Rejection is an inevitable part of being on the dating market. I don't care how beautiful or fabulous you are: You're still not for everyone. But if you take romantic rejections as insults, dating can affect your self-esteem. So, the only way to make it out alive is to not take it personally. This can seem counterintuitive because rejection can feel personal. And sometimes, it is, but often, it's not, and we don't always consider the reasons someone might not text us back after a date or an initial introduction that are unrelated to our own shortcomings.
In an ideal world, you wouldn't care even if it's personal. So what if someone else thinks you're ugly and stupid? They're blind and ridiculous. But we're not all that self-assured, so it can also help to realize there are many other reasons someone may not want to go on a second date or see you again after exchanging numbers at a party.
In case a broken record saying "you're ugly and stupid" (or something less extreme but also negative) runs through your head every time you don't get that text you've been awaiting, here's a handy guide to all the other reasons someone may not have texted you back. It's not exhaustive, but I hope it's enough to help convince you why that radio silence may have nothing to do with you, or even someone else's opinion of you.
1. There's Someone Else
Even if your love interest was single when you met, they could be committed to someone now, or they could have their eyes on someone else to the point that pursuing you wouldn't be fair.
2. They Have A Highly Specific Physical Preference
I don't understand people who prefer a specific body type or race because, hello, beauty comes in many different forms, but those people are out there.
3. There's No "Chemistry"
Ah, that elusive thing known as "chemistry." Sometimes chemistry is lacking for no explicable reason, even when both people are conventionally attractive.
4. Something You Said Secretly Put Them Off
Maybe they disagree with your opinion about Obama. Maybe our spiritual beliefs are a dealbreaker. Maybe they just can't date someone who doesn't like curly fries. People sometimes have odd requirements, and they're not always upfront about them.
5. You're Looking For Different Things
Maybe it became clear at some point that you were looking for a friend with benefits while they were looking for a relationship, or vice versa. Again, they may have registered this without acknowledging it out loud because... well, that's awkward. So, their chosen way of communicating that you're not on the same page was to ghost you. It may not be the clearest response, but it's a common one.
6. There's A Family Emergency
I know this sounds like it was copied and pasted from an email to an employer from an employee who is playing hooky, but it happens.
7. They're Getting Their Appendix Removed
True story: my friend was in the middle of an OkCupid message thread when her suitor vanished. He got back in touch weeks later, and it turned out he had appendicitis. They've been dating for months now!
8. They Have Issues, With A Capital I
Maybe they're just not ready to be dating anyone right now. Maybe they're afraid of commitment. Maybe they have such low self esteem they're convinced you're not interested. People have all sorts of issues, y'all.
9. They Were Abducted By Aliens
Seriously, it could happen. What if their last thought as they were whisked off in that UFO was "sh*t, now that awesome person I met will never know why I didn't text them back"?
10. Their Dog Ate Their Phone
Unlikely, but since so many dogs have made homework a dietary staple, maybe phones are the next frontier.
11. They Think You're Ugly And Stupid
Note that this possibility is different from "you're ugly and stupid" — because it's just their opinion, and they're not an authority on the matter. You own a mirror, and you're privy to your own thoughts, so you can be the judge of that.
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