BuzzFeed writer Grace Spelman and Harry Potter uber-fan Ben Schoen, who’s created a career based on his love for all things Potter-esque, have had a pretty heated Twitter/Facebook exchange, recounted in a play by play by Jessica Roy in her piece “Is There Any Right Way to Reject a Guy?”, which appeared in New York Magazine’s The Cut.
Roy details how Spelman had Facebook-friended Schoen during the height of “Harry Potter fandom days. Fast forward seven years, the host of the podcast “MuggleCast” and co-founder of the “wildly popular fandom site “MuggleNet,” sent her a break the ice Tweet.
Seems Spelman favorited the Tweet but didn’t reply, setting off a trail of long social media exchanges on Facebook and Twitter after Schoen started posting on Facebook. Spelman begged off in the “I have a boyfriend” reply but that didn’t stop Schoen from launching what appears to be an increasingly hostile attack on personal and professional levels.
Spelman told The Cut, “”You can’t win in these types of situations. Even if you are polite in your rejection, they’ll demand that you tell them WHY you did it. It’s just a mixture of entitlement and the fragility of the ego … Because you don’t know how they’re going to handle it, you don’t know if you should be afraid or not.”
Whether you’ve met someone in real time, through social media, or via an online dating site, there’s maybe not much more awkward than being on the rejecting side of the transaction.
After meeting in person, there’s the “step back and shake hand” approach, which you’d think indicates a kiss goodnight and a second date are not in the offing. When you’re getting weird vibes and would prefer to cut off contact before meeting, invariably some guys (and I’m guessing girls) come back with “Why not?” or “You’re kind of a bitch!”
Because putting someone down is just so enticing!
Some of my friends have feigned a fake husband or boyfriend to extricate themselves (or worn a cubic zirconia ring!) but that doesn’t even work. Sometimes, the idea of dueling for the love of a fair maiden is too tempting, I suppose!
I recently read an article that featured an anonymous explanation by a guy who would take off without a word. He said he’s rather not hurt a woman by offering up a detailed list of why they might not be a good couple. Sometimes, he’d have a change of heart.
Nobody likes to get her hopes when a guy says he “had a fantastic time” and gives you a no questions about it hot kiss – never to be heard from again or worse yet, have the “I’ve changed my mind and am just not feeling it!” response.
Before social media and online dating, social circles were much smaller. You might have met a guy or girl in class, at a frat party, or through a friend. Maybe in line at the bank. I’ve read one reason people “ghost” is because there’s little if any accountability. When Susie set you up with her boyfriend’s buddy, she’d likely call you on it if you furtively slipped away mid-date.
[Tweet “To date successfully, you’ve got to take things in stride”]
Despite a number of dating apps that link your Facebook account, letting you know your friends in common, furtive rejection still happens. It’s par for the course.
Unless you’re a non-empathetic jerk, citing the “You’re too fat/too skinny/live in your parents’ basement/have bad breath/vote Republican” list doesn’t seem to be the decent way out.
Dating is like a seesaw. Sometimes, you’re not going to like that guy or girl sitting across from you. Sometimes, he or she isn’t going to be “into” you. Maybe there’s no concrete reason other than lack of chemistry. Maybe you remind him or her of an ex. To date successfully, you’ve got to take things in stride.
There’s no easy way to let someone down – which is why most of us have resorted to slipping away without a word, at one time or another. Granted, it’s one thing to “ghost” someone you’ve been dating for a while. But, if you’ve never even met, do you owe someone a detailed explanation?
Rejection sucks, no matter what side you’re on.
Is there any right way to eject a guy (or a girl?) There’s a fine line between turning someone down and bashing every ounce of confidence – and you never know who’s on the other side.
What do YOU think?