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Watch the intro to find out what this is all about: RSOTU Intro (1 of 15)
How have you turned someone down? Why didn’t you give them a chance?
How have you been turned down? Did you feel like they gave you a chance?
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Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.
I completely agree with you, Joy. If you’re going to turn someone down, be aware of their feelings and how vulnerable they have made themselves to you by asking you out.
I would add two small things: Firstly: if there’s no hope that you would go out with them, don’t leave them with hope. (sorry guys…) Trying to be careful with their feelings is one thing, but giving an namby-pamby answer that leaves them thinking “well, maybe I can still convince her!” Be firm. 🙂
Also: make sure you aren’t flirting unconsciously (I know, that fact that it’s unconscious may make it difficult to find… 🙂 but ask your friends/family/mom!) I know several women who are ‘natural flirts’, they just give off that flirty vibe even if they aren’t trying to do so. A lot of flirty women just shrug it off with a “well, that’s my personality”, but I think you can still be bubbly and fun without leading on every guy you set eyes on. Be careful that once you tell a guy ‘no’, that you act as though it is ‘no’. 🙂 It doesn’t mean your friendship has to be awkward and distant, just be extra careful with the way you act and the things you say. 🙂
I’m married now, so I can’t say I’m disappointed I let a few girls down. Not because I’m married but because my wife is smoking hot and friggin’ awesome so the other girls can kick rocks.
Recently, I had to turn someone down though. It’s cool, my wife was there.
We went to this Irish Pub and this elderly Irish woman with her awesome accent came up to me and starting hitting on me because she could tell I’m Irish and looked like her dead husband.
I fought her. She won. But I rejected her for punching me in my ear. That sucked.
Oooh, this is such a good one with several points! Firstly, I admit to being a bit too quick to pull the plug. Basically, if I don’t feel something after the first date (if they even get there, I’m out.) Is this bad?! Joy, your challenge to give guys a chance is good for me to hear. My question is, how much of a chance do they get?
Second thing, regarding a high standard. I’ve been told, and feel, I hold a high standard. Again, where’s that line of self-respect and expecting God’s best verses unrealistic? I don’t want to settle. That’s not wrong, is it?
Last thing, regarding nice rejection. I like the idea of telling guys, “I know it takes courage to ask a girl out. Thank you for doing it. I’m not the right girl for you, but keep asking others because you’ll find the right one by doing that. Plus, we appreciate a strong man that will initiate/pursue.” However, after telling several of my close guy friends about this ingenious approach, they responded with dismay and appalling reactions. They said that’s not a good rejection method b/c it seems way too “parent teaching a lesson-esque”. They appreciate truth, just less of it: say you’re not interested and thank you for asking. Leave out the “you’ll find someone if you keep asking” thing. So, I’m curious what guys’ take is on this: do they want to be ‘built up w/ the strengths as we’re letting them softly down” or just the straight up fact that we don’t want to go out with them?
Beth, thanks for the insight about unconscious flirting. Again, guilty at times (I don’t like to admit that). It’s so true, though. We women often SAY one thing, and SHOW a different, even if it’s unintentional. It’s really a huge duty of ours to guard the guys’ hearts as well.
Joy, thanks for the prompting thoughts and videos!!!
Beth – Thanks for your thoughts. I think treating everyone the same is so important. Be yourself and note if you are messing with someone just because you like the attention and not because you really like them!
Erin – I feel like an explanation is due!
David – I’d like to see a picture of this Irish woman. Talking to an onscreen female character in Boone Dock Saints does not constitute and interaction at the bar.
Melissa – I totally agree with what the guys said. I mentioned to not be patronizing in my video. This was the one thing that the guys watching had a tough time with. They felt like it could easily come across as “oh you poor little sweet pathetic boy.” Our words must always be genuine.
If the story I shared about the guy speaking to me had come from a guy who I didn’t know well, it would have felt weird. But because I knew him, and I knew he knew me, I believed his words. Based on how well you know the person would constitute how much you said. Thats why it’s important to be prayerful, honest and tactful.
My main point is to genuinely honor someone and build them up as an equal. Not as a mothering figure. Hope that helps! It’s so great that we have guys we can bounce these things off of – and remember – each guy will be different, but ALL guys deserve more than being ignored or in the case of immature Joy…being mean to them.
I agree with Joy and Beth if you are going to turn someone down, leave them blessed, honored with a clear/firm “no”. Nobody likes to feel rejected, abandoned or despised.
