Ask a Guy – Did I Reject Him (and is He Punishing Me?) post image

Ask a Guy – Did I Reject Him (and is He Punishing Me?)


“A guy that I used to like and have kissed (years ago) kissed me one day in the midst of a situation we were dealing with. I chalked it up to an episode (random occurence). I saw him two days later and he started to kiss me in the elevator and then later when he was getting out of his car he went to kiss me again. That time, I let him get close, but I pulled back before the deal could be “closed.”

Since that time, I get no response to texts, barely get responses to calls. When he does answer the phone, he is OBVIOUSLY in the midst of something else with other people (it’s like he wants me to know that).

I want to know: 1) Did I reject him when I didn’t kiss him the second time? 2) Is this new behavior/cold shoulder punishment for “rejection” 3) Is there anything else to be said/done about the situation (is it worth a conversation)?

Also, how do I bring up that whole situation… should it be a text, an email, a personal note – it can’t be a convo because he won’t respond… especially with it being 2 months ago.”

See our guy’s response after the jump!

First, I’m going to give you quick answers off the top of my head and then I’ll give you my thoughts about the situation as a whole afterward.

1) Did I reject him when I didn’t kiss him the second time?

Truth is, only YOU can reject someone. It doesn’t sound to me like YOU rejected him. It sounds like he interpreted it that way and he is responsible for how he interprets things. These days, I would not interpret it as a rejection, but years ago I probably would have… and then I would have probably acted how he’s acting because I felt hurt, insulted and embarrassed. But again, I would have felt that way because of my own insecurities and my interpretation.

2) Is this new behavior/cold shoulder punishment for “rejection”?

Based on what I said above, I wouldn’t look at it as punishment. I would look at it as his response to feeling hurt, sad, insulted, embarrassed, etc. It’s a weird thing about people – if someone feels they’re going to be rejected, sometimes they’ll act in a way that will push the other person away. That way, they can at least say to themselves that the other person doesn’t like them because they’re acting like a jerk, instead of feeling like their “true self” got rejected.

3) Is there anything else to be said/done about the situation (is it worth a conversation)?

If you care about him, yeah, it’s worth it. How you do it is up to your personal style. As long as you can understand what I said above, I’m sure you’ll come up with the right words to make things right again.

Now, you asked how should you bring it up to him.

In this case, I would say send him an e-mail (or Myspace or Facebook or whatever you would normally send a casual message on). If you handwrite a note or make it look like a big deal, it will just make him feel uncomfortable and maybe even guilty. So keep the format simple.

If I were in his shoes, I would want to see something along these lines, “Hey, I know this is awkward but remember <fill in the blank>. I want you to know I felt <fill in the blank> and I miss you. I feel like you’re blowing me off because maybe you took my reaction as some kind of a rejection when in fact it was just <fill in the blank>.”

Now I’ll give you a weird piece of psychology: sometimes, in matters of the heart, it’s better to provoke a fight than to provoke an apology. I want to be very clear that I am not talking about all situations, but sometimes when a guy feels slighted like this it’s better to provoke him just enough to say how he really feels as opposed to ignoring you (the source of his pain) or sugarcoating his response.

Given that I told you that, I am not saying provoke a fight. I am saying that you should be aware of that fact so that you don’t make the mistake of babying him. It truly would feel like insult to injury to him if, on top of him feeling like you rejected him, you also acted like his mother, trying to baby him and kiss his “boo-boos”. When you challenge a guy, you’re complimenting him in a way because you’re implying that he has the strength to handle it. When you mother a guy, you’re implicitly insulting him because you’re suggesting that he’s too weak to handle anything else.

As a parting note, I would say that you always want to remember that when men and women have issues, it’s usually rooted in misinterpretation and misunderstanding. When you can correct it, you can clear things like this up and it can even strengthen your bond with the other person.

-eric charles

{ 15 comments… add one }

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Julie

Eric,
I didn’t get whether I was being asked on a date or a friendly thing, so I treated it like a friendly outing. I think I may have been mistaken, and I sensed rejection on his part multiple times throughout the night. I want to make it clear that I actually wanted it to be a date. And I wonder if it’s best said in person or on the phone.

I think I end up being too nice and try to fix things sometimes, but don’t want to be coddling behavior. He basically he didn’t understand my confusion and trying to make the best of the situation. We did have fun though. At least I know I did.

But I’m not sure how to word the part about challenging him. Any advice on how to not defensive about it but be clear that it was not a rejection and give the green light for a 2nd date? I don’t like chasing after guys in anyway, but I also tend to be too tolerant / coddling of hurt feelings… Have done that before and yes, it did backfire.

Thanks for reading.

Reply August 17, 2013, 4:26 pm

Hana

Oh god this is all too familiar. I told a guy I wanted to slow things down after he got really intense, and he COMPLETELY shut down. In his mind I said ‘I don’t want you’. Even though I told him everything was just a bit too fast for me. Now he’s being really rude and cold to me. I wish he’d just realise I was actually trying to do the mature thing and be honest with him.

