As Cupid shoots his arrow this Valentine’s Day, be weary of the unsuitable suitor. The unsuitable suitor takes many forms: the boy or girl from that one night or even worse, the boy or girl you have never met! The story of this suitor is that he or she is not often aware that the person they are pursuing genuinely does not share the same romantic interest and this, Pepé Le Pews and Penelope Pussycats of UCR, is where our dilemma begins. So how does one reject another and is there a proper way?

In the event that at this very moment you are reading this very sentence and an unsuitable suitor is in the process of asking you on a date, I have prepared a quick list of lines that you may or may not want to use.

  • I have to organize my sock drawer.
  • I have to feed my fish.
  • I have to polish my bowling ball.
  • I have to fluff my pillows.
  • I have to iron my ties.
  • I have to sort my recycling. Right now. Sorry. Bye.

Assuming you do not posses the radiant beauty of Scarlett Johansson or Cupid’s lover Psyche, I encourage you to understand that rejection is not something one can run away from. Using Snapchat to reject someone or quickly fabricate lines like, “I’m sorry I have to grind my coffee beans that night” are, in fact, not appropriate responses to someone asking you for a date.

When it comes to the process of rejecting guys, student Megan Wipff recognizes that “a lot of girls just ignore guys.” However, she also understands that when girls “make themselves more unavailable, guys seem to want them more.” Ah, the thrill of the chase. The attractive yet sensible Wipff knows that despite maybe “being seen as a bitch” it’s important to “be straight” with whoever you are rejecting.

On the other hand, Wipff’s sorority sister, Cassie Freeman, sees lying as the best option for rejecting a pursuer. I asked Freeman how she would respond if someone she didn’t like asked her out. She would say, “Oh, I already made plans.” Lying works, but it may not always be the best choice. To Freeman’s credit she actually has a boyfriend and could simply say “I have a boyfriend.”

When asked if there is a proper way to reject someone, student Basel Hijjawi acknowledges it’s important to “let them down soft.” However, Hijjawi did admit his answer to a girl’s request could be altered “depending if there is chocolate involved or not.” What sweet guy doesn’t like sweet things? After better considering the prospect of a girl asking him out on a date this Valentine’s Day, Hijjawi concluded, “saying yes would actually be harmless. Why not make someone’s day?”

Like any challenging question, there is usually a wide range of answers and rarely an all-purpose correct answer. For student Sherin Barvarz, when it comes to properly rejecting someone, “it depends.”

“If the other party is being considerate and you’re not interested, then rejection should be polite,” said Barvarz. “On the other hand, if the person trying to get your attention is annoying, unnecessarily persistent and a bit rude, you can stop trying to avoid hurting their feelings.”

In the event one must face a pursuer who is, in fact, annoying and unnecessarily persistent, a stage five clinger, or for all purposes an unsuitable suitor, remember you have the most secret rejection weapon of them all, the Rejection Hotline. Phi Kappa Sigma’s Austin Longwell calls it his “go to” and after all what’s a more effective method of rejection? (Use only as a last resort: 951-934-5940).

Come Feb. 14, despite this article, I really hope the last thing on your mind is how to reject someone. But in the case that it is, I know that I have equipped you with the tools to execute the art of rejection to its utmost perfection and or catastrophic failure. Happy Valentine’s Day.