Wise Guys – What's the Best Way to Turn Down a 2nd Date?

photo by Brujita

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: ” What’s the best way to turn down a guy who you’ve been on a date or two with, but don’t want to go on any others?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

joel_derfner_100Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): Tell him you and your ex-boyfriend have decided to get back together.  This way you’ll get rid of him without making him feel bad about himself.

anonymous_suitStraight Single Guy (L.A. Chris): Be honest, open, and direct, for the love of god. Girls are always afraid of hurting guys’ feelings, so instead they torture us with hints and clues. Ladies: we won’t get the message unless you come right out and say it. Don’t be subtle, don’t send signals, and don’t leave the door open a crack. You don’t have to be insulting or degrading, just be clear. What does a man say when his doctor returns with bad test results? “Just give it to me straight, doc.”

anonymous_suitStraight Married Guy (Figleaf): The most gracious way is also maybe the most practical. You want to say some variation on “I wouldn’t have gone out with you the first time if I didn’t like you. I wouldn’t be saying no now [i.e. instead of just disappearing] if I didn’t respect you.” The point being to make it clear it you didn’t make a mistake saying yes the first time, and that not being a perfect match for you doesn’t make him a loser. That’s the gracious part.

The practical part is that men start learning as early as fairy tales that we have to be persistent, to never take no for an answer, to strive and achieve, and if we just work at it long and hard enough we’ll always “win over” the reluctant girl in the end. Letting him down with ego intact makes it less likely that he’ll try redoubling his effort to win you over. If he can walk away feeling respected he’ll be more likely to respect both you and your decision.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Engaged Guy is Joel Derfner, author of Swish, and our Straight Married Guy is Figleaf, the guy behind RealAdultSex.com. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. yes, honesty is best, although guys still often get mad when I am clear I would just like to be friends and not go on a second date – they’ve even tried to tell mutual friends I’m a b****. I’m let down all the time too, since I often ask guys out – deal with it! Expect to be judged, or mildly harassed via texts sometimes, but honesty is still worth it – that’s what I want in return too.

    If you can’t handle rejection, please don’t ask us girls on a date!

  2. As someone who has heard “thanks, but no thanks”, more times than he cares to remember, I think I can be of help here. Let me share an actual, real “no thanks” note I got just a week ago. But first, let me set the scene. We were introduced through a mutual friend and had corresponded just a few times before meeting up for a wine date. I thought she was interesting, attractive, smart and an all-around decent young lady. We talked for almost two hours, and the conversation flowed naturally and effortlessly. I sent a follow up email the next day asking for a dinner date. When I hadn’t received a reply in one week, I sent a very short email expressing interest in meeting up again, but without specifics. Here is her reply, names withheld of course.

    “Dear Dude,

    “I’m sorry, I should have written back to you sooner. Thank you so much for the drink, and the invite to dinner. While I had a good time meeting you and enjoyed our conversation I unfortunately didn’t feel that there was any chemistry between us, and so think it’s best if we don’t meet up again.

    “I wish you all the best in the future!

    “Cute girl”

    Great reply! It was honest, short, and unambiguous. She left no possible opening for the future, and I shan’t hope that she’ll change her mind. There is no need for further contact. Yeah, it is blunt, but now I know, and can direct my efforts elsewhere.

    I say direct honesty is best!

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