How to let someone down gently when online dating


Arranging your love life via the Internet certainly has its pluses, not least the sheer convenience of introducing yourself to as many singles as you wish, any time you feel like it. But it also brings the same age-old dilemmas that have faced couples for years before the earliest matchmaking websites were launched. What if another single has been showing interest in you, perhaps sending messages over a period of time, and you just aren’t interested? At some point you’re going to have to let them down as gently and politely as you can.

You might have arrived at this point for any number of reasons. It could be you’ve been into single women dating for some time but have been ‘hedging your bets’, keeping in touch with more than one female. When someone comes along who you prefer, how should you make this fact known to any of the others? If you’re seeking to let someone down you’ve not actually been chatting with for long it might be difficult. But nowhere near as stressful if you’ve spent considerable time getting acquainted. Here are some issues to bear in mind about this unpleasant action.

Casual contacts

The point is, online dating brings degrees of connection. You might have introduced yourself to a group chat and got to know a cross-section of other singles. On the other hand, you might have been getting steadily involved with a particular female and some chemistry has been created. Deciding what to do about letting someone down depends on the strength of your relationship.

At its most basic level, contact on an online dating site is reduced to a series of communication shortcuts. There are winks, likes and pokes, but these can be read in only two ways. One, the person sending these messages definitely has a sense of fun but can’t really be taken too seriously if this is the extent of how they are expressing their feelings to you. Two, they lead such busy lives they simply don’t have the time or inclination to compose a meaningful message to you.

If they have got in touch with you more than once but are persisting with this low-key, offhanded approach, then you can dismiss their attentions with a succinct message. Something along the lines of ‘Sorry, I don’t feel we are the right match for each other.’  If they still keep coming back with likes or winks, simply delete their incoming texts. At this stage there is no point in getting defensive or precious. Maybe they are trying out online dating for the first time and are still getting to grips with the responsibility of being in a communal meeting place. In any case, you can’t say you’ll never bump into this person ever again; your paths might cross at some point, so your best bet would be to remain upbeat.

Because most site users get the nature of online chat, they will most likely accept your explanation if you explain you’ve met another site user who you feel to be more on your wavelength.

When online dating has advanced

As the ultimate aim of online dating is to set yourself up with a match, someone compatible who you can eventually hook-up with in the flesh, what if you do only to decide you don’t want to see them again? The same rules apply. Always try to use politeness and integrity, leaving with your head held high, and allowing the spurned party the opportunity to walk away with their dignity intact. You might have to resort to assertiveness, fair enough. But never rudeness or aggression.


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