Asking someone to the prom is difficult, and it's painful when you're turned down by the person you ask. So, it's important that we think about how we're reacting when someone we either don't want to go with asks us to prom or when we already have another date. It's important to let the other person down nicely, because Christians should consider the feelings of others and show kindness in how we behave. When we don't, it not only reflects poorly on us, but it reflects poorly on God. Here are some things to think about when turning someone down for prom:
How You Say It Matters
Tact is something that can get lost when we're uncomfortable, but it's necessary in this situation. It's one thing if you legitimately have another date. That's the easiest way to let someone down. However, when you just don't want to go with the person asking, it can be more difficult. It's hard for someone to understand why you might not want to go with him or her. If we become harsh in how we let someone down, it can result in that person getting defensive. It may even result in that anger presenting itself by that person calling you names or getting angry. Yet you have to take the high ground. Be honest and direct, but say it nicely. Make sure they know you're flattered, after all, this person likes you. It is flattering to know someone thinks so highly of you that they'd ask you to the prom. However, then let them down easy.
Don't Be Misleading
If you're truly not interested in the person that way, it's important that they understand you won't ever be interested. Even if you already have another date, it's not okay to lead a person on. The "If only I didn't already have another date," isn't a good way to turn someone down for prom, because it only gives that person a false hope that one day something could happen between you. Don't make a person who isn't your friend, that you don't want to be your friend, think you ever could be friends. Even more so, don't let that person think you could ever consider dating them if you wouldn't ever really consider it. It's not okay to dangle the idea in front of someone either because you don't want to hurt their feelings or just like their attention. Be truthful.
It's also especially important that you not lie. Don't say you have a date if you don't. Don't say you're not going to prom if you are still planning to go. Be truthful in your excuses. It's unfair to lead a person on, but it's also incredibly heartbreaking to find out later you were lied to. It hurts the person's feelings that you couldn't even be honest with them. However it also does incredible damage to your reputation when other people believe you aren't an honest person. God tells us not to lie, so we also damage our relationship with him. There are ways to be kind without being dishonest.
What Happens if They Won't Give Up?
There is a terrible feeling when you realize that you've been totally honest with a person, but they just don't seem to be getting the message. It's hard enough to turn someone down for prom, but even worse when you have to do it over and over. Sometimes you may think that you should just give in to get the person to just stop. However, that's also not being honest, and it's not fair to you. If the person is being relentless, it may be time to get others involved. Talk to your parents, teachers, youth leaders, or anyone that you feel can help get the person to back off. Giving into the relentless asking does nothing to help the other person.