In dating, rejections are a normal (and sometimes inevitable) end – and while we all know this, it’s difficult to sometimes look past a rejection.
It’s even more difficult when who you’re rejecting is someone you really care about. But things aren’t always meant to be, and sometimes rejection is the only way to get that across.
It still doesn’t mean that they’re easy: and sometimes, you’ll wonder what exactly is going through a man’s head when you turn them down.
As a guy who’s received their fair share of rejections, here are some possible scenarios:
1) He’s Hurt and Devastated
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: rejections hurt.
And for guys who’ve really put it all in trying to win you over, rejection is going to hurt a lot.
But it’s more important to keep in mind the type of hurt that a guy experiences, rather than the fact that they’re hurting – because the pain is already a given.
Let me give you an example: I had gone through a rejection once that hurt way more than I thought it would because she wanted to “stay friends” even after.
Truth is, I didn’t think I could see us being friends, but I agreed for her sake and the rejection just hurt even more.
It hurt a lot when I saw her go out with other guys, and finally, I had to face the facts: for me to move on, I had to let her go completely.
In a lot of cases, hurting someone is inevitable. The least that you can do is simply act in the best way to not magnify or prolong the pain.
2) Underneath It All Is Some Relief
This might be a little strange, but there are indeed times when we guys feel relieved that you’ve turned us down.
There are a lot of reasons behind this: we realized we weren’t ready when we asked the question, we weren’t that much into the relationship and were pressured to escalate, or simply that we were expecting to be rejected from the start.
Relief is probably one of the best reactions men can have to a rejection, mainly because it opens up the possibility that you and them can still remain friends afterward.
It’s important to keep in mind that this feeling of relief doesn’t automatically mean that a guy doesn’t want to be with you – sometimes, the problem really is him.
So you don’t have to worry about it being you: sometimes, it really just isn’t.
3) He Can’t Help But Feel Challenged
Sometimes, when a guy hears: “no”, what he understands is “try harder”.
For these guys, getting a rejection isn’t really a signal that they’ve struck out – rather, it’s a challenge for them to improve their game.
I know a few guy friends like this – and it’s always a toss-up if this attitude will be good or bad for the woman.
In my experience though, guys who generally get challenged by a “no” are walking red flags: best you stay away from someone who can’t take something like that at face value.
However, if you do say “no” when you really mean “try harder”, it’s possible that the guy may miss your signal entirely.
Men can be a little dense sometimes – it’s much better to be straightforward with what you want instead of going by it through hints.
4) A Sense of Nervousness Will Envelope Him
Nervousness as a reaction to rejection is more common in men who have low self-esteem: these men tend to retreat entirely from women who reject them once the rejection has been received.
This isn’t always a bad thing – after all, you may want them to exit your life entirely – but it can be an issue if you need to still interact with them daily.
Things might get awkward between the two of you, and in most cases, there’s really nothing that can be done rather than sitting and waiting.
Usually, the guy gets over it in time.
When I feel nervous around a woman who’s rejected me, I usually have to give myself some time and distance from her so I can start feeling a little more at ease with myself.
This can take a while, but if my relationship with the woman in question was already good from the start, we can still become friends.
5) His Insecurities Will Come Out
Rejections hit hard, and sometimes it’s difficult to not take rejection as a sign that you aren’t good enough for anyone.
There have been times that I’ve been rejected and I’ve just asked myself: “do women just not like me?” – and that right there is insecurity at work.
An insecure reaction can sometimes have a lot to do with the way a guy’s been rejected. He now feels unattractive or not valued.
If you’ve made a big show of the rejection or the guy did something really elaborate only to be let down, it’s much easier for them to feel insecure because of what you did.
Either way, you shouldn’t stress about it too much: their insecurity is never something that you should be bothered about.
But if you really care for the guy and want to avoid hitting their self-esteem, it’s better to clear the air that it’s you personally that doesn’t see a relationship with them, not women in general.
Again, this isn’t your responsibility overall – but it’s definitely something you can do to help soften the blow.
6) Some May Feel Appreciative
Some men can move on from rejection quickly as long as they’ve been given a clear enough message.
