Posted on: August 14, 2008 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 9

We all know the feeling – when somebody is attracted to you but you don’t feel the same way. An admirer can be persistent, confrontational, and sometimes just flat-out creepy. It’s always an uncomfortable situation to find yourself in, especially since nobody wants to hurt somebody’s feelings. However, nobody also wants to feel uncomfortable around somebody who is making them feel uncomfortable.

It’s always an awkward situation – there’s not much you can do about that. Whether it’s the weird, bookish boy in your class persistently asking you for coffee, or the girl you hooked up with at a party with no intention of seeing again, sometimes admirers can get the best of us and be untiring about getting you to date them. Here are a few tips for letting your admirer down as easy as possible.

**Note – sometimes there are clear signs that someone is not just an admirer, but is a stalker or engages in some other kind of antisocial behaviour. If you feel that your safety is being threatened in any way, speak to the police about your admirer’s behaviour.

1. Be honest and firm.

Honesty is the best policy, but there is being honest to a fault. With an admirer, it’s best to err on the side of caution and tell them, in no uncertain terms, that you are not interested in them.

Being kind and courteous about your relationship should soften some of the blow to the other person – if they don’t give up, though, you also need to be untiring about your feelings on it, and if it gets worse, resort to getting less nice about the situation.

2. Discuss other people around them.

If you’re currently single and you have a persistent admirer you are close to (a friend, classmate, etc.), it might help to chat them up about someone you know mutually, even if you aren’t interested in that person either. For example, “Do you think _____ would like this _______?” or “Oh my God, _________ is so cute.” Doing this often could subtly get the point across that you are interested in someone else.

Alternately, you can discuss people who are single for them to consider asking out. However, be careful with this, because if your admirer is very persistent and possessive, you may get somebody else an unwanted admirer sticking to them.

3. Be specific about their behaviour.

You need to specifically point out exactly what you don’t like about that person’s behaviour, or what is making you feel uncomfortable. For example, tell your admirer that it makes you uncomfortable when they visit you at work because you currently have a long-term partner.

If it calls for it, tell them, in writing, to stop carrying out their behaviour, or you will get the police involved if you can’t handle what is going on between you two.

4. Rationalize why it wouldn’t work.

When somebody is rejected, the first question they ask is often “Why not?” When this comes up, it is best to rationalize the situation on both sides of the coin. Many factors can attribute to a classic lack of relationship chemistry – music tastes, political views, cultural and religion differences, and so on – so, the other person needs to be aware that you need chemistry for a relationship to work.

A relationship needs to be built on mutuality – two people need to have similar interests, be mutually attracted to each other, and have similar plans for where they want the relationship to go. It helps to make the case that you and your admirer have too little in common, even if you do.

5. “You’re attractive, but…”

Being kind goes a long way, especially when dealing with someone who could very well be extremely lonely. If somebody is constantly pursuing you for romantic interest, though their intentions mean well, it helps to let them down softly by pointing out the good things about them before going into what you don’t like about them.

Chances are if a person is being obsessively adoring towards you, they may have some self-esteem issues that make them fragile, and which also socially holds them back.

If this is the case, it helps to make their good points stick out so that they don’t feel hopeless upon being a rejection. “You’ll find the right person some day,” for example, is a reinforcing thing to say to someone.

6. Surround yourself with friends or your partner.

Having friends around you often will both make it more difficult for your admirer to physically speak to you, and more difficult for them to talk about the two of you as an item. This works best at parties and other social gatherings, where might be considered rude and uncomfortable for someone to interrupt a group of people socializing.

If you currently have a partner, make it obvious that the two of you are romantically involved – maybe have a bit more PDA (public display of affection) than usual when your admirer is around. Let that partner also know so they can act accordingly, should they need to.

7. Meet in a public space.

When you confront your admirer about your discomfort with them, you will want to make sure you are in a public space, where you can both be easily seen. People can turn violent in the heat of rejection, and meeting in a public space will make the admirer’s behaviour immediately scrutinized by people. This could prevent any verbal or physical abuse from happening to you.

8. Contact the police.

If you are being constantly pursued, or if you are experiencing any other antisocial and dangerous behaviour from an admirer, they are less of an admirer and more of a stalker. For your safety, you should contact the police if you feel that this person could harm you or threaten your emotional wellbeing. This goes for anyone of any gender or sexual orientation.

