under Date Night
Is there rejection etiquette? Whether you didn’t enjoy a first date, or after becoming sexually involved, or even after meeting the family… the way in which you decide to break things off changes. However, you cannot use the same approach with the first scenario as you do with the last. So what is the best course of action? Is an official rejection even necessary after just one date? Should you just ignore their calls? Or perhaps a quick text stating, “last night was nice, good luck” would be better. In that case, should you actually answer their call, but turn down the offer for another date?
Obviously the latter is best (and is good karma), but it’s also the bravest choice. All the other circumstances absolutely deserve some kind of communication as to why you are no longer interested in dating. You wouldn’t want to be the person on the other side of a rejection left wondering what happened. It’s not easy; in fact, it totally sucks. Still, honesty is generally the best policy unless it’s going to hurt someone’s feelings even more than the rejection itself. You can always simply say, “My feelings haven’t evolved the way I’d like them to, so I think it’s best we both move on and I give you the opportunity to find someone who will adore you the way you deserve.”
No matter how upset the rejected person becomes, don’t start hurling insults. Apologize again and let them know you wish them the best and move on. This is always easiest on the phone, but if you’ve gotten very serious, then an in-person explanation is more respectful. Just never reject someone via text after the 2nd date!
under Online Dating
It appears that some people — both men and women — have forgotten some of the signals of what someone who isn’t interested in you looks like. When he (or she) is just not that into you, he/she:
- doesn’t call you
- doesn’t ask you out on dates
- doesn’t kiss you
- doesn’t flatter you
- doesn’t remember you
- doesn’t think about you
- doesn’t text you
- doesn’t respond to your texts or add to any continuity of a conversation
If you find yourself making all the moves, trying to create opportunities for your crush to notice you, and continuosly reaching out to someone who doesn’t engage, then it’s time to recognize that he or she is just not that into you. You can’t take it personally. If you are practicing poly-dating, which I address in my book How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating, then you should have other prospects in rotation and one so-called “rejection” shouldn’t make you skip a beat. Plenty of other people will be into you, don’t worry about the few who aren’t. You will never receive a satisfactory explanation as to their disinterest so don’t even bother asking.
under Online Dating
No one wants to get their heart broken, and likewise, no one wants to intentionally break anyone’s heart. That’s why many of us decide that when it’s not quite working with someone, when the stars just aren’t lining up, instead of getting fireworks in our belly, we get indigestion — it’s easy for us to tip toe around the brutally honest truth and try to hide our true feelings behind polite one-liners that we hope will do the dirty work for us:
- It’s not you, it’s me.
- I’m terribly busy and this really isn’t a good time.
- I’ve started really, seriously, seeing someone else.
The only thing worse than throwing one of these sentences onto a person you don’t want to see again is having them not get the hint. There’s no trick when it comes to figuring out if someone is not interested in you, it’s just being able to accept the truth. Follow their words, but ultimately trust your gut.
Do: Follow up with someone you enjoyed going out with on a date. See how they are throughout the week, then ask them if they’d like to go out again. If you are feeling unsure whether or not someone would like to see you again… or you are getting too many wish-washy responses from them, pick up on their signs and swallow their constant “I can’t” as an indication that, unfortunately, they are not feeling this (Don’t fret, there are plenty of other people out there that will have goo goo eyes for you)!
Don’t: Be overly persistent or pushy with your follow-ups. Don’t sign off your text messages or emails with “Please go out with me one more time, I promise you’ll be impressed” or threaten them with a “I won’t give up on asking you out.” If you’re feeling that you are the only one who is excited to see you again, don’t force it. Bow out gracefully and search for someone else who will be your true match.