How to Lovingly Turn Him Down

How to Lovingly Turn Him Down

Supposedly after my dad asked my mom out, she commented to a friend, “Why do the creepy guys always ask me out?” (Obviously, she changed her mind about my dad not too long after that.)

Maybe you feel like my mom felt all those years ago. Why does it seem the guys you don’t like are always the ones pursuing you?

I can’t answer that question for you (except to assume that you’re lovely, and they’re smart enough to realize it). Instead, may I throw an important question out there?

When a “creepy guy” asks you out, how can you turn him down in a way that glorifies God? More specifically, how can you love a guy well while turning him down? Let’s look at a few ways you can love him before, when, and after you turn him down.

Love Him Before You Turn Him Down

  • Remember this guy has worth. You might think he’s creepy, but everyone—including this guy—is made in the image of God. That means he has great value and worth in God’s eyes, and he should to you, too—even if you don’t like him “like that.”
  • Go to God rather than gossiping about him to your friends. Ask God to give you wisdom to lovingly but truthfully communicate with this guy. Ask God to draw this guy closer to Himself through this disappointment. Pray that this guy wouldn’t believe lies about his worth. Pray for wisdom in your interactions with him. You get the idea.
  • Accept this as God’s assignment for you. You might be frustrated because you don’t want to deal with this. I get that. But God is sovereign, and He has allowed this to happen. So can you receive it from Him?
  • Don’t rush. You might want to get this guy out of your life ASAP. A quick text might seem like the simplest solution. But is it really best? Pause. Breathe. Pray. There’s no need to freak out about this. You’ve got this, girl, and you can do it in a way that honors God and loves this guy.

Love Him When You Turn Him Down

  • Own it. Don’t blame God by saying something like, “God hasn’t given me a green light,” or “I just don’t have peace,” or “I don’t feel God wants me to date right now.” Say it like it is: You don’t want to date him. (I mean, come on. If an attractive, fun, godly guy came along right now who liked you, would you really tell him you didn’t think God wants you to date right now?)
  • Tell the truth. When I was a teen, I thought covering up the real reason I didn’t like a guy would protect him. Wrong. “Not hurting his feelings” never justifies lying. Proverbs 24:26 says it like this: “Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.” So give him a “kiss” of truth—lol. It’s the least you can give him. Don’t tell him what you think he wants to hear. I’m not saying you can just blurt out whatever you’re thinking and be oblivious to his feelings. Use wisdom, but be truthful. If you’re not attracted to him, tell him you’re just not feeling anything beyond friendship. If there’s a deeper reason—a reason that would help him know where he needs to grow—share that with him in a direct, loving way. You get the picture.
  • Affirm him where you can. Even if you don’t like him, you can let him know it’s an honor he would take an interest in you. More than that, he demonstrated an enormous amount of courage in putting his feelings out there and asking you out. Tell him how much you admire that and that you hope your response won’t keep him from pursuing the right girl at the right time.

Love Him After You Turn Him Down

  • Keep the lines of communication open. Don’t treat him like he has a disease, just because he likes you. Say “hi” the next time you see him. (He’ll probably feel awkward around you, so that simple act will be a real gift.) If he creeps or freaks you out in the coming days or weeks, tell him something like, “FYI: I’m sure you didn’t mean it this way, but I felt uncomfortable when . . .” It might be messy, but be honest.
  • Trust God with his broken heart. Turning a guy down can tear up a girl’s heart—especially if he’s a good friend or you feel like you should like him because he’s a great guy. If that’s you, be encouraged by this letter a dear friend wrote me after I turned a guy down:

Don’t be afraid of breaking someone’s heart. God uses heartache in incredible ways.

It’s no sin to reject someone. Rest in knowing that whatever happens, God is in control of their lives, too. If you’re not feeling the same desire to go forward, then rejection is the best thing you could do for them.

In eternity, I believe you and [he] will both be smiling at each other in joy when you look backward with perfect knowledge of all these things and see fully from God’s vantage point what He was doing on [this particular day].

I hope this helps you the next time you have to turn someone down.

Now it’s your turn to talk (or type).

  • Why do you think it’s so important to love even the “creepy” guys?
  • Can you think of any other ways to love a guy while turning him down?

PS: This post has been updated; it was originally featured on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.