What does a rejection look like?

You might be thinking that spotting a rejection is as simple as understanding words like “No” or “Not interested”, but surprisingly that’s not the case. Many people have a hard time recognizing a rejection, because rejections take on lots of different forms. Though let’s be real here, it’s more likely that many people have a hard time accepting a rejection. While a rejection can be as simple and as straight-forward as saying I do not want to date you now or ever”, most people aren’t giving rejections that way because most people don’t communicate that way. So with that in mind, let’s talk about what a rejection looks like

A rejection can take a few forms, but here are some pretty common ones:

  • A rejection that is simple and direct (i.e. I don’t want to date you because I am not attracted to you)
  • A rejection that is also an apology (i.e. I’m sorry, I really like you, but I don’t think we’re a good fit)
  • A rejection that implies that there might be a chance in the future (i.e. Sorry, I don’t think we can date right now. Maybe if things were different)
  • A passive rejection (i.e. I couldn’t date you because I value our friendship too much/think of you like a sibling)
  • A rejection that highlights your worth to the person (i.e. You’re such a wonderful person, but I don’t see you that way)
  • A rejection that is also an insult (i.e. I would never date you because you’re inferior to me)
  • A rejection through inaction (i.e. Ghosting, habitually cancelling/rescheduling, or ignoring you)

For the most part, the rejections you might get sound a little something like what I described above. I’ve received all of these rejections in my dating life, and I bet you have too.

While you might not personally like the rejection you receive, all of those rejections are rejections. Your preferences for being rejected wont change that you received a rejection.


What you should remember

If you get a rejection, accept it. On the off-chance that someone insults you, feel free to insult them right back, but you should still take their rejection as a rejection. Feel like they left some details out? Sucks for you, but the details wont change the rejection. Feel like their rejection contradicts what they might have previously told you about what they are looking for? Doesn’t matter, because you still got rejected.

Look, I understand that when you feel like you’ve invested in a person, you can feel like they owe you a specific type of rejection, on your terms. Hate to break it to you buttercup, but what you feel like you deserve, and what you actually get, surprisingly, are not always the same. You might want a detailed account of what went wrong, or what could have been done, but what you want and what you get in life are often very different things.

If someone rejects you, whether by ghosting, or brushing off your advances, or just telling you that they only view you as a friend, the result is the same. You were rejected. A “No” is a rejection. A “maybe if things were different” is a rejection. A “I don’t want to ruin our friendship” is a rejection. While nothing is stopping you from asking for details or clarifications, don’t assume that you’ll get them, and don’t assume you’ll like the answers you get.

Whichever way you’re rejected, my advice to you is to accept it and move on.

Stop wasting time saying “They should have just been honest”.

Stop wasting time saying “I wish they had given me the REAL reason they rejected me”.

And DEFINITELY stop wasting time wondering what you could have done different.

You were rejected. It’s not the end of the world. The silver lining is that now, you’re free to find someone else. Which is what I suggest you do. Take your rejection and move on.

Good Luck Out There.