The Art of Rejection

Well now here’s an interesting dilemma: I can’t handle rejection.  And I’m not talking about being rejected.  I’m talking about being the rejecter.  I’m fifteen days into my match.com experience and in just two weeks, I’ve gone from “winking” at every Tom, Dick and Harry on the Eastern Seaboard to sending half a dozen “No thank you” emails every day.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Who told you to wink at every Tom, Dick and Harry on the Eastern Seaboard?”  You’re also thinking, “It’s better to send ‘No thank you’ emails than to receive them.” 

But here is where you’re wrong. 

A little known fact about Yours Truly is that I’ve ended every relationship I’ve ever been in.  This might seem like something to be proud of— better to kill than be killed, better to dump than be dumped— but it’s not.  Because when you’re the one who decides to call it quits, you get the usual break up drama plus the guilt, the confusion and the nagging feeling that maybe, just maybe, you’ve made the wrong decision.

I’d love for somebody to dump me someday.  This way, once I’ve gone through the crying, the throwing up, the not eating and finally the over eating, I can just get on to the final phase: anger.  And anger leaves no room for confusion, guilt and second guessing.   Anger is great.  Anger is productive.  Anger inspires tire slashing and man bashing and all sorts of fun things.

At least this is what I’m inclined to think.  Having never had the privilege, I’m not entirely sure.

The first time a total “ug” winked me (and for the term “ug” I must thank my younger brother), I panicked.  What are you supposed to do when a total “ug” winks at you?  I scrolled through his pictures, thinking maybe his third or fourth photographs wouldn’t be so hideous, but they were.  Now what?

I spent the next five minutes berating myself for being so shallow.  Maybe Mr. Ug is a really nice guy, once you get past the fact that he’s approximately 400 pounds and bald.  And if I’m to reject him outright, based on his appearance, I’ll never know! 

In a fit of self righteousness, I click the “reply” button but then I stop myself.  What’s the point of trying to fall for an “ug” when I know for a fact that his lifestyle choices won’t mesh with mine?  He could be a really nice guy, but I’d spend the rest of my life bugging him to get up, come hiking, go dancing, stop drinking so much soda and for God’s sakes, no more Pringles before dinner!

If love, however, is being able to accept someone for the Pringles lover they are, I don’t think I’m going to fall in love on this particular occasion.

So what now?

Do I say I’m busy?  Do I tell him the truth, sugar coated in euphemisms about lifestyle choices and my love of hiking?  Or do I just ignore him and hope he’ll go away?

I try to put myself in his shoes (do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and all that jazz).  I decide that I don’t want to just ignore him and hope he’ll go away because then, if he’s anything like me, he’ll be sitting at his computer for the next week and a half wondering, “Hmm, I winked at that girl but she never winked back.  Maybe she didn’t get my wink.  Maybe—I know!—I’ll wink at her again!”  And although I’ve yet to make the fatal mistake of the second unsolicited wink, I’ve been on the receiving end of several such winks, and they’re completely dreadful.

I run through several possible white lies (I’ve recently joined a convent, I’ve recently become a lesbian, or, last but not least, I’ve recently joined a convent and become a lesbian) but professional break up artist that I am, I know that white lies are a very, very bad idea. 

Fortunately, Match.com saves you the trouble.  I recently discovered a “Say ‘No, thanks’” tab in within my personal online dating inbox—a “Say ‘No, thanks’” tab with three possible rejections to pick from! 

Option #1: “Thanks for writing to me but I just met someone and want to see where it goes.”  (This, unfortunately, would be a white lie so far as Pringles Man is concerned).

Option #2: “Thanks for writing to me but I just met someone, not online, and want to see where it goes.”  (Also a white lie, sadly).

Option #3: “Thanks for writing but unfortunately we’re just not a good match.  Good luck in your search!”  Perfect!  I highlight Option #3 from the drop down menu (yes, there’s a drop down menu of one-liner rejections on Match.com) and hit send.

If only real-life rejections came with a drop down menu—then tire slashing and man bashing might cease to exist!—but this, I suppose, is the beauty of online dating.

7 Responses to “The Art of Rejection”

  1. amanda

    Great blog. Your statements about telling your boyfriend not to eat pringles before dinner were something i can relate too. My guy always snags croutons before dinner! Weird. he’s pretty cute when he does it though/ so i always forgive him. Good luck on your search!!

    Reply
  2. Dennis Hong

    Just stumbled on here and wanted to say….

    If I may be so bold as to interject my two cents, I’ve done the online dating thing on-and-off for several years now, and here’s an awesome time-saving strategy I came up with:

    Start a Word doc with a bunch of canned messages for all occasions, then just copy-and-paste as needed. Of course, if you’re going to be a professional break-up artist, the document will have a slew of polite rejections. This way, you can be somewhat more “personal” than the drop-down menu, and maybe that will alleviate some of that dumper guilt that you evidently feel. 😉

    I thought I was the only one insidious enough to do the Word doc, until I was talking to a female friend of mine last week, and she admitted that she does the same thing. Seriously, it will save you so much time in your online dating endeavors! 🙂

    Reply
    • Kat Richter

      Wow, Dennis- you’re my new hero! Here I thought I had mastered the art of the polite rejection but evidently I’m just an amateur 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Off to start that Word doc now… lol

      Reply
  3. El Hermano

    Its “U-g-O…” “Ug” is a type of boot that girls wear. “Ugo” is an ugly person.

    Reply
  4. becky119

    “I’d love for somebody to dump me someday. This way, once I’ve gone through the crying, the throwing up, the not eating and finally the over eating, I can just get on to the final phase: anger. And anger leaves no room for confusion, guilt and second guessing. Anger is great. Anger is productive. Anger inspires tire slashing and man bashing and all sorts of fun things.”

    This is an awesome assesment of the phases of the ‘dumped’. Although I don’t think I’ve ever thrown up from being dumped. Unless drinking enduced counts.

    And as soon as you said ‘tire slashing’ that song by Carrie Underwood popped into my head and now I wish I was listening to that song. Despite the fact that I’m in a very happy relationship, I love angry chick songs. My two favorite karaoke songs are Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” and Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta know”. Go figure. Is it strange that now that I’m happy I listen to that kind of music but when I was unhappy I would listen to love songs over and over?

    Reply

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