Rejection is Rejection by Any Name

I have noticed that Ayden is becoming inconsistent more recently.  His communication, while lacking in my opinion, was at least very consistent the first month.

His change of pattern and lack of communication between dates caused me frustration and   ultimately led to the last conversation we had, where he said he would think about it and owe me some answers.

Between the Friday morning I left the hotel and the Wednesday evening I spoke to him, I sent two early morning text:

Happy Fathers Day (which got a response by 6pm in the evening)

Happy Birthday (which also got a response by 6pm in the evening, requesting a phone call)

I knew something was off, I already probably even knew the answers in my gut, but I’m the type who has to know.

Ayden called and there was less than 5 minutes of polite conversation before I could tell he needed to address the outstanding discussion from the week prior.

He said he acknowledges that our sex styles are off, in his opinion our sex is still very good, but understands that’s not the same as great.  He noted that he hadn’t yet googled the shaving of pubic hair.  He also said maybe we could get to awesome together, but…that led into the next question which was troubling him more.

He said he realized he unintentionally confused me with his style of communication between dates, but that is his style.  He likes to focus intently on each thing he is doing when he is doing it (and this is very obvious when he is out with me, the actual dates are fantastic).  He then said “what I want, and what I should want, are perhaps not aligned.”  He thought aloud that what he should want was to have more communication and more connection, but then said it’s not actually what he wanted.  He wants the relationship to stay as once a week with little communication between dates, but only if I want it that way as well.

I simply said ok.

He had virtually repeated back to me what I had already said to him during our discussion in bed, there was nothing new here.  When he questioned me why I had nothing to add, I said exactly that to him, that he parroted my own statements.  Ayden went on to say that I was very intuitive and understanding and had clearly identified the situation.

There was a lot of awkward silence.  I didn’t know what I wanted to say or even what else to talk about because he was clearly in a strange spot, so we hung up the phone.

After our call, I noticed he went back on Tinder for the first time in weeks. Ouch.  That’s always an ouch and I hate those damn GPS locators on these apps.

I spoke to Ann immediately following the call and she helped me get my head straight by asking “what did you want to hear from this conversation that you didn’t?”

I thought about that and composed this message to Ayden within the hour:

Initially I felt good about sending that message and thought I was clear in my own head/thoughts. I had been speaking to Ann in between the conversations with Ayden and realized I had ended up making a pit of frustration and confusion in my stomach.  I knew the man wanted a sex only relationship, why was I pushing to actually hear it from him that he didn’t want me?

Yes, it started to go through my mind that I wasn’t good enough for whatever reason.  Never mind the fact that I already knew Ayden and I are not a great match.  Never mind that there were plenty of red flags (not that I ignored them, I just chose to overlook them).  I was feeling rejected and I didn’t like it, so I reached out to the person who rejected me for more rejection…talk about stupid behaviors.

This is the first time I have seen it clearly – like an out-of-body experience.  It also helped, quite a lot in fact, that Ann sent me the most amazing article while all of this was happening.

You can read that article here:

I plan to dissect that article because I found it particularly impactful, but not now, now we are focusing on Ayden.

The bottom line in the article, like others we have read here in blog land, is that Ayden wasn’t clearly saying “fuck yes” to me nor was I saying “fuck yes” to him, so why was I pursuing something that wasn’t, at its core, the right situation for either of us? (and that’s where my quote above comes in – why pursue mediocrity?)

So I had a few things going on… I was feeling rejected by Ayden, I reached out to him once again for more questions/answers, and I didn’t really see a future for the relationship in any case, but didn’t quite want to let it go either.  It helped to have Ann talking with me through every thought and challenging me to really think about what I wanted from all this.  I was a little ball of confusion.

I got nervous before speaking to him, but as I was thinking about being nervous, he called promptly at 11pm and I accepted the call.

It ended up being just fine, because of his style.  He went right into: “let me answer your two questions.”  It alleviated any further explanation on my part and all I had to do was listen.  He admitted a sex-only relationship was what he wanted, though he went on to add that the person was important (Libido Bootcamp take note: high-class call girl was spot on).  Ayden claims there is a “meaningful distinction” for him about having the right kind of chemistry with the person he is having sex with, he needs to really like them.  Ann and I discussed that people say “the quality of the person or the connection is important” because they want to make themselves feel better about sex-only relationships.    He also said he planned to do “life-things” with his child-free time.  Bottom line, he is not interested in making any further connection in his dating life.  He wants to date once a week.  There was a moment where he said something that kind of hurt a little “I want to keep a dating relationship, well, this relationship, where it is” where I could have asked if that was specifically about me or about anyone he was dating, but why ask a question you don’t want the answer to?  Of course, it’s specific to me (maybe some of it is his dating mentality too, who knows and who cares).

