Straight From His Mouth: Why Is It So Hard For Men To Reject Women?

March 18, 2013  |  


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A few days ago I penned a piece on why men need to have dating standards. It was based around the realization that at some point in my dating history, I had to decide that I deserved to be able to say no to women. I thought that it was always unfair when a man walks away from a woman that he is made out to be the bad guy. It’s almost as if, “I just don’t think I like you as much as I thought I would,” was always a bad thing to say. Connected to that is the fear that men have when telling women “no” or anything else they may not want to hear. Many men will lie or not answer questions because they think it’ll hurt a woman’s feelings or have an adverse effect on them.

When asked the question, “Why do men shy away from telling women “no”?” I’m always stuck with the same answer. They either don’t want to hurt their feelings or they don’t think women deal well with rejection. In fact, I’ve learned over the course of my life that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s true that women are more accustomed to dealing with rejection than men. That sounds weird doesn’t it? It does, but consider for a second how different genders deal with rejection. Women, when rejected, have to face those feelings and they have few defense mechanisms. Men…, well men, just shrug it off and blame the woman or the circumstance — they rarely internalize and go through a healing process.

Let’s think about the times when a man refuses to tell a woman “no.” It’s typically when she wants to know something about their particular situation or she is asking for him to do something outside of his typical routine. I can think of several times when I may have been causally dating a woman and she asked me, “where is this going?” or “do you see a future with me?” – If I thought it was headed towards a relationship I would reply that way, but if I didn’t… I would make up some diatribe that would skirt the issue and change the subject.

The reason being, most men think women see things in a very binary manner. It’s almost as if you tell a woman “no” she’s going to remove herself from the situation altogether. I’ve experienced times when I didn’t think a relationship was appropriate but I still wanted to date and see where things would go. The woman reacted to the rejection of a relationship request with wanting to move on altogether. Therefore, in future situations I would shy away from saying no and make up some diatribe that would skirt the issue and change the subject.

There are also situations when men don’t want to say no because they want something they don’t feel they’ll be able to get if they reject the woman. I’ll just be blunt – a man won’t want a relationship with a woman but he may want to have sex with her. He won’t totally reject her request for more, so that he can remain in good graces to just have sex.

What can be done to stop all this foolishness?

The answer is a little complicated. I think that men will have to be coddled a bit to get them to come out of their shell. If a woman wants a real and honest perspective, she should couple her questions with, “I want you to answer honestly, I won’t be upset if you say no.” Although she may be upset, she will appreciate the answer more if it’s genuine rather than dishonest and deceiving. Most men don’t really reach that point until much later in life when they have little to lose. That’s when they’ll just start coming off the tip of their tongue with the truth even though they know the woman will not like it. I think both genders have to prevent that and work to bring both sides together.

Like I said before, it’s taken me some time to get to the point where I feel comfortable with telling women “no” or rejecting them. I’ve realized that the drama associated with misleading women is not worth it. I wish that more men would feel the same way, but I don’t think that’s a realistic perspective or outcome in the near future. However, if women want the honest opinions of men, they’ll find ways to bridge the gap and reduce the apprehension. In a sense that what every situation should be about, that’s the best way to get to the goal – bridging gaps to find a mutual understand that leads to an outcome all that are happy with.

Dr. J is a writer for the men’s blog Single Black Male. Dr. J’s inspiration and motivation for writing comes from a desire to provide real and honest advice to all. His approach is no nonsense and rarely sugarcoated.  Follow him on twitter @DrJayJack.

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  • Politically Incorect

    Its not hard at all . I have rejected many unattractive females . Divorced moms with kids , keep hitting at me looking for a sucker to be a dad and to pay the bills but I tell them off . A lot . I’m tall ,dark hair ,nice car, athletic …sure they want it … they got married very young to loser boyfriends and now its a wake up call . Its not worth it .

  • Being Very Careful

    I am in a situation now that i have a woman that i really don’t like, but she keeps asking me when are we going to get together to go out which is very scarey for me not to hurt her feelings.

