Whether you’re smooth as melted ghee or the most awkward human alive we all have one thing in common: we all cringe at the thought of confrontation. You don’t fire someone: you let them go. You don’t dump someone: you ‘mutually’ separate. You don’t reject a date: you tell them you had a great time but unfortunately you’re busy next weekend.
Unless you’re a low-key sadist you don’t like telling people they suck. Especially in person. Which means that the whole “thanks but no thanks” interaction is a zone of social psychology ripe for the plucking. Which may explain why one woman’s simple story, told on Reddit, has gained so much interest. What’s it like to reject someone in person? Wonder no more.
The story begins with a situation we all know: you go on a date and before Bumblewoman (or Tinderman) opens their mouth you already know they aren’t for you. A sixth sense, subconscious bias, a set of functioning eyes: call it what you will—you know it ain’t going to happen.
Normal protocol would be to see out the next forty minutes, decline their suggestion to try out the bar down the road, ignore their Facebook friend request and hope they get the hint. But what if there was another way?
Reddit user r/TwoXChromosomes proves that indeed there is, and judging on the response from the Reddit commentariat—which is known for being male-centric and unforgiving—harsh rejection could actually be best for both parties involved.
“I came back to the table, and he asked me where I would like to go next. I thought about it for a moment and said, ‘honestly I don’t feel any chemistry here, and I don’t want to waste any more of your time. If you want me to pay for my ice cream, I’m more than willing to do that.’ He was taken aback but respectful.”
The general consensus among the commenters was that you should never date someone out of kindness, with the most up-voted opinion being, “Honestly if he was any sort of decent guy he probably appreciated that too – imagine sinking 3 weeks of dating into someone just to find out they were never really into you.”
“Imagine being in a relationship for 3 years where you hear your ex actually didn’t see a future after 6 months.”
This was followed up with the following:
- As a guy, thank you… It’s better to know up front than to think it all went fine and then get ghosted when you try to follow up.
- Honestly, the sooner you know and the more open you are, just means you are more respectful of someone else’s time (AND your own).
- You gave the guy a chance to change your mind and when it was clear it was not happening you were honest and respectful. That is all someone could ask, I wish more people did that.
- Agreed. It’s quite liberating for a guy as well.
- Can confirm. I’ve been turned down like this and though it stung for a moment I realised it was much better then being ghosted.
Other users warned that rejecting someone in person isn’t always this easy, “One time I had a guy at a bar who was clearly interested in me and when I politely told him I wasn’t interested, he just dug his heels and then got really nasty with me.”
So although you should rethink the amount of time you sink getting to know someone you don’t like — don’t write off the rejection text completely.