normal-rejection Q. I went on two dates with a girl, both of which were really fun, so I asked her out again. And out of the blue, I get a text message from her declining, saying that she appreciates the offer but is “feeling we’re not really compatible for the long term.” WTF? Of course, I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want me, but my confidence has been shaken. It’s now making me wonder about this other girl I have been on four dates with. I’m just afraid of being blindsided again. 

WTF Freddie 

My dear Freddie,

I’m sorry that you got the dreaded “see ya never” note. I’ve been on the receiving end of one of those myself. More than one! It’s never easy to take. There’s nothing to “do” about this, really. She said it clear as day: She’s not into it, and she’s moving on. There’s a lot that sucks about being in your position, but ambiguity isn’t one of them. Because she’s made the decision for you.

I do want to question your choice of the word “blindsided,” however. I know you’re feeling shafted in a big way right now. But having it end two dates in does not qualify for being blindsided. Blindsided is when you’ve been married 15 years, have three kids, and everything seems sweet as pie, and one day your wife goes out to get her roots done and never comes back.

Of course you never saw it coming, because you couldn’t have seen much coming at that point! You weren’t even out of the driveway yet!

I don’t say this to minimize your disappointment, but to remind you what dating is: It’s taking a risk every time, knowing you can and will get rejected, more than once. (Read why you should get rejected more).

The very thing that makes dating hard is what makes it exciting: Because you never know. The same thing goes for relationships in the long term. Of course, when you commit, you should kinda know—but you don’t always.

You might reasonably expect that if two dates went well, then you should have a third. Maybe a fourth. But where does it end? Should she go on 10 dates, and then end it? She’s doing a kind thing to cut her losses and save you some time when she’s not feeling it. I can’t tell you how many people say they feel slighted that someone didn’t “give them a chance.” But there comes a point when you just know this isn’t the fit for you. And you may not have realized it, but she did. And now you do.

What puzzles me is that now you’re “wondering about” this other lady in your life that you’re seeing. Wondering what, exactly? Whether she and this other girl and everyone else you’ve starred on OK Cupid have convened under secret cover to plot the systematic takedown of your self esteem?

You know this isn’t true. But you also know that to love and to date is to risk, every single goddamned time. No one, not even the love of your life, should you find her, can promise you you’ll never get hurt.

You’ve got to ask yourself: Are you seeking a partner…or mass acceptance and approval by other women? Is the goal never to be rejected by any of them and then fill a multi-bedroom house with sister wives? My guess is no.

If you want someone you can love, and maybe even marry (if that’s your thing, and it might not be), then by design that means you’ll pass on most people. Almost all of them. You will get weeded out, and you will let others go. At some point, the pool of folks narrows. Worry less about what this “means” and instead, thank her. She’s just done you a favor.

6 replies
  1. JM
    JM says:

    Helpful post! I feel the same way every time and I hate it. I hate that it is necessary to have a sense of insecurity as you date. Nobody likes that feeling. I’ve been out with a guy 4 times in the 2 weeks since we met. We were pretty comfortable with each other immediately and just really connected. We’ve talked about deep things and acknowledged that we like each other. But, I can’t shake that feeling that he will all of a sudden change his mind and no longer like me. That “blindside” fear is because it feels great and there aren’t any warning signs all isn’t great. Until out of the blue you get that rejection.
    Yes, it’s part of dating but it makes dating stressful not fun when you really like someone but don’t know how they feel. How do you stop that worry? Living in the moment doesn’t seem to work 🙂

    Reply
  2. I've been dumped before too
    I've been dumped before too says:

    I agree with what Terri wrote above. I also really want to give this girl a lot of credit for being direct and up front. Wasn’t this outcome -though perhaps painful in the moment – way better than having her stop responding to your texts or stringing you along in some other way? She respected you enough to not waste your time or keep you hanging. I wish more people did that. Now, as one of my friends says, OTTNO: on to the next one! Go get ’em tiger! There are lots of us single girls looking for a nice single guy, and I’m sure you’ll cross one of our paths soon enough. And the next time you go on a few dates with a girl and you realize it is just not right for you, do her a favor and just say so.

    Reply
  3. JM
    JM says:

    Well, to follow up on my first comment; after really great dates where we felt really comfortable with each other, and left off making plans I get silence for 3 days. When he finally surfaces I got a “you are a really great girl but the chemistry just isn’t right.”

    I totally agree with Terri that if it isn’t right, I’d rather know and that not everybody can be right. I agree that 4 dates a relationship does not make etc…. Basically I do agree with Terri. But where I will sympathize with the person who wrote in is that, when dates go really great you get excited. You feel hopeful. You like this person. For me, he gave ZERO indication that he wasn’t into it. In fact, he presented the exact opposite. He can certainly change his mind, but it is a “blindside” in that to you it seems to be going well and it makes you feel good. You can see it going somewhere with that person. If there are warning signs they aren’t into it, then fine, but when there aren’t any or you don’t see them, then it does feel a bit like a blindside. So, I say have some sympathy for the way he felt. I felt the same. It doesn’t make us delusional we were in a relationship, it is just frustrating to have to go through this over and over. And frankly, it makes me not trust any good dates. It makes dating not fun because each time it goes well I am just waiting for the silence. Or the “not the right chemistry” text. I can’t get excited about anyone because too many times it ended in disappointment. I think that’s the rub too for the person that wrote in. Dating isn’t fun.

    Reply
  4. FP
    FP says:

    I’ve been on many promising first two dates. All the facts aren’t out yet. But when the girl is promising and saying things such as, “I can’t wait for you to cook for me…” Or “I can’t wait to bake for you…” And then says things aren’t going to work out long term. I whole heartledly disagree. To make matters worse, the words are coupled with physical signs of affection initiated by the girl. Don’t talk about the future if you have no intention of being there.

    Reply
  5. //
    // says:

    I met a girl on a night out and managed to get a date with her about 2 weeks later.

    First date – short but great, easy and fun.
    Second date – meal and cinema, easy and fun, hand holding and kissing
    Third date – drinks and fun, lots of chatting, lots of kissing

    12 hours later, the next morning – a text to say we weren’t right for eachother, then another later saying she’d just got out of a relationship.

    I know it was only 3 dates, but I got my hopes up very high and so confused now. The pain is subsiding but a crazy experience.

    What do people think?

    Reply

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