How to Turn Down a Date to the Dance

When you're not so glad they asked

You got asked to the dance- score! But it was by the guy or girl that you would never in a million years go to any dance with... bummer. Here's how to politely turn down a date to your dance without hurting their feelings while looking like a totally nice and classy girl.

Start with a Compliment

Before breaking the bad news to someone, it's best to start with a compliment or something that will build them up. Tell them something you know to be true about them: they're very nice, they're super funny, they're so cute, etc. Make them feel good about themselves. That way they won't feel as crushed when you decline their invite and say no.

Give Them an Answer Promptly

If you know the answer is no, then it's polite to deliver the news promptly. It's okay to say you need a night to think about it- maybe you need to gather your thoughts, or think of how exactly to tell them no- but you shouldn't leave someone hanging for too long. You'll want to give them enough time to ask someone else if they're not going to go with you.

Don't Spread It All Over School

I know, gossiping can be fun. But it can also be hurtful and make people feel uncomfortable. We've all had something small go around about us at some point, and it can get twisted. Also, it's just not that fun to have everyone talking about your personal business! So what I'm saying is, think about the guy or girl's feelings before you tell your friends, the lunch table next to yours or the world via Instagram. Your hopeful date will already be embarrassed enough that you turned them down. Keep your business private and you'll minimize any drama.  

You Were Thinking of Going With Someone Else

Maybe you do know who you really want to go to the dance with. Maybe you don't have an exact idea yet, but you know that this someone else is not the person who just asked you. In either case, a simple “I was thinking of going with someone else” is an acceptable way to turn down a dance or prom proposal. It's not too harsh. It will make the other person feel like it's not totally them, it's just that you had (or will have) other plans.

I Already Have a Date

If you already have a date to the dance, then this one should be easy. You'll be totally guilt-free! But you should still be nice about it. Maybe you could offer to help set them up with a friend of yours. Or, you could ask if there are any other girls that they would like to take to the dance, and then you could offer to put in a good word or do some sleuthing and find out if she's interested. That would majorly soften the blow. If these are just not options, though, then be sure to let them down easy by starting with a compliment.

I'm Going With My Girlfriends

Going to prom or a dance with a group of your friends is totally okay, and it actually alleviates a lot of the asking and prom proposal stress that can accompany dance preparations. Maybe you're already going with a group of friends. Maybe you weren't sure if you should go with your friends, but this latest dance invitation has pushed you to decide yes. If either of these scenarios are true, then go for it. But, it's best if you don't lie. If you tell your rejected suitor that you're going with a group of girls and then he sees you with date, it's only going to bring up those crushed feelings again. You want to be as gracious as possible and not make anyone feel even worse.

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