May 5, 2015

If you've ever rejected anyone you'll know this to be true...

I have been on a lot of first dates, most of which do not progress to seconds. Between my single girlfriends and me, we've racked up dozens. And a pattern has emerged, showing a glaring difference between the way that men and women handle rejection.

Men who are rejected tend to argue their case. Women who are rejected slink quietly away.

I've been rejected after one or two dates. It's horrible, particularly if you really like the guy. But the idea of pleading for a second chance, or arguing with the dude that he's wrong, is completely bizarre. What on earth would be the point? Who would want to go out with someone who gave you a second chance under sufferance? Who would want to go out with someone who rejected you???

But men think differently. I have had several men debate with me when I've told them very politely that I don't wish to see them again. One man told me that I owed him a chance to 'do better', and that really he wasn't at all the way he appeared on the first date. (Presumably he was acting when we met?) Another made the fine point that my rejecting him left us both still single, implying that a) it was my fault that he was alone, and b) it would be preferable to be with someone I didn't like than to remain unpartnered.

I have had men argue with me over the reasons for my rejection, telling me that my feelings were not valid, that my impressions of them were wrong, that I had no right to judge them. (Which begs the question: What are dates for?) 

And, when I've gone the easy route and said a simple 'Sorry, I'm just not feeling it' I have been told I am too superficial. It seems that a man is allowed to reject a woman when they don't feel any chemistry, but if a woman does the same it makes us shallow. 

Not all men are like this. But I can tell you in all honesty that the vast majority of men do not take rejection well. There is an overwhelming sense of entitlement, an expectation that if they like me, then I should try harder to like them. 

And it impacts on me, this sense of entitlement. It makes me feel guilty every time I politely tell a man I'm not interested. It makes me feel anxious when I open my inbox, in case there's an angry response from the guy I had a drink with yesterday. It makes me feel pathetically grateful when a man accepts my rejection gracefully and doesn't beg or berate me.

But it doesn't work in the reverse. Not even slightly. A man can reject a woman without a second thought, without any guilt or explanation or attempts to soften the blow. Men don't feel they owe women anything, particularly not women to whom they're not attracted. 

Dating is about assessing whether you want to get to know someone further. No-one owes anyone anything other than honesty and kindness. Rejection hurts - trust me, I know - but you can't argue someone into liking you. Say 'Thank you, it was nice meeting you,' and move on. Eventually you'll find someone who doesn't need convincing. 

And if you don't, well, at least you'll still have respect.


  1. Who would reject you Kerri? They are obviously insane in the membrane.

  2. There was this one guy once... He had red hair and a goatee and 'claimed' to be married and living in Israel...... *sigh*

  3. Sounds like a real douche bag

  4. Lana (Sharpest Pencil)May 5, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    I would fight to the death for you and I am a woman. Just saying. I understand where these men are coming from.

  5. The irony is palpable. :) It sounds to me like you're seeking to make an argument for not having to listen to other peoples arguments... So why should I be compelled to listen to yours?

    Many people get nervous on first and second dates. They make mistakes. They are not themselves. Do you have the right to judge them? No you don't. 2 dates is not sufficient to know someone. So you're not really judging their character. You're assesing their ability to "play the game".

    Now do you have the right to end it? Of course you do. Do you need to give a reason? No you don't. Is your partner entitled to vent their frustration? Of course they are. You should at least recognise that rejection will cause pain, and frustration, which will very likely be expressed.

    Maybe your dates would be more comfortable, and able to be themselves, around you if you weren't so judgemental.

  6. That's such a man thing to say!! But it's rubbish. I have twice become utterly enamored of men who were visibly crazily nervous on the first date. I get nervous too. But dating is about finding a connection. If it's there you'll see it through the nerves. If it's not it can't be manufactured. And seriously - would YOU give a girl you didn't like another chance because she argued????? Of course not.

  7. ROFL. That's such a girl thing to say! Creating "a connenction" is easy for a guy to fabricate, especially when one knows how to do it. Overcoming ones nerves is essential for projecting that kind of confidence which a woman find attractive.

    How else would you explain my experiences. I have been frequently been rejected by girls after 1 or 2 dates. Only to then have that girl get to know me, as a friend, and become attracted. To which I can only reply, "Sorry. But you've already rejected me. You made you're choice and there's no going back".

    Why are girls so stupid?

  8. You didn't even read what I wrote. Nerves aren't an issue if there is a connection.
    And you're being ridiculously petulant. If you like a girl but it takes her a while to be attracted to you, why would you reject her out of spite???

  9. Creating attraction in a girl requires the guy to give certain body language ques, make certain kinds of physical contact, and project a certain tone of voice. As well as also being playful, teasing, and generally easy going.

    While I find it easy to be this way among casual aquaintances and friends. Or the lady serving me in the cafe. Going on a date is like being in a pressure cooker. It's like having every single action scrutinised by someone who sees everything. Who never tells me what she's looking for, or what I'm doing wrong!

    Usually by the time I've gotten to know a girl well enough to ask her out, I already like her. Because it is usually someone I know. I'm terrified she might find out how I feel. I choke. She looses interest. We break up.

    Then months pass. We still are friends. Her friends talk to my friends. She finds out how I felt. She starts to get to know me. Sometimes my friends tell me what I did wrong, which I then fix.

    She starts to like me. Then I have to let her go, because, I'm not prepared to risk being hurt by her a second time.

    I just can't understand this. Ehy can't people be more gracious about rejecting others, and not burn their bridges? Don't they understand that rejection is final? It doesn't make sense to make a decision based on a feeling. Especially when thay feeling could arrive months or weeks later.

  10. Don't worry Ben. I'll go out with you.

  11. Are you really suggesting people should go on numerous dates even if they don't feel a connection, *just in case* in the future they do? Why waste time with people you don't want in your life! And of course there's judgement - Isn't the whole point of first dates so you can JUDGE if that person is right for you?

    And I agree, with Kerry, being 'nervous' isn't what might put a woman off. My partner was pretty much the most nervous a man could be on our first meeting, but our connection was more than that and we kept seeing each other. What would have put me off was if he argued with me about what *I* felt.

  12. Arh dating, what a minefield of emotions.
    ANd I agree with Jono, who would reject you!!

  13. I can totally relate to this, and it's something I have wondered about myself. You are so right about them feeling entitled - and on some level they think that we will find them endearing if they persevere!

    P.S. SB would accept rejection like a gentleman. but this is of course a non sequitur - since no one in their right mind would reject him.

  14. Oh god no. I doubt he's been rejected in his life!

  15. Well for one. She didn't say sorry. For another it wasn't spite, it was fear. How can I risk being open with her when I could be crushed so easily? To risk rejection once is normal. But I ask you. If you'd been devastated like that once, would you risk being hurt like that again?

    You see, I am a simple person. I take people at word. So I moved on. By the time she approached me, I was already seeing someone else. (Of course I never told her this).


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