Reply July 18, 2013, 7:12 pm

Jonathan

ERIC: What are you talking about when you say ‘only YOU can reject someone’? Are you talking about women in general or about an individual? I completely disagree with either one. You CAN get rejected by someone, and in that situation she mentioned, I’d feel totally rejected and would cut off ties with her altogether. If she’s not feeling it, then it’s time to move on, simply put. It IS a rejection, and she has no obligation to like me or to respond to a kiss, just like I have no obligation to beg her to correspond to my advances. If she’s not interested, it’s time to move on. Too many guys wait around for indecisive women who can’t get their act together and decide what the hell they want.

Reply October 15, 2012, 12:10 am

Jennifer

Hi Eric,
I really like a boy that I’ve known for quite a while. We’ve been through school together and he catches my bus. For the past few months, I was sure that he liked me. He seemed to be showing all the obvious signs. Just last week, he asked me to “hang out” with him. I was kind of shocked, so I jumped on it and told him to text me on the weekend so we could plan something. The rest of the day, I wasn’t paying much attention to him because I didn’t want to seem too eager. Although, he never texted me on the weekend, I texted him. He made an excuse and said that he couldn’t hang out. The following Monday, a friend of mine told me that his friends had told him that he was just leading me on “for the fun of it”. I talked to one of his other friends, and he was really encouraging me to talk to him. He then asked me who I like, and told me that they talk about me all the time. I’m extremely confused now! If you have any advice for me, that would be great!

Reply May 8, 2012, 10:51 pm

Kandy

I met a guy named B a month ago when we were introduced at our mutual friend’s birthday party. We started talking and realized we had a lot of friends in common because we both went to the same college. We spent most of that night hanging out and talking. At first he said he would ”hit on me” if his friend wasn’t still into me and after I reassured him that I was 100% single, we continued to flirt. I felt like we both enjoyed each others company and eventually exchanged numbers.

I found out that he lives 5 and a half hours away from me so we would be talking long distance. We started texting that night then talking on the phone until 5:30am sometimes, skyping right after he was off work and texting throughout the day. We were opening up to each other about our lives and it was obvious that there was some spark. I was so excited I told some of my friends who knew him from freshman year of college. Two of my close friends said they thought he was fake (though both of my friends tend to have very strong opinions about people). I was surprised because he seemed so nice, gentlemen like (bought me food that night) and fun to talk to. Anyway, I pushed those comments aside and continued to talk to him everyday. He would tell me how cute he thought I was and he was giving me a lot of attention. After a week, we continued to text but he started to become hard to get a hold of. I started to become the first one to message him first on Facebook chat, he wasn’t picking up his phone (he would tell me he was napping or at the gym) and we weren’t skyping anymore because he was going to bed early…midnight. I know he gets up for work before 7am so I completely understand. He would still tell me every night ”I’ll call you tomorrow” and we would talk about skyping too. 3 weeks went by and we kept talking about how much we wanted to see each other but I realized that we never made our own plans to go out like for dinner or on a date.

He drove back into town after 3 weeks because his cousin (who I know and invited me) was having a party. I met him there and everything was going well. I didn’t cling on him the whole night because I knew other people there and I was making new friends. We were eyeing each other all night and at some point he was even looking for me. We were spending time together, we were both happy and we finally got to kiss! At the end of the night, his friend (who I met him through and used to date briefly) asked me if I wanted to crash at his house. B told me to stay at the party so I didn’t leave. Later on he led me to a bathroom where he said we could have some privacy. He wanted to kiss me but I started to pull away because I was getting tired (It was pass 3am) and I didn’t want to end up waking up on a bathroom floor. I really wanted to kiss him more though. After we left the bathroom I realize that there were only a few people left at the party. I started to feel nervous because I didn’t know where I was going to sleep. He went to do a late night food run while I volunteered to stay at the party and drink some more. When he came back he brought me food and I had occupied my time dancing with another guy. He brought me food then left to another room to talk to his cousins. I started to get frustrated that we weren’t hanging out more. The guy I was dancing with said he could take me home because we live near each other. It was 6am and I didn’t know where I was going to be sleeping. So finally, I told B I was leaving and he seemed confused. He said okay and hugged bye and told me to let him know when I got home. When I walked out the door, he sent me a text that read ”Why did you leave?” I called him right away and told him I was very frustrated with him because I had no place to sleep and he told me to stay at the party. I basically blew up at him and then said that if he wanted me to come back then I would. He said he was going to go to bed anyway and that we could possibly meet tomorrow. The next morning he texted me: ”sorry that we didn’t get to hang out longer. I hope you’re not frustrated anymore. You seemed busy and I was catching up with my cousins that I haven’t talked to in a long time. I hope you still had fun.” I texted him back ”No big deal. Not how I saw my night going. I’ll get over it.” He didn’t text back after that but later that night I asked him if he wanted to hang out and he said he was too tired from the night before. I just felt like he could have made it up to me if he knew I was so upset. The next day, Sunday, I told him that I was going to be in his town for 4 or 5 days for work and so we talked about meeting up. He admitted that he was upset with me and that he felt I took my frustration out on him. We ended up not meeting up on Monday. I broke my phone and contacted him through facebook to tell him but he didn’t respond. On Tuesday he asked me when I was leaving and I said ”Thursday.” I asked him through facebook to accompany me to a film screening I had tickets for and he didn’t respond. On Wednesday he said he never saw the message and that he was busy. I found out that my ride was leaving Sunday so I told him I was staying until then and he said that he would see me for sure before I left. I asked him to go to a rep carpet tribute event with me that Saturday and he told me he had plans with his friends who were coming to visit but said he would go if he found out he was free. On Friday he called and texted me to meet him at a bar but I was at my own function and told him where I was. He never showed up to where I was and by the time I left the place I was at, it was almost 1:30am. It was too late for me to get inside the bar/club he was at but I tried. When I called him he said he was ”too drink” and it was so loud I doubt he could hear me. I was really disappointed. The next day I called him and he said he had plans but that we should try and meet up late. He never contacted me so I texted him at midnight and he said he was at home and that he wasn’t going out. Why didn’t he invite me over? Two days later he messaged me and asked me how my trip was. I was extremely insulted by this because he could have been part of my trip had it put in more effort. I gave him the cold shoulder and responded with one word: ”good.” He seemed to be thrown off by it and responded with ”That’s good…” ”Did you have a safe trip back?” I responded ”Yup” and he responded ”Ok have a goodnight then.” I think it was only 5pm so that didn’t make sense. It seemed passive aggressive on both ends. I responded back ”?” and he said ”I gotta take care of some stuff.” He stopped texting me completely and I didn’t see him online anymore for the rest of the week. I texted him twice and one time he gave me a very boring text back…one of those ”My day was okay. The rain sucked. Yours?” I texted him again two days ago when I was awake at 7am (which is when he gets up for work) and I said ”Just wanna say have a good day” and he responded ”haha why are you up so early?!” I responded back and didn’t get a response. I texted him today too and didn’t get a response.

