Dear Fellow Men: You Need To Learn To Deal With Rejection

RC Cipriano
RC Cipriano

Much like study hall during senior year of high school, it seems as if most men skipped out on the class when we were to be taught how to deal with rejection.

Some of us went back to school to learn, others learned through the school of hard knocks, but there are still a number of men who have no idea how to take rejection from a woman, and it’s ruining the dating world.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the meme that shows the vicious cycle of character development in some men and women: Nice guy gets screwed over by a cold-hearted wench, turning him into a douchebag; the douchebag then breaks the heart of the good girl, who turns into a cold-hearted wench.

It doesn’t matter where the spectrum starts, because one way or another, the circle will take effect.

The same logic can be applied in rejection, only when it comes to this circle, it always starts with the man:

A guy approaches a girl during a night out, strikes up a conversation and eventually asks her out.

For whatever reason (already in a relationship, no attraction, emotionally unavailable, just not interested, etc.), she turns him down.

That should be the end of it. Instead, some guys keep with the pursuit.

Some don’t care that she’s already in a committed relationship; others will keep at it like an irksome child tugging at his mother’s pant leg on the grocery store checkout line to buy him a candy bar; some just see it as a challenge — as if wooing her (or wearing her down) after a while to get her to change her mind is some form of victory.

Now the girl is in an awkward position, and is forced to make an even more awkward decision: Give out the number and hope never calls or texts, give out a fake number and risk seeing him out again, continue to reject him and subject herself to further pestering, or continue to reject him and risk that he’s a rage-filled psychopath who will become violent with her.

I recently surveyed a number of women to ask why some women give out their number to a guy, all the while knowing they never intend to go out with him. The responses irritated me, mostly because it’s my fellow man who are putting these women in a position to where they even feel the need to do these things.

Thus, starting the cycle: Guy asks girl out, girl rejects him, guy presses the matter, girl becomes uncomfortable and does whatever she feels will end the situation. Now, some girls will think all men that ask them out will behave this way, and they will resort to this behavior when approached by a man.

That one guy who couldn’t take, “No, thank you,” for an answer has now distorted the perception of his fellow men in the eyes of women, while simultaneously giving almost all men a bad reputation.

Thanks, bro.

Dating sites like Match or eHarmony cost money, and dating apps like Tinder and Bumble get bad raps. Has the purest form of human interaction — an actual face-to-face conversation with someone — become tainted? Are all single men and women doomed to become jaded, cynical people?

I’ve already become more jaded as I age, but I’m not at the point where if I get a girl’s number I automatically think, “Is this her real number?” or “Did she give it to me just to be nice or so that I would go away?”

Not yet, anyway. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see that change after a few more years of being ghosted or tip-toed around when trying to make plans.

It doesn’t seem like a hard concept to me, but then again most methods that appear to be logical are often ignored. Guys, if you ask a girl for her number and she turns you down — regardless of the reason — move on. Period. End of story.

If you’re at a bar or party, there are probably dozens of potential candidates for you to chat up; and if the place is dead or there’s no one else there worth pursuing, go to another bar or party or wait another night. Your tongue will not wither if it’s not watered by the saliva of another person’s mouth that very night.

Much like when it comes to any form of sexual activity, “No,” means, “No.” There’s no grey area in that.

She’s not playing hard to get, and she’s not challenging you to change her mind; she’s not into you.

Ladies, I understand your position. Many of you go out for a good time that may not include being hit on by guys. If a guy asks for your number and you reluctantly hand it over, knowing you really want nothing to do with him, then at least be honest with him if he reaches out.

Shoot him a text saying that while you appreciate the offer, you’ve had a change of heart. If you’re clear in your response that do not wish to see him, romantically, you should feel no guilt about letting him down.

You can let him down easy, but you have to cut the cord.

Don’t dance around potential dates to get together or even keep a dialogue going unless you see nothing more than a platonic friendship. Even then, tell him what you want. Don’t play the,

“Hopefully he’ll get the hint,” game. We’re men. You have to spell it out or be blunt with us. You just don’t need to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings for no reason.

If he’s a mature, evolved human being, he’ll understand. At the very least, he’ll respect you for not stringing him along or ignoring him completely. If he continues to blow up your phone, block him and be done with it.

The sad truth is that those guys hell-bent on getting what they want are out there, but the reality is also that not all of us men are like that, I promise you. Don’t throw us all under the “douchebag” umbrella because of one bad experience.

As for those guys who do belong there, stop being the reason the umbrella even exists.Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Mike is a New York-based writer and admitted hopeless romantic. If Ted Mosby and Carrie Bradshaw had a son, it would be him. When he’s not writing about love, dating, and relationships, he’s working his actual job as a sports reporter and columnist.

Tune into his podcast, “Heart Of The Matter” here.

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