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The Art of Rejecting

A new season of "The Bachelor" has graced our living room presence and reminded us why females have the reputation of being the crazy ones in the wild world of love and romance. Twenty-six psycho, semi-hot, desperate bitches all showed up to win the affection of Texan native Sean Lowe. At the end of each episode, a “rose ceremony” is held in which Sean gets to award a rose to all the girls he deems worthy of keeping… and tries to kick off the clingy girls that don’t make the cut.

Out of sheer curiosity, and a deep desire to make fun of people, I’ve set aside two hours every Monday for the third season in a row. Unfortunately for these lucky ladies, show rules (and state laws) only allow him to pick one future bride. This means that a show about love is basically just a show about rejection… and really ridiculous one-liners.

“ While we may all hope to reject and be rejected in a rational and honest manner, it seems that that’s the hardest method to find. ”

This completely unrealistic portrayal of courtship does bring up the very real issue of having to reject people. While it’s more common to hear someone talk about being dumped than having to do the dumping, if you date enough you’ll almost certainly find yourself on the other side of the rejection rose at some point.

Which brings me to the best way to go about picking and choosing who you want to have in your life. When puberty first hit it seems that all relationships ended with phone calls from your boyfriend’s best friend delivering the bad news, or scribbled notes passed in class stating that it’s over. While tweens these days may not even write notes anymore, rejecting someone is definitely an art form that takes years to master.

I’ve broken up the college rejection methods into a series of types. There’s the silence method where you simply stop texting back the potential love interest. The half-joke/half-serious method, which consists of light-hearted comments about things not working out. Notes: this is usually followed by the silence method. Then there’s the excuse-maker, who comes up with a legitimate but inaccurate reason for why things aren’t going to work (i.e. too busy, not ready for a relationship, etc.). Most common in young single people is the backburner method in which you lightly slow things down but keep the person hanging around in case you change your mind.

When trying to avoid hurt feelings, the classic “it’s not you, it’s me” method of complete responsibility often arises. But don’t forget about the sloppy drunk girl version of the line, “it’s not me, it’s you… so f*** you”. Sadly this rejection is usually preceded by tequila and followed by an “I’m sorry” text.

While we may all hope to reject and be rejected in a rational and honest manner, it seems that that’s the hardest method to find. Even when you genuinely try to end things with integrity the other person may not respond maturely to your decision. The only thing you can control is that you’re always approaching dating with good intentions and that you’re keeping the other person on the same page. Don’t drag out something that you’re done with but don’t break up with them via Facebook message (or post-it note back in my day).

Have respect for the people that have given it to you and consider the personality type of the guy or girl you won’t be asking back for next week’s episode in your own personal show of love. While I may personally reject myself from ever writing again for that extended use of "The Bachelor," I hope that all of us young people can get better at how we decide to say no.

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-- Sam Laskin - 2021-10-20


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Revision: r6 - 2023-08-11 - 11:59:59 - BobbySmall

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