The world of 21st century dating is kind of foggy. All the apps and unsolicited "pictures" that we receive on a daily basis can be a huge hassle to deal with. We can't act like we're not on these apps, because we are. Over 8 billion connections have been made on Tinder. Yeah. 8 Billion.
So, when you're meandering on your favorite dating app, because you are, and you come upon some unfortunate soul who just won't leave you alone, fear not.
Here are 5 foolproof ways to let someone down gently, even when you don't want to.
1. Don't respond.
Let's make this very, very clear. You DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT have to respond to anyone who you are not attracted to, who freaks you out, or upsets you. Do not message people back who threaten you, send you unsolicited photographs or worse, harass you. They are not worth your time, and you don't owe them anything.
There's a difference between letting someone down because you just aren't interested and protecting yourself. Got it? Good.
Unmatching on apps like Tinder is a really simple way to let people down. Most of the time they don't even notice, and it's a great way to lose an unwanted connection if you can't deal with someone or they're spamming you.
There was a guy who clearly just wanted to hook up and it made me uncomfortable when he repeatedly messaged me, so I just unmatched him. Simple as that. Moving on.
3. Redirect the conversation.
If you're someone like me and you don't feel all that comfortable talking to people via message when you've never met them, all you can do to let someone down is redirect the conversation.
If things get creepy or sticky, just ask them about their friends, family or college. It can work if you want to maintain a friendship.
4. Walk away.
If you don't want to take any action against this person, because for some reason you're too nice, or you're an angel or something, just exit out of the app and forget about it.
Go for a walk or join friends for some kind of real interaction. Sometimes we can get a little caught up. If you're getting hot headed, or you feel uncomfortable you can totally walk away, any time you like.
5. Delete the app entirely, and try something different.
Although there have been 8 Billion matches on tinder, that doesn't mean you have to find your perfect person there. Everyone finds what they need at a different pace and in a different way. So if your thing is organic meetings, then go for it!
If you want to hit up a coffee shop or an open mic, or a bookstore and strike up conversation, that is valid too! Just because dating is digital doesn't mean you have to adhere to the rules. Be your own person, do your own thing, and keep yourself safe. That's all that matters.