Dealing with rejection in dating is tough. Find out the best way to turn down a date when you are not interested and don't want to hurt the other person. Tell us what type of "no" do you find easier to cope with?
How to reject someone
Rejection hurts, and rejection in dating is no exception. Not everyone deals equally well with rejection in relationships. Rejection sensitivity varies across people and age groups. Each person develops different defence mechanisms. In fact, the way in which rejection is expressed shapes a great deal our reactions to it. Anger or sadness can be better controlled if the negative response from the other person somehow resonates with our preferences.
Dealing with rejection
Relationships are tricky and attraction is often not mutual. If you are thinking of on the best way to turn down a date, probably the first think to do is to think about yourself and what would you feel if you were in the shoes of the person you are about to reject.
Let's hypothesize: Imagine that you have recently met someone through a friend and you developed an interest in him/her. You ask him/her out on a date for the next weekend. Unfortunately, however, your feelings are not mutual. This person will have to decide how to reject your date invitation and let you know somehow that she/he is not interested in dating you. These are the most likely ways in which that person would ask to your request:
- No response
- "Sorry, my mother is coming to town for an exhibition, I promised her I'd go along" (excuse).
- "Sorry, I am not interested" (straight honest answer)
As everyone handles rejection differently. Each negative answer listed above has its pros and cons.
Pros and cons of rejection styles
1) If there is no response, at first you may keep your hope, but as time passes you would assume the other person is not interested. An advantage here is that you would not have to deal with a formal no. Some people prefer this because it may protect their self-esteem, dealing with rejection is difficult and this response gives time to our minds to gradually adjust to the refusal. However, at the same time, if you don’t have a formal answer, you cannot be totally sure that the other person doesn’t like you or may have any other issues or reasons for declining your invitation. Maybe that person has doubts, but since the question is not treated directly you would not have the opportunity to clarify your intentions or have a chance to shape that person's perceptions about you. No answer may mean that there is still some hope, but some people simply don't care and don't bother even to respond to an invitation from someone they don't like.
2) If you receive an excuse, again your ego is protected from a direct negative answer. But if the excuse is plausible, then you will probably ask this person out again because you will probably believe that he/she was truly not available the first time. Only after a few excuses will you assume that you are being rejected. Excuses and lies usually end up polluting the relationship. The person who asked for a date may end up thinking that the other person is just playing with him/her or simply not trustworthy. Sometimes those who reject a date by using excuses are not really lying but saying half truths and hoping for the person to understand indirectly that they are not interested in establishing a romantic relationship.
3) If you receive a straight direct answer, you will know for sure that your feelings are not shared, and you will be able to move on. However, your self-esteem will probably be hurt and you might have a hard time dealing with rejection. It will also depend on the intensity of your feelings and the way this refusal is expressed. Some direct answers could come across as agressive or insensitive. An honest answer can be adapted to the personality of the recipient of the message. Unfortunately in such a stressful context not everyone find the right words. Other people lack empathy and sometimes don't care at all about the feelings of the one who proposed the date. Finally, rejections may cause a different impact if they are communicated face to face, by phone or email. Sometimes people even opt for using intermediaries to pass the negative answer.
When you reject dates, which strategy do you usually adopt? Which of the three you can handle better? Do you change your approach depending on the person?
If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.
Dealing with rejection in dating - What is the best way to turn down a date?
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