When You Absolutely, Positively Don't Want to Go Out With THEM

By Debbie Brittain

When you absolutely, positively don't want to go on a date, here are eight ways to escape (not that we'd recommend some of them):

1. Have a good excuse: "I'm preparing to be a nun and my vow of celibacy doesn't include dating." This tactic rarely fails to get the desired response, and second tries are almost nonexistent.

2. Be sooooooo busy you just don't have time to date: "I have to wash my dog, paint my toenails, rearrange the medicine cabinet and clean the lint out of my jeans pockets. I really don't think I could fit you in."

3. Use scare tactics: "You'll have to first see if you can pass Dad's rate-a-date test. Ok, so he's 6 foot 10, extremely hairy and lift's at Joe's gym, but he hasn't hospitalized anyone yet."

4. Play dumb: "With who, you????" This response leaves the asker too dumbfounded to respond, at least just long enough for you to get away.

5. Change the subject: "You're the guy who blows bubbles in his chocolate milk with a straw up his nose, aren't you?" Or, "Hey, where did you find that lipstick? It makes your whole face look sort of greenish." This approach works best when you're surrounded by a lot of people.

6. Answer with a question: "Do dogs fly, do bumblebees get diaper rash, does cod liver oil stick to the roof of your mouth?"

WAIT a minute! You're nice people. You don't want to crush someone's feelings beyond recognition. Isn't there a way to say no without blowing the asker off the planet? YES!

7. Be straightforward: "It's really nice of you to ask, but I'd rather not."

Sometimes this approach is followed with, "What do you mean you'd rather not?" You really don't have to explain yourself, but if the asker persists you may have to be a bit more blunt: "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I just don't want to go out with you."

8. Try the group suggestion: "That sounds like a great idea. Let's get a bunch of people together and do it." This approach is for when you don't have the heart to turn the person down, but you just couldn't stand to spend an evening alone together.

It's OK to say no. Just try to let the asker down gently. Remember it's no easy feat to ask someone out.