To Answer Or Not To Answer?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I want to know definitively and once and for all, should I answer messages if I’m not interested? I get so many different answers from people. My gut tells me yes, it’s only kind and decent. What do I say when I’m not interested but don’t want to hurt feelings?

Dear To Answer Or Not To Answer,

You’re right, it is only kind and decent and you should answer. You don’t absolutely have to, but you should because it’s the Golden Rule or Karma or whatever you want to call it — what goes around comes around and you don’t want to be the one left hanging after you took the chance of writing someone.

As to what you should say, well, try starting with something along these lines: “I’m flattered but…” or “Thanks so much but…” or “I appreciate your interest but…” and then end with something along these lines: “I just met someone” or “I just started dating someone” or “I’m looking for someone/something different” and then say “thank you again though and good luck.” Be nothing but compassionate, polite and respectful.