I have a good friend who is absolutely cross with me, because, as he claims, I am all coding and no fun lately, as in 24/7. I also have rules about not dating at the workplace for obvious reasons, and in the weekends we mostly do trekking and other outdoor activities with our group of old friends.

So this friend is worried I am missing out by being single and last week he convinced me to go out with a guy he knows from his basketball team.

We went out for a first date, but despite the guy being nice and all, I don't think we click, and we don't have any common interests. He was also constantly bragging about his money and celebs he knows personally. The guy is all for a second date and also wants to join me and my friends in our weekend activities. It's all very awkward, because I am not interested at all.

How do I tell him (gently) without offending him that I am not interested? I am usually a very straightforward person, so if someone would help me with a polite version of : "I am used to go out with nerds, so if someone doesn't know what cartesian dualism means and who was Tolkien, then at least he has to have some redeeming qualities like being really hilarious."

I have no problem with him thinking I am a snob, but I don't want him to feel inferior. ..

  • 1
    Are you open to being "friends" and being friendly when or if he is around or would you rather dissociate from him completely (rather not even make small talk)?
    – cheshire
    Aug 1, 2017 at 21:45
  • 6
    "so if someone doesn't know what cartesian dualism means and who was Tolkien" - I am pretty sure that is not going to make him feel inferior, just leave off the part about not being hilarious Aug 1, 2017 at 21:46
  • @cheshire he is a bit of a bore, so i rather wont see him at all.
    – user1617
    Aug 1, 2017 at 21:48
  • 3
    Where are you in the world?
    – Catija
    Aug 1, 2017 at 22:00
  • 2
    Could you add a country tag to this question, and edit this question and add some information about the cultural context? The answer to this question will depend on your cultural context.
    – user288
    Aug 4, 2017 at 3:51

4 Answers 4


Make it clear at the end of the first date

The first and last impressions of any encounter are much more memorable than a lot of the time in-between, so if you're not feeling it, it's important to signal that to him at the end of the date. If he goes home thinking you weren't too excited at the end of the date, he's not going to have his hopes up as much as if you gave him a full-on hug and said "that was so great! We need to do something like this again soon!"

The big strength of signalling how you feel at the end of the first date is so that you can leverage the full range of in-person body language to make it clear that you're politely declining his advance. Generally, just being polite and neutral is the way to go. Don't go for any hugs, maybe even keep things at a handshake. Brief and polite smiles, the usual farewells like "it was good to hang out." or "i'll text you", and refusing to make further concrete plans are all good. Ending with something short and neutral like "have a good day" instead of "talk to you soon!" makes it clearer that you're not interested in being any closer than acquaintances.

It may not work. Some guys may optimistically try to ignore those signals, - but that's their cross to bear, not yours. If you've done your best to set expectations early, it makes the actual turn-down a lot easier for everyone.

After the first date

Since you're past the first date and need to turn him down more succinctly, the most important thing is to keep it short. Don't get into any long conversations, or beat around the bush - once he brings up a second date, just be clear and say something like "you seem nice, but I don't think we quite fit." or "maybe we'd work better as friends".

Since this date was set up through a mutual friend, you can tell that person why you were not interested. This isn't a substitute for turning the guy down politely, but it will allow you to give your unfiltered feedback (about how he wasn't funny, or nerdy enough, or whatever turned you off) to the mutual friend, who will then relay it to the guy in a friendly way.


While your post didn't mention it, I still think it's important to emphasize that turning him down explicitly is the way to go. It can be tempting for some people to simply avoid the matter entirely, and just not talk to the other person again. Usually this is done out of fear of hurting their feelings, or decision paralysis, or procrastination - but this is the absolute worst thing you can do. Rejection is never pleasant, but if he gets no reply whatsoever it will feel like he must have done something terribly wrong to merit being alienated.

No matter what medium you turn him down in, the most important thing is to keep it short, but polite. You don't need to tell him why you're not interested, because that will very likely sound too much like personal criticism. If he asks for feedback, you can give it. But generally you don't need to give reasons why you don't want to date someone.


Go for the cliché

If you don't mind sounding snob, you should go with a variation of this: "we had a good time, but you're not really my type, sorry". This way you at least show that you've enjoyed the last time you went out with him (even if you didn't, but since he doesn't sound like an a**hole there's no need to point that out). He'll ask why and etc, but all you have to say is basically what you already said: "I don't think we click".

Honest, simple and straightforward: a cliché is a cliché for a reason, they usually work.

BUT, opening some brackets now. You probably already know that and that actually goes a little away from what your question targets, but going out with someone that has interests different from yours might be interesting if you are actually interested in discovering something new, beyond the other person, about yourself.


One thing that too a very long time for me to grasp is that when you tell someone you dated that you just want to be friends, it is code for I do not want to date you but do not want to be mean. To which the polite response is something along the lines of, "OK great, Ill give you a call sometime" but there is never any intent to call. Its a "Polite" dance of little white lies nearly everyone understands. Well except for those of us who are socially maladjusted and never got the book that had those rules.

Not only that but if you run into them on the street and they say something like, "Hey you should give me a call sometime." They do not really mean that either, its just a polite way to keep the situation from becoming awkward.

However for me I dislike the dance and fibbing and not understanding what is being said. So I like to be direct. It is not impolite to tell someone thank you but you are not interested. Just do not stand around waiting for a response, just thank them for the pleasant date, and move on. It only gets awkward if you let it get awkward. Say your peace and do not leave room for further discussion.


"Let's just be friends" is the civilized way to say you cannot deal with reality. He is real and you cannot deal with him. Don't let this slide. Stand up and deal with it.

He clearly has a great deal to offer its just that he needs to offer it to someone else. Make a direct pitch to him with the following. Let him know none of his interests are yours and that you have limited time to hang out with the nerdy kids. He's funny but he does not make you laugh. He's rich but he can't buy what you want. His attentions are flattering but will only be welcome to the some other lucky lady.

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