What is it with some people? You say you’re not interested; you choose to end your situation and yet they linger like odd socks at the back of your drawer. They interpret ‘no’ as ‘try again’. It’s bad enough eloquently finding ways to turn someone down politely, never mind getting rid of someone who can’t take a hint.
A friend of mine briefly dated a guy (around two or three dates) who initially seemed ideal. Quickly however, she began to find him needy and obsessive. Over text, she messaged him to say they’re not compatible – he argued she didn’t give him enough of a chance. After continuing to still receive messages and calls, she blocked his number. While ghosting isn’t the nicest rejection method, it can sometimes be the most necessary.
Why some people don’t understand the word, no
It’s easier to deny
For many of us, rejection impacts our self-esteem. The first time a guy turned me down, I went home and picked my flaws apart, finding at least ten reasons why I wasn’t worth dating. To avoid this fate, some people choose denial. They look for excuses and reasons to prove you actually want them. With fingers crossed, they hope you’ll change your mind so their egos will be recovered. An article I researched on handling rejection, noted that men in particular tend to ‘tie their pride and self-worth to conquering a pursuit.’
Since you haven’t dated, you’re often an ideal
Attraction tends to be physical, at least until you’ve spent adequate time with someone. The person we like is a physical being with a personality we can create and assume. Haven’t we all had an old crush who we thought was funny, witty and bright, only to discover they’re just an individual with good hair and nice teeth.
Getting rid of someone who can’t take a hint might be difficult because the person has likely daydreamed and envisioned you as some form of fantasy. Their thoughts imagine your feelings are mutual. They choose to focus on the roses blooming in their minds as oppose to the thorns you’re throwing at them (not literally).
You’re part of the chase
You telling a person you’re not interested could potentially spur that individual to step their game up. Rather than respecting your words, they opt to prove you wrong. You’re a mission they need to conquer.
They simply like you, a lot
When you really like someone, it’s tough knowing they don’t feel the same. It’s also painful cutting communication if you’ve been messaging each other. If they’re still hanging around, they could be struggling to cope.
How to get rid of someone who can’t take a hint
Ensure you’re not sending mixed signals
One minute, you’re flirting at your office Christmas party. The next, you’re explaining why you shouldn’t go out on a date. If you’re signals aren’t clear, you can’t expect someone to take a hint. Consider your body language and actions both over the phone and in person.
Rejecting someone can feel awkward. Honesty often sounds too mean: ‘I’m out your league, you don’t know how to have good conversation and P.S, there is a thing called foreplay’. Rarely does the truth sound the nicest. This leads to some of us attempting to fluff our goodbyes with wishy-washing rejection messages.
‘I think it’s probably best….’
‘Maybe we shouldn’t be together….’
‘I don’t feel I’m in the right place’
If you want someone to take a hint, you have to make the hint obvious. ‘It’s not best’, ‘We shouldn’t be together’. Be clear and firm with your feelings. If that feels hard to do, remember that it’s the nicest option in the long-term – for both of you.
Whenever I think about closure, I remember Rachel’s famous line in friends, ‘And that, my friend, is what they call closure’. Switching from being very interested to suddenly not at all with only a basic explanation will understandably make a person feel confused. Especially if you’ve expressed strong feelings and not shown any disinterest while on dates. If your mind has swiftly changed, try to let someone know why.
Don’t keep responding
If you’ve made your feelings clear and you have asked to end things or expressed a lack of desire, do not restart communication. When you respond to contact, you’re giving a person reason to keep interacting. They could get a rise out of your responses.
If it feels like harassment
According to Rights of Women, UK law states ‘that harassment is when a person behaves in a way which is intended to cause you distress or alarm. The behaviour must happen on more than one occasion’. This includes unwanted texts, emails, letters, phone calls. Citizens Advice recommends reporting people on social media, retaining evidence and blocking the person continuing to contact you. If they continue, you can report it to the police.
What else would you recommend for getting rid of someone who can’t take a hint?