This week I’ve been wondering: why do women handle rejection so badly? Of course I’m not implying that guys are immune to rejection, it’s something we all suffer from occasionally, like bad breath or a terrible haircut. But, compared to us they do seem to take it with a grain of salt. I’m not sure anyone likes being rejected, but I have found that females get terribly dramatic about the whole thing. “My life is OVER – I can’t cope – I’m going to post passive aggressive quotes and adorable selfies on Instagram until he realises what he’s lost.” (Ladies, it’s a bit sad, stop it). All I can say is that we’ve become used dishing out the rejection but we don’t like the bitter taste of our own medicine.
Let me break it down for you: girls reject guys every week. We avoid your glances, we don’t reply to your texts/direct messages/ snap chats, we decline your ‘friend requests’ and we laugh in your faces at the bar. We can start to get a bit of a big head and become very picky about who we our spend energy on. We get so used to shutting down male advances that we forget what it’s like to be shut down ourselves. For us, getting rejected is a lot like spending hours online searching for the perfect dress only to find your size has suddenly gone out of stock at the checkout. We spend so long scrolling past the ugly sweaters and ill-fitting bum shorts that life throws at us, that we get pretty disheartened when we finally find the garment of our dreams and its ‘currently unavailable’.
If you cross over the border into dating territory and it doesn’t work out that’s where things can start to get complicated. If you realise one day that Mr. Right is actually Mr. SO SO Wrong it can be harder than you expect to get the message across. Women often bank on the silent treatment; which is counterintuitive considering a lot of guys are deaf. Men are not so obsessed with decoding subtle messages, they want to be told in simple terms is this a ‘go’ or a ‘no’. Even if you think you have been placing glaring stop signs at every intersection, unless you are upfront with a guy, you are not going to get your message through. We assume that after six unanswered texts our lack of interest would be glaringly obvious, but I’ve had pet rocks that understand me better. “Hey, how are you?” “Out tonight?” “How was your weekend?” “Nice Selfie 😉 xx” “Wanna hang out?” “Happy /birthday/ Xmas/ Chinese New Year” “Hey Stranger” … *cringe*
I’ve spoken to a few guys and they’ve told me they would much rather be told straight out “Sorry buddy, you’re just not my type,” than try and play the guessing game. Understanding women is like playing Scrabble in the dark – unless you lady-friend is willing to shed some light on the situation there’s not much point trying, so just pack up and go home. Believe me, we think we’re being obvious, but in reality there can be a pretty fine line between the behaviour of a woman brushing you off (because she’s not interested) and one playing hard to get (because she’s already planning your wedding). Maybe as women we could be a little more considerate about announcing our intended journey, so that we are not taking anyone on an uncomfortable ride… “Attention passengers: This train is running express to friend-zone station, this is a one-way service.”
If you’re a guy and the girl you’ve been dating has gradually changed from Amazing Amy to Psycho Sally then you’re in trouble. When it comes to letting a girl down easy, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Giving a girl the silent treatment will open up an extensive investigation into your online activities as she tries to triangulate your movements. As she uncovers you activities she’ll turn from Sherlock Holmes into an hysterical mess as she calls her BBF to ask “Why the heck hasn’t he replied to my message from 7 hours ago?! I can see that in the past hour he has liked some skank’s Instagram photo and uploaded a new Snapchat story. Hang on, WTF…I’ve just seen that he was active on Facebook 2 minutes ago! What’s going on!?” …. “I dunno babe, I’m sure there’s a good reason he’s not replying to you… maybe he’s been kidnapped or he’s on a bad acid trip.” (Or maybe he’s hoping if he ignores you long enough you’ll go away…. He’s wrong.)
If he doesn’t offer up a good enough reason for his lack of interest we are probably going to squeeze it out of him by force, like the last ounce of toothpaste. The problem is that women really don’t want to know the truth – but they will ask for it anyway. Gentlemen, proceed with caution. Explaining your point of view requires the same tact used to handle the age old question “does my butt look big in this?” Even if our butt looks like a misshapen cantaloupe we don’t want to know; in the same respect we don’t actually want to know which of our weird/psychotic/annoying traits turned you off us. We don’t want to know that you are just not that keen, we’re not your type or you’re still getting over you’re ex-girlfriend from five years ago (seriously…who was she?! Flipping Adriana Lima – get over it already). In fact, we would much rather attribute it to your immaturity, poor self-esteem, fear of commitment or any other fabricated flaw we can make up to put the blame back onto you so we can sleep better at night.
Like I said, we tend to take rejection very, very personally. We see it as some kind of failure or inadequacy on our behalf. We get crazy over it and we beat ourselves up about it relentlessly. Then we buy the latest Taylor Swift album and listen to it on repeat as we cry into a pillow, wondering why we are so repulsive to the opposite sex. I can’t speak for guys, but outwardly they seem to take it on the chin when they get knocked back. I think we could learn a thing or two from them about just brushing ourselves off and getting on with it. Sorry babe, cancel the pity party.
For the record if you get turned down, it’s not the end of the world. That person isn’t telling you’re worthless, what they are trying to say is you’re not their favourite ice-cream flavour – and that’s okay, because you’re still delicious. Don’t sit at home crying over them, because I can guarantee they are not wasting any time sitting at home thinking about you. Maybe they prefer Fro-yo, maybe they just don’t feel like ice-cream at the moment … or maybe they are just secretly gay. It doesn’t matter. Just keep doing your thing, and don’t ever let a Bubble O’Bill make you feel like you’re not a Magnum.
(image via fyicecream.tumblr.com)