Death. Taxes. The Cowboys choking. Rejecting someone you don’t want to date.
Yes, these are all things that are definitive in this life.
Rejection is a word I hate. I think it’s so pompous to “reject” someone. Like they’re an object so foreign that you have to reject them from your life. Ugh. It’s the worst. word. ever. I prefer “notify them that you like them as a person, but are not interested in moving forward.” And at times it’s more like “notify them that you don’t like them as a person because they are a complete (insert descriptive noun here) and you most definitely won’t be moving forward with any type of interaction.” But those are too long, yeah?
Anyway, I’m a fraud, I admit. Aren’t I supposed to offer sound advice and encouragement when it comes to breaking up or calling it quits? Probably. But when it comes to letting people know I am not interested, I can’t close the deal.
I am going to admit that I am way too empathetic. I imagine how I’d feel if I were on the receiving end of this conversation. I get nervous I might hurt their feelings, so instead of straight up saying I’m not interested, I pretend to be too busy to ever see them again. (Partially true.) Or, I will not respond to their attempts to go out again. (I know, it’s awful.)
I’ve asked a lot of people how this should go. How do you tell someone you aren’t interested in them? I am not the Queen of Dating by any means. I don’t have men lining up to take me out. (This is LA, after all!) But if we’re going to remain realists here on Mentervention, I must say that I haven’t dated a guy in a while that I’ve been super eager to see again. The giddy factor is missing. A CRUCIAL FACTOR, FOLKS. I want to feel like I’m 17 again. Surely that feeling can be replicated. (Surely???)
Most dates are failures in terms of finding a mate. I think it’s because I have a clear idea of what I’m looking for in a man. And not just physically — although tall, determined and handsome doesn’t hurt nobody! These guys… they all have great attributes, but “Dreamweaver” hasn’t started playing in my head when they walk in the room.
Just to clarify, I don’t openly go around asking people for advice on how to let someone down gently. It’s just that whenever I casually mention that I have a date, people tend lose their damn minds. “WITH WHO!!!!! OMG!!! WHERE DID YOU MEET!!! LET ME SEE A PIC!” You’d think I had just won the $600 million Powerball with all the fuss that is made. (And should I be concerned that people are that excited when I get a date? Like I’m the perptetual single chick or something? Dear lord.) So they obviously do a follow-up to ask how it went, and my response is pretty much as follows:
“He’s nice, we had a good time, but I don’t see it going anywhere.”
I mean, I should really redefine the term “good” because it’s not usually “good.” Good is like, we LOLed three or four times together, we held hands at one point, and I know I am going to see him again. Maybe a kiss was involved?! I don’t know. (I’m not that old-fashioned.) In most cases, I should say that it “sufficed to keep me occupied and he was a friendly person.”
So, how do you reject a perfectly nice guy, who bought you a drink (or two) and you might even see yourself being friends with? And they’re asking to see you again? But homie don’t play that?
I’ve had a few good answers given to me. A guy friend said to be straight forward, Band-Aid style. Hit them with it right off the bat, be quick, be nice, throw in some humor if you can. Just don’t lead him on. Men would rather know immediately that you’re not interested. Which, is logical, considering I would want to be told the same way.
My makeup artist said she found the perfect term to use, and she was right. “Tell them you had a great time, but you don’t think you’re a match.” Perfection. You did enjoy yourself, you like them as a person, but there’s no gray area when it comes to if you do or don’t want to see him again.
But how do you do you deliver this message? Now usually I am a huge proponent of phone calls because it’s a lost communication form these days. I love talking on the phone, unless you are a publicist pitching me a product. (Don’t do that, by the way. Emails only.) That wasn’t always the case — but here, calls are my saving grace, considering all my closest friends and family are all living a solid 1200-1300 hundred miles away from me. (I know this for a fact since I have many of them on Find a Friend, an app we skillfully downloaded in Vegas, just in case one of us decided to wander off alone or happened to lose our phone.) But if you can get away with a text on this type of rejection, especially with somoene you just started to see, you can probably get the point across better by writing them instead of talking it out.
And on that note, if you are in a long-term relationship and you are rejecting someone through a text message, you are an asshat of epic proportions, and you should probably not be dating anyone, but instead taking some “me” time. Because that has “issues” written all over it.