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Fear of (romantic) rejection

  1. Jun 13, 2013 #1
    The biggest fear that men have when encountering a female they want to seduce is the fear of rejection. It is estimated that more than 90 % (!) of all men would not approach a woman because of this fear.

    This emotion is considered to be overwhelming by men. Women on the other hand do not seem to bother with this men having this because those men are simply dismissed as "not interested in me" or "not having enough confidence" to approach therefore not attractive.

    I wonder:

    1) Where is the fear of rejection coming from?

    2) What is the best way to deal with it?

    3) Do women have the right attitude towards men when failing to approach because of this fear?

    What do you guys think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2013 #2
    Weird, I never thought of it until now - but I have never felt that when talking to a woman I was interested in.
  4. Jun 13, 2013 #3
    In my case, experience. I had no fear of rejection till after I'd been turned down about three times.
    In high school I discovered fear of rejection is soluble in alcohol. However, I quit drinking altogether at 25.

    In the sober state I've tried never to approach women with any hint of romantic interest, just an interest in conversation. If there's any mutual attraction it will get flirty thereafter.
    Yes, no, maybe.
  5. Jun 13, 2013 #4
    1) When one hasn't tried approaching women ever, it's a phobia. Repeated failures make it into a well-founded fear that continually erodes away one's self-esteem.

    2) Alcohol or prescription drugs in case of extreme social anxiety disorders apparently helps, but I wouldn't recommend either. I've been on an SSRI for half a year and I've noticed I'm a little less inhibited on average. But both come with side-effects (the former probably more severe).

    3) I don't get the question. Women don't have to do much if anything at all, there's always a surplus of males willing to put in the energy to break the ice.
  6. Jun 14, 2013 #5
    1) I think it's a natural part of our psyche. We have a fear of rejection when it comes to other social situations, applying for jobs, etc. But so much importance gets placed on being successful at dating it sometimes allow us to blow this fear out of proportion.

    2) Accept that it's going to happen and it's just part of the process of finding someone you want to date. No one is going to be liked by everyone they meet, that's just life. If you allow yourself to be confident that you will be able to meet someone else who might like you, you can take the pressure off a single rejection and move on from it. You definitely don't want to let your hopes and dreams about a person build up to the point where if a specific person rejects you, it will feel like the end of your romantic life.

    3) I've found that many women are sympathetic to the amount of courage it takes to do that sort of thing. And usually a woman will recognize that if a guy is interested in her then it is a complement to her, even if she's not interested back. But not all of them.
  7. Jun 14, 2013 #6


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    Sounds like an endless loop the way you have put it.

    Are you sure it is not that 90% of men have a phobia of various degree of possible rejection when approaching an attractive woman.

    There are many reasons, besides a basic fear of rejection, that a male could have to not appraoch an attractive woman - such as marital status, age difference, wealth, proper and accepted social norms. Is the 90% estimate for not approaching a woman lumping all these into a broad general term and misrepresenting it as fear of rejection.
  8. Jun 14, 2013 #7
    I think my fear of rejection stems from my admittedly false perception of myself as being a guy no woman would turn down. As long I don't approach any women, I never get turned down; thus, I keep my false perception of being irresistible to the woman I'm never going to talk to to make use of that irresistibility.

    But seriously though, I don't approach women with the explicit purpose of having a romantic relationship with them because I like to get to know women before I start to want a romantic relationship with them. There really needs to be more mediums that allow that to happen, because right now, that's not proving to be an effective way of forming romantic relationships for me.
  9. Jun 14, 2013 #8


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    How about cultivating friendships with females? If they are romantically interested, they will let you know. No rejection there. Of course, this approach requires a bit of time. No wham, bam, thank you ma'am. If you have good female friends and they are not personally interested in you, you are still ahead, since women are inveterate match-makers, and you can benefit from that tendency. Good luck.
  10. Jun 14, 2013 #9
    I'm indifferent towards dating or relationships, so whenever I'm talking to someone of the opposite gender, it's just for conversational purposes. Maybe someone will arise in my life whom I find irresistible and I would want to spend a substantial amount of time with her, but this person, assuming she exists, is not someone that I am actively looking for. If it happens it happens. I suppose this might be helpful for you; if you're having a problem with the fear of being rejected, maybe you're putting too much thought into the whole process and have unnecessarily made it too important a part of your life.
  11. Jun 14, 2013 #10


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    Odd to hear about how afraid men are. My girlfriends and I formed the "alien abduction" theory to explain why you met a seemingly great guy, had an awesome time, had so much in common, he asks you out for a date, you agree and tell him to call you to set it up, and then...chirp, chirp chirp. You never hear from him again.

