Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
10 Things You Can Say Instead Of Ghosting Someone
Published Nov 16th, 2020 & updated on Dec 7th, 2021
It can be difficult finding the right thing to say to someone after realizing that they might not be “the thing you are looking for.” Whether it was a potential romantic relationship, or a friend that no longer aligns with your values, expressing your feelings about the relationship can be kind of awkward. Alright, it can be suuuuper awkward… which is why ghosting someone can seem like the better option. (psst, it’s not).
Oftentimes, we worry about how we might be perceived by the other person when we express our feelings. Are they going to think I’m an asshole? Do they know that I’m not trying to hurt their feelings? Is there a way to tell them how I feel without making them feel rejected?
These thoughts fester in your mind until you decide to ‘save them’ from the rejection they’d otherwise feel. But ghosting someone doesn’t help them get the closure they need (or you need, for that matter).
Even though ghosting can eliminate the possibility of an awkward conversation, it doesn’t really help us communicate what our true intentions are. With this in mind, we’ve come up with 10 things you can say to the person that you don’t quite imagine yourself in a relationship with, romantic or otherwise.
1. “I don’t feel this going anywhere romantically, but I would love to stay friends.”
This one is for that person you’ve been on a couple dates with, but just don’t feel that spark. You might really enjoy their company and their personality, but you just don’t want to pursue things above a friendship level. This approach is a little gentler than some of the others we suggest, and it leaves the opportunity for a friendship. And we know it sounds cliche but honestly, it beats a total ghosting where you say nothing at all.
2. “Hey, I’m not in a position in my life where I can be in a relationship right now. I’ve realized my commitment is to other things at the moment.”
This is for those who don’t want to explain themselves further. The truth is, you’re busy and you’re focused on your priorities, which at the moment may not include a relationship. Even if all you wanted to do was dip your toes in (thinking that you might test out whether a relationship could be a priority), it’s okay to change your mind. This one is quick, easy and doesn’t require a huge explanation about every single commitment. You’re allowed to prioritize however you want.
3. “I’m going through some personal stuff right now, and I need time to work through it on my own.”
Maybe you’re realizing you’ve got some shit you need to deal with. Maybe you’re just needing some alone time. Or, maybe this is just a turbulent time in your life. This text is perfect for those who are realizing that they might need some time to discover themselves a little more before jumping into a relationship. We think that’s super cool of you! Andddd there are a ton of things to do when you’re single that will help you find some answers!
4. “I’ve actually decided to start seeing someone more seriously so I’m no longer casually dating.”
This is a perfect response to that “wanna hangout again?” text. It’s clear and simple. It closes the door for that person to reach out again and it also indicates that your priorities have changed. You’ve made it clear that you’re no longer available, but it’s more than that. It’s a way to say hey look, I care about where I invest my time and effort.
5. “I had a great time getting to know you last night but I don’t think our values align. I wish you the best.”
This one is for that date that really didn’t go well. Like it went ok, but it wasn’t amazing. For whatever reason, you didn’t connect. Maybe it was because they said they like pineapple on pizza, or maybe it was their offensive tattoo. They just weren’t for you. And that’s ok.
6. “I loved going out with you yesterday, but I have to admit, I didn’t really feel that spark.”
Maybe the date was amazing. Maybe they were great company and you had a great time. Or maybe you appreciate all the time and effort they put into planning such a thoughtful date! But…you didn’t feel that spark that you anticipated. They might have seemed like a great person, they just weren’t for you.
7. “Hey, I really don’t think we have a lot in common and I don’t see this progressing into a romantic relationship.”
It’s important to remember that someone’s dating profile doesn’t tell you what they’re like in real life. Maybe you met them and you had completely different views on things. Or maybe their profile said they loved the mountains and you had a rock climbing adventure in mind while they just wanted a stroll in a wooded area. It happens! Better to be honest about it and move on!
8. “I’m actually looking for someone who follows a similar lifestyle to me.”
Maybe you’re the type that would rather curl up with a good book and a cup of tea than go out to the bar, while your date just loves to party every weekend. Or have you ever dated a marathon runner? If that’s too ambitious for your Sunday morning, just be straight up about it. This text is perfect for realizing that your lifestyles might not be a great fit.
9. “I thought I was ready to date again, but I’m not.”
This one is for the people who are starting to date again after being in a relationship. Dating can be hard, especially coming out of a breakup. It’s more than okay to take time to yourself and realize that you aren’t ready to get back in the dating game…yet. Wanna learn how to practice self-compassion before jumping back in? Totally cool. Focus on yourself. Take your time.
10. “I’ve been recruited by a secret agency across the world to help build luxury houses for pandas.”
Okay, maybe this one won’t work as well as the others, but it might help you with a quick escapé after a bad date, or an encounter that did not go well at all. Leave them with a laugh and make a graceful exit.
Dating can be hard. Being open to new situations and meeting new people takes a tremendous amount of courage so you might as well borrow Gal Gadot’s cape. She’s happily married so she doesn’t need it atm anyways.
In all seriousness, have fun and don’t forget to communicate your intentions with other people. Xoxo, DiveThru