Tag Archives: breaking up

How To Reject a Man

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.

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Is it over? The Social Network edition

I think one of the hardest things when you’re breaking up with someone is answering this question:

“When is it really over?”

The fat lady has essentially sung her final verse and you and your significant other have decided to call it quits. For most people in extended relationships, it goes something like this:

End relationship.

Still talk.

Still text.

Still phone.

Still say ‘I love you.’

Still miss them.

Still think about them 24/7.

Still wonder what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with.

Still worry if they’re okay.

Still vomit at the thought of them with someone else.

And during this phase you’re probably still following them on Twitter and remain their Facebook friend. You know, to keep tabs. To see what girls (or boys — guys, I know you read) are writing on their wall and following them. Social media has made it possible to still know every little detail of your ex without actually ever having to speak to them ever again.

I remember my last break up, and in the moments of where I felt my heart was completely shattered, I remember saying something like this: “I will never see you ever again.” And the sad part is I didn’t say that out of spite or that I wouldn’t want to see him again (I did. Trust.), but it was the truth. To this day, I haven’t seen him since the day we broke up. But I still knew what he was up to thanks to the internet.

Not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but I know some of you people are going through exactly what I went through, and for lack of better words? It sucks. I know you all are going through this because I’ve had several texts, phone calls and emails over the last few months from people who never thought they would be in this position, asking me for advice and help. I am transparent it seems, and when my heart was broken, you all were well aware.

As much as I love to help, I know I can’t. You have to live through the questions and find the answers, even when it hurts like hell. The thing worse than going through heartache? Watching your friends go through it. It’s like reliving the entire situation.

So, back to social media. You’re watching their friends talk about how they’re doing and what they’re doing and somehow you know exactly where this person is without even asking. It’s kind of nice in that you won’t run into them accidentally and feel your heart fall into your butt. Or, if you’re super cray, you’ll “accidentally” run into them at the pub so you can hash out the whole drama in public. Am I right? I’ve seen too many women and men do it before (I’ve been to afraid to do something bold like that).

When is it over? When do you know you are ready to move on and forget the past? For some of you, just reading that sentence makes you want to throw up your lunch. “Forget the past? I love this person! I want to make it work! I want to have hope!” Listen, I’m not against the falling back in love and making it work part. However, I know that if you’re just going through a breakup, there are too many wounds to heal to resusitate the relationship immediately. It will take time. Take growth. Take forgiveness. Take trust. All of those things combined can end up in a happy, healthy, relationship with a person you used to be in one with.

But I’m not talking reconciliation. I’m talking about the part where you want to move forward and not be hurt anymore. When does that happen? How do you know?

Some simple thoughts:

  • That song you heard that made you bust into tears when initially breaking up? You can listen to it. The whole way through. No tears.
  • You can unfriend and defollow them. Not out of spite, but because you know it’s not healthy to keep staring at their page and analyzing their tweets.
  • You don’t worry about doing said things (above) and that the person will love you less because you did so.
  • You’re content with the thought that they have moved on. If they’re happy, you are. Even if they cheated, you still find that the situation was supposed to happen.
  • You’re not dating just to say that you’ve found someone new. You’re dating to legitimately find and enjoy another person. You’re open to the possibility of a new relationship. This one is the kicker!
  • You don’t worry about them… as much. You know they’re fine without you.
  • You don’t feel compelled to reach out and contact them, just to keep communication alive — just in case a reconcilation is coming up.
  • You don’t get upset with what went wrong. You can fondly remember the good, funny and sentimental times.

There are a myriad of others, but I’ll spare you for now. The most difficult part of breaking up? Shutting the other person out. It’s nearly impossible to maintain a friendship immediately after breaking up, as much as you’d like to. It’s like on How I Met Your Mother. Barney dated Robin; they broke up. Barney then talks about all his latest conquests in front of Robin; she ends up crying in a hallway somewhere. She ends up meeting someone, starts to like him, but with her ex-boyfriend as a part of her group of friends, she decides to essentially “quit” the group for awhile until she can fully function in another relationship without Barney interfering.

And that’s what will keep happening when you’re intertwined, online, with this person you used to care about. You’re broken up because you don’t want to be with the person. Simple as that. (Or they don’t want to be with you. Sorry.) Otherwise, you’d still be with them, they’d still be with you. Easy. Stop dragging around and letting the communicating flow like wine. It’s not helping them, not you — no one.

So like a band aid, rip it off. Unfriend. Unfollow. Move on. And maybe one day, you two will be able to meet back up on The Social Network… and possibly in real life.

Then again? Maybe not.