He’s nice, sweet and God-fearing–but you know that it won’t progress towards a serious romantic relationship. It’s one of the most challenging things in the dating world to know how to turn down a Christian guy. While having to “reject” someone’s advances is tough in general, it just gets a bit more difficult especially when he’s a brother in Christ.
Here are some tips on how to turn down a Christian guy nicely and politely, and still with grace and brotherly love.
How to Turn Down a Christian Guy
#1: Don’t make a decision rashly.
Before you figure out how to turn down a Christian guy, please make sure that you have thought your decision through. Some act out of impulse or superficialities and reject the nice guy without practicing discernment–mostly because they’re nice and not the “bad boy” most ladies fall for.
Go to God’s Word. Pray. Seek advice from healthy, safe Christians. While ultimately the decision to turn down a Christian guy will be UP TO YOU, it helps to get wisdom from good sources.
#2: Don’t delay.
Once you know that it’s a NO, it won’t help to delay your decision–unless you’re really still preparing how to turn down the Christian guy (or you’re assessing if it can still turn into a MAYBE or a YES).
If you’re delaying turning down the Christian guy just so that you can still enjoy the perks (e.g. the attention, the care, the gifts, and the wooing), then please stop. Taking advantage of our spiritual family is not a mark of the body of Christ.
Additionally, avoiding further delays is a way to show your care as you’re saving the brother from exerting further effort or spending further resources for something that will not bear fruit.
#3: Choose a proper setting.
Please do not reject someone over a short SMS, or in public during youth group. That is NOT how you should turn down a Christian guy…or anyone, really.
Do it in private–again, as a form of care and consideration. Have a face-to-face conversation, a serious phone call, or send a well-composed letter/message.
#4: Be honest…
Be straightforward and honest. No mixed messages that may just confuse the person. Say it directly. And as much as you can, explain why you have come to the decision to turn down the Christian guy.
Some would say that you don’t owe the guy an explanation, but as brothers and sisters in Christ, I believe that helping one another improve and carry on well with life is essential. We’re not explaining out of “requirement” but because we want to help the guy do better for his next potential relationship, and be able to move on without what-ifs and hangups.
#5: …but speak the truth in love.
Turning down the Christian guy should not be an act of condemning or belittling someone. We don’t like the term “dumping” because it seems like you’re lowering someone’s worth. As you speak honestly, do it with GENTLENESS. Don’t use rash and judgmental words that you yourself wouldn’t want to here.
Make sure that you still appreciate his good qualities and the effort that has been exerted towards you. It would help if you could think about at least one thing that you liked about the person–and affirm him in that area. For example: was he a good baker who always sent you cookies? Appreciate him for that. It will go a loooong way and help him not to feel utterly dejected and worthless.
#6: Let your actions match your decision!
Let your YES be YES, and let your NO be NO. NO MIXED SIGNALS PLEASE.
If you really had a change of heart though, please make sure that it is not a rash decision. Think it through and seek advice. You wouldn’t want to get his hopes up only to turn him down again.
#7: Respect him.
Don’t speak ill of him with others. Respect him as a person, as a man, and especially as a brother in Christ.
If you had to figure out how to turn down the Christian guy, then it must mean that he was BRAVE enough to PURSUE and COURT you to begin with! That in itself is something respectable and admirable, especially nowadays.
#8: Give him space, but treat him well.
I know, I know. It’s a bit of a paradox. What we mean here through is that once you’ve turned down the Christian guy, you have to give him space. Even if you’re in the same youth group or circle of friends, don’t cozy up to him as if you’re BFFs. Let him “grieve” and move on.
But, at the same time, don’t ignore him like he’s off-limits. If you’re in the same ministry, don’t make it awkward by acting weirdly around him or going to great lengths just to avoid him. Serve as you would and be civil.
Turning down a Christian guy doesn’t have to be messy and rude and a cause for either one of you (or even both of you) to stumble. You can do it in a way that is still gracious and God-glorifying!
Note: If you’re suitor is breaching boundaries, being toxic, exhibiting stalker tendencies, and not respecting your ‘no’, then seek help and avoid further interaction.