He went on to say that if I was with others that he hopes I will be protected during sex and that I am obviously aware that he is careful with this but that I shouldn’t worry because he only has time to date once a week and that would be with me.

Frankly, I felt relief after the conversation and I could tell he did too.  We cleared the air entirely.  He made some lovely compliments about my empathy, intuition and ability to have these kind of conversations where most men/women cannot.  He said he was 80% convinced I could have the conversation, but had been acting weird the past few weeks because he was afraid he would hurt me and he didn’t want to do that.  I explained he was hurting me with his behavior and inconsistency, not being forthcoming and that I work better with rules (as does he).

He said he still wants to see me and is more than willing to be planful go forward.  I don’t know how much dating I can do with Ayden, if it were just jumping in to bed it would be different, but he wants the whole package with no expectation and I find it hard to sit at a table to talk for 3-5 hours before having sex.  Inevitably you want to get to know a person, even if it is only once a week, or at least I do.  I can feel I am at the tipping point of wanting to get to know him better, so I am unsure I can actually continue with him at all, but I wasn’t ready to completely shut the door last night.

I was pleased that the conversation ended on a better note, with him telling me he would call me after the weekend to make plans.  I could hear the relief in his voice (of course, you didn’t “hurt” me and I just gave you a pass to continue having sex with me and not feel guilty about it).  Maybe I should have taken the money, after all? (that’s a joke!)

Interestingly, I didn’t sleep well and this was on my mind more than I had given it credit to be.  I guess I still have some things to work through, rejection among them.  While Ann doesn’t see this as a rejection, I do.  I still have that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that there is some reason I’m not enough.

Common sense and lessons learned have taught me that this is much less about me and more about him, but I still feel a sense of rejection.  Of course it’s not supremely painful, nor are there any tears, but that sick feeling kept me sleepless last night and is still here today.  I know it will disappear as soon as I begin to focus a little on dating again and find another match to spend time with.

I did start on Tinder and Bumble again this morning and made a few weak starts.  Going into Tinder and seeing that Ayden is active is not good for my psyche, so I deleted our match.  I wonder if he will say anything or even notice.

I look at each of these instances as opportunity, I am still learning and growing from all of these experiences.  I saw the signs that I was just about to want to be more attached to Ayden and I addressed them immediately.  That’s a lot of progress from where I’ve been.  I can say one thing for sure, having my heart so sincerely broken into bits taught me much more than I wanted to know and I have no intention of allowing that to happen so easily again.  Not that I am closed off to romance and love, just that I have learned my heart needs to be protected and nurtured and only I can do that, no one is going to do it as well I can do it for myself.

I truly have no idea if I hear from Ayden again or not.  I tend to think so, but he may take the deleted match as an indication I’m done.  It’s fine if I don’t and I will get over him easily enough, just the feeling of rejection sucks.






Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

57 thoughts on “Rejection is Rejection by Any Name”

  1. Was happy to help you through it my dear 😘

    I could absolutely not have those luxurious dinner dates and stay casual. Casual sex (think Lewis, Jason), is they come over and bring a bottle of wine, we hang out on my couch then go have sex. All the other trappings of a serious date would fuck me up over time – it’s getting to know someone and giving a lot of yourself and for me that hasn’t aligned with anything that needs to stay casual.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Just wondering when they sleep over though – no snuggling at night? No morning sex? Those are still trappings of emotion but there is less “talk” overall.

      I’m curious if I even hear from him again. When I didn’t sleep well last night my guy told me it’s over despite the last conversation.


      1. I’ve read that ALL online apps are considered hook up apps – except sow thing like eharmony which was an awful joke in my opinion.

        I can one give perspective from my city – it’s the app of choice. Tinder or Bumble or die alone! πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

    1. ASV is welcome to give it a month in my city and see if any of her chosen apps work better and she will quickly find out there is no app alternative here.

      I have serval friends in serious relationships who met on Tinder.

      I have dated decent men on Tinder and met men on OKC that ONLY want hook ups. I have yet to see the promise of either being better than the other bough ASV will insist that answering a million questions makes a difference. πŸ˜‚.

      Bottom line, it’s the man and not the app in my opinion.

      Hookup apps in my city are adult friend finder.

      At least this is what every single single person I know in my city tells me.

