Dear Rabbi,

Do you have any advice on how to effectively handle rejection? I’m looking for words of wisdom when it comes to…

  1. How to gently inform others if you are not interested, without hurting or upsetting them.
  2. How to cope or deal with others informing me they have no interest, especially when it hurts, or feels like rejection.

These must be common concerns and questions! How do you advise people on this topic?

-Rejected, But Not Dejected


Dear “Rejected, But Not Dejected,”

Great question (and one that is definitely on the minds of many).

1. How can you gently inform others if you are not interested without hurting them?

I can’t imagine anyone feeling good about being rejected. You muster up the courage to ask someone on a date and BAMM!! You get smacked in the face with a NO. I’ve been the recipient of that virtual smack more times than I care to remember, so I’m qualified to tell you what your options are when dishing out the rejection.

A) Avoid and Evade

When a man whom you’re absolutely not interested in dating asks you out, you can say, “I’m busy,” “Now’s really not a good time for me,” or “I’m not in the right frame of mind to date you now.” None of these excuses is technically a lie (and even if it is a bit of a fib, it’s ok because you’re doing it to avoid hurting someone).

If he presses you, just stick to your original statement. He might continue asking you out a few more times, but he’ll eventually realize you’re just not interested and give up. The benefit of this option is that you avoid blatantly rejecting him and he won’t feel that immediate punch in the gut feeling. He’ll get the message sooner or later, but until then he’ll be able to hold on to his male pride.

Now I realize this “avoid and evade” method might seem childish and dishonest. It is, but it gets the job done. If you’re still against it, you’ve got option two.

B) Direct, but Gentle

I’ll be the first to tell you that nothing beats honesty. When you just say, “No thanks, I’m not interested,” there’s no room for misunderstandings or maneuverings. He feels the pain for a while, but then it’s gone and he’s on to the next gal (men bounce back really fast)! You don’t need to give him specific reasons for why you don’t want to date him like, “You have skunk breath,” “You seem like a sleazy character,” or “You haven’t had an income for the last 15 years.” You can just say, “I’m flattered, but I don’t think it’s a good match for me, so I’ll have to pass. But thank you for asking. I’m really flattered.” He might be disappointed, but he’ll get the picture in a clear, yet easy message

I personally appreciate the direct, but gentle approach. It conveys a clear, unambiguous message which I think most men will appreciate. It’s sort of like ripping off a Band-Aid. It hurts for a moment, but then it’s ok.


2. How can you cope with others informing you they just aren’t interested?

I deal with this issue in my upcoming book, From I to I Do: How to Meet, Date, and Marry Your Mr. Right (coming soon). It requires a much longer answer than I can give you right here in this post, but I’ll try to boil it down to one point.

Your goal is to be in a healthy, committed, relationship with someone who loves you (and vice versa). When someone declines to be with you, that person is probably not going to be “The One” and will likely not make you happy anyway. Feeling rejected is really hard, but just realize this person is doing you a favor by allowing you to use your time and energy to find someone who will love you and be your perfect match.

Being “rejected” doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It just means the rejector has a different vision of what they need. Remind yourself just how much you have to offer your partner. Don’t you want someone who’ll appreciate you and reciprocate? When someone rejects you, they are basically telling you they are not the right person to make you happy and won’t be your Mr. or Ms. Right. Thank them for their honesty (and for not wasting your time) and move on.

Sign up for email updates at to find out more about my upcoming book, and to receive a special 3-part article about how to attract your Mr. Right with your online profile.

With Blessings for a Sweet and Successful New Year,



Rabbi Arnie Singer dated for 15 years before meeting his Bashert. He is currently a dating and relationship coach in Manhattan and the founder of
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