Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever wanted to let somebody down but felt unsure of the right way to do so in English?

Believe it or not, there are phrases that sound like they are related to love and commitment, but they may actually work well when it comes to letting somebody down easily.

Valentines Day just happened, and so many of us may be thinking about love and commitment.

Today we are doing kind of an anti-love episode, which is kind of a funny twist and approach to the thought of love.

Though these phrases sound like they have a lot to do with love, you will quickly find that they are just the opposite—they are a great way to say you don’t like something or show flexibility without ever coming across as negative.

We’re going to look at what these phrases are, when you can use them, and how you can come across the right way and still get your point across.

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Talking About Not Loving Something

You might feel a bit unsure—how can you say that you don’t love something without hurting somebody’s feelings?

How can you convey negative feelings in a way that doesn’t come across the wrong way?

We’re talking about times when you don’t like something, and you want to let the other person down easy.

We’re going to focus on how you can say something in a nice but perhaps indirect way, and still get your point across.

You may also use such a phrase to try to change one’s mind when you feel as though you don’t have that ability.

Though these expressions are related to love, they don’t really have much to do with them at all in the end.

We’ve done a couple of episodes that are worth checking out about these very things, and they will give you some great background.

How To Express Your Love In English

How To Use The Word Commitment To Maintain Privacy and Be Concise

Why do you think we use all these expressions about love in these ways?

It’s definitely something interesting to think about, and you will want to consider this as you begin to use them in conversation.

It’s funny and unique because though they are expressions that sound as though they are related to love, they aren’t actually about love at all.

These are fun phrases to try out, and they serve a specific purpose—when you want to convey something without coming across negatively then these work perfectly!

Focusing On The Best Expressions To Use

There are a few expressions that fall into this category, where you want to say something perhaps a bit more indirectly and still get your point across.

These work well in the right situation, and that’s what you want to think through.

For now let’s focus on the expressions that sound like they are related to love, but they are actually quite different in their makeup and purpose.

They all have a sort of indirect approach, but a very specific purpose.

They can all work well in their particular situations, and help you to say something without any hurt feelings or negativity.

The question becomes then, when would you use this sort of thing?

There are a few instances when you may find each of these phrases useful in conversation.

We’ll look at each phrase in this area, how it works, and when you may use it in terms of the right circumstances.

Think through these situations, how each one can work, and then try one of them out at the right time.

Using The Phrase I’m Not Married To

This is a phrase that somehow puts people at ease, because you are ultimately saying I don’t mind either way.

You may have an idea or a plan but somebody brings something up, and you are okay with that option too.

This shows your flexibility and adaptability, which can be a really good thing.

  • I’m not married to something/the idea: This basically means you aren’t officially attached to something. Think of it this way—if you’re married then you’re attached and so that’s the opposite idea of what you are trying to convey here. So we say I’m not married to X not just about a person, but about an idea, a thought, or even a potential decision.

When would we use this?

  • Deciding on clothes: It may sound like a silly decision, but it’s something that we all do. You want to pick out the right thing to wear, particularly for a special occasion. You might say “I was going to wear this black dress, but if you don’t think it’s appropriate, that’s fine. I’m not married to it.”
  • At work/maybe editing a project or in a meeting: You may have put together a presentation and be working with somebody else. There are likely to be parts that you don’t care much about, and if somebody suggests a change of some kind you are open to it. You could say “I can delete this paragraph, I’m not married to it.” Alternatively you could even ask “Can I delete this, or are you married to it?”
  • Talking about future plans: You make plans but sometimes you recognize that they can be changed in some way. If it’s an idea or plan that you made which isn’t a big deal to you, then you are often open to suggestions or changes. You could easily say “It’s ok, I understand if you don’t think it’s the right move for us. I’m not married to the idea!”

This is a great phrase, and you can see some helpful times to use it.

This can help you to convey something and show flexibility, which is always a good thing.

Using The Phrase I’m Not In Love With

It’s a nice way to say that you’re not crazy about something, and it comes off much better.

Sometimes you may be presented with an idea or a thing that is just not your favorite.

It’s okay to feel this way, but you want to convey it in a way that doesn’t offend the person you are talking to.

This phrase can do just that, and it can work well to let your feelings be known in the best possible way.

  • I’m not in love with it/I’m not in love with the idea: This is a good way to say you don’t really like something in a soft, less direct way. It’s letting somebody down or turning an idea away in such a way that it doesn’t leave the other person hurt or offended. This is one of those phrases that you may use to convey something that could be hurtful, but you are trying to say it in a nicer way. You may be searching for the right way to say something, but you don’t want to come across negatively. This is a bit firmer than others, but it works well in certain circumstances.

So when might you use this particular phrase?

  • Making a decision where you don’t really like either option: This happens to all of us where we’re presented with a couple of options, and you may find that you don’t like either of them. You may feel as if you need to pick one, but it’s not always that easy. You may say something like “I’m not in love with it, but it’s better than our first plan.”
  • About a design you are deciding on: Think of this in an instance like you are presented with a graphic designer’s work for example. You are trying to be nice and still get your point across that you are not really happy or impressed with this design before you. It’s always good to find a nice way to say this, as you want to come off the right way. You might hear “I’m not in love with the second one, but the third one is really attractive.”
  • Parent talking to a kid about their plans: As your child gets older, it may be a bit more difficult to talk to them about their plans with friends. You want to communicate this, but in a way that is going to actually grab their attention and make them think twice about it. You could say “I’m not in love with the idea of you going on this trip with those friends, but maybe we can talk about it more later.”

It’s definitely a bit more direct than the other phrases, but it serves a purpose.

It lets the other person know that you don’t necessarily like this idea, but that you are trying to be kind and not upset them.

Though you may struggle with conflict, this is a great way to get your point across without causing any problems.

Using The Phrase I’m Not Committed To

With this phrase, you have to ask yourself if your decision could be swayed or changed at all.

Is there a chance that somebody could talk you into something other than what you initially feel?

There is typically a bit more room to grow or change here with this one, and so you may find that it almost feels open ended sometimes.

  • I’m not committed to: You are saying that you though you had an idea, this isn’t the only idea out there. You are basically saying that you are open to other ideas, and can be flexible and adaptable. This puts the person at ease and lets them see that you are okay with going a different route or switching directions in this situation. So when might you use this particular phrase?
  • You are showing a coworker that you are flexible: You are trying to be open minded, and therefore allow other people to have some input. You are trying to say that you are open to other plans or ideas, and so that’s when this phrase can work quite well. You could say something like “If you think we should start with the graphs, we can. I’m not committed to anything yet, so I’m open to lots of ideas.”
  • Saying you can change your plans: You may have made plans, but you are open and flexible to change them. You may be trying to accommodate somebody else and their schedule, so you are showing that open approach. You could say “If you want to go to the gym first, that’s fine. I’m not committed to studying first.”

This is lighter and therefore makes for a much easier conversation and situation overall.

Though you may have made plans or had an idea, sometimes things change and it may be beneficial to go a different route.

Being open to other people’s ideas and plans can be an excellent way to make connections too.


These are great and much less direct ways to express your opinions and plans.

You may wish to convey a thought, but you don’t want to do so and potentially hurt anyone’s feelings.

If you want a way to say something and still come across as compassionate or even professional, then these are great phrases to try out.

Do you use the love/relationship lingo for this purpose?

Can you see instances where you may use such phrases?

Try these out in your conversations at the right time, and see how they work for you.

This is the sort of thing that helps you to say what you want to say in the nicest way possible.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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