Saturday, December 8, 2012

Method of Rejecting Dates

I think it would be hard to provide an actual scorecard here of how proposed dates were turned down. Although I haven't dated much, twenty-plus years of dating is still a lot to try to recall. So instead, I'm trying to remember just the last ten years.

Below is a chart of ways girls have rejected my dating proposals. I'm including any women I asked out after a reasonable time of getting to know them as well as women who I actually managed to get a few dates with before being rejected for subsequent dates.
As the chart shows, women often don't tend to be very forthright. Rather than saying No, they tend to opt to make excuses at every invitation or, if possible, even disappear (easier with long-distance acquaintances, where I'm not likely to run into them again).

Among these, the ones I hate the most are the ones that involve a breakdown of communication: accepting a date then canceling and refusing to reschedule (particularly troublesome if substantive planning was involved), repeated excuses, and a failure to return messages. I hate the last two for two reasons: (1) I don't know what's going on for a certain length of time; and (2) I am left wondering whether I actually was rejected or simply gave up too soon. (After all, there have been women I asked out multiple times who finally accepted after a full year of discourse.)

I think as I've gotten older, I've become better at reading the signals. I tend now to understand better that no return message or repeated excuses (especially with no counter offer) almost always equal no. But that still leaves sometimes a month or two before I recognize what's going on (and even then, such excuses make it easier for me to continue hoping where there really isn't any). I'd rather be saved the hassle of asking two or three times and just be told no nicely but directly. I also dislike the lack of returned messages because sometimes it's killed what could have been a decent friendship.

I say I hate these techniques for turning down dates, and yet, I recognize how difficult it is to be that direct, since I've often used excuses or slower and less personal messages (I always return messages) as ways to distance myself from a gal who seems interested in me whom I don't fancy. Knowing how I feel about it, though, I've tried to be more direct in the past few years (as well as more direct in asking women out, so that I get clear answers). Still, it's awkward to be direct sometimes: I mean, why contact someone just to say, "Hey, I'm not into you." Seems kind of rude and strange. It's a little easier, for me, if the gal is the one contacting me--showing me lots of attention--since it gives me the opportunity to explain why she probably shouldn't be doing so.

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