We’ve all been there before. You finally get the guts to text that hot guy who gave you his number at the craft beer bar you crushed happy hour at last week, and he ghosts. You saunter up to the spicy brunette who just killed “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money at karaoke night, and she straight shuts you down right in front of the squad. Rejection ain’t fun, but it’s a simple fact of life.
I have way too many friends, girls and guys alike, who get extremely anxious at the thought of expressing an interest in, or asking out, a member of the opposite sex. I have too many gal pals sending me, “Hey Taylor, here are some screenshots of some uninteresting text convos I’ve been having with this random guy I barely know for the past 11 days, what should I say next?” Most recently, I even helped a good friend compose an actual email asking some guy from her class project out for drinks. An email, circa 1998 hit romance/drama film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. My guy friends are a little more chill about it, but I still get the occasional, “So this girl sent me xyz… what do you think that means? What should I say to her now?”
I don’t understand the texting game. If you texted her last, apparently now you aren’t allowed to text her back until she texts you back. He read your message at 12:47, now its 3:34, so can you double text? Or is that too aggressive? People are so weird with communication already, and now we have a million different ways to be weird about it. If you’re ghosting someone, you can’t keep your read receipts on, open their Snapchats, or haphazardly throw them a double-tap on the ‘gram, for fear of “haunting,” the new epidemic sweeping the millennial nation faster than you can say, “extra guac.” No one wants to be rejected, but we also don’t want to be the ones doing the actual rejecting, which inevitably results in: enter stage right – ghosting.
My philosophy is, if you want to hang out with someone: tell ‘em. No, it doesn’t have to be some pre-calculated, emoji-speckled, Shakespeare-quality text message. And it also doesn’t have to be spaced out +2.5 hours from the last time you exchanged texts for fear of coming in too hot. These pre-conceived rules we are putting on the dating game is really throwing us all for a loop, when it really could be simple.
The dating apps that everyone is using now all require that we play along with these stupid rules. It’s the dog and pony show that lead up to the “Hey, you seem decently attractive and/or interesting enough/not too insane, how do you feel about actual human interaction with me sometime?” Bumble means I have to be spitting fire game, shooting out gripping intro messages, along with the perfect picture ratio of hot nights out on the town: chill brunch candids, to let you know that I’m fun, but still easy-going. Hinge is where you can call all of your mutual buddies with your potential match, and dig up the dirt on them so a) you can avoid them at all costs if they are a sociopath, or b) so you know EXACTLY what to say to get the person in question to respond to you. (Everyone does this… don’t lie.)
My issue here is this: at the end of the day, the worst thing this potential suitor can tell you is, “No.” Literally, there’s no going further down than that. I don’t understand why we hype this up so much. Girls, it’s not like you don’t have five other Bumble matches chilling in your 24-hour lineup that you can’t drop a message bomb on. And guys, don’t pretend that you don’t have a couple other lucky ladies you conveniently “forgot” to message back on Tinder that you couldn’t pull from the bullpen.
To add to this already messy situation, there are those who are rejected…and then don’t give up. Now, I’m all about giving it one more chance if you seriously think you might have a shot with this person. But it’s the screenshots of 27 text messages in a row with NO RESPONSE that really give me the willies. As the wise Kenny Rogers once said: “You gotta know when to fold ‘em.” If someone is not into you…they just ain’t into you, champ. No need to keep digging yourself down into that hole. The whole thing about being with someone you like and who likes you back is that you really shouldn’t be trying to convince them that they should like you. If you’re constantly having to work to try and persuade or convince someone that they should be into you…maybe you should take the L on that one.
I’m not saying relationships aren’t work, they are. What I’m saying is that if you’re having to create a PowerPoint Presentation listing all of your good qualities complete with “Any Way You Want It” by Journey playing in the background, go ahead and just throw in the towel. You shouldn’t have to lawyer your way into getting someone to be mutually interested in you.
Rejection is overrated, guys. There are a lot of fish in the sea that are probably down to take a bite of your bait, but you’re too busy trying to catch Big Caesar from Hey, Arnold! Take that rejection at face value: whoever it was obviously wasn’t picking up what you were throwing down. Take that stinging rejection and let it fuel the fire that is your pick-up line game. Besides, you can always just buy your own drinks or call that slightly crazy chick you hooked up with at your alumni bar crawl to do the horizontal boogaloo. It’s tough out there, but you just gotta keep on truckin’. We will all make it out of this alive. #RejectRejection2016 .
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