Rejection sucks period, whether you’re the one shutting someone else down or the person on the receiving end. But can we all agree that there’s a right and totally wrong way to react when a date is telling you they're just not interested in you anymore?
Not too long ago, I ran into this issue when I had to cancel a first date with a guy I'd connected with on Hinge. Unfortunately, I had a work event come up, so I texted him two days before and told him that I wasn’t free Thursday after all.
For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy his response.
I took the answer for what it was, and moved on assuming he would too. Until the next day, and the next, and the next….
While I figured I was just talking to a dude who had some serious problems, turns out, there’s an actual psychology on why men get so butthurt-and in some cases, legit scary- when women aren’t interested.
“Men have been taught since the earliest of times to protect their masculinity," says psychotherapist, Jaime Gleicher, LMSW. "When they're rejected, they associate it with their masculinity. When that's threatened by an outside source, they tend to fight for it-also as a way to re-prove their manliness.”
This may explain why men get so inexplicably aggressive when you decide you don’t want another drink or date. It’s likely he’s wanting to avoid the inevitable reality, says Gleicher.
After bringing it up with my coworkers and close girlfriends, I quickly realized this sort of thing happens often with other women-whether they just aren’t feeling it, or aren’t interested in continuing to pursue a dude.
"This guy who I met once off of a dating app tried to call me while I was out to dinner with my friends. Ten missed calls later, and I was seriously annoyed. I didn't want to talk to him, so I asked him to stop. This is the response I received. Blocked!" -Michelle A., 23
2. "I met this guy on OKCupid and he seemed pretty cool and sweet. During our date, he was insistent on drinking to excess and I eventually just told him I wasn’t interested in pursuing anything romantic with him. He flipped out and started telling me that he had never wanted anything romantic or even sexual (after sending me more than 20 nudes before we even met). Then, he continued to ask me out even when I told him I didn’t want to see him again. He comments on all my InstaStories and will text me every two or three days still to this day." -Melissa C., 26
3. "This is the response I received after I told this guy I wasn't interested in dating him and didn't want to talk to him anymore. He just continued asking me for nudes and I was eventually just thinking, ugh, please leave me alone." -Rebecca M., 24
4. "I went on a first date with this guy who, in the span of 15 minutes, managed to insult everyone from vegans to runners to Jewish people with his narrow-minded comments. When he asked if I wanted another drink and I said, no, I didn't, and we could split the check because this date was over, he sat there stunned. I could physically feel his anger mounting as he grilled the side of my face (we were sitting at a bar), clearly in disbelief. As I reached for my wallet he said, 'You know what? You're done after only one drink, YOU pay.' I whipped around and said, 'Oh, I'll pay if it means you leave right the fuck now.' Luckily, the bartender overheard everything and said to the guy, 'You can leave, she's staying for another drink.' This asshole huffed and puffed as he put his jacket on, took two steps towards the door, then turned around and said, 'Good, you probably want to go home with the bartender anyways.' I sat at the bar for a solid twenty minutes afterwards, first, to calm down, and second, to make sure he wasn't waiting for me outside or something. When I was finally on my way home, I got a massive paragraph text from the guy. I didn't even read it, just deleted and blocked him immediately on both my phone and the app we met on. Reported him on the app, too." - Faye B., 31
5. "A guy I was seeing for four or so weeks was rude to my roommate, so I texted him that I didn't think it was going to work out. He texted me, 'IF YOU WERE A SMART GIRL, YOU'D REALIZE HOW MUCH I CARE ABOUT YOU' in all caps. It was just such a ridiculous thing to say." -Mical F., 25
6. "I was at a party with my friends and someone tried to dance with me but I said no. He immediately shouted, 'You're the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend) of your group anyway' and stormed off." -Taylor F., 25
7. "Please see what this guy said to me after I hadn't responded to a text about hanging out. My favorite response from a guy of all time, 'boo boo. cry me a river.'" -Morgan V., 23
8. "When I told this guy I wasn't interested, he responded by belittling my intelligence, saying I was unattractive, and that I should be grateful he gave me his time. Ironically enough, he would reach out afterward continuing to pursue me as if nothing had happened. It only seemed to click when I got a boyfriend." -Rae M., 27
9. "Unfortunately I deleted the screenshots, but I had to file a restraining order against my ex a few years ago after I ended things with him. He would create fake online profiles to contact me, and even bought an app so he could call me dozens of times a day from different numbers after I blocked his. Somehow he always showed up to places where I was and would make a huge scene. It was awful." -Maggie L., 25
10. "One time a guy asked me to come over to watch a movie. He paused it in the middle and said, 'We aren't actually going to watch this are we?' and leaned in to kiss me. When I told him I wasn't interested, he started laughing and said, 'Who said I even liked you? You're reading way too far into this.'''-Anna M., 23
Baffling. All of this behavior from men is completely unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated by any woman.
So, if you ever find yourself dealing with a guy who starts to act aggressive, rude, or starts harassing you after you've shut him down, stand your ground, be persistent, and speak up. “If a man isn’t accepting rejection, change your language and be direct,” advises Gleicher.
Make sure you are being super clear that no, you’re not interested, because ghosting this person usually won't be enough to get them to stop.
And if it continues, immediately ask an authority or trusted individual for help.
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