    Can someone explain this to me? I mean we were all attractive, intelligent, mature, great careers, independent, owned our own homes, no baggage.

    We did find out some were married, or in relationships, so they were actually scum out on the town, but surely not all men are taken?
  12. Jun 14, 2013 #11
    They could have been intimidated from such an accumulation of attractive traits. If a guy is lacking in confidence, he might not think that he would be able to actually be in a successful relationship with a woman like that, and would therefore just forgo the whole process. I know I've been hesitant to contact certain women because, as you will often find with humble men, they might think that they aren't worthy.

    Of course a simple process needs to be overly complicated for no apparent reason, but that is the way of humanity.
  13. Jun 14, 2013 #12
    My guess is they're just flaky. Some people you just can't pin down with plans. They're impetuous and have the attention span of a squirrel. I know so many people like that.
  14. Jun 14, 2013 #13


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    Ahahahaha, that was awesome, attention span of a squirrel. I know that's right. :rofl:

    Seriously though, I wish more men would not be afraid to say hi. I think expectations are too high. It doesn't have to be on the level of asking for a date, it can just start with a simple "hi". Of course there are high maintenance beotches that want the world, avoid them, if they look like they spent the last week in a spa preparing for this night out, you might want to avoid them. And if that's what you want, then don't be surprised if you have a hard time.

    I always went for the scruffy looking guys, I didn't want a man that spent more time gazing into a mirror than I did. They were usually the very smart guys, and they were comfortable with who they were.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  15. Jun 15, 2013 #14
    Men are afraid to approach women, because if it were too easy, everyone would be copulating in the streets and on the diner counters. It really is that simple. I've always wondered why it was so difficult for a man and a woman to hit it off when there's billions of us everywhere. The answer is that these artificial fears have been birthed in us to keep the population in check (which is half working) and to encourage the more attractive and intelligent people to reproduce (that about 1/4 works). After an incredible amount of time and grief, though. But that's how it works and why it is.
  16. Jun 15, 2013 #15
    A good-looking scruffy guy also puts considerable amount of work into their look, it's a fashion style. Don't think for a minute a lot of the hot scruffy dudes just pulled on a wrinkled shirt, slapped on some cologne and forgot to shave when they went out the door. They don't always look like that went they get out of bed.

    Like some say, it may stem from insecurities, but if it is purely just insecurities I don't think a male would just give up and disappear. There's something else, as you said: they're probably not single. If he was truly single or didn't have another partner at an arm's reach, they wouldn't give up something so rare and precious for most males: female attention. An inferiority complex wouldn't be a sufficient reason for someone truly single and rarely in relationships to disappear, it is not a sensible choice for a male unless they really enjoy being alone.

    If he gets up and disappears, he's probably getting that attention elsewhere, it isn't that difficult for him to get it, so you can safely assume he's got other romantic interests and can acquire them very easily.

    Here's a telling question: how many single, unmarried men above the age of 40 have you met? How many females in the same condition? I've never even heard of a female older than 40 that had not married (or had a child) at least once (just one, a nun). I know several males older than 40 that have never and probably never will marry.

    Also, I think most women grossly overestimate male standards of beauty. They are really not that high. Magazines and TV+films would have you believe most men want someone that looks like a model or actress. Not really true.

    Now now, let's not descend to the level of gender stereotypes.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  17. Jun 15, 2013 #16
    That's what I do, what are we talking about here? I just wake up and slap on some aftershave. Over my scruff, the girls love it.

    @ Evo

    I prowled the bar scene for 20+ years in several different locals (still am:smile:), and have got enough phone numbers to keep the stinky paper mill in Tacoma in operation. Used to do this acoustic act around Seattle and girls would put their phone numbers in my tip jar. I rarely called any of them. The reason is for me was laziness. I thought, OMG, what am I gonna say to this person who I met half (or all) drunk at this bar the other night? It just seemed like too much trouble. Just being honest.

    Edit: Let me qualify this by saying it's not just laziness per se, it's mostly feeling like I don't have the stamina, resources, or whatever it's gonna take to treat the girl the way I feel she deserves to be treated, if that makes any sense. So, I guess it is kind of insecurity.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  18. Jun 15, 2013 #17
    Then congratulations, you were born naturally good-looking. :)
  19. Jun 15, 2013 #18
    How's that a gender stereotype?
  20. Jun 15, 2013 #19
    It's called tongue-in-cheek Lava :tongue:
  21. Jun 15, 2013 #20
    You said if males could have their way, they'd be having sex in public and by extension (I suppose), be totally disinterested in long-term relationships. It really isn't that simple. Men also have emotional partnership needs just like women. Not socially acceptable to express them, but they