In tonight’s post you said
What do you do when someone rejects you on a date? I’ve had this happen a couple of times and I never know the right way to handle this. Do I excuse myself from the date and leave or do I stick it out?
I’ve also been on the other side of this. How do you suggest people reject someone if there’s no chemistry or if they express interest in another date when you know you’re not interested?
On a similar but different note, how do you get past an embarrassing situation? I went on a date a couple weeks ago and ended up having a reaction from a medication I’m taking. I hadn’t properly spaced my medication with my alcohol intake and ended up getting really tired and hard to understand. My date offered to call 911 but I said no. He got in a cab with me and saw me home. I never heard from him again. Should I reach out to him?
E. – NYC – 36 - Female
As I said in that post, what made the rejection painful wasn’t the rejection itself. It was the fact that I had been blindsided with it after 2 hours of conversation that included all kinds of compliments combined with the utterly disingenuous nature of the rejection. Really? I was everything you were looking for but I was just too much your equal and on your level to date? Okay. That makes sense. How stupid do I look?
The thing to do in a situation like that, where someone is rejecting you, is to just smile and nod and say, “Okay.” If they try to get you to stick around to finish your drink or have another, explain that you appreciate the gesture but prefer to leave. In most cases, they’re praying that you say that. You don’t have to sit there and pretend to be unaffected. You were just rejected. That’s an uncomfortable situation. You’re allowed to want to remove yourself. Often times those who make such an offer don’t want to deal with people seeing them left at a table sitting by themselves. If they try to coax you back to the conversation, don’t give in. They just want to feel better about what they did and don’t want to be left there looking stupid. Excuse yourself and leave and be done with it.
If you’re the one doing the rejecting, remember these tips:
1. If you know immediately that there’s no spark or attraction, clip that date as soon as you can within reason. Say 45 minutes. You don’t have to say that you’re not feeling a click. You can say you made other plans. The other person should be able to take the hint. If they don’t and suggest another date, tell them to email you later and you guys can talk about it. If you want to rip that band aid off right then, you can. Just be kind and tell them you enjoyed meeting them but you didn’t think you were a match. What you want to show is that you’re being considerate of their time and feelings. And ladies, if you know you’re not interested, offer to pay your share of the tab. Just do it.Don’t be an asshole.
2. If you’re not attracted to them, keep that fact to yourself. You can say anything else: no chemistry, not much in common, etc. But do not tell them you’re not attracted to them. It’s just bad form and a little cruel. Good for you that you’re so direct and honest. If it’s not paired with tact and compassion you’re just a thoughtless and arrogant idiot. Personally, I think this reason is a catch all for deeper reasons why they aren’t interested. I think more often than not it’s used to cap the conversation and prevent further discussion. Attraction isn’t something people have to defend. It’s either there or it’s not. Like I said a few weeks ago, this kind of honesty is used as a weapon or a shield. Someone who would tell you this is a walking liability, so breathe a sigh of relief that things didn’t go further.
3. Respond to their follow up request in a timely fashion. The longer you wait to respond, the worse it will be for them and for you. The goal in these situations is to be humane. Tell them that, after the date, you did some thinking and you realized that you and they probably weren’t compatible. Never, ever admit that you knew you were going to rejection at the time that you said to follow up with them about discussing another date. If they don’t realize that you were not just trying to prevent any Awkward for yourself but for them, that’s on them.
4.If you know you did something that might have hurt their feelings, cop to it. If they send you a terse message or lash out at you, really ask yourself if you did anything to contribute to that. If you did, own it and be an adult. And please, spare them the passive aggressive, ‘You know, you really didn’t handle that well HOWEVER…” No however. Just admit where you messed up and be done with it. Don’t be some passive aggressive douche.
If you’re on the receiving end of such a rejection, keep these points in mind:
1. Allow someone to be polite. If they say they made other plans, let them go. If they say they weren’t feeling it, let them go.
2. Don’t send multiple follow up messages. They got your first one. If they don’t respond, they’re either trying to be kind hoping you’ll get the hint/will drop it or are just not a nice person.
3. If you ask for a further explanation, be prepared to hear something you don’t want to hear. This is self-explanatory. Trust me. You don’t want to know the real reason. If they’re especially defensive or lacking in social graces, they will tell you bluntly what the deal is just so you won’t push them further or try to debate them.
4. Don’t expect them to actually be friends with you. When someone in this situation offers or agrees to friendship, don’t get your hopes up. Again, they’re being polite. They really don’t want to be your friend. They just don’t want you to dislike them. If you follow up with invites and emails,9 times out of 10 they’ll make up an excuse why you can’t hang out or will ignore you.
5. Ladies, don’t ever, ever do this. If a guy turns you down for a date or a hook up, walk away. Sending them naked pics or a video of you getting off in a bathroom stall makes you look a) unstable and b) desperate. No, when he replied and told you how sexy that was or how he’s rather hold on to the friendship/maintain a business contact, he wasn’t being honest. He was being polite. If he wanted to have sex with you, he would. There’s no such thing as a woman being too cool/smart/awesome to sleep with in a man’s book. Women love to reassure each other that the men in these scenarios totally respects them or cares for them or whatnot. That is said so you will turn around and do something equally as jaw dropping and they’ll feel less ashamed. Don’t fall for it.
Now for the second question. If you feel you did something wrong, offensive or inappropriate then the right thing to do is apologize. He probably didn’t know what to say after that experience. It wouldn’t hurt for you to break the ice and follow up and explain what happened. It might be too late or be something he can’t get past. I think it all depends how the rest of the date went and how you handle the apology. Remember that what you reveal could be held against you. If you were on anti-depressants, keep that to yourself. Say that you took a Benedryl for an allergy and had thought enough time had passed between when you took it and when you started drinking. Keep the explanation short and vague. Tell him you’d like to give it another try if he’s willing. If he’s not, just move on. If this is something that has happened before then you need to check yourself. That is NOT something that should happen more than once. There’s just no excuse for it.