April 17, 2012

I’m just not that into him.


One of the most difficult aspects of dating for me, is how to handle rejection.  Not rejection from guys – I get that whole “he’s just not that into you” concept, and it doesn’t usually affect me too much early in the dating stages to be rejected in the usual variety of manners.

What I struggle with is how to best approach rejection for the guys I decide I’m no longer interested in pursuing. I’m constantly wondering which of the standard approaches is best:

  • Being direct and forthcoming, and just letting the guy know you aren’t interested {usually mentioning a lack of connection}


  • Playing the ignore game, where you just don’t respond to any correspondence until the guy just “gets the message” via silence.

What I would personally prefer is for the guy to be forthright with his lack of interest, fairly promptly, so I’m not left wondering if I’ll hear from him within the next few days.  However, that’s not the route guys usually take – actually, I can’t remember a single situation recently where a guy was direct with me with regards to rejection.  They usually do the “just don’t text her back” move if they aren’t interested.  And I still get the message. But for a few days, I’m left lingering, and I’m not a fan of those gray areas.

I realized that what I wanted – the direct rejection – was what I had been doing to the guys I wasn’t interested in, with the idea that while it wasn’t the easiest, it was probably what they preferred also.  But then when I realized no guys were doing the same for me, I started wondering if they were handling their let-downs in the same manner – not necessarily the easy way through avoidance, but that they might actually prefer that method. 

Intrigued, I asked some of my male coworkers whom I occasionally discuss dating matters with. The response was quite split, and those on either side of the debate were equally adamant about their preference.  However, I did notice that within my sample, the slightly older, longer-married guys were the ones preferring the direct rejection.  Those closer to my age demographic and/or with less time in the marital role were much more vehemently opposed to a direct approach; their outcry was based on the notion that tangible rejection significantly mars a single guy’s ego, and that he would indeed rather be rejected “softly.”  Interesting… even guys aren’t agreeing the best way to handle this issue.


I also haven’t been particularly swayed in any one way with my recent trials at determining which approach might fare better.  First there was Texty, and my attempt at ignoring him did not go as planned; and even then, when I finally did provide a direct rejection {at his request}, he didn’t even handle that well, and fired off a snarky response in rebuttal.  

So now with a newfound fear of playing the ignore card, I decided to be direct – after a first date that wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t really going anywhere for me either, I sent a message to the guy letting him know I didn’t sense a connection.  He fired back with a slightly veiled pissy response.

I can’t fucking win at this!

I decided to oscillate back to the ignore method for the latest guy. We went on a couple of dates, but I wasn’t feeling it going anywhere either.  I decided to just not respond to his texts after the date (and the ending to our second date was very PG and detached, which is a signal in and of itself, I presume). He wasn’t too fond of my methods, and sent me a bitter note calling me out a couple of days later.

So guys, really, what is the deal?  I’m getting mixed responses from my own personal dating experiences, as well as the feedback solicited from friends.  What do guys really want in a rejection?  Is it individualized to each guy, and I somehow have to ascertain the preference of each?  Or is it really just an unpredictable mixed bag, and I should just stick with the method that’s more comfortable for me, with win-some/lose-some perspective? 

I’d love to get advice from any guys or gals on this matter.  This is one aspect of dating that makes me say “mehhh” and want to nearly avoid the whole ordeal.

Or maybe I’ll interpret my readers’ lack of response as a “just not that into me” message and end this whole writing thing anyway!  {kidding.}


  1. Be direct. Not rude or mean spirited, but get your point across. I would appreciate that more than the silent/ignore treatment. Something along the lines of I don't feel any chemistry/connection should suffice.

  2. Thanks hon! That's definitely my preferred approach, so it's good to hear the guys appreciate it as well. ♥

  3. Personally, I prefer receiving the direct approach, so that's what I try to do to guys I'm not really interested in. It's definitely a blow to the ego initially, but I'm over it a helluva lot faster than being left in that gray area for a few days.

    1. We are definitely on the same page, then. I agree!

    2. Direct for sure. You must expect and accept that getting a pissy response is just part of what can happen. It's a personal rejection, but a necessary one if you're not interested in him. No getting around that.

  4. This may be related to how men and women differ in their responses to rejection. For most women they take it as something wrong with themselves while men usually see it as a failing of the woman to recognize 'what they are missing.'

    I say do what you prefer, and in my opinion being direct is the least cowardly way out of it, so bravo.

    1. Ah, that's actually a good perspective. It makes sense!


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