There are two components to dating that lots of people just seem to not care about, to the detriment of everyone in the dating world.
- Knowing how to reject someone in an honest and respectful manner.
- Knowing how to take rejection without being immature, aggressive, or violent about it.
What both of these have in common is rejection, whether in the form of delivering it or receiving it.
Properly succeeding in the dating world requires mastery of rejection in both forms, and skipping this step will hurt you, the other person, or both of you.
Don't believe me? Take a look at this screenshot I took of a Reddit thread below:
You get people asking questions like this because they skipped the Elementary School of Dating and went straight to college.
Because people seem to miss the basics, let's conveniently break down giving and receiving rejection in this article.
How to reject someone
Be honest and respectfully tell them you don't like them romantically.
The solution really is that simple.
The problem that I think people have with being honest about their lack of interest has to do with the other side of the coin. That, when people are honest about how they feel and they reject someone, the person who gets rejected blows up.
This is why everyone in the dating world has a responsibility to master both forms of rejection so that everyone can navigate giving and receiving rejection gracefully.
That being said, you need to make sure that if you're not interested in going out with somebody, for whatever reason, you need to make that clear from the get-go.
- Don't lead anybody on or make them think you like them back.
- Don't accept their offer for a date only to text or call them saying "no" later on.
- Don't play games with peoples' hearts and feelings.
People need to know how to handle rejection, yes, but you're actually doing more damage if you raise someone's hopes up, letting them think they have a chance, only to shoot them down later on. You'd know this to be the truth if you've ever had this happen to you.
Here's some reassurance that you might find useful if you struggle with rejecting people:
- You don't owe anybody attraction.
- Thus, you shouldn't feel bad about rejecting someone.
- You have a right to your own taste in what you look for.
- If you don't feel like dating people in the present time period, that is also your right.
- You don't have to explain yourself past "no." If you're not interested, that's really all they need to hear.
Hold these close to your heart and you'll find it easier to reject people without feeling bad about it, because you shouldn't. As long as you let people down with honesty and respect.
And really, you should be respectful about it, because anybody who has the guts to shoot their shot, whether with you or anyone else, deserves props. They laid themselves vulnerable to you and gave you the power to accept or reject them.
Here's a tangent on rejection:
If you disagree that someone deserves props for trying, then you're probably someone who's never had to ask out someone they really wanted a day in their life. You're probably someone who's never dared to try, and you might think that you're cool because you've never had to.
And yet, if someone you fancy crosses your line of sight, maybe you don't give them attention. Maybe you play games. If you're a little better than that, you drop hints and clues. But you probably never explicitly ask them out in clear-cut terms, do you?
Even the veterans of dating give props to people who shoot their shot because they know how it feels to subject themselves to that possibility of rejection.
I once had someone I wasn't interested in ask me out and I rejected her, but I gave her a hug afterward and told her I respected her for taking a chance.
So it stands to reason that if you don't respect someone for shooting their shot with you, it's because you've never been in their shoes and don't know what it takes to do that.
Rejecting someone isn't an excuse to rip into them. People say things like:
- "Uh, excuse me? In what world are you my type?"
- "No way. Eww."
- "Yuck, go away. Not interested!"
Personality like that kills attraction, so you're not doing yourself any favors acting that way.
How to handle being rejected
Now, for the other side of the coin that many people get wrong, especially men.
Let's just get some cold, hard truths out of the way. If you need a reality check, here it is:
- Nobody owes you attraction. It doesn't matter how handsome or cute you think you are.
- You can be the best-looking person in the world and not everyone will be attracted to you. You can't possibly be everybody's type.
- Don't take every rejection as an insult or personal attack. Sometimes, you're just not someone's type over something you either can't or shouldn't change. So what?
So don't be a goon and ask something dumb like "What, I'm not good enough for you?" when someone rejects you. They don't owe you anything.
Don't blow up and get pissed off over rejection. It happens to everyone, and if you get aggressive after being rejected, you'll drive away everyone and reduce your chances of dating success even further.
Be level-headed and remember that you have billions of potential prospects out there. Pick yourself up and move on to the next person. The faster you repeat this process, the quicker you'll find your match.
And if you're getting upset about being rejected because you've gone out of your way to do a lot for someone only to be rejected in the end, that's actually your fault.
I wrote in length about why you shouldn't put your crush on a pedestal, and you absolutely shouldn't because doing so means doing a lot for somebody who hasn't demonstrated any of the extra mile that you're giving them.
This is what people mean when they say "Nice guys finish last."
"Nice guys" who shower the person of their affection with love, attention, gifts, money, and time get exploited, used, and then rejected.
And then these same "nice guys" blow up and get upset because they "gave the other person everything."
Here's another reality check:
So put your wallet down and vet your dating prospects like regular people because in the end, that's all they really are. That's what everyone is.
You don't make anyone your priority just because you think they're super hot. And you'd be smart to understand that they're probably not going to drop everything when they just met you either.
I think people overcomplicate dating, especially the part before people start going on actual dates.
The Reddit thread I showed above is a prime example of making something extremely simple into something complicated and stressful.
Being new to something like dating is one thing. Not using your head to reach an obvious solution is another.
I mean, really, just think it through. You don't like the guy, you don't wanna lead him on, and you know that the longer you wait the more it'll hurt the guy down the road.
What do you think your solution is?
Master the art of rejection and you'll save yourself and others metric tons of unnecessary stress.