Rejection Done Right

24 Aug

Last night I experienced an exhibition of the rare, considerate date etiquette I’ve long prescribed from my soapbox—and I wouldn’t believe it had I not seen it with my own eyes. There we were having a great second date. The girl, whom I’d found in the OkCupid catalog, was cute, funny, and had great stories to tell. We meshed really well from the first moment and I was sure this was going somewhere. (This should have been my first warning—never trust a good feeling blindly.) We had some great drinks and food on our second rendezvous, a totally informal hangout at a really nice Belgian restaurant. There I was, getting all starry-eyed and thinking with tingling anticipation about making out with her before the night was over. There was the check arriving at our table. And there she was fidgeting at my standard offer to cover the charges.

“I have a confession to make.” Well, I knew which way the wind was blowing, but I let her proceed anyway.

“I’m not attracted to you…Does that change your mind about the check?”

Now, in my younger, more naïve days, I probably would have pussied out and paid anyway, awkwardly spouting non sequiturs and fingering dried French fry bits until we could part with a disingenuous hug and smile. But fuck that, I’m now 32 (yikes!) and I’ve had my time wasted enough that I don’t mind cutting my losses. So I was only too happy to accept 50% as a severance. And, after a few moments of contempt for this broad, we actually went back to our conversation with minimal awkwardness, both relieved of our very opposite pressures—hers to reject me in ma very direct manner, and me to clumsily insert my tongue into her mouth in front of an express bus driver. She bought off her guilt with money—the price of honesty—and I would not feel like a sucker afterward.

To her credit, this level of sincerity, while off-putting and somewhat insensitive, is exactly the kind of female dater behavior I’ve endorsed on the pages of this blog. Having been out with someone 2 or 3 times who was only too happy to have me foot the bill only to tell me, chicken-shit style over text, that she didn’t want to mislead me as to her intentions, I would much rather accept this knockout blow and get up before the count of 10 than be sucker-punched in the head and mugged. So, ego slightly frayed, but my wallet not ripped off, I’m still standing. On to the next one!

17 Responses to “Rejection Done Right”

  1. k August 24, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    How could she have made it less insensitive? Just wondering so I know how to not be a jerk.

  2. Datestable August 24, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Good question! I think she took the right approach but used the wrong words, which led to an overly apologetic parting and another morning text apologizing for her insensitivity. I think it is possible to couch honesty in proper wording.

    Telling someone “I’m not attracted to you” is a bit hurtful because attraction can be a very strong word fraught with personal meaning. I would say, “You’re great, but I don’t think we’re a romantic match.” Very generic, communicates the main point inoffensively. Or maybe, “I don’t want to mislead you, blah blah blah.” There’s no great way to reject someone, but they will appreciate it.

    Now some dudes are straight up crazy and might have irrational reactions to this, complicating the situation. Just exercise common sense. If the guy seems like a hothead or a pretentious/fragile-ego twerp, you can be more subtle. If he’s a decent person of good moral fiber but a troll in whatever categories are important to you for chemistry, do the best you can to be honest.

    • Anonymous May 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

      Women don’t fuck you because you have the face and personality of a total fucking shitbag, as in, a bag which is full of shit.

  3. dramafreepaul August 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    The way she put it was callous. I agree with you. A text is chicken shitty. But a simple follow up phone call with a generic let down always works. Especially if you’ve only been out a few times.

    • Anonymous May 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      Yes, when woman is saying she’s not attracted to a man, she should be less callous by saying it with these words instead.”I want to fuck you, bigboy.”

  4. The A to Z of dating August 25, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Great post. Ok, so maybe it was a little harsh in the moment, but it was just for that moment. And let’s face it there’s never an easy way to let someone down – it’s never gonna be easy to stomach. As a woman who’s found herself in the same situation I’ve told my date I wasn’t interested on the actual date just once, but then admittedly, if I agree to a second it’s usually because I’m interested. Other than that I usually follow up with a phone call – it seems less harsh than a text. I’m interested to hear how guys prefer this to be done though…

    • Datestable August 27, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      I don’t think you necessarily need to make a phone call. A text can be fine, too. What I find unsavory is leading people on, going on multiple dates and letting the dude pay for everything when you already know you’re not interested. Sounds like you’re on the right side of history there.

      Rejection is not rocket science. If the guy is relatively well-adjusted, he’ll shake hands/hug and move on. Just be forthright and explicit.

      • Anonymous May 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

        “If a guy is relatively well-adjusted blahblahblah”
        Bullshit. You say you want honesty, yet when she was honest, all you did was bitch like a baby and criticize her, “contempt for this broad”, blahblahblah. By your own definition, you are anything but well-adjusted; apparently you think the manly way to handle rejection is to bleat miserably into your stupid blog about what a terrible bitch she was for rejecting you.
        I hope you spend thousands on dates, and I hope you never get laid.

  5. Dating Disasters and Delights September 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Excellent post. It’s really nice to get a man’s perspective on these things. I go on a lot of dates and have totally gotten over the first date jitters that are inherent in meeting someone for the first time…until it’s time to say goodbye. It might sound unfair, but I normally know within the first 15 minutes if I’d like to see a man again. So, when I know I don’t plan to have a second date, I’ve found that it’s best to simply say, ” thank you for the drink/coffee/dinner , but I just don’t feel any ‘sparks’ between us.” I usually do this while the man is walking me to my car (believe it or not, chivalry is not entirely dead), so I can quickly shake hands, jump in the car, and give a little wave as I drive away. I’ve only been called a heartless bitch about a dozen times 😉

  6. Datestable September 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Yeah, nerves ease up with more dating, but the end-of-night jitters never do. And it’s probably half the fun. I’m similar in that I usually know pretty quickly if I like someone. I know some people keep digging and sometimes multiple chances pay off, but my gut is usually right. You are right to be direct. You can just not say anything but if prompted say exactly what you say.

    In New York, the car thing is rare (except for a few instances either involving Russian girls, who still like being driven around despite abundant mass transit, or when I went out with a Jerseyite). Usually we walk to a subway or bus for a semi-awkward farewell. I’m pretty sure if I said there were no sparks after a casual first date, drama would ensue. Women can get away with more, as usual.

    • Anonymous May 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      “women can get away with more, as usual”=
      oh wah wah wah, poor little me, I was born with a penis but nowhere to put it, all women owe me.

      try sticking your dick up your own ass, but remove your head from it first, you miserable fucking loser.

      • Anonymous August 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

        Stop posting stupid bullshit.

  7. online get paid December 31, 2012 at 6:53 am #

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  8. M.K. Hajdin (@mkhajdin) March 31, 2013 at 4:49 am #


    You had no right whatsoever to expect sex from your date. And only paying for dinner if you think you’re going to get sex out of it is better known as prostitution.

    Men, get it through your heads: you are not entitled to sex. I know you think you are, but you aren’t.

    And stop getting so pissy about paying the bill; it just makes you look stingy and mean, which we don’t find attractive. Women still do not have economic or social equality with men. If you don’t like paying for us, help us dismantle the patriarchy.

    • Anonymous March 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

      Thanks for not reading the post and missing the point. And it’s always good to have a tunnel vision agenda while reading other people’s POVs.

      • Anonymous May 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

        “wah wah wah I’m a big fucking tittybaby and women owe me sex!”

  9. Joe September 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    No, women don’t anyone sex. And men don’t owe anyone dinner.
    I don’t understand the convention, here. If you go out with someone, and you don’t want to feel obligated, pay your way.

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