      And I agree falling for someone who doesn’t want the relationship is a recipe for disaster. I just can’t do it again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wasn’t suggesting you were wrong about Tinder lol. Just saying you and I have had the discussion.
        I agree there is a spectrum on all sites. The reason I like POF and OKC is because I can vet and eliminate a ton of men there based on what they write (or don’t write). I ignore most of the messages I get because I can see whether they have any hope in hell of being a good match.
        Information is powerful and the challenge with Tinder and Bumble is you have no real clue if that person will meet your criteria (assuming you have any other than looks) and you have to engage them in discussion to find out. And ask awkward questions like “how tall are you” and “what are you looking for”.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agree those are awkward questions and never easy to ask. I prefer the OKC app overall as well but no quality men come from it, ever. The ones I met were more hookup happy than some of the Tinder dudes – but what’s worse is they posed as relationship guys


      1. Gemini men are typically players. Highly sexual – though that’s not the same as good in bed. I dated one in college (literally born the day before me) and it was always cat and mouse with him. I tired of that, because it seemed he was never really committed. The second one I lived with for over 3 years and it was hell. Among the many transgressions, he cheated on me several times and his ex-girlfriend had even warned me he had “a wandering eye.” My husband had a Gemini friend who was good -looking, gregarious (they always are), and also had that sexual charge without barriers (female OR male). What is your birthday, and when is his? Just curious – I’d like to look up the connection and see what “they” say.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. From The Secret Language of Relationships: The week of June 19-24 with Week of Sept 3-10…Best is work; worst is marriage. “This relationship’s great lesson is to teach its partners how to assert themselves and develop a sense of inner authority in order to be taken seriously with the world.” There’s more, but I’ll leave it there. Perhaps there is a lesson – as you suggested you’re continuing to learn about yourself – in this man for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry about the feeling of rejection. Although I don’t think he rejected you as much as he just made you aware of what he is looking for and it happens to be different then what you are looking for.

    I have to say I LOVE that article you linked to! It is so me!! I like to pretend am okay with what little a guy wants (sex only) but isn’t reality I want more…and then I get upset when they won’t behave in a way that I want!!! This is so my situation with the last guy Craig. I ended up emailing him to let him know I wouldn’t see him any longer because we were wanting different things..he was serving water while I was searching out

    Any way, it seems to be what you are doing with Ayden….you don’t really want what he is serving so perhaps it’s better to just say goodbye???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that article spectacular. I said to Ann it painfully reminded me of my behavior with Bobby and just asking him for more and more wine.

      Yes Ayden is serving water in a wine glass. He’s not what I’m looking for. I am debating just calling it quits because I don’t see much sense in continuing the way he prefers to continue. On the other hand. I don’t have anything going on and it’s notoriously hard to date in the city during summer…so I don’t know if I’m terribly keen to completely let go

      Ann also felt it wasn’t rejection as much as saying what he wants is different than what I want. He is being honest and this time I won’t try and interpret signals differently. I’m don’t disagree with that interpretation but it still feels like rejection because I’m questioning myself.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well for what it’s worth the excuse of “I don’t have anything else going on” was exactly what I used to allow myself to continue on with Craig. When it became clear that he still only had water to offer I felt the same hurt and rejection. I don’t anticipate the feeling of hurt going away if you continue with Ayden. At least if you walk away now you can remind yourself that he wasn’t what you wanted and YOU did the rejecting. You are a strong woman…don’t try to quash your wants and needs to fit what he wants just because you have nothing else going on. You are strong enough to hold out for what you actually want and deserve. You deserve wine!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve dated a couple of guys who needed to be very compartmental like Ayden. Both were in tech. ha ha ha. No, I shouldn’t make that connection. But, both were career-wise very successful, in good shape, very smart, very decent. Both of these guys were perfect gentlemen during the date (although sex was a little robotic), and didn’t want to be in touch at all between dates except to discuss the next one. With both, after about the 3rd or 4th seemingly romantic date, I was able to have the conversation with them, and both were wonderfully forthcoming about what they could or couldn’t do. They wanted more than sex; they wanted the romance of a beautiful night together, but after that, they had to retreat to their emotionally-void worlds. One was emotionally closed off because of what sounded like systematic emotional neglect during his childhood, and the other had been involved with an emotionally abusive, mentally unstable woman the year before. Their way of coping was to exercise this kind of total control over their dates. I was able to end both relationships on a friendly note.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If I’m right or wrong it doesn’t matter but I did think that Ayden is emotionally closed off but aware that I am not and truly doesn’t want to hurt me in his own process of being quirky. I’m glad he was honest and I’m glad I brought it up instead of letting it be a source of frustration for both of us.

      He didn’t say he wants the romance of a date but he has acted that way so I do assume he’s similar to the guys you describe above.

