Sunday, 30 December 2012
Almost everybody, at one point or another, has been or will be on both sides of a romantic rejection. There will be times when you will be the person receiving the rejection and getting your heart broken, and there will be other times when you have to be the one to let another person down. Typically, neither position is a comfortable one: those getting rejected sometimes feel embarrassed for putting their heart on the line only to get shot down, while those who do the rejecting often feel a sense of guilt for hurting somebody’s feelings.
Last year, a friend of mine found himself on the receiving end of a rejection. He was a junior in undergrad, and he was interested in a girl he had met through his friends. When he confessed his feelings to this girl, she told him that she was not interested in dating him because she did not want to date while she was still in undergrad. Although most people would choose to start dating at a younger age, her decision not to date until she was out of college was respectable, and my friend understood. A couple months later, though, that same girl became involved in a romantic relationship with another guy – and yes, she was still in undergrad.
The fact that this girl got involved in a relationship so shortly after she rejected my friend raised a lot of questions: Was she lying when she told my friend that she did not want to date while she was in undergrad? Did she only say that she did not want to date yet instead of saying something that would be more hurtful to my friend, even if the more hurtful comment was closer to the truth (e.g. “We are not compatible” or “I am not attracted to you”)? Was she, in fact, telling the truth about not wanting to date in undergrad at the time she originally said it, not anticipating that a guy would soon come along and make her change her mind? Maybe this was all a matter of bad timing. There is no way of knowing.
The moral of the story is this: if you’re going to reject somebody, do not make up lies about why you do not want to date that person. Do not tell the person you are rejecting that you are not interested at dating at this point in your life if that is not true. Do not tell the person that you are moving to Hawaii or blasting off into space soon or that you have a disease that makes you allergic to dating if you know that is a lie. Eventually, that person may catch you in the lie and become even more miserable about your rejection.
Although it may not be best to necessarily come out and say, “I don’t want to date you because you are UGLY and ANNOYING!” if you want to hurt the person’s feelings as little as possible, just make sure that the reasons you provide for rejecting the person are neither misleading nor untrue; you will be doing that person a favor down the road.
Again, I am not necessarily saying that the girl who rejected my friend purposely lied to him about why she did not want to date him because none of us know for sure. Even if it was not her intent to hurt my friend, the fact that she got into a relationship very shortly after telling him that she was not interested in dating at all does not make her look like she was being honest with him. In order to prevent as many situations like my friend's from occurring as possible, please keep this advice in mind as you find yourself having to reject a person.
In your opinion, is it worse to be the person who is rejected or the person doing the rejecting? Why? Do you have any regrets about the way you have rejected a person/the reasons you gave a person for a rejection in the past?