There aren’t many relationship tropes as well-known as that of unrequited affection.

Everyone knows at least a story or two of someone who loved someone so much but got nothing but rejection over and over again.

Heck, I’m just going to stick out my neck and say everyone has been there at least once. Everyone is familiar with that sinking feeling of knowing that the person you are attracted to is not in any way attracted to you; and although you like them, they do not like you back. Men know this all too well, being the gender that does most of the chasing.

In this age of taking shots and women learning to come out of their shells to actively go after men they fancy, the issue of handling rejection and how to react when things do not go as planned becomes very relevant; with emphasis on women more than ever.

Many women do expect to be told no. And hardly take it the right way. [Credit: Nickie Petraki]

Getting rejected, being told ‘no’ is all part of the dating dynamic and knowing how to handle it maturely must therefore be part of the skills to develop if one intends to find success playing the dating game.

The average woman expects to succeed whenever she works up the courage to shoot her shot. With opinions often expressed on how men can hardly turn women down, it is obvious that they expect to hit bull’s eye any time they want a guy and go the extra mile to let him know about it.

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Of course, because men have minds of their own, these expectations don’t always materialise. Not all women who hit on men get what they want. Women get rejected, too, and rightly so.

Not all women who hit on men get what they want. [Credit: Giphy]

But more importantly, how should a man go about saying no to a woman who moves to him?

Now this is where many men find themselves faltering. Because of the education and mental conditioning that teaches men to respect women, put their feelings first and not hurt them, it is easy for men to pay undue attention to how their disinterest would make the woman feel. And not only is this an unnecessary worry to bear, but could also, low-key, be a way of opening up the possibility of falling for the woman’s charms.

When you are not interested in a woman, just say so politely but assertively. Do not mince words or leave room for ambiguity. Be clear on the point of being uninterested and let that be it. How she feels about being unwanted is not and should be none of your business. You don’t like what you don’t like and that should be enough.

It is logical at this stage to backtrack a little in order to emphasize on the importance of being polite and reasonably respectful when curving a woman.

It is not your responsibility to make her feel good with being told no. [Credit: DAN]

Making her fodder for banter among your guys is not a good idea, neither is it cool to body shame, slut shame or resort to other types of politically incorrect, insensitive and disrespectful statements.

But that should be all there is to it. That’s all you owe her, or any woman for that matter.

 It does not fall on you as a responsibility to make her comfortable with your decision. It is not your responsibility to make her feel good with being told no. You can only do your part right, and that is to send out the message of rejection.

Reception and how she chooses to feel about the whole thing is all on her.