Have I ever turned someone down? Yes when I was single, I did. An issue that needs to be addressed: when a women says “no” the first time and a man refuses to respect that, how should the woman proceed? Some women are weak-willed in their “no” and will vacillate in their feelings. Are men willing to step up and honor the “no” instead of pressing (forcefully at times) into a yes? How can a woman convey “No, thank you” without becoming an object to conquer? I remember when I was serving in the Peace Corps, some how I became this object of a contest to see which of the 7 drivers of the buses ( I had to use on a regular basis) could get me to break my “no” first. The victory prize was to conquer my determined will. It became a game to them to break me. They were conquerers without a desire for commitment with no real concern- I suppose boredom was getting the best of them. I credit them as being very persistent. It was daily harassment for an extended period of time. Finally, I figured out inviting them to church or Bible study was a good deterrent. I also asked about their pregnant girlfriends which made them reflect on reality. The “conquerers” gave up the contest and dealt with me with controlled contempt. I won by the grace of God -I honored my “no” w/out being ugly. I did appreciate one driver who half heartedly tried to stop the others- peer pressure kept him from rising up in a bold way to stop the contest though.
Why did I not give someone a chance? Sometimes it was timing, circumstances, or I just wasn’t willing to commit.
How have I been turned down? There were kind ways that I didn’t understand at the time. In reflection, I appreciate the respect. And there were ugly ways that included abandonment(without explanation) & contempt.
Was I given a chance when dating…in fairness to them… yes. I think my downfall was selfishness and immaturity on my part.
Back in the day, I would try to turn down guys respectfully, but I don’t think it ever really worked. Maybe it wasn’t really respect where i was coming from. But I did always try to be nice about it, and it never seemed to work. They’d always come back again and again, and because I would try to reinforce the positive stuff and they would interpret that as me playing hard to get and hinting i just want them to try harder, so they would and it would get rather frustrating. Sometimes I found the only way to have them stop was to never ever talk to them again.
And just in case that has painted some picture of a lot of guys pursuing me in spite of constant rejection, I was also rejected alot. more than once I had the line of “Sorry, you are too tall for me to ever consider dating”
(I’m 20 yrs old) I’m currently in the process of having two separate girls go on long conversations about big airy things in their head and then drop the bombshell that they want to date me, or accuse me of leading them on and that I’ve hurt them. My whole life I’ve tried to be so careful around people and do everything possible to please them and avoid pain, so this is really hard for me. Though, yes, I am quite a natural flirt and my heart was pondering whether I liked these girls (separate instances, not like at the same time) I tried to keep it as low key as possible. Unfortunately, the college age community nowadays is making relationships a HUGE deal and vastly over-complicating things, and is also quick to make couples out of people who spend even a slightly more-than-normal amount of time together. I think I’ve got these two situations under control and am able to speak with grace in declining, but I think my real question is how do I avoid this in the future without shutting myself down and being afraid to open up to girls anymore? I’m an introvert and very sensitive and intuitive, and only in the last few years have I begun to really branch out and become more outgoing, but with these things that have happened, part of me wants to clam up again. Any thoughts Joy?
Lisa – I think no explanation can hurt the most. Sometimes I think it’s personality types that think this is the better way to handle things, but I think I can speak for most people on the receiving end – it’s no fun and doesn’t really help either party grow/mature in communication and tackling difficult situations.
Mary – Haha – I wrote the above and then read yours. I do agree that in the case of someone not getting the clue, you may need to just cut off communication at some point.
Echo – I commend you for wanting to be wise and careful with women while still being comfortable to be yourself in the process of getting to know girls. Two things:
1) If you are unsure of how your actions may be interpreted, take aside an older man or couple who know you and tell them to just call you out if they think you are crossing some lines.
2) If you know in your heart that you just trying to get to know people and you treat people the same – then relax. The reality is that some people will like you and you won’t feel the same. Then those conversations happen, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have done something wrong. And at some point you may like someone who doesn’t like you back – it doesn’t necessarily mean she was a HUGE flirt and did something wrong. In both situations you all may have just been interested and getting to know each other. Actions can be misinterpreted.
Or you could just be a big flirt and ruining all women for eternity. But I doubt that. (-: Just pray for discernment and for God to show up in your friendships and relationships. Tell him to bring people into your life who will call you out if you need it. And then make sure you listen to them.
Enjoy this season. Dating and getting to know friends of the opposite sex…CAN be fun.
i see a lot of related conversations in our future. whenever we actually manage to get hang-time and margaritas. even though i’m 32 and already been married, i’ve never done the dating thing. (moving to africa at 19 and my ex being the only guy i ever dated would explain that…) and whenever that time comes, i have NO CLUE about any of it. it leaves me feeling stupid and scared. hmph. thanks for being a friend i can go to with these kinds of thoughts!
This is great! Couldn’t have said it better myself.
For more excellent advice on this topic, see also this—one of my favorite videos of all time from Sharideth: http://youtu.be/qwY-dvp53iE
Thanks for addressing the fact that we should leave a guy better than we found him!! My dad taught me this growing up. I haven’t always done it well, but in my last situation, I feel like I did. It makes for a much better break up! 🙂 Keep up the good work. We look forward to having you on Grounded again some time.