Never backpedal

8 Aug

I just received a brand new credit card in the mail. I didn’t apply for it. The payment card company welcomed me into their membership, telling me I had been “prequalified”, i.e. they had just given me the opportunity to try their service, while saving me the trouble of actually applying for it.

This notion of “prequalifying” is intriguing. It tries to flatter me (“Hey, you qualify for our exclusive membership!”) but it also shoves something down my throat that I didn’t ask for.

In fact, it intrigues me so much that I think I will be cancelling the card tomorrow.

Just as intriguing as “prequalification” is the practice of “pre-rejection”, which men here seem to like to foist on the women they date.

What’s “pre-rejection”?

My friend Phoebe has been telling me more tales of dating woe, which was getting a little tiring because they were beginning to sound the same. They went something like this:

Guy A asks Phoebe out. Phoebe isn’t free, so she suggests another day. Immediately, Guy A would say he can’t make it for the alternative date, and make up some patently BS reason for it: “Oh, actually it’s all right if you’re not interested.” Or, “On second thought, I think it’s more enjoyable if I go alone.”

This same conversation has taken place with so many different guys that Phoebe was beginning to wonder. “What’s going on? I thought they were the ones who invited me in the first place?”

“Why do guys so easily rejected? If I always have to be available the first time a guy asks me out for a date, doesn’t that mean I must stop having a life?”

Words straight out of my mouth, those were.

Never backpedal from your invitation to a woman. It’s not worth saving yourself the embarrassment of rejection.
As a man—as an adult–you need stick by your words, including your asking girls out on dates. If she turns you down, that’s her prerogative. But asking is your prerogative.

Don’t assume that anything less than an outright “yes” means a rejection. Don’t run at the first sign of trouble. If the girl is unavailable, just propose another date. You’ll be surprised how often she’s not actually rejecting, but they are genuinely unavailable. If they’re really interested, they’re even hoping you’ll press on and offer an alternative.

Don’t speculate on the “true” intent of a girl’s response. If she counter-proposes another date, feel free to accept it. If she doesn’t really want to go out with you, she’ll tell you.

And suppose you’re not free–won’t it get embarrassing to go to-and-fro with alternatives? Well yes… and no. No rule exists to limit the time you can spend working out a suitable time to meet a girl. If the girl is interested or at least open to meeting you, she will be cooperative in working out a suitable arrangement.

And above all:

Don’t be a wimp by suddenly telling her your date plan “probably isn’t that interesting.” (Why were you inviting her in the first place?)

Don’t act like a jerk who just got his tofu ego bruised. (“Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t that interested in asking you out actually.”)

Don’t tailor your intentions based on what you think the outcome is. If she turns you down, the response of a gentleman is honest disappointment as well as gracious acceptance.


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