Rejection is a reality of life. It’s a somewhat harsher reality of dating. It is an extremely harsh reality of gay dating. In this age of online dating we all deal with high volumes of guys to swipe through, message, and interact with. If you’ve been on any sort of dating app in the last decade, you probably have dealt with both getting rejected and rejecting others. Rejection is one of those things that completely hurts and sucks when it’s happening to you, but it’s easy to forget how badly when you’re doing it to someone else. That is, until the person completely goes off on you about how you’re an asshole and a heartless shallow piece of…
I will admit that in my long run of online dating, I have been both the asshole rejecter and the asshole rejection reactor. Over time, I’ve matured and tried to find a positive way to approach the inevitable task of telling a guy that he might be the one for someone, but he is most definitely not someone for me. Similarly, I’ve tried to develop coping mechanisms for the moment when someone you really like doesn’t feel the same about you. Because he’s probably an idiot.
Yesterday, I made an Instagram post asking you guys how you approach rejecting others and I got some pretty great answers. My personal approach is to say something kind and honest about them (don’t just make it up), and then gently let them know that it’s just not a match for you. You all came up with some great points of your own:
- “Giving rejection: be honest and polite about it. How they take it after the fact is no longer your concern. Receiving rejection: Move on. Them not finding me attractive isn’t going to stop me from being attractive.” @generallyi
- “Just tell them to sashay away.” @leather_unicorn
- “I typically like to thank them for finding something about me attractive and point out what about us doesn’t fit (i.e. what they’re looking for, age difference, interests, etc.)” @stylistalfonzo
- “I’m flattered by your interest. What you have to offer is really special, but it isn’t a good fit for my needs right now. I wish you all of the best.” @flywithdmax
- “…ghosting is terrible and if you’ve been talking for a while that’s just a shitty thing to do. People fail to realize that these are human being and not a program they’re talking to. ” @keiths_life
- “These people have not met you. They will and cannot know how cool and funny and interesting you can be. They don’t want to find out. So fuck em!” @instavoges
- “Be honest and kind. But most of all be respectful of their time and energy. Don’t drag them along just because you want attention.” @allenstarby
If a person you are rejecting continues to come at you with hate or clarification as to why, I personally think it’s not your responsibility to keep talking to them. If you have been kind and clear in your reasoning, you do not have to help them cope with the rejection. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s like ripping off a bandaid and it takes some people more time to deal with the pain. If you are met with anger, do not respond with anger. Try “I’m sorry you feel that way and I know this online dating process sucks.” Frequent rejection is just the reality and side effect of meeting many people online.
This is all great for the rejector, but what about when it happens to you? Well my advice is this. Although rejection sucks in the moment, it is also positive. It opens you up to the opportunity to meet a person that is actually good for you and that is ready to embrace you in their life. Someone who is prepared to reject you for whatever reason is a person that does not recognize your value. As hot or sweet or funny or charming or convenient as they may seem, if they are willing to let you go online (assuming you haven’t met yet), they are in no way ready for the commitment you are seeking. You should probably thank them for not wasting your time.
Always remember, there’s a million reasons people are on dating apps. It could be the first time they’ve ever made one and they’re just experimenting – never planning on meeting anyone. Maybe they just broke up with their ex last week and need a distraction. Maybe they just got a new job and are leaving town. Maybe they just moved into town and don’t really feel like a commitment. Maybe they are cheating on their spouse. There are so many reasons that most people will never tell you. Hell, maybe you just actually aren’t their type but they needed to chat a little to figure it out. It’s all good. That’s what the dating process is about. Unless you plan on dating hundreds of men, just be kind and honest to one another and keep it moving so you can find what’s ultimately meant for you.