Here's exactly what to say to turn down a date without hurting the person's feelings

Notting hill screenshotPolygram Filmed EntertainmentYou won’t crush them for life.

If you don’t want to go on a date with someone who asks, you’re going to have to reject them.

You’ll feel bad; they will feel bad; it won’t be a great situation.

That said, there are definitely ways to make the situation go much more smoothly and to avoid crushing the person for life.

According to relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of “He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s A Good Thing): How to Find Love Where You Least Expect It,” the best approach depends on whether you know the person well or not.

If you don’t know the person well, Syrtash said it’s fine to tell a white lie: “I’m flattered, but I’m not available.” (If you really are in a relationship, then obviously you won’t be lying.)

That way, they won’t be as inclined to personalise your rejection.

If you do know the person well and they’re aware that you’re not in a relationship, Syrtash said you can say something like: “I’m so flattered; thank you. But I feel like we’re more suitable as friends” or, “I’m not in that place right now.

Again, the person who asked you out will probably still feel hurt, but this is the most elegant way to go about it. Plus, they’d probably feel worse if you got their hopes up by agreeing to a date and then broke it off.

And remember: It’s best to deliver the blow in person and by yourself. That means no texting and no sending your friend to do it for you. As Gail Gross, a human behaviour, parenting, and education expert, writes on The Huffington Post, “A clean break can only happen in person, eyeball-to-eyeball.”

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