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7.04.2011

an open letter to any man (the world over) who may ever reject a woman:

dear man-lucky-enough-to-have-a-woman-ask-you-on-a-date: 

keep it simple. and pay homage to the deeply courageous thing she did by putting herself out there.

(1) express how deeply flattered you are and (2) simply say, no thank you.

that is all. leave it there. let it alone. even if she responds. say nothing, or if you must (and only if you must) reemphasize the above two points.

anything else that you might say--in hopes of making her feel better (or even yourself)--will inevitably be the thing she finds patronizing and upsetting. and of course, it will inevitably be the thing she replays again and again.

and then, and i can't emphasize this enough. in the days that follow: stop being so damn nice. stop being the guy she liked in the first place. it makes it that much harder.


she will like you all the more and all the less for the kindness you offer up. and she will feel crummy for not being able to meet your friendly gaze. so please don't ask or expect her to.

just a friendly piece of advice,

meg

35 comments:

Alisha said...

Why do they have to make things more awkward than they have to be?

Look dude, you said no, now don't expect me to still be your friend… K, thanks!

Alexandria said...

Cheers. To. That.

karajean said...

I can relate to the "stop being so damn nice" piece of advice. Almost killed me when I was unsuccessfully pursuing Scott. Even when he knew I liked him, he continued to be so friendly. I hated/loved it.

Some Actress said...

you always know just want to say. it's like you are stalking my love life...preach sister.

kate said...

gah! jerk. that's what i got to say 'bout that.

Jennifer said...

A few months ago I fell for one of my oldest friends, and I was a little miffed when he started avoiding me. However, after a couple of weeks, I got over him, and then he started talking to me again and I realized that he had treated the situation exactly the right way, because our friendship just fell right back into place. It might sound mean, but if you're just not into someone, the best thing to do is leave him/her alone...

JulieElizabeth said...

Agreed. Its funny that you post this now because I've been debating asking someone at work out but I cant seem to find the courage!

April said...

Aww, exactly. . . I hate the boys who continue to be nice to me, it feels like they're just leading me on instead of actually being nice. Chin up, girl! <3 <3

Lela said...

Oh, dear. That sounds like a very foolish man!

Natalie Hill said...

i want to cut him.

uioae said...

Whoa! Whoa!

Put the shoe on the other foot for just one second.

You are talking about something that men are *expected* to do every day for women... Men are *expected* to ask women out on dates. Flip that around for one instance and, oh without any hint of equality, it's unfair for a guy to turn down a girl and act he would?

I have a great deal of respect for a girl who asks a guy out on a date. I agree that your conclusion is correct.

Please consider the following extract:

"and then, and i can't emphasize this enough. in the days that follow: stop being so damn nice. stop being the [girl] [he] liked in the first place. it makes it that much harder.

"[he] will like [her] all the more and all the less for the kindness [she] offer[s] up. and [he] will feel crummy for not being able to meet [her] friendly gaze. so please don't ask or expect [him] to."

uioae said...

Sorry... I mean "I *disagree* your conclusion is correct"..

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i think that you should be the world representative of girls everywhere. well, you AND beyonce.

Jordan said...

I almost feel like I wrote this! Amen sister!

Ana* said...

I feel like printing this out and passing it to every guy I see on the street today

Mackenzie said...

oh man, so true. i asked out a cute boy and he let me down softly in the nicest way ever, and i feel like i'm always going to remember how nicely he said no. perhaps he could teach other boys a thing or two?

Ashley and Patrick said...

Oh no....I'm so sorry! It sounds like that did not go as planned. Sending happy vibes. :) Mr. Right is still out there, don't worry.

The Lewicutt's est 2006 said...

Men.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to assume this happened to you, because I can't believe a guy would turn you down. Meg: quite simply, you're amazing.

c.e.l.i.n.a said...

So true.

Anonymous said...

I agree with uioae. How many times has everyone here treated a guy that asked them out this way? A guy that was probably their friend before hand? This seems extremely hypocritical.

wilybrunette said...

Dear most recent anonymous: you're hypocritical!! I'm always mean to the guys I don't like!! Snarky much?

Ariel said...

love this!

Camilla Leila said...

everything happens for a reason.

and maybe that reason is on his way soon...

christine said...

I was rejected so many times when I asked guys out that I just stopped asking. I couldn't take it any more. It did seem to lessen the blow when he was polite about it, and I appreciated his kindness. Kind men are hard to come by and that only makes them all the more attractive... So tough!

christine said...

I was rejected so many times when I asked guys out that I just stopped asking. I couldn't take it any more. It did seem to lessen the blow when he was polite about it, and I appreciated his kindness. Kind men are hard to come by and that only makes them all the more attractive... So tough!

Brei said...

I see myself in this post in so many ways! Right now I am Queen of the Book Club with one guy and Advice to the Lovelorn with the other. The latter being my best friend. Guess he just doesn't get the hint and I am not going to be the one to ruin the friendship by asking him out. Thanks for the post today!

The Rookie said...

Men! Urgh.


Dear Women Who Ask Men Out,

Way to be brave, powerful, strong, and pretty damn amazing.

-Rookie

Kate said...

Exactly! And especially don't lie to get out of it, that only makes the woman feel worse. I am guilty of being really nice to someone after I reject them. I can't help it! It hurts me to be mean to them, but I have to force myself to realize they're going to be hurt no matter what.

Keiko said...

haha, I love you Meg.

Jo said...

An uncomfortable situation any way we look at it. I agree, no need to make it worse. This is great advice for anyone in the "no, thank you" position, be it male or female! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, kudos to you for doing something I've NEVER had the courage to do. However, if I had ever been as brave as you, I think I would have wanted the guy to be as gentle as possible with me. And most definitely kind to me afterward. Otherwise, I'd just feel like I ruined a friendship, too. Either way, it's awkward, but I couldn't handle a cold shoulder.

Robby Spratt said...

I actually found myself in this situation a few months ago.
The thing about guys is that most of us aren't used to being asked out. As such, we don't get much practice at tactfully rejecting date invites.
I think I did pretty well, and generally did what you recommend, but I admit that I was caught off-guard and felt quite awkward.
Your points are all right-on, but please cut us some slack if we don't do it very well. It's a hard thing to do, and I don't envy you girls for having to deal with it on a regular basis.
Rejection is hard, whichever side you happen to be on. Please be kind.
:)

becca28 said...

Yet another fantastic post. If only every guy would read this.

Jennifer M. said...

So. Freakin. True.

Omg, it's like you've read into my soul. I can completely relate. I once told a guy I liked him and he proceeded to tell me what a weirdo I was for taking his niceness wrong. I mean, come on mister... why did he have to be so NICE?? That's totally what made me fall for him in the first place... Grr...