Just Not Attracted to Him? 3 Ways to Let Him Down Easy After a First Date

BY: - 28 Aug '17 | Relationships

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“I think he’s cool…I’m just not attracted to him.” I hear this phrase a lot from my date coaching clients who come to me for help when getting back out there after not dating for 2 or more years. I encourage them to date outside their type in order to break their cycle of choosing men who look good on the outside, but are toxic on the inside.

As a result, they take a chance and go out with someone who doesn’t necessarily make them sing SVW’s “Weak In The Knees” after the first date. I’m proud of them for getting outside their comfort zone and meeting different types of men, and I always encourage them that first impressions are overrated and second glances can lead to second chances.

The Golden Rule is key here: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

Why give someone you don’t feel sparks for on date number one a second chance? Because attraction is about more than looks. You can be attracted to someone simply because of their personality or charisma. But at the end of the day, if the idea of waking up next to the person you met repulses you, then you must be honest with yourself–and with him. Here are 3 ways to let a man know you don’t want to see him again without ghosting him, or hurting his feelings.

Be Direct and Kind

Don’t beat around the bush because indirect communication can lead to guessing games. For example, there’s a difference between telling him you’re too busy for a date this week and telling him “I had a great time, but I just don’t feel we are a match romantically.”

This phrase acknowledges the fact that you enjoyed the date, but that there isn’t enough there to explore a relationship. You want to stress that there’s a mismatch on a romantic level, otherwise, he may press you to give him reasons why you’re not interested in him, and that could lead to hurt feelings.

Don’t Give False Hope

It’s not cool to keep going out with him once you realize his feelings for you are stronger than yours are for him. As soon as you discover he wants more than a friendship and you don’t, you have to let him know so he doesn’t waste his time.

For example, you could say something like, “I could see us being really great friends. You are so dope! I’d love to hang out with you again as friends.” Be clear about your desires for friendship so he doesn’t think you’re just  playing hard to get.

Avoid Blame

I can’t imagine a scenario where it’s ok to tell a man “I’m just not physically attracted to you, I didn’t like the way you smell, your teeth are crooked and when you kissed me, I wanted to gag,” unless he aggressively presses you for reasons why you don’t want to see him again. Listing all his flaws would only make him feel defensive (and it’s just plain mean to tell someone you think they’re repulsive). The Golden Rule is key here: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

I know it’s awkward to tell someone the real reasons why you’re just not interested in him, but it’s better than disappearing on him, hoping he gets the hint, or leading him on when you know he doesn’t have a chance with you. Walk in integrity and tell him the truth with love.

BMWK, have you ever had to tell someone you just weren’t attracted to him/her? Tell me your story below!  

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 152 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.

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My Son’s Father Has a Troubled Past and Bad Boy Qualities; Should I Run or Stay?

BY: - 29 Aug '17 | Relationships

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I am 26 years young and I have been dating my son’s father for about 3.5 years on and off due to infidelity and incarceration. I know it sounds bad, but he has had a rough, hardcore life and I’m very empathetic to his past. He will be 30 in a few days, and is currently incarcerated. Our son is 2 years old and loves his dad very much. He has 2 other siblings, 6 and 1 (yes 1, the infidelity times 1000). My mate has been with his other children’s mother prior to me for 13 years (really 6 because he was incarcerated half the time) since they were 13 or something (puppy love) they broke up and he found me and fell in love.

We have been through A LOT, however I can’t let him go just yet. This past Thanksgiving, I found out that he was adopted and his biological parents are his aunt and uncle. His uncle raped the aunt and his now mother, took him in. His mom told him he was adopted at age 9 and he went through a host of behavior issues, got a caseworker, and left home at the age of 13 to sell drugs and make a living.

The only time giving is bad, is when you are giving up.

He obtained a diploma, a CDL class A license, a certificate for HVAC, and goes to college for business.  I do not know the inner story because he won’t let it out completely. It’s always bits and pieces of everything inside because of his street life. He wants to go to couples counseling and I agree, but I think he needs individual counseling too. My question to you is how and if, I can persuade him to go? And, do you have any free or low-income suggestions in the Philadelphia, PA area?

Also, we are making the couple’s vision board I saw on your site. He really is kind, smart, generous, thoughtful, social, sweet, protecting, loving, affectionate, strong, ambitious and family oriented. I love him and I see the qualities that make him a good man, but I also do not want to enable his behavior or mask the issues to become bigger life-altering ones, especially while raising a Brown boy. My Son’s Father Has Some Bad Boy Qualities: Should I Run or Stay and let him get the help he deserves so we can grow?

Please help. Thank You

Ms. B

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Ms. B,

I am glad that you contacted me for guidance. Your son’s father has been through a lot as you indicated and as a result he will probably be dealing with his past for a while. You are correct in your thinking as it relates to not enabling him by making excuses for him due to his past. Unfortunately, some people allow past childhood victimization to dictate who they are as adults. You should be empathic to his past, but definitely do not allow your empathy to turn solely into sympathy.

Empathy is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes so that you can try to understand things from their viewpoint. In contrast, sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow or pity for the hardships that another person encounters. Continue to try to understand him by demonstrating empathy, but do not allow sympathy to dominate your thinking.

The worst thing that you can do is to feel sorry for him and allow him to feel sorry for himself. I often remind people that victims never win. They never win because they usually spend more time focusing on what happened to them as opposed to focusing that energy on trying to move forward.


Your son’s father has taken steps to move forward by trying to better himself and you should continue to support him in his efforts. However, when it comes to his potential psychological demons do not try to address them alone. I agree with your thoughts about him needing individual counseling to work on himself, but do not rule out the power of couples’ therapy.

The therapist can help you better understand how to cope with and relate to him in counseling. Also, once your son’s father attends couples therapy with you the counselor will probably assess his individual needs and make recommendations. Use the couples’ counseling foundation to introduce him to the power of individual counseling.

In regards to your question, “Do You Run or Stay?”, I highly recommend that you stick it out, especially since he his willing to get professional help. Everyone needs a second chance, especially black men who are trying to do right. I am a victim of a troubled past and I turned out to be the first doctor in my family.

Use therapy to help you determine how long you should stick it out. Great qualities such as kind, smart, generous, thoughtful, social, sweet, protecting, loving, affectionate, strong, ambitious and family oriented do not resolve mental health issues such as Major Depression and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. A trained professional like myself can help you understand and determine how to move forward in your relationship.

Unfortunately, I do not know of free or low-income services in Philadelphia, PA. However you can Google Psychology Today and search for therapist in Philadelphia, PA. You should look for someone who works with low-income families and who specializes in Depression and PTSD. Also, please visit my website: www.drbuckingha.com and consider purchasing a copy of my book, “A Black Man’s Worth: Conqueror and Head of Household”. In my book I talk about my childhood struggles and what I did to overcome them. My book will definitely help you and your son’s father, especially in raising a “Brown Boy.”

Lastly, as you move forward on your journey toward finding answers please keep in mind three of my personal quotes listed below.

  • “Resilient people find solutions in problems. In contrast, troubled people find problems in every solution.”
  • “The only time giving is bad, is when you are giving up.”
  • “Failure is not determined by your setbacks, but by your unwillingness to fight back.”

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 183 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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