Now I have a few questions:
1) Did this guy like me but lost interest after I blew up on him?
2) Why didn’t he put in more effort to see me when I came to his town for a week?
3) Is he over it now? What the hell happened?
4) Should I just wait until he comes back into town to even approach him?

Reply February 12, 2012, 12:31 am

linda

when a guy asks you to lend money ( insinuates it) and you refuse (insinuate that you that can’t help) does it hurt his ego?. should a guy ask for money from a girl? what do u make of a guy who’s well-to-do and richer than you and still asks for money? does he really need it or just a tactic to piss you off because he knows you don’t like guys like that. or he really needed it? and one more thing.. i think decent guys have a high self-esteem, if a guy does ask to lend money from a girl, does he really respect her? who’s romantically involved in him? please do reply.

Reply February 7, 2012, 3:20 pm

Eric Charles

@Jon
.
Nobody is placing fault on the guy for being rejected.
.
Everyone is responsible for how they respond to what happens in their life.
.
Between what happens and what we do, there is a moment of choice. That is our response-ability – it is what separates us from animals.
.
There is no shame in feeling the stinging of rejection – it happens, it’s part of the game.
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But there is no situation where I support one person “punishing” the other, intentionally acting in a hurtful way towards them or outright attacking them.
.
That IS a choice and there are so many better choices of how to respond that resorting to those responses is not necessary.
.
How we respond is our responsibility. How we look at things is our responsibility. Our view of life, love and the opposite sex is our responsibility.

Reply May 21, 2010, 9:46 am

jon

decent advice except for how you shift blame to the guy as if it’s his fault he got rejected… that’s a flat out horrible point of view

ie: someones upset they got rejected, the rejecter then turns it around on them somehow (everyone has seen that scenario)… and a supposed pro advice giver supports that logic?

Reply May 21, 2010, 8:06 am

Jonathan

Right on! According to Eric, you’re supposed to smile and keep licking a girl’s bootheels after she rejects you, I guess that’s what’s considered ‘mature’. Ridiculous!

Reply October 15, 2012, 12:13 am

sam

very insightful. thank you for ask a guy.

Reply April 29, 2009, 9:50 am

kristen

omg so good! i’ve seen this type of thing before in my life with guys but i never thought of it like this

Reply April 29, 2009, 9:27 am

Eric Charles

Thanks guys.

And to the “subject”: that is awesome. I am really glad to hear that!

Reply April 28, 2009, 2:38 pm

"Subject"

and as the subject of this awesome blog entry…let me add this: i did send him a text that was basically, “this is silly,” but i did in a way that i suppose, “challenged him” (see above.). the text culminated in “i love you! stop tripping out!” and i hit send at 8:52 a.m. and received a call immediately at 9:01 a.m. so i guess in some way…we’re going to work this debacle out! thx eric.

Reply April 28, 2009, 2:04 pm

Germaine Windley

I Think That Was great feedback! i will actually take heed to some of the advice here! i will be submitting a question as well.. i need some advice personally as well.

Reply April 28, 2009, 1:08 pm

Ms. Rose

Great article!

Reply April 28, 2009, 10:51 am

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