- Rejection can come in many forms.
- It can look a little different depending on whether it happens on a first date, a few dates in, or in a more serious relationship.
- INSIDER talked to a relationship expert to find out some easy-to-miss signs someone is trying to reject you.
Rejection is one of those things that happens to just about everyone. But if you’ve ever experienced a mild-to-devastating rejection, chances are that just knowing rejection is common doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.
Oftentimes the worst part of experiencing rejection is when you didn’t quite see it coming. Here are subtle signs someone is trying to reject you according to NYC-based relationship expert Susan Winter.
Some signs of rejection can appear on a first date
It can be hard to read someone on a first date, especially if it’s the first time you’re meeting them in person. But a sign that someone may not be quite as interested in you as you are in them could simply be if they don’t make plans to see you again.
Winter told INSIDER that some vague lines to look out for are “We’ll talk soon” or “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.”
In most cases, anyone serious about seeing you again will ask your availability for a second date while still on the first (or maybe via text the next day), especially if you’ve expressed interest in seeing them again.
After a few dates, it may be easier to tell if someone is trying to reject you
They might just ghost you by not responding to you at all. Or, they could hit you with a “slow fade,” which is a way to end things while exerting as little effort as possible. If they’re going that route, they may tell you that work has been too stressful to hang out or they have to leave town for a bit.
“These are the subtle signs you’re about to experience minimal contact,” Winter told INSIDER. “[Their] hope is that you’ll lose interest and alleviate the burden of them having to dump you.”
Of course, it’s always possible that what they’re telling you is true – so, if someone you’ve been dating says they will be out of commission for a few weeks due to a family crisis, you don’t need to outright block them. But, you should give them space. In any scenario, if they’re interested in reconnecting after whatever they’re dealing with, they will let you know.
Sometimes optimism can make it difficult to pick up on subtle signs of rejection
“We enter love hoping for the best,” Winter told INSIDER. “This beautiful sense of optimism can also be the factor that dampens our ability to read the subtle cues of rejection. We’re hoping the lapse is temporary, and the excuse we’re hearing is real.”
Essentially, Winter says you may be willing to ignore your gut instincts in favour of something you’d really like to be true, even if you know it isn’t likely.
In any situation, Winter said the best way to tell if you’re being rejected is to ask. “It’s an honest question that deserves an honest answer,” said Winter.
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