      Part of me does want to know why I don’t fit into his world but the better half of me keeps reminding me it doesn’t matter because he doesn’t fit into mine and that’s obviously more important. Ann rightly pointed out that I am generally more flexible in a relationship and bend to others styles and desires while neglecting my own. I’m trying to learn how not to do that and walk away with less emotional attachment and hurt.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I empathize with that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach that keeps you awake at night. In my case, it’s almost always anxiety from something that is not right in my world. I wonder if it is the same with you and the anxiety stemmed from that feeling of rejection and not being good enough (which is so easy to blow out of proportion and to start thinking that you will never be good enough or that you will always be broken). We are so quick to focus on our perceived shortcomings instead of the growth we’ve made (and are still making).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jana I do think you have hit on something. There’s a lot “upside down or wrong” in my world at the moment that I have no control over. Losing my job and a massive part of my identity is deep inside so I think any other form of rejection brings those feelings bubbling up…as a matter of fact I did dream of work and my old boss was even mixed in…so clearly those feelings are tangled up in there.

      I stay awake at night from anxiety and I do think that Ayden stating that it could be no more than sex just raised underlying issues for me that are mostly unrelated to him, but still crappy all the same.


  5. I think you are learning and evolving in your dating. Ayden wasn’t particularly your kind of guy to begin with, so you have already “rejected” him on one level. I know you have a lot going on, so it’s easy to perceive this as rejection of you instead of him wanting something different — is that making sense? At the end of the day, do what feels right for YOU.


  6. A quick comment (and hi over here :)).

    I love that you are seeing your own patterns: I think that’s hard.

    I haven’t read the comments, so maybe someone said this already, but there is totally an ego thing where we want people to want us *even if we don’t want them*. And if they DON’T want us, WE WILL WORK TO MAKE IT SO to prove that we’re just that awesome and they SHOULD want us madly, deeply stupidly (so we are seeking validation, approval, proof of desirability etc etc).

    And THEN, if we get them there, only THEN we will go ‘meh, I didn’t really want them anyway’ – at THAT point it’s *our* choice, and not theirs and our ego will admit that we weren’t really interested (sounds actually like a lot of men’s behaviour also, no? Chase-chase-chase-catch-meh). I have a huge maw of an ego and I see it in myself sometimes and have to work to rein it in. I don’t think it’s uncommon though.

    Aside: I like this guy’s honesty. Kudos to him.


    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is so enlightening and as a divorced (two years removed) mom who’s been struggling with this dating thing, man, I don’t feel so alone.

    I honestly went through the same thing two weeks ago. I got too attached too quickly and the guy said the same thing, “I like the pace of things as they way they are.” And because of abandonment issues, I take it all as rejection. I’ve just got to remember, like you said, more often than not, it isn’t about me.

    I liked this guy A LOT and the chemistry was awesome — when we were face to face…then the communication in between faded to nothing and I have heard from him. I know that’s for the best, I know ultimately he wasn’t for me, but it still stings.

    Whatever the outcome, it seems like you’re in touch with what you want and need. And that awesome.


  8. Thanks for sharing that article, having a rough romantic day and that kind of helped. So did operating and hopefully getting someone a little closer to better health, but when my mind wanders at night that article seriously did help.

    Also, I am a gemini and I am awesome, stop the gemini hate up there πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  9. First of all M, you are not any less of the wonderful woman you are because of what feels like rejection from Ayden (Or any others). And I’m so glad to see the article I posted on my own blog make the rounds and helps many others. I have read it over again, and yes it does help, but in the real world when we meet a man that touches a part of our hearts and gives us a glimmer of hope that maybe it could be more than a hook up, then there lies our hearts wide open and bleeding when he turns out to be like all the rest. 😦
    it takes time… and as much as we might sometimes just want to hang it up and sit on the couch instead of going on more disappointing dates, we just have to put ourselves back out there. XOXOXO!
    Here’s a couple of articles you might like too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks JC! I didn’t realize you posted this on your blog – kudos for finding it! I have read it like 3 times already to remind myself how much truth there is in it!

      I’m ok putting myself out there and I’m sad over not having more opportunity with Ayden but I have to remind myself he wasn’t the one for me in any case.

      I will take a look at these other articles! Thanks for sharing!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “I’m still unsure if I really want any more than I have with Ayden so why push for something I don’t really need? I like what I have with him weekly and it’s really ok for a little while.” Your opinion of him overall has been “yeah, he’s ok”.
        You don’t think that this attitude gets sent out and finally received?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have an addendum!

        I thought about this for a while in order to decide if I believed that or not and my answer is “no” I don’t think I gave Ayden any vibe of dissatisfaction in any way. I was intent in trying to make a go of it as it seemed to get better each time we were together, until the gaping hole in communication over the last 2 weeks.

