For most people, dating is a two-way thing.
Unless you’re a caveman bashing his paramour over the head with a club and dragging them back to your dank dwelling or a dodgy pervert – or premiership footballer – with an endless supply of rohypnol, the object of your affection is going to have to like you back before anything can happen.
Although I’d like to pretend that every guy I date falls madly in love with me after two drinks and calls me persistently, begging me to go on another date with them, the reality is that at least 50% of the time, Mr Tonight isn’t really interested in me.
Usually, that’s just fine, as I’m not into them either, but sometimes I’ll be on the wrong end of the dreary dullness that is unrequited attraction. And, oh, how it hurts. It’s the romantic equivalent of a thousand paper cuts.
If it’s any consolation, with a little bit of practice, you get over it really quickly, depending on the method of rejection. Forewarned is forearmed, of course, and most things are easier to deal with if you’re expecting them. Well, maybe. Here’s how to spot when the great big elbow is heading your way, or at least a few ways you can find out if you’re ever going to see his face again.
If the date’s gone OK, and you’re quite keen, a good way of gauging any potential is to send a post-date text on the same evening, just checking they got home OK. Other typical content of this text can garble on about the fact you had a good time blah blah blah.
Keep it brief, and don’t necessarily say that you’d like to do it again. If you’re a bit pissed, you can put an ‘x’ at the end. But if you don’t have the skin of a rhino and have been drinking gin, don’t be too put out if your textual kiss isn’t returned.
If he doesn’t reply, you’re done here.
If he replies with something non-committal and ends the text with “take care”, you are history.
If he ends it with a smiley face, dump him immediately – well OK, not really, but you *should* as smiley faces are the mark of the eternally dumb. A smiley face in the reply, poor intellect notwithstanding, is a good sign.
Ditto if your kiss is returned.
If he says you should “catch up soon”, that could be a line to get rid of you, so don’t get too excited. Don’t text again until you hear from him. I said DON’T. I mean it. NO.
If there is radio silence after the date, but it went quite well, don’t panic. He might just be busy; it does happen. It depends on how much you care about ‘losing face’ – especially if you model yourself on Danny Zucko from Grease – but there’s nothing wrong with sending a memory jogging text or quick email around 4 or 5 days after date night.
Ask how their week has been and check whether they fancy meeting up again the following week. If they don’t reply, just get the message: they don’t want you, pick up your football, give up and go home, grab an early shower. If they do reply, hold your horses, do not get excited. What does the text say? Does it look like this?
“Yeah, cool. What days work for you? I can do Thursday or Friday. Let me know and we can sort something out.”
“Yeah, that’d be great. Am really busy with work right now but will be in touch when things have calmed down.”
What about this?
“Hi. Thanks for getting in touch, but I’m afraid I died in a horrific accident yesterday. Take care!”
Obviously there are variants but the latter two texts are almost certainly a brush-off.
When a date rejects you, you can drive yourself crazy asking yourself why. Whatever you do, don’t ask them why. They’ll only lie or come up with a bad excuse that won’t leave you any the wiser.
How do I know? I’ve done it. If they don’t reply to your memory jog text, don’t text again. One date sent me such a reminder text and, when I didn’t respond within 24 hours, sent me a follow-up which made him sound like a ballbreaking stalker. Sexy stuff.
The more you get rejected, the more prepared you’ll be. Sometimes you just have to accept that someone better has come along for them, there was no spark, they didn’t really fancy you or they found the way you slurped your margarita absolutely revolting.
It’s no big deal; think of all the boys you’ve baulked at. They don’t want you, but plenty of others will – well, they might.
Just dust yourself off and try again. Or stalk them for a year before finally murdering them in front of their entire family at a barbecue