    • beauthentic

      Make sure you gaurd your words. I spent time with someone in a social setting, he showed all the signs of attraction. Remembered most things I said from early conversations, when I complimented him on his communication/ability to recall he said it wasn’t typical, that I was special. He would tell me he cared deeply for me, so I finally asked him out for lunch. He never really responded, but when I’d see him he said something about me owing him lunch, I’d finally roll my eyes and say you have my number. More mixed signals, so I asked him again. He’d say busy with work/had his son every weekend. When I confronted him on what the what is this, lunch didn’t mean put a ring on it. It was to see if there was a compatibility outside that setting. He gave me the we have a connection and deep conversation, but wouldn’t simply say I’m not interested in that way, etc. Still would make compliments, so I gave the guy one more shot saying here is my last offer so I’m not being ambiguous, after this I’m not trying anymore. Told him it’s ok to say no, (leading on hurts worse than solid rejection btw), guy asked to come over my house the next night. Let him come, said lets be friends didn’thave time to date etc. Told him I had a date the next day, he seemed bothered. Kept asking me why I liked him all t/o the time he knew, said he couldn’t date me because I would hurt him. We messed around a little but never had sex. He spent the night, but that was it. My friends want me to keep trying to date, I sign up for online dating, reviewing my matches he ends up being one of my matches. He is on a freaking dating site. Seriously, just say no. If you want to not hurt her feelings, say you really appreciate the offer, but you do not want to hurt her feelings by leading her on and accepting that invitation. Like I said, stringing women along is what gets you a hole status quick, by being a mature man that can be courteous in a let down, doesn’t mean she won’t be hurt, but she will respect you if she also is a mature woman.

      • Being Very Careful

        Just be very careful, and on line dating is very scarey nowadays too.

  • IHaveMyVisionBack

    Women also have to take up some responsibility in this. Society today is extremely sex crazed. And there are dudes out there that use dating as a pretense for sex.

    If you are looking for a man to commit to, stop dating. Stop being so quick to having sex with these dudes hoping he’ll commit to you.

  • IHaveMyVisionBack

    The solution to this to be be upfront and honest always and from the get-go.. and also to not open your legs to males in which you don’t have a strong relationship and/or connection with.

  • Kahekili

    MN still posting trash from SBM and ‘Dr. J’.

  • cool

    I think the author on this one is totally off and just wrong in many ways. Idk where they are getting they’re info but it seems to be a bit off.

  • TIEN

    Ugggg So the responsiblity is AGAIN put on the woman to help the man thell the truth!!! LOL I suggest the author takes several seats!!!


    Remove EGO and problems solved!!

  • AncientSpiritNewDay

    I don’t believe men have a hard time rejecting women. I believe they just don’t do it out of selfishness and for their own sick pleasure. By leading a woman or two on, he gets the best of several different worlds, for a little while anyway. People need to stop babying these men, and stop making excuses for their ratchet behavior. I mean seriously, how hard is it to pick the lady you like and desire the most and work from there. Why have some on the sidelines, benched, waiting to get in the game??? smh

    • kofybean

      Men don’t reject women out of their own sick pleasures, and they reject women because why? A lot of man hate in these parts.

  • Lana

    I’ve been rejected once or twice but the guys were very honest with me. Of course no one likes to be rejected but at least they didn’t lead me on. Things were a little bit awkward at first but I wasn’t mad at them or anything. We actually became friends.

  • C’mon son

    “It’s almost as if you tell a woman “no” she’s going to remove herself from the situation altogether.” As it should be so she can move on and find someone else who is serious about her instead of just lying and staying her in her good graces to just have sex. Disgusting. A woman should never have to couple her questions with a reassurance that she won’t be upset. Just man up and be honest early on when she asks you a straight forward question and no one will have to deal with all that foolishness.

    • York

      Ya know?? If a man is so concerned about a woman pulling a disappearing act then he needs to develop a roster and be prepared to make game time substitutions….

      Or, BE UPFRONT FROM THE BEGINNING! I can understand if the nature if the relationship or the intent changes as they get to know each other, but if he’s looking for a good time Sally then fine, that should be fully expressed before things get too involved.

      • Drew Smith

        Week 1. Chick: “Where’s this going?” Dude: “I like you, but I’m not looking for anything serious.” Chick: “Neither am I.” Dude: “Coolness.” Week 8. Chick: “Where’s this going?” Dude: “Huh?” Chick: “I mean, what are we?” Dude: [enter stammering sounds here] Cue: Chick taking to MN to air out a bastard who “lied” just to have s3x… Honesty sucks, which is why men lie.

    • Vanityamazon

      I so agree brothers can not get upset if a woman wants to move on if that man does not want her. You can’t have cake and crumbs too women are not dolls that you play with and put back on a shelf

      • Drew Smith

        History has proven, and the current times continue to prove that, yes, women are dolls that men play with and put back on the shelf — and vice versa. It’s called dating, and it is certainly not mutually exclusive with purpose. You are both legally and morally allowed to date without long-term intention.