Category Archives: Relationships

What not to do when rejecting

While searching for articles on unrequited love, I came across this old NYT piece that was sympathetic to the rejecter’s side.

Despite the eventual heartbreak that is the destiny of the unrequited lover, by and large the incidents revealed that there was often more unhappiness on the part of the person pursued than on the pursuer. The unrequited lovers spoke of hope and passion before the final disillusionment; those who spurned them told of an initial flattery that soon gave way to bewilderment, guilt and anger at an intrusive, relentless pursuer.

Yep. I’m sure I’m not feeling the emotional upset that my pursuer is feeling, but I am definitely Annoyed.

I have tried to come to some conclusion about what I could have done to stop this situation from happening, and the fact of the matter is, there’s not much I could have done without having been unnecessarily cruel. For example,  in the past when he said something like, “I get flustered when I’m around you”, what should have I done? Said, “well, the feeling’s not mutual?” I’m sure I just smiled stupidly and vaguely demurred. Or, even worse, I suppose I could have tried to preempt with “I’m worried that you’re falling for me and I should let you know that I don’t feel the same” How horrible for the both of us!

If he had done something out of line I could have been upfront that I felt uncomfortable, but his M.O. was mostly to be complimentary, and I think “thank you” is typically the only appropriate response (btw for any guys reading, being complimentary without occasional gentle teasing here and there is boring. “Nice” guys never believe me when I tell them this and try to argue, so you won’t listen anyway, but at least I tried).

Anyway, at least I have finally figured out how to let men down. If they are part of my social circle, I can say, “I only think of you as a friend”. If they are not I can say, “I just don’t feel a spark”. I don’t think anything else is needed for the Rejection Arsenal.

Important stuff:

The inability to tell an undesired suitor that there is no hope is very common, Dr. Baumeister found. “The rejecter usually feels guilty and doesn’t know how to say ‘No’ without hurting the pursuer,” he said. “So the most common tactic is to lie low, continue to be nice, and wait, hoping the infatuation will fade. It’s like a conspiracy of silence, where one person doesn’t want to openly speak rejecting words and the other doesn’t want to hear it.”

That strategy, however, feeds the fantasies of romance of the would-be lover, and so inadvertently encourages pursuit. “People send mixed messages, saying to the unwanted lover something like, ‘You’re a nice person, and I’d like to be your friend, but I don’t want to get into a relationship just now,’ ” said Dr. Baumeister. “Even when telling the would-be lover the bad news, the rejecters often sugarcoat the rejection with conciliatory words.”

The would-be lover sometimes seizes on the positive side of the message, remaining hopeful. Moreover, for most people it is clearer how one goes about wooing someone than how to spurn someone gracefully.

So, if you don’t want your pursuer to try again in the future, being wishy-washy is not the way to go. Just say, “I only think of you as a friend/I don’t feel a spark”.



Filed under Personal, Relationships

What not to do when rejected

We had known each there for almost 10 years and we lived a good 5 hour trip away from each other, so meetings were rare. Still, this is the age of the internet, so contact over social media and email was not infrequent. Earlier in the year, he broke up with a girlfriend, and his attentions turn to me. Mixed CDs arrived in my mail and the occasional email declared how much he thought of me.

Even tho I had rebuffed his advances years ago, I have found that men don’t typically fear trying again later.

He chose my birthday to openly declare his affections. I received a card followed by a bouquet of flowers and a note signed “love”. Unfortunately, the feelings weren’t mutual, and I gently let him know that I only thought of him as a friend. His reply was a relief to me; he thanked me for being direct.

His mistake came the next day. Clearly distraught that I wasn’t interested in a romantic relationship, he sent me a message undoing any goodwill he had built up the previous day with his low-drama reply. Making clear to me that his emotions were out of control, he said that he could not pretend to feel different than he did and to do so would be tantamount to lying. Apparently my feelings and wishes did not come in to play! I was also alarmed to find out that he would prefer “not to face the future without me”, basically guaranteed the very thing he sought to avoid.

I replied that I did not like being put on pedestals and that he needed to examine reality, life, and my place in it. Not knowing what to do with my message, he left Facebook  and I hope to not hear from him again any time soon, especially without an apology.

Faced with rejection, going out to the bar with friends is a good idea; writing desperate emails is not. I post this hoping that it could dissuade even one person from sending a message when emotionally distraught.


Filed under Personal, Relationships

OSC vs The Rules vs The Game

One of my favorite writers is Orson Scott Card. Hopefully you have read Ender’s Game, but if you have not, then you should run out immediately and buy it. Besides having written many wonderful books, for the last 12 years he has written a column about… everything. I started reading along at a tender age right when it first got going, so OSC is one of my greatest influences, in ways both small and great.

I’ve linked to his stuff on occasion, most recently his entertaining smack-down of the movie Think Like a Man. OSC did not like that the movie employed the tiresome trope about men always being in the wrong and women always being in the right. This movie is based on a popular self-help book by Steve Harvey that OSC mentions is not very good. OSC much prefers He’s Just Not That Into You, which is also a favorite here at Datingwise. In the essay OSC also gives a thumb down to The Rules, mentioning that it is based on “manipulation instead of candid conversation”.

