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Just say no. Not to bring up ’80s anti-drug slogans into the conversation, but sometimes, the simplest answer is the easiest to stick to. In fact, it was the most common response from the guys I informally surveyed. It’s hard to come right out and say it, and sure, it probably doesn’t feel great to hear, but it’s ultimately the best way. “I can’t tell you how many guys I talked to in college who were hopelessly strung along because the girl wouldn’t be blunt,” said one of them. “Blunt is not equal to mean.”

A standard, slightly gentler line. Think, “You’re a nice guy, but I’m just not into you in that way.” It’s clear and not wishy-washy, but it’s not quite as blunt as actually stating that you find him unattractive. One not particularly thin-skinned guy said, “I’ve been on the receiving end of that, and it’s fine.

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Ways to Turn Down a Date Without Hurting His Feelings  was originally published on