What to Do When You Don’t Like Him Back

So a guy in your world likes you, but he’s just not your type. Then what? Here are six ways to reject someone well.

1. Talk to God before you talk to the guy.

Before you talk to the guy showing interest, take the situation to God. I couldn’t stand my husband at first. I thought he wasn’t my type. Just a few years later, I practically ran down the aisle to become his wife and now, seventeen years after saying, “I do,” I can’t imagine anyone being a better fit for me. What shifted? Honestly, part of it was simply maturity. What appealed to me in a guy as a young teenager simply didn’t wow me anymore as I got older. But also, looking back I can see the Lord softening my heart and teaching me to trust Him with my love life. I’m not saying it is true 100 percent of the time, but it is a possibility that a guy who seems to have nothing to offer now might make a great fit down the road. Instead of automatically dismissing him based on your feelings, pray about it. Here are some specific ways to pray:

  • Ask the Lord to show you how the guy bears the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and that he was made fearfully and wonderfully (Ps. 139:14).
  • Ask the Lord to teach you what makes a good husband beyond the initial sparks.
  • Ask the Lord to help you be more concerned about being a good friend and future bride than having the perfect guy.

2. Put every guy in the “brother” category.

Even if you don’t want to date him, handle his heart with care.

Because we are Christians, we get to join the family of God. That means any potential boyfriend who is a Christian is also your brother in Christ.  That means they deserve to be treated with the kindness and respect you would offer someone in your own family. John 13:34–35 says it this way, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Based on how you reject that guy, will people know if you are Jesus’ disciple or not? Even if you don’t want to date him, handle his heart with care.

3. Refuse to talk behind his back.

Go on, slip into that guy’s shoes for a minute. Imagine you are the one who likes him and the feeling isn’t mutual. How would you feel if he:

  • Talked to all of his friends about why he doesn’t like you.
  • Asked a ton of people their advice on how to turn you down.
  • Blatantly posted on social media about the girls he does like.

That would stink, right? You don’t have to talk about him behind his back in order to send him the message that you’re not interested. Talk to God about it, and then talk to the guy about it. Cut out the middleman and refuse to gossip about the situation.

Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered (Prov. 11:12–13).

4. Don’t use him to feel better about yourself.

“I don’t matter more if a guy likes me. My worth comes from God.”

Let’s just get real. It feels good to be liked, right? Even if the guy who likes us is not someone we are interested in, the attention can be flattering. Because of that, we can be tempted to continue to try and capture that guy’s attention even if we have no intention of starting a relationship. That isn’t fair, and it can set us up to play a dangerous game where we gravitate toward any guy who will show us some attention. So repeat after me . . . “I don’t matter more if a guy likes me. My worth comes from God.” Refuse to treat any guy’s heart like a yo-yo. If you like him, let him pursue you. If you don’t like him, refuse to send mixed messages just to boost your ego.

5. Deal with it face-to-face.

I know that hard conversations are easier to have over text or social media, but miscommunications can happen so easily in that context. If you’re not interested in a guy, tell him face-to-face.

6. Only build up.

To be a graceful rejecter, use Ephesians 4:29 as your guide.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Don’t beat around the bush. If you don’t see a relationship happening, say so. But also take the opportunity to build him up (without being flirtatious). Do you see him living out his faith? Say so. Do you see him growing in Christ? Say it. Do you appreciate the way he has pursued your heart. Say that. Give him grace and build him up. Have you been a graceful rejecter? What can you do to let others down well?

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.