[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ejection is a part of life. Everyone experiences it. Everyone doles it out. Accept it. Learn from it. And move on.
That being said, I’m continually shocked at how many differing opinions there are about when and how you should reject someone. Now, it’s possible that I’m wrong. I’m not. Or it’s possible that there is more than one right answer. There is not. And it’s also possible that each dating scenario is so unique and individualized that blah blah blah. They are not. The truth is, with a little common sense, integrity, and not shitty-personness, anyone can figure out the right answer for their particular dating dilemma.
But just in case you lack the experience to problem solve your dating scenarios, I’ve made a list of some of the most common dating cease-fire situations and how to proceed should you find yourself in them. Additionally I’ve included a little blurb about how to appropriately react should you be on the rejection end of the stick.
1. The initial online dating message.
Now this may be one of the few situations where both sides make good arguments. On the one hand, if I get a message on a dating website and I’m not interested I simply don’t respond. The truth is that most messages that I’m ignoring are absolutely ridiculous and/or took virtually no effort to write, thus they don’t deserve my time to compose a thoughtful gentle rejection message. On the other hand, I have heard from a few guys that they would rather get a rejection message because it makes it so they remember the girl and thus don’t bother her again. Except here’s the thing, if you don’t remember the girl, it’s either because you didn’t craft a thoughtful PERSONALIZED eloquent message to her or you were just throwing bird seed, which when online dating is fine I guess, except screw you for then expecting her to waste her time to message you back. Maybe instead of sending a ton of shitty messages you should send a medium amount of moderate ones. Just a thought. But honestly, I don’t think rejection is required here. There is no relationship, there is no effort owed, if he or she doesn’t respond, move the fuck on. This is the least of your dating woes to worry about.
Do not send a crazy message about how you just want to know and that it’s rude for them not to respond. You’re wasting your time chasing after someone who isn’t interested in you online, when you could be crafting a better message to the next person who is better suited for you. Take it all in stride, my friend.
2. The online dating message disappearing act.
So you’ve been messaging back and forth and everything seems great. And then suddenly the messages stop. What is one to think? I will tell you what one is to think. Nothing. Move the fuck on. There are a billion reasons why someone might stop talking to you online even though, I know I know, you thought you had a connection. It’s frustrating. It’s irritating. You just want to know are they just busy? is it something I did? But you may never know. Maybe they got more serious with someone else they were dating. Maybe you put up two more photos and they didn’t like them. Maybe you changed your profile and they didn’t like it (or maybe they just read it for the first time). Maybe they’re feeling fat and don’t want to go out. Maybe they just started a new job, are moving, began a love affair with ice cream. You’ll likely never know. Best to just forget it because while I love knowing things, I can’t in good conscience advocate that someone spill the details of their life in explanation to a relative stranger on the net. There are more important things to be doing in life. This is not a rejection required scenario. Move on. Case closed.
If I actually thought they would respond, I would suggest a simple message asking why the fade so that you could get closure but the truth is they most likely wouldn’t respond and then not only have you wasted your time but you’ll be even angrier for the second ignoring and this leads to no good. Move on. Simple as that.
3. The first date.
Whether or not a rejection is required after a first date is based upon two things: your gender and what you said on the date. Now you could make an argument for ignoring socialized gender roles etc. but these are my opinions and they come from my experiences with dating, and that’s about all I have to say on that. Take it or leave it. So, let’s assume whichever gender you are, the first date was a bust, but not such a bust that both parties on the date are totally aware.
If you’re the guy, whether or not you need to politely reject the lady is based upon what you said on the date. If you were polite, and neutral, then no rejection is necessary. However, if you said things like let’s do this again sometime or I’d love to take you out again, I had a really great time or anything that indicated you were into her and wanted to go out again, then yes, you have to reject her. And let’s be real, it’s incredibly easy to do so. Send her a simple text message or online message. It was great to meet her, and though you may have given the impression otherwise on the date, you just don’t think the connection is there and wish her all the best.
If you’re the girl receiving this message, a polite thank you for letting me know and all the best is how you should proceed. Even if you thought the date went awful too. Even if you didn’t want to see him again. Or maybe you really really did. Doesn’t matter. Keep that shit to yourself. Act like a lady, be kind, be gentle, be BRIEF!!!
