Rejection: My Doctorate in No

In the tradition of ‘hang a shingle’, I have decided to offer my vast expertise as a service to those who might deem it necessary.

In what area do I claim elite knowledge? Rejection. I’m credentialed in all areas of rejection (professional, parental, familial, academic, creative, physical, athleticl, etc) but my focus has been in romantic rejection.

Many unnamed sources consider me a leading authority in North American romantic /dating rejection. One noted rejection essayist described me thusly: “If the world of dating was a large ocean, Mr. (Name redacted) would be a great shark able to smell a drop of repudiation in billions of gallons of seemingly ambiguous signals.” Another colleague described my professional history akin to that of a master Sommelier who has managed to taste every vintage under the sun. Finally a trade publication asserted that my record of identifying a rejection is perfect. He has “never been wrong about being the wrong guy for her.”

If the flowery endorsements of these leading entities does not convince you of my merit, I present the following statistical support:

I have gone out on one or more dates with over 145 women (the actual number is definitely higher but there are no records available from my early dating years).

I’ve been rejected in the face of face contact information dance well over 75 times and that’s a conservative estimate.

I’ve received 6 Dear John letters.

I’ve had WELL over 1000 messages ignored on OKCupid and other online dating sites.

I’ve attended speed dating events without making one connection.

I would provide references for these rejections but I really don’t want to bother the women involved. Haven’t they suffered enough?

If you’re unsure whether you’re being strung along or you don’t know how to interpret that last text you got or that last weird look she gave you, please contact me and I will help you on your way to clarity.

As a sample, I will provide you with an excerpt from my dissertation which focused on the taxonomy of rejection.


Ways I’ve been rejected :

While asking for a phone number face to face:

Straight up “no”

Blank stare

Fake number

Real number w/no intention to ever reply to text or answer call

Perfunctory style: all texts and calls are replied to but only in monosyllabic answers to questions and with no effort to continue conversation

Online dating:

Standard: no response to dating website message

Standard: she swiped left

Annoying: the polite message telling me that she is not interested-usually sent by people who do not understand the rules of online dating


(can be communicated over any medium: in person, text, etc)

You’re a great guy… (hate this – LADY, you are not the arbiter of whether I am good or not)

Preposition &/or Direct Object: I don’t know where I heard this but I strongly agree: life, and dating in particular, is all about the prepositional phrase. Direct Object: It’s not that she doesn’t want to date right now. It’s that she doesn’t want to date YOU right now. Preposition: it’s not that she isn’t ready to be physical with anyone right now. It’s the she’s not ready to be physical WITH YOU.

Blunt (extraordinarily rare): I’m not interested in dating you.

I’d really like to be friends: I got nothing against being friends with women. Many of my closest friends are women. But if I met her through a dating site or we somehow met in real life and dated, I have never seen any actual follow through with this proffer. Every time I’ve said sure to the friendship rejection (and you pretty much have to say yes or you get painted as a dick even though NEITHER of you are really interested in it), the woman in question has never made any effort.

Assist: I HAVE to introduce you to my friend Esmeralda! You’re perfect for each other! I guess I could play devil’s advocate and say this is sometimes a sincere offer. But regardless of its legitimacy, it is STILL a clear rejection.

Fade(the cool kids call it ghosting): she just stops responding to texts, emails, snapchats, etc. until I give up (for the record I’ve run the fade myself – I’m no saint – and also : I give up after 2 unanswered overtures – I should give up after 1 but I guess I’m a romantic)

Hair Washing: the classic female excuse isn’t really used anymore but I watch a lot of older movies so I remember it. This is a DC area staple: everyone in DC is part douchebag – the city just does it to people – it doesn’t matter how great they started out ; we’re a little douchebagged by the DMV (there’s a whole separate post on why I know this to be true but that’s not the focus here). And one of the telltale characteristics of the douchebag is that they are always incredibly busy. They also insist on telling you over and over how painfully busy they are and how they so terribly lament their busy schedule. I think the DC dougebag in all of us somehow revels in bragging about their full calendar. It’s a badge of honor.

Preemptive rejection: generally an online thing. My personal favorite is this lady I saw once on Tinder. Her profile snippet started with the following: “WHITE MEN ONLY.” I don’t know if you’re familiar with how tinder works but both people have to swipe right (yes) in order to be able to communicate. Either this lady is incredibly stupid (I actually have no issue with her stating her racial preference – I could give a shit really) or maybe she doesn’t even want to date non-white men who even LOOK white. You have to admire the disciplined prejudice.

Poetic rejections:

Eye contact denial: I accidentally make eye contact with an attractive lady – believe me it is never intentional- and as soon as you lock eyes, she turns her gaze elsewhere. It’s a microsecond action but it’s really beautiful and resounding if you think about it.

Stand over sit: a public transport staple. The bus is crowded. There is one empty space and it is next to me. A woman gets on the bus, glances at the empty seat and at me (however subtly as possible) and decides to stand. What if she just likes to stand, I hear you protest. That’s totally fine. But I only count it as a rejection of and when (and it’s almost always) another seat opens up and they take that one. Turns out they didn’t really want to stand, huh?

Dear John letter: and I don’t mean an email. I mean handwritten snail mail letter. They are virtually extinct nowadays and it’s a shame. Hand writing adds a whole layer of quality to a rejection.

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