Rejection is par for the course in dating and online dating. Here's what you need to know to do it.
Nobody likes rejection. Receiving it is the worst, dolling it out not much better. But when you're dating and looking to find just one special person, it's necessary. The best thing about rejection is that it paves the way for better things to come into your life, and believe it or not, into other's lives as well. Remember that! It's important to not view rejection as a bad thing but as the nature of the dating game. Online dating of course carries the lion's share of rejection—with so many people looking to date online, rejection is rampant. That said, there are ways to go about it that are better than others. With this online dating advice, you can explore the best rejection options for all states of the online dating process, from the first contact online to meeting your date. It's better than a messy breakup down the road!
Rejecting While Online:
The Silent Treatment:
There are two schools of thought on whether or not to employ the silent treatment or not respond to someone who reaches out to you online. On one hand, if many unsuitable matches are contacting you, responding to them all is arduous and feels like a job in itself. Many believe that a minimum, you should respond with a "no thank you."
But maybe no response is the best response. Believe it or not, some men (or women) do not want to receive a rejection email. Why? For one, seeing a return email in their inbox often gets their hopes up. To open it and see that they've been rejected is actually more disappointing than receiving no reply at all. I've even had men to whom I wrote a "no thank you," reply back and say "please don't send me a reply, just go on your way if you're not interested." With these conflicting ideas, doing the "right thing" online feels confusing.
As a general rule I think it's great to employ a strategy of looking at things this way: did this person take a lot of time and effort to contact you? If so, taking time and effort to let them know you aren't interested is the least you can do. But ultimately, let the golden rule guide you. And always be polite, even if they aren't!
So how do you say no thanks, if that's your choice?
Saying "No Thanks":
If you decide to say no thanks, there are several ways to go about it.
You can be general and say "I don't think we are right for each other." Some sites offer canned "no thanks" email responses, which you can select effortlessly. Or, if there is a specific reason why you aren't interested, it's ok to point it out. Sometimes a specific reason is helpful so that the initiator doesn't take the rejection personally. "I noticed that you're Jewish and I'm a religious Protestant—something I am looking to share in a match." That is a very valid reason to not pursue a connection!
Other times, believe or not, noting the missteps your match is taking can actually be helpful to your fellow online dater. "I appreciate you taking the time to email me, but without any quality pictures I can't establish if I could be attracted to you. You may find it helpful to get some for your online dating." Be careful, since while this seems helpful from your standpoint, it can be taken as unsolicited advice and could be seen as unwelcome. The risk is yours, just prepare for that!
What about after you've moved offline?
Rejecting After A Bad Phone Call:
Sometimes you go through online dating and emails and get to the point where you're going to move things to a phone call. A phone call is good stepping stone to knowing whether or not you should spend the time, effort and money on meeting in person. During this call you may discover there is no conversational chemistry or that your match isn't right for you. In which case, you need to say something.
Once while I was talking to a potential date on the phone he disclosed to me that he just wanted to get me in bed so he could say he claimed an online dating coach. This was a clear signal to me that I didn't need to meet this person. I ended the phone call explaining he wasn't the type of guy for me and quickly got off the phone grateful to have known what he was before I had to meet him.
Perhaps you're just not feeling it. In that case, don't drag it out. For example, "I'm glad we got to speak, but I feel like we're better suited to continue pursuing other options." That's all you need to say, and if you get any impolite push-back you can always hang up the phone!
Rejecting On The Date:
So, you show up to your online date. Sometimes, you know immediately that you're not interested. Research shows that we create lasting impressions after only a few seconds. Don't run—that's awful and cowardly. Spend a polite time to meet them face-to-face, even if it is short. Once you have the floor to speak, thank them for their time but tell them that you don't think that there's a love match. Simple! Don't leave the date letting them think that there will be another. Furthermore, make sure you pay your own way. There's nothing worse than being rejected and having to pay for that person!
Rejecting After The Date:
There are a lot of people who will complain that telling someone that you're not a match via text is a pretty cheap option. And it's true, you aren't winning any effort awards here, but if you've only had one coffee date or quick meeting, you aren't required to do a big production to mark things a dead-end. Text is better than nothing and it makes for an easy interaction. If you're going to use text, do it like a band-aid: get to the point quickly. And be prepared for a response!
Another impersonal way to reject an online match after a date is to email them using the site where you met. This digression in communication channels sets a tone for a less-than-happy ending. Thank them for their time but tell them you weren't feeling it and are going to continue searching for a better fit. After all, you're on an online dating site to explore options!
Finally, an overarching rule: if you're not interested, do not continue to engage with someone. Don't email, text, or talk. Even if you're not encouraging with friendly banter, by responding and engaging you are giving mixed signals. You wouldn't want to be led on or have your time wasted, so always do others the same courtesy.
Remember, rejection only makes room for better things to come into our lives, so don't fear it, and always be polite.
For more online dating help and information to help you meet that special person online, contact Expert Online Dating!