Loyal readers hopefully know that here at Datingwise, I endorse The Rules, tho with reservations. I have never, ever found a man that will agree with them, and I don’t expect to. So I would advise ladies who follow them to avoid mentioning that to men.

Instead of manipulative, I prefer to view The Rules as an effort to regain a lost script for courtship.

As the writers of The Rules point out, men may say that they hate them but once you start following them, they work. Indeed, in another column, OSC mentions how his wife came to be Mrs Card.

 I had my years as a jerk of a single guy, who called — or didn’t — without any relationship to what I said I would do. But then I grew up. Suddenly, at the ripe old age of 24, I realized that I didn’t like the dating game. I didn’t like pursuing women till I got them and then wondering what in the world to do with them. I was ready to be a grownup.

So I went over to see the smartest, most independent, and — for me, at least — best woman I ever dated, whom I had broken up with about six months before, and I …

Proposed to her.

Yep. Because I knew that she would have to have some kind of proof that I had changed, and this time I was serious. She made me wait four-and-a-half months for an answer. And during the interim, she didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet for me. All was not instantly forgiven.

Gee… that sounds familiar. What his wife did is right out of The Rules: OSC was attracted to the independent woman who didn’t make it easy for him… And by doing so, the suddenly serious OSC stuck around.

Was she manipulating him? It doesn’t sound like OSC thinks so! No, she did the right thing, letting him prove his worth to her.

I suppose there are women who could employ The Rules in order to get married and who don’t really care about who will play the role of husband. And I do think that if you blindly do The Rules, you could end up with someone you don’t really care about because he’s some sort of über hunter Alpha Male who does enjoy the chase and you have enjoyed being chased. But for the most part, that’s not what they are about. They contain some insight into male psychology that many post-feminism women have no clue about.

Let’s contrast that to The Game/Roissy, which is the opposite of The Rules. Never tell a decent woman you have read The Game or Roissy. She will get pissed or be horrified, because you wanna talk about manipulation? It’s here in spades.

Roissy has a famous post about how to treat attractive women:

What part of those rules has anything to do with friendship or love or affection? They are extremely condescending and misogynistic. Make her jealous. Date around in order not to be “too in” to her. Don’t be generous with her. Don’t be afraid to lose her.

If you don’t have a problem with these “commandments”, imagine that they are about your daughter, sister, niece, or any female you have affection for.

Those commandments are not a recipe for a good relationship or marriage. If you want a relationship based on psychodrama, be my guest.

You might point out that The Games isn’t about long-term relationships. But, I know guys who are good at getting women into bed but who look at their happily married friends with sadness and envy at what they have, and do not understand why that doesn’t happen to them. They don’t realize that treating women as sexual outlets is not how you treat women when you want to court them.

Now, just like The Rules, The Game has insight into female psychology. I can think of quite a few men who could use some pointers on how to flirt with women, quit putting them on a pedestal, and stop being doormats.  But the end game of The Game is to get a woman into bed; to exploit them. And in our promiscuous times, I think that happens much, much more often than women “manipulating” men into marrying them.

OSC understandably is against any advice that causes people to be deceitful with each other. I view the PUA advice as more destructive than The Rules.

What people ultimately want is to be with some they love and admire and who is with them for the same reasons. I hope that if women employ some of the tips in The Rules they can weed out the men who are in it for a fling.

1 Comment

Filed under Dating, Female dignity, Men, Relationships, The Rules

Women’s need to give

Aunt Haley links to another misanthropic Heartiste piece that nevertheless contains kernels of truth about male-female relationships. If you can stand it to read it, go here and click on the article, read and come back here.


I am particularly struck by his description of women giving themselves over to certain men (alpha males) when the opportunity presents itself. Yes, of course women are influenced by the men they sleep with and of course the more a woman is into a man the harder it is to keep herself from throwing herself at him. But the danger is that women can and will lose themselves, their individuality, to these men, and while Hearste seems to think that’s what relationships should be like, I think that sounds pretty unhealthy. It’s the whole narcissist/borderline scenario and that is simply not real love.

Serendipitously, Auntie Seraphic has begun a discussion on women’s need to give themselves to a man, so check that out and read the comments. But, if you’re a guy, don’t comment please, as her blog is For Girls (but you can comment here if you’re a guy ;)).


Filed under Female dignity, Men, Relationships

Semi-unsolicited advice

To the person who reached this blog by searching for “should i marry someone unrealiable”?

No. If you want to increase your chances for having a happy marriage, marry an adult. Cut your losses and move on.

Leave a comment

Filed under Marriage, Relationships

Coasting costs nothing

This brilliant analysis of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know seems related to the friendgirl concept. Coasting is the common link in both; using someone for whatever benefits you derive from the relationship while giving them nothing in return.

1 Comment

Filed under Relationships

Passion is rooted in genuine friendship

This is my view of passion: It is rooted in genuine friendship. Chemistry may be two strangers exchanging smoldering looks – but passion has to be able to survive at least a twenty-minute conversation! I feel sorry for young people trying to find a true and lasting love in this age of the excruciatingly casual hook-up.

– Helen Simonson


Filed under Relationships