For me, I really appreciate it when a woman says upfront that they’re not interested in me as a partner since it sets the tone for how the rest of our interactions will go and doesn’t fill me with any expectations.
Appreciation might sound like a strange reaction a man can have to rejection, but you have to remember that men sometimes operate by how many times they’re “at bat.”
This means that they’re looking for a specific something from a woman, and you rejecting them often helps them in their search for whatever that “something” is.
If nothing else, an appreciative man will see your rejection as a way to prevent either you from wasting too much time chasing something that may not be there, to begin with.
7) He Can’t Help But Feel Manipulated, Toyed With
If a guy has misunderstood your signals (or you’ve deliberately led him along), they’ll most likely feel manipulated once you’ve turned them down.
This is a messy situation where no one really wins – and the best possible outcome is the two of you ignoring each other entirely.
He may even realize he loves you after you reject him, which is a big jolt to his emotion.
He may feel that you manipulated him into believing that you loved him.
Manipulation doesn’t always have to be intentional either: you could be behaving in a purely platonic way in your eyes but he’s getting something else.
This is far more common among people who interact regularly rather than those who go out seeking dates. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest misunderstandings to clear up.
The best way to deal with this is to start looking for signals that he’s starting to get more attached to you than a normal friend might be.
Not only will this avoid any feelings of being manipulated and resentment after the rejection, but it’s an ultimately healthier break for both of you.
8) He Might Want You More
When a guy knows that you’ve rejected him, they might end up wanting you more. Why? Because some guys love the chase. They want to try again because they’re driven by the “if at first you don’t succeed, try again” maxim.
You’ve also become even more attractive to him because he can’t get you. After all, nothing gets a man’s attention as much as saying “no”.
There’s even a chance that he wasn’t into you that much but his pride was kicked after being rejected.
Therefore, to get his pride back, he will try again with you.
If you think that the guy might be trying to pursue you when everything suggests otherwise, it’s best if you just make it clear to him that he won’t be getting anywhere with you.
9) He’ll Be Confused and Annoyed
A particularly common (yet surprisingly difficult to deal with) reaction to being rejected is just confusion. Guys can sometimes be extremely confused with rejections – especially when they think that their “chances are good” – and this can manifest in a myriad of responses.
The best thing to do in this situation is to clear out exactly why you rejected the man. Confusion with a rejection usually comes up when there have been mixed signals in the relationship so far, and if these feelings are left unresolved they can turn into anger and resentment.
If you’ve confused a guy with your rejection, they were likely thinking of something completely different from your reactions than what you were trying to communicate: and you should clarify things even as you turn them down.
10) He Won’t Believe It
Sometimes, no matter what you say or do a guy will just outright refuse to believe it when you turn him down.
You could say “no” over and over again but they just can’t seem to get the message – and this could be a huge problem if they feel that they have to keep asking or else feel like they’re being left hanging.
Also, some guys refuse to accept defeat and they’ll keep pestering you until they win you over.
If you’re dealing with a guy like this, then you need to be really firm and tell him that no means no.
11) If he is a player, he may actively try to find someone else to hit on
The most annoying reaction of all is when a guy goes out of his way to hit on any women around after you’ve told him that you’re not interested.
This just reflects how immature he is, and it can be a real pain if you want no part in making things awkward for everyone else.
This is what players do. They’ll simply take the numbers approach. This means they hit on as many girls as they can until one says yes.
It’s gross, but if you suspect you’re dealing with a player, then you need to realize that he may not have genuine feelings for you.
Luckily, this only tends to happen with men who are player types or just really desperate in general.
12) He’ll Feel Absolutely Nothing
Finally, there are cases where a man simply takes rejection as is: not something to freak out or be insecure about, just something that happens.
These men aren’t emotionally numb either – they’re just mature enough to accept a rejection and move on with their life without it hanging over them.
It’s rare to meet a guy who can take rejection and still feel nothing, though. In most cases, a guy who feels nothing from a rejection didn’t really put a lot of effort into courting you in the first place.
In that situation, you were more of an option rather than a serious commitment: in which case, you’ve just dodged a bullet.
A guy feeling nothing about your rejection isn’t something you should be worried about either. If anything, it’s a great way for the both of you to simply move on with your lives.