Having an admirer is enjoyable sometimes – it is nice to be noticed for your looks, personality, and accomplishments. However, a persistent admirer can impact your life in negative ways: at best, it is annoying, and at worst, the admirer could potentially be a threat to your safety and/or emotional wellbeing.

Nobody should have to feel threatened. If you feel your admirer can be dealt with on your own, try any of the above tips for getting rid of an unwanted admirer. However, if your safety or emotional wellbeing feels threatened, don’t hesitate to call the police.

9 People reacted on this

  1. I think it’s important to be honest, and to never lead the person on, even unintentionally. I think too many girls in this situation just want to be nice, so they accept compliments, small gifts, and attention when they receive it, even if they don’t like the person. Or, rather than saying they don’t like someone when asked out, they make excuses about not being available that night – when it’s not the night, but the person that isn’t right. If you aren’t honest (and maybe a bit harsh) in the beginning, the niceness ends up leading guys on and it is harder and harder later on.

  2. A geezer who knows both sides endorses Janey’s words. No need to be brutal — romance wouldn’t work for you, Cupid has no arrows for you, that’s all. Even a good reason may bring on flurries of Yes,but’s, perhaps long-term hostility. The “reason” might be okay in somebody who turns you on. I once heard that we like people “because,” but we love them “although.” Of the thousands of books I have read, “When I Say No, I Feel Guilty.” is in the top few that did me the most good. (I HATE giving bad news, but a professor can’t avoid it.) The book would advise you to say “I understand that you want to hear more, but that’s all. It’s nobody’s fault. I know it can’t work, and that’s really all I can say.” Keep repeating some version of ONLY that (give no straws to grasp) in a kind voice (imagine you are hearing it). A related theme: How can men know to go away unless you tell them? A friend’s sis said women like to be pursued. Harry S Truman’s perseverance for Bess is a famous example. Some women brag about how long a man persisted. Sure, that worked better in a bygone America, with customs from when women were scarce. Sure, the silly authors of “The Rules” promote it, in spite of how times have changed, especially for women past 35. Many fine men hate manipulative games, and wish not to be needy, desperate, or stalkers. They are more likely to respond to women who respond to THEM. Still, some think a woman is playing hard-to-get unless given proof to the contrary.

  3. This is a great article!

    Since safety and security are my business, I want to stress that sometimes there’s a fine line between an unwanted admirer and a stalker. Very often the relationship moves from unwanted admirer to stalker so slowly that you don’t even realize you’re in dangerous territory. I always advise women to at least have some form of non-lethal self protection available for those occasions when you are feeling vulnerable. Sometimes, just having it visible, such as pepper spray on a keychain will send a warning message that you shouldn’t be messed with.

    There are lots of web sites that carry it but if you are wondering, my site is . My hearts desire is to see that women are protected from violence and I want to help in any way I can.

  4. if the admirers are your boss or your superiors, it is so very difficult to handle it in some way.You will not know how or when to tell him that you dont want him because your job is in danger.And moreso you like your job more than your boss.
    but on other hand, you should not deprived yourself from anybodys foolish admirations, find ways and means to tell the person in a nice manner and tell him to stop the things that he is doing.or unless suffer the agony of running away from his likeness.

  5. i seriously need help! thers a guy whose stalking me now from a very long time.i used to like him too at the beginning but then he got obsessed so i told him to back off! n now he threatens me by sayin hes gona post up my pics on fb n say stuff bout me to my friends,hes found out all my family members numbers somehow and anything i do he tells my mom!and shes too scared to report it to the police..now whenever i go out he follows my car..ive even spoken to his parents about it,they say theyll talk to him but eventually its the same thing all over!
    somebody pleaseee suggest me what i can do ?

  6. note for S:

    Look its not easy being stalked. Ive been stalked for about a year now, by a man so trust me i know exactly what your dealing with. First off you need to change your number and dont give it out execpt ur best friend. Get a ppo. call the cops everytime he is near you or calls. Do your own research and find out where he lives, his number, friends, work ect… KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER.

    Now that really sucks that he has some naughty pics of you, BUT you need to not show that you care no matter what. Do not show fear, or anger. The best thing you can do is ignore ignore ignore and dont let him get under your skin. DO NOT REPLY.. EVER.

    good luck

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