This week on The Love Project we're talking about Rejection.
Let's face it, one of the toughest parts about dating is dealing with rejection... both receiving it and giving it.
Today I'm going to talk about how to act if you feel rejected in that very early stage of dating... I'm specifically thinking of online dating, though this could be true of any first date or meeting. Here are some ways people react when they feel rejected.
I just had a very long debate with The Private Man about his advice for men to block women who don't respond within a week to an initial email. I'd never heard about this before and don't think it's common practice. I think this is ridiculous, since a lack of response to an initial email doesn't even necessarily indicate rejection, but you can read about that debate on his blog if you're interested.
I'm better than you response
Worse than blocking (which just doesn't make sense) are the people who will react negatively when they feel rejected. A classic example is responding with "Your loss." I suppose this kind of response is meant to show that "I'm better than you and don't care that you don't want to go out with me" but instead it comes off as "I'm a baby who can't take a blow to my fragile ego." Other signs of insecurity might be a response like: "I didn't want to date you anyway. I'm dating women who are much younger and hotter than you. I just felt sorry for you." Definite sign of a loser who has zero confidence.
Now luckily, most men who I've communicated with online are more mature than that. There have only been a couple who were really rude. If I can tell from their profile or email that they are disrespectful, I don't engage in conversation with them at all. I used to respond to everyone who sent me an email, but now I ignore anyone who's initial email is disrespectful ie. someone suggesting a "quickie" or sex, or someone who puts something in their profile like: Don't bother to email if you're a liar" (obviously a guy with a lot of baggage.)
I'm desperate and insecure response
Another form of inappropriate behavior when you are rejected is to act needy or desperate. One guy insisted on wanting to know exactly what was wrong with him. He promised to change whatever it was. He kept on emailing me, wanting to go out, even if it was just "as friends." If he hadn't acted so desperate, I probably would have at least kept in contact with him as friends, but it became creepy that he was so needy. Eventually I had to tell him I wouldn't be responding to any more of his emails.
This is one of the most common responses to a rejection. If you haven't even met, and we're just talking about an email, I think it's OK to not respond. A response usually is not expected. However, if you've gone on a first date or meeting, it can be kind of rude to just ignore a nicely worded "Dear John" letter.
An email wishing your rejector well
The most mature and classy thing you can do when you are rejected is to thank your rejector for their honesty, wish them well, and move on with confidence that you will find a better match. Of course, all of this depends on how you were rejected in the first place. How to reject someone is, in itself, a skill that many people do very poorly. However, if the person rejecting you has been thoughtful, it would show grace and class for you to show thoughtfulness in return with a short email of thanks and perhaps a suggestion to stay in touch, if appropriate.