July 24, 2012
**In case you haven’t already heard our first book, Asses to Asses, Bust to Bust, is now available as an e-book or in print. For further details, including the various ways you can get your hands on a copy or two of your very own, click here.**
If you’ve been swinging by for the last couple of days, you know that we’re in the middle of posting a series of guest posts the Met Another Frog crew penned for one @SSDated, during her Down In The Dating Trenches series course. In case you missed Skye’s take on how to be a good voyeur at at an orgy or Elizabeth’s advice on not wasting an evening after being stood up, check ‘em out here and here. Otherwise, just keep on reading to learn all you need to know about rejecting someone…graciously (and not like this.).
One of the more fascinating outcomes of sex, dating and relationship blogging is people believing you to be an expert of some kind. Seriously. In the two and a half years that I’ve been spilling detailed beans about my own foibles, faux pas’ and triumphs people have started treating me like a sexual swami or something. Co-workers have been known to stop by my desk to get my opinion on their latest dating mishap, friends call at all hours to get my point of view and virtual strangers corner me at dinner parties to ask my thoughts on polyamory.
People don’t stop to consider that I’m only different because of my willingness to share my dating stories, victories and defeats, like ribs at barbecue; we all pick at it until nothing’s left but the bones. And then I take those bones and make stock. Which then becomes soup. Or gravy. And in case you’ve lost track somewhere along the way, my life is like the ribs and my blog is like the barbecue and…who cares but the point of this oh so laborious metaphor is that I’m shameless with the details of my life. Not anymore of an expert than anyone else. Just shameless.
Why the preamble?
Well, I kind of have advice to share. And I want you all to listen. Or read. But I also want you to take it all with a grain of salt. After all, I’m probably not any smarter or wiser than any of you.
However, there is one thing I do know better than most: How to reject someone. I know this neither because I’m well versed in the art of letting someone down easy nor because I’ve been beating them off with a stick so long I know all the tricks of the trade. No, I know how to reject someone because I’ve been rejected. Often. And I know how horrible it can feel. And I think it goes without saying that if you have any dating experience at all you’ve dealt with rejection. Actually, the only thing that goes without saying is the saying “it goes without saying” but I just couldn’t avoid the cliché.
Anyway, next time you find yourself considering rejecting someone, please keep the following in mind:
KEEP IT SIMPLE: don’t offer me grandiose stories about having just come out of a relationship and needing a little “me” time right now. For many that just translates to you’re not attractive enough, or not tall enough or too bald or too fat or too….something. It’s always something. Something we are not or worse, something we are. And that sucks. A simple I’m not interested will do.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO LIE: I’m all for honesty. If there were such a thing as the patron saint of relationship/dating truth telling then I would be it. Men and women alike would wear jewellery carved in my image, churches would be adorned with my likeness and cheaters would have to say three Hail Marys and a Sam Sharpe to repent for their sins.
But sometimes the guy at the club is just too pushy and won’t take no for an answer. Sometimes the girl in accounting just can’t take a hint when you tell her that you’re booked until 2021. Sometimes you just have to say something like you’ve taken a vow of chastity.
Oh, and ladies, if a pushy stranger offers to buy you a drink, just politely decline. And don’t say you’re not thirsty, or you don’t feel like drinking (THEN WHY ARE. YOU. AT. THE. BAR????). Considering the context those aren’t effective lies. Feel free to say something like “I’ve had one drink already and I have to drive home” or “I’m a Lesbian” or “I have herpes” or “I haven’t fully completed my transition yet” to get the really pushy ones off your back.
THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD: I was at a dance one evening with friends when the DJ decided to play a slow-jam set. Not surprisingly some people paired up and the rest of us poor souls receded to the margins alone though united by our common sense of slow dance unworthiness. I spotted a young lady hovering near the edge of the dance floor. I decided I would ask her to dance.
I walked over, said something like “would you like to dance” and watched in horror as she looked me up and down, then wordlessly walked away. The whole thing lasted maybe five seconds but felt like an eon. It felt as if the whole world was laughing at me. They probably weren’t but all these years later it still smarts. I used to love slow jams. Now they make me twitchy. I’m probably still suffering from a low grade form of post traumatic stress syndrome brought on by my slow jam rejection. If I’m ever getting married, the first dance might have to be some up-tempo choreographed Michael Jackson-esque number. Either that or we’ll do the group/line dance thing. Like in Footloose. Anything to avoid a slow dance.
Anyway, the point is, have a little compassion. Rejecting someone is not the time to be working through your own emotional dramas and melodramas. No need to exact some form of psychic revenge on the pour soul who chats you up at the barbecue. No need to be rude. Try to remember how horrible rejection feels and try not to visit that feeling upon someone else.
I don’t know what was happening in that young lady’s life. I don’t know what kind of day she had. But all she had to do was say no thank you. She wouldn’t have been forced to dance with someone she deemed undesirable. And I would have still have my dignity.
In closing, allow me to share an anecdote. Years ago I was introduced to a woman at a party. It became clear very early that she was interested in moi. The feeling was not mutual. I had a choice to make. I could reject this woman in grandiose fashion. Or I could be polite. I chose the latter.
We ended up becoming friends, very good friends. Also turns out that she knows a lot of women, a lot of attractive women in fact. As it turns out, some of these very attractive women happened to find me attractive too. As fate would have it, a few of these women wanted to have sex with me.
It pays to be polite people. It pays to be polite.