If you’re the girl, whether or not you need to politely reject the guy is based upon whether or not he pursues something further. If the date went awful, perhaps he knows it and doesn’t pursue further (and thus you’re off the hook). If, however, he sends you a message or text or phonecall asking you out again, don’t be a dick, all you have to do is simply tell him you’re not interested. So unbelievably simple. No connection or didn’t have a good time or whatever. Though I urge you away from giving bullshit excuses like I’m busy or I’m not ready to date because he’ll likely not interpret correctly and thus you haven’t solved the problem at all. Plus, honestly, you’re a ass for not being authentic. Be polite. Be real. Be swift.
If you’re the guy receiving this message, don’t be a jerk. Thank her for letting you know and wish her all the best. It’s really so simple to be good people. She saved you some wasted time, why wouldn’t you want to be nice to her.
4. Anywhere between two to eight dates.
If you’ve gone out with someone two or more times, and you don’t want to see them again, you owe them a rejection. Now I know some people will disagree with me here but allow me to explain. If I go out with someone once, this says I met someone knew and we tried to get to know each other. If I go out with someone twice, this says based on our first date, I’m interested in hanging out again. Now I’m not saying we’re soulmates or offering up any kind of commitment or emotional investment, I’m simply saying that we hung out once, let’s do it again. That being said, because of gender roles and all kinds of bullshit where boys throw birdseed and like the chase and all that jazz, I am forced into what I call “the waiting period”. While unfortunate, this is currently a reality in dating. Girls, waiting for boys, to make moves, like asking them out again.
So here’s the thing. Say I go out with Joe, we have a good time and he asks me out again. The following Friday we go out and I think we have a great time. Joe, however, has noticed what he views as numerous flaws in my personality (or maybe it’s not even about me, his ex just revealed she wants him back), either way, Joe no longer wants to see me again. It’s Saturday morning and I’m still abuzz from the good time I had last night. I’m a girl and while I keep my crazy to myself (and the blog), I spend the next few days trying to temper my excitement about hanging out with Joe again, after all we did have a really great time on our date (or so I thought). Days go by, Joe sends a nonchalant text asking about a story I’m writing or an event I was going to or some other idle chatter. We ask about each other’s weekends, he says he’s really busy with work and suddenly I’m sitting there wondering if this is code for he’s just not that into me or if he’s actually busy. No biggie I say and spend the weekend trying not to worry about it (and instead have a great weekend). Finally around wednesday or even the following weekend Joe tells me about his ex or that he’s not interested or whatever. And that’s where we see that I just spent two weeks excited for a dude who could’ve saved me the wasted time and anguish by simply rejecting me the moment he knew he wanted to. And while you can say things like well just don’t get excited over guys (which is a whole other can of worms because if I didn’t get excited over a guy, I’d probably never date anyone)…the truth is this. When you waste someone’s time because you’re too chicken shit to just be honest with them…you’re an asshole. It’s that simple. Rip the fucking bandaid. The person will get over it, I promise.
Plus, I’m not saying that you need to tell anyone you talk to whether or not you’re interested in them within the first 30 seconds, we’re talking about people you’ve gone on dates with, repeatedly. In repetition there is the reasonable expectation that you like them. So if you don’t, put them out of their misery. You wouldn’t let an injured horse suffer, why would you make your date. Just sayin’.
As for how to do it? It’s still simple. A text, a phonecall, an email. While some people may get all crazy about the method of how something is done, the truth is they’re usually just hurt at being rejected (which is normal) and it’s less about the medium than the message. So be thoughtful and kind but blunt. Don’t send mixed messages, just be honest, you’re not into them.
If you get this kind of rejection, it’s okay to feel hurt, that’s life. It’s even okay to moan about it to your friends and throw a hissy fit in the privacy of your own home. What you want to do is respond politely and rationally and keep the crazy to yourself because the truth is the hurt and anger will fade and you never know if that person will have taught you something or will have another role in your life. Don’t burn your bridges like a crazed lunatic, eat some ice cream and get past it.
I could go on and on with the rejection scenarios but I think we all know that anything after 8 dates and there is no question about whether or not the rejection needs to be happen. That being said, always remember that mixed messages get you nowhere. Don’t tell them nonsense about your emotional state. Don’t give them hope for a future that isn’t there. Tell them the truth and spit it the fuck out already (they probably have things to do and you’re just standing in their way).
Be blunt, be honest., rip the bandaid and for the love of whatever tone down your own ego already (try to remember that it’s unlikely that you’re actually the centre of someone else’s world and with a cooling off period, they will, indeed, get over you. You are not that special).