6 Genuine Tips to Refuse a Man Politely

How do you refuse a man without being cruel?

Ameila and Harold have been friends for roughly two years and have enjoyed conversations related to faith and ministry.  Amelia is on a business trip when she receives a message from Harold. 

He would like to speak with her upon her return to discuss an important matter.  Even though Harold did not disclose the nature of the meeting, she agrees to met him.  As such, they arrange a day and time.   


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They meet a few days after she returned. 

Harold: Amelia, I have something to tell you. I want you to know how much I admire you.  [Gulp].  Also, I think that you would make me a happy man if you would prayerfully consider entering a relationship with me.  I believe that you’re the kind of woman I would like to marry. 

Amelia: ……… [shocked]😱

Amelia is blown away by what Harold has to say. She has never thought romantically of Harold.  Besides, she is almost certain that he’s not the one for her.  What should she do? My 10 Key Questions to Help You Decide & Respond worksheet might be very helpful for you!

This has actually happened to me twice and the word “uncomfortable” is an understatement to describe how I felt.  But thankfully, our friendships survived.

Related articles:

6 Tips to End a Relationship Well

So God Said That I’ll Be Your Wife? Oh really?…5 Tests to Know If He’s the One

Here are a few tips to refuse a man you do not love:

1) Take some time to consider his request and your decision.

It is not easy for a respectable man to bear his feelings to a woman.  He risks rejection every time.  To overcome this fear of rejection, he must muster up enough courage 💪🏽 to take a step of faith to declare his intentions.  

You can choose to honor him by at least taking a few days to pray and carefully think about your decision and response (whether you will accept him or refuse him).  Matters of the heart are delicate issues and it would be good to handle his heart with gentleness especially since he’s your friend. 

There’s no need to refuse a man immediately (unless he’s disrespectfully🙅🏽‍♀️).  He might at least appreciate that you’ve given some thought to his request. But don’t take too long to let him know your decision. If you have decided that he’s not the one for you, read on.😄 For a little guidance, get your 10 Key Questions to Help You Decide & Respond worksheet in my free resource library. At the bottom, I’ll direct you to the password.

2) Refuse a man with grace and tact.

If a godly respectable man has courage to express his love for you, then the least you can do is to let him down as gently as possible.  There is no need to be brutal toward him.  

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

3) Do not tell the whole world that he made you an offer and you refused him.

His offer to you was a private matter.  You may want to disclose it to only a few people (like your mother and best friend) for prayer and advice.  Only a very limited number of people should know about this because you need to protect his reputation among others. 

Sometimes, you might be tempted to boast about a guy’s interest in you.  But please resist that temptation because the root of it is vanity.  You want to show love toward him.  It is in his best interest that only a few persons know that you have refused him.

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6

4) Be patient with the awkward phase.

After you politely refuse a man, it will probably be awkward between both of you.  He might feel the sting of your rejection and embarrassed that he declared his intentions toward you. 

On the other hand, you may feel that you have ruined the friendship. Or, you may want to draw back to ensure that he clearly understands that you’re not interested.  This is all very normal.  With time and maturity, you both can resume your friendship (hopefully!).  

5) Do not laugh at him or ridicule you.

Remember, behind his hard manly exterior, he has a heart just like yours.  Build him up.  After he gets over the embarrassment and the wound of your rejection, your gracious and tactful response will help him to approach another woman in the future. 

Laughing or ridiculing a man is insensitive and disrespectful. It is certainly not the response of a Christ-like woman.  You don’t want any part in him becoming hard and cynical toward women.

6) Do not lie to him.

It is so common for a woman to say things like, “I’m just not ready for a relationship right now,” when she has absolutely no interest in the pursuer!  Then, a month later, you see her hooking up with someone else💑!  

Most often than not, she did not have the nerve to say that she simply wasn’t interested in him.  It is better to graciously tell the truth than to deceive another with a lie.  If you’re not interested, you’re not interested!  No need to butter it up (aka lie). 

Although he might be disappointed, he would appreciate your honesty especially if he sees you with someone else in the twinkling of an eye! 😂  Be straightforward with him. Refuse a man with honesty and please do not give him any false hope.

My story

When Peter approached me, I was flabbergasted. I was totally caught off guard. I liked him as a friend, but for the love of me, I couldn’t consider him as a husband. In my immaturity, I began to wonder if he might be God’s will for me. A little anxiety rose up within me.

So, I decided to talk to my wise friend about it. Her words I will never forget. She said that God wants me to love Him with all of my heart, MIND, soul and strength (Mark 12:28-31). Loving God with my mind means using my intellect to make prudent decisions.

There was no way I saw Peter as my future husband. Thus, it was such a relief to know that God was not pressuring me to marry someone I didn’t want to be with. Sometimes, as Christians, we over-spiritual decision-making and then blame God for the outcomes. If you’re going to marry someone ladies, please ensure that you own your decision.


For a man to confess his love and intentions toward a woman requires great courage.  It shows that he’s a man who has the ability to make up his mind and go after the woman he wants.  We all know men who are double-minded and play (and prey) on the hearts of women.  They can’t make up their minds and they have you in limbo. 

Therefore, the man, who makes his intentions clear, is honorable and worthy of our respect. You may not want to marry him, but he’ll make a fine husband to another woman someday (and it just might be you!lol)

Have you ever been approached by a man with whom the feeling was not mutual?  How did you handle it? What pieces of advice would you give another Christian woman in similar circumstances?  Please comment below and add to the richness of our communal knowledge.  Thanks for stopping by!

With love & laughter, 

Kimberly Garth

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    Ever feel like you don’t know what a godly man is looking for in a wife? Our Irresistible Godly Woman Checklist will give you clear insights so you can stop guessing and start preparing … while reaching your full potential as a single Christian woman.