If you say it in a kind way, and tell him it isn’t anything lacking in him, then you can’t be responsible for the fallout. If you lie and say something that only leads him on longer, that is on you. [Read: How to friendzone a guy without leading him on]

5. Don’t text it

The worst thing you can do to anyone is texting them your feelings. If he is into you and has put himself on the line for rejection, then you have an obligation to not just text him your feelings.

It is never comfortable to say it face-to-face, but at least you see the expression on his face. It tells you how to navigate your words so you don’t hurt him. You may think it easier to send some words through your phone, but the hurt from that can be lasting, and not to mention, insulting to him as well. [Read: How to end a relationship on good terms in the most graceful way possible]

6. Make a plan

How are you going to start this conversation to tell this guy you don’t like him?

It’s up to you, but it’s best to mentally and emotionally prepare him for it. Saying something to him ahead of time like, “Hey, can we talk sometime soon? There’s something important I need to discuss with you.” He might to start to get the hint.

You will have to give him reasons why you don’t like him. So, in the next section, we will talk about some possible reasons you can give him. They will help you avoid hurting his feelings too much.

7. Acknowledge his feelings

Once you give him the bad news that you don’t like him, then you will have to deal with his feelings. Depending on how sensitive he is, he could take it very hard. [Read: 22 signs he’s falling in love with you and can’t hold back]

If this happens, then you will want to be nice and let him talk. Listen to what he says. He will probably feel bad about himself, so you will want to say nice things about him to help spare his ego. Tell him what you actually do like about him, but without implying that you have romantic feelings for him.

8. Be firm

When you tell a guy you don’t like him, he might try to talk you out of it. He may say things like, “But maybe you will change your mind,” or “Just give me a chance and I will prove to you that I am the guy for you!” He might try to grovel.

But don’t let him do this. Assure him that your feelings will never change and that you are very sure that he is not the guy for you.

It’s easy to be wishy-washy to try to save his feelings. But don’t do that. Be firm and give him the right message. [Read: How to reject someone nicely and make sure you don’t lead them on in any way]

9. End the conversation

If he is really upset, you might need to be the one who takes control of the flow of the conversation. He might just want to keep talking on and on in order to convince you to change your mind.

If this happens, then you will have to end the conversation yourself. You can say things like, “Look, John, I’m sorry you feel this way. But I have said how I feel, and talking about it more won’t change anything. So, I think it’s best that we move on and talk about something else now.”

Strategies and reasons for how to tell a guy you don’t like him

Now that we know how to prepare for the conversation with the guy you don’t like, here are some possible reasons you can give him.

These are mere suggestions – you will want to be honest and come up with your own, too.

1. Introduce him to someone else

There is a good chance you won’t have to say anything if you can push a guy off on someone else. If you know someone who would be “perfect” for him, or at least more his type, make sure to have them meet accidentally. Then foster the relationship.

Best case scenario, he falls madly and deeply in love with the other person, leaving you alone. Worst case scenario, he gets the hint you aren’t into him without you having to say it directly to him at all. [Read: Turning him down politely: A guide for nice girls]

2. Tell him you must focus on your career

If you don’t want to have to tell him you don’t like him in “that” way, tell him you want to take time to focus on your career right now.

If you let him know, in no uncertain terms, you must choose your career path over any relationship in the near future, it lets him down without letting him know you aren’t into him.

The best way to leave a guy’s ego intact is to make him feel like you aren’t rejecting him. Rather you are rejecting any relationship with any guy right now. [Read: 14 no-fail ways to turn down any kind of guy]

3. Tell him he is just too “nice” for you

If you want to tell a guy you aren’t into him, the nicest way possible is to say he is just too good for you. That is code for “I am not into you.”

When you put it in those terms, you both pay him a compliment while at the same time tell him nicely you just aren’t compatible.

He likely knows you can be a smart ass and somewhat selfish at times, so he will probably be okay knowing you are looking for someone who isn’t as nice to you. That, he will think, is all on you. [Read: The 20 most creative excuses for getting out of a date]

4. Tell him your mind is not in the right place for a relationship

There are all sorts of reasons you may not be in the right frame of mind for a relationship. Tell him you just got over a bad relationship or that you are in a “bad” place right now. You need to get your head straight before you move on with a relationship.

No guy wants to be with a girl who doesn’t have her shit together.

To him that means you come not alone, but with baggage. Make up something in your life that you need to attend to. If nothing else, it extends the time you need to break his heart. In the meantime, he will probably find someone else to fall in love with. [Read: How to make a guy lose interest in you when you just don’t like him that way]

5. Tell him your heart belongs to someone else

A guy doesn’t want to be into someone whose heart belongs to someone else. Tell him you never got over your last relationship. It wouldn’t be fair to get into a new relationship until you have resolved the unresolved feelings.

Most people sympathize with someone who is dealing with a broken heart or being in love or even having an unrequited love. If you tell him your heart isn’t free to give away, he won’t take it personally or think that it has anything to do with him.

6. Tell him you are interested in someone else

There is nothing self-esteem depleting about someone telling you they are into someone else. That doesn’t tell them they aren’t cool or hot enough, it only tells them you fell for someone you can’t get over. [Read: How to be just friends with a guy when he wants more]

Final thoughts

After the difficult part is over, you might have to give him space to process his feelings. And one really important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t lead him on. [Read: How to make guy friends who want nothing but platonic hangouts]

Don’t keep calling him. Here is where things go wrong. Girls can be very callous sometimes. If you don’t like a guy, but let’s say he is “convenient,” then every time you pick up the phone for something, you reinforce you are into him and may give him another chance.

When you need a ride, a favor, or you can’t find anyone better, it is not fair to go back to him. It only leads him on. The best way to tell a guy you aren’t into him is to be upfront and don’t waver. [Read: 15 things you do unintentionally that’s leading a guy on and using him]

Once you make the break, continuing to use him when you need him, is not nice or cool. Find a way to say you aren’t interested and let him be.

The key to telling a guy you don’t like him in the nicest way possible is to tell him that, if you were single, he would probably be a catch. But your heart belongs to someone else.

[Read: See a friendship, not fireworks? How to friend zone a guy]

Now that you know how to tell a guy you don’t like him, just try to just be honest in a way that won’t hurt his ego or his feelings. And most importantly, remember not to lead a guy on even after turning him down!

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