        After our conversation, I will be honest to say I don’t think I can go week to week with him with no contact in between at all. The only thing that holds me back is that I really do enjoy the time I spend with him when I am with him – it’s easy, comfortable and fun. He obviously feels the same way, but for him I guess he is better at compartmentalizing than me.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi there. I have just found you and have read only this post so far. My feelings will not be hurt if you delete this as I am pretty blunt. None of what I am going to say comes from a place of judgement or religion, just a lot of years making a crap load of not good choices for myself.

    First of all, you ARE more than enough. He is just not ENOUGH man for you. By that, I simply mean that he still wants to have his came and it eat too. No commitment and yet he wants you to give the most sacred (again, not religios) part of yourself to him. I have put my heart and my vagina on the line with guys like this enough to know. I am 53 and had a really crappy childhood so silly me went looking for love from, you guessed it, men who wanted sex and had no love to give. I found one every time. It took many years and much soul searching to believe I am enough and I deserve better.

    I know this will make me sound like an old fart but I’m going to throw it out there anyway. I’m not suggesting you wait for marriage or even an engagement ring but what about putting a time frame on the whole sex thing? X amount of weeks or months. It doesn’t have to be specific or written in stone, but long enough to figure out if the guy is enough man and is grown up enough to be ready for all that awesome woman that you are.

    This holds true for me and many women I have spoken to over the years – once we give the vagina away, our hearts seem to take a nose dive off the Empire state building. My swan dive has never been very pretty. I only call that place sacred because it is so often a package deal.

    Again, feel free to delete my reply. No hard feelings. It’s a mother, almost grandmother thing. I hate to see amazing young women settling for far less than they are worth. That means you! If you don’t send me hate mail asking me not to return, I would very much like to follow you.


    Grandma Leah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, please don’t say your old as you are barely older than me. I am about to be 47.

      I have no issue giving away sex. I don’t believe in withholding after 1-2 dates if that’s what you both want. I don’t agree with that concept. But that has more to do with my age and the fact I lived too long in a sexless marriage

      When I doubt myself now it’s momentary. Something in me wasn’t what he wanted and withholding sex would have made no difference here or with this man.

      My heart is not even engaged in this man on any level.

      I don’t think there is anything in your comments that would lead me to delete them but more so just that you haven’t yet been on my journey with me. I’m ok with Ayden not wanting more from me, but my intellectual side still asks the questions so I can learn and grow from each experience.

      I appreciate your taking the time to comment!


      1. I am excited a out going back to the beginning of your blog and getting to know you better. I’m all cool with the sex thing. I just wasn’t sure of your age and if you were one of many women who are not able to separate their heart from their vaginas. I just didn’t want you to go through the self-hatred I went through because I ALWAYS gave the vagina first but unfortunately, my discombobulated heart was attached to the damn thing!

        Try this one on for size. Due to a rape at thirteen and molestation by a family member when I was 4, I absolutely loathed sex. I could literally give myself a manicure while (pick a name) was going to town and I wouldn’t feel a damn thing. I have been with my current husband for eleven years, married ten of them and desperately wanting/needing out for over six years. Here comes the really crappy part. He was the first man to take me to the moon and back and around the world many times over on just the first go around of the day. I couldn’t even begin to tell you where that nail file went, but I did not care about that stupid thing anymore. I snickered for years when I heard my friends talking about the “big O” and laughed uncontrollably if someone mentioned that “multiple” word. I thought all women faked the ever elusive “O” and just pretended they didn’t.

        I asked for a separation 16 days ago. I don’t know if I am more angry about him becoming a total freaking jerk six years ago or the fact that he cut me off six years ago! Are you freaking kidding me? That’s like buying me my dream home and dream car only to inform me that I have to sit across the street to admit them and must never get close or touch them. Where did he think this marriage was gonna end up?

        Now that I know your age and that you are very mature about the whole thing, unlike I was, you go girl. You go out there and take what you want. Be good to yourself. I know I’m going to. I’m going to “toys-for-me” sometime this week.
        I hope this wasn’t too R-rated.



        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh no Leah, not R at all! My first blog was all about sex-ploraration after marriage. Then I had a relationship and a break up and grew up some more which brings us to this blog. Welcome!!

        I am very sorry to hear about your struggles but I do believe that a sex life after marriage is super healthy if approached correctly…you will find the community here amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I do want it all and until I figure out if I can have it all or not, I will continue to pursue it – why settle?

      It’s actually not so bad, I don’t mind dating and there are lots of fun things along the way. You certainly learn so much about yourself!


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