Tonight I was told a story about a beautiful single woman in her 30’s who went to a bar with some friends and was hounded by a man in his late 50’s. She agreed to dance with him once, and then politely told him she just wanted to spend time with her friends. She complained that it was annoying and uncomfortable because he would not get the hint and continued to hang around, insisting he buy her another drink or that she dance with him. She continued to politely decline, but he mentioned to her friend that she had been mean to him. She wished that he would have been a little more attuned to her signs of disinterest and she also wanted some polite tips on how to say no in the future. So, here are five clues that a woman is just not that into you:

  1. She declines a drink or says that she does not want to dance
  2. She says she prefers to hang out with her friends
  3. She looks around and does not make eye contact
  4. She plays with her smartphone and seems to prefer it to you
  5. She would rather pay for her own drinks then get a few for free

I appreciate a man who goes after what he wants, but it is important to know the fine line between moxy and harassment in dating. Now, for all you women who have a hard time saying the word no, here are 5 ways to do so. Try saying something like:

  1. Thank you for the offer, but I prefer not to dance or get a drink right now.”
  2. “It was nice to meet you, but I’d like to go circulate now.”
  3. “I enjoyed meeting you, but would like to be by myself for a while. Have a great evening.”
  4. “I am going to go to the ladies room, but I’ll say goodbye to you before I leave.”
  5. “Listen, you are very nice, but I am not interested in anything romantic right now.”

If you try these semi-polite discouragements and he still won’t get the point, you may need to be even more direct and say, “Look, you are probably a great guy, but I’m not interested.” Or “Please stop following me around!” Obviously this depends on the level of his insistence and disregard for your boundaries.

It is important to be polite, but women should not feel bad for saying no when they’re not interested in someone. In the short-term, it might be disappointing to him, but it saves him from springing for drinks and finding out the bad news down the road.

Everyone has these uncomfortable moments when going to singles spots so you need to practice handling them by saying no, recognizing when others are disinterested, and hopefully doing so in the kindest manner possible.

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and the author of “Dating from the Inside Out” and “When Mars Women Date.” She also works as a love coach and runs groups on dating and relationship issues in Manhattan. Learn more at:
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