Teen Dating: How to Say No without Hurting Feelings

Teen Dating: How to Say No without Hurting Feelings

One of the hardest parts about teen dating is the word “no”. It is so easy to hurt someone’s feelings when you use the word. There are not many ways to do so gracefully, right? Too many times teens end up saying “yes” just to avoid the problems that can come from turning someone down. Needless to say, this can lead to complete disaster in the dating arena. Try some of the tactics below to help you say no without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Be Honest

Honesty is sometimes the best policy, even when you are trying to avoid hurt feelings. For example, if someone asks you on a date and they have a reputation for using drugs, let them know this is why you don’t want to go. This is not a personal reflection on the person asking. It’s just your way of pointing out an activity you don’t want to be associated with. This might actually help the person more than it hurts him or her.

Sex Doesn’t Require a Reason

You don’t have to explain anything when you say no to sex. Agreeing to go on a date is different than agreeing to sexual activity. A simple “no” should be answer enough. If you are truly interested in the person and you want to establish that you require more time and commitment, let him or her know that. Just don’t feel obligated to defend your right to deny sexual gratification in any form.

Make an Excuse

If someone asks you out on a date you don’t want to go out on, you can always tell him or her that you have other plans. If you never want to go out with this person, you need to find a reason not to if you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Either way, make sure your excuse isn’t going to hurt any feelings either. For example, you can’t say that you have to babysit Friday night and then go out with another guy instead or you are going to hurt someone’s feelings. You also can’t use the long term excuse that you aren’t allowed to date and then be seen out on a date. Your actions speak far louder than your words. If you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, then back up your words with your actions.

Most of the time, it is best to simply tell them that you are not interested if you are sure you will not be saying yes. This can save both you and them a ton of heartache over time. If they ask why, you can simply say that is between yourself and yourself. That might get a chuckle and lighten the mood. Be nice, but firm.

You never have to be cruel when you say no. However, you should plan for the long term. Someone who asks you out once is bound to ask you out again. Keep that in mind when you say no the first time. You can stop future requests by answering the first one correctly. Be kind and don’t cut anyone down. No matter how you put it, telling someone no for a date is a bit painful for them. Don’t add to it with unnecessary cut downs. They might not be right for you, but they may be perfect for someone else.

  1. Janelle says

    Sometimes no amount of honesty can help. If there’s a broken heart, people react poorly.

  2. Allie says

    Never be pressured into having sex before you are ready!

  3. Pamela says

    Great advice, it’s hard to say no but important to stand your ground!

  4. Mama to 5 BLessings says

    I so so glad I have a long time to go before I have to deal with this but I am old school. I believe in courting and no kissing, holding hands or any of that before marriage.

  5. Michelle F. says

    That is some great advice. A lot of teams should read this.

  6. Randi - Dukes and Duchesses says

    Great thoughts on dating. I think we really have to help our teens through these critical choices.

  7. Felicia says

    These are all great points. It is always important to be honest to any individual, no matter what. You will gain respect from them if you are.

  8. Stacey - Seattle Mom Blog says

    Such a hard thing to do (and have done to you). Some good advice here.

  9. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    I feel bad making excuses. I don’t like intentionally lying to people and then I always think – what if I get caught.

  10. Paula Parker says

    I believe in tell the truth with grace. Thank you for bringing up this important subject. Just tell them that you value their friendship and that’s the way you see them. Then suggests you go out as a group of friends for fun. Hopefully they will find someone in the group and they him.

  11. Petro Neagu says

    So true. I remember I had to deal with the same issue as a teenager, I couldn’t stand hurting people yet I had to be true to myself. The good thing is teenagers go past the pain pretty easily.

  12. dd says

    I would not want to be a teenager growing up these days.

  13. Kungphoo says

    I have a teenage son, and i know he talks to girls, and all i ask him to be is respectful to them. I have told him it is ok to tell them no to anything.. but these teenage girls can be very mean about allot of things..

  14. Catherine | Fit Armadillo says

    Great advice! I always think of it as your body is your most prized possession and to value it as such. Anyone who doesn’t understand if you say no definitely isn’t worthy of you.

  15. Liz Mays says

    I agree that kindness and tact go a long way here. There’s no reason to be nasty about a no.

  16. Rosey says

    My daughter has entered the teen years now, and though she’s gone to school dances, or had a boy ‘friend’ along with us on various occasions when we’ve gone somewhere, she hasn’t gone on an official (one on one) date yet. I have had various discussions with her, but not the one about it being okay to say no when someone does ask you out. I just assumed she knew…but I’ll bring it up just in case!! Can’t hurt, could some day help!

  17. Lexie Lane says

    All great advice. Now to get a teen to actually listen …

  18. Joanna Sormunen says

    Great post! Yes, saying “no” is really hard for teens, especially for girls. But boys feel the group pressure too. Honesty and trusting your own self, is such an important lesson to learn.

  19. BusyBee says

    Who cares if you hurt the other person’s feelings. They obviously don’t care about YOU if they are pressuring you.

  20. Erin says

    Such great tips. Too many people get rushed into relationships and sex before they are ready. If they like you they will wait.

  21. Family Travel Blogger says

    This article came at a wonderful time with the recent school shooting in California. It astounded me that people blamed girls for saying NO. I think NO should always be an option if we present it with humility and grace.

  22. krystalskitsch says

    Kindness is key. High school can be so confusing.

  23. Jen says

    Amazing advice, and good for older people not just teens. Teen dating is hard though, I remember it well 🙁

  24. Debra says

    A great list that I think all teens need to read! So many great points.

  25. Debi says

    I have been trying to have these talks with my boys who are teens. I can not imagine having it with my daughter shortly.

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