I'm an honesty-is-the-best-policy sort, so when a guy asks me out or offers to buy me a drink and I'm not interested, I'll just say I'm flattered but not interested. I don't say "I have a boyfriend," 'cause that's not the reason I'm saying no (and if it were the only reason, it would feel a little like I'm still looking - "I have a boyfriend right now, but keep me in mind.") My boyfriend thinks the blunt "No thanks" or "I'm not interested" is pretty harsh and says he always thought it a kindness if a woman said no because she has a boyfriend. Not that he wouldn't know the "boyfriend" line was just as likely a lie, but it just seemed gentler on the ego. I'm curious what other men here think: when you take a risk and go up to a woman, what's the kindest way for her to let you down?
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I never offer strange women drinks but if I did I wouldn't mind a rejection something like "No thanks, I'm good" and then she gave me a little smile showing that she appreciated the gesture. Then turned to talk to her friends again or something.
To me that would be a polite no and I would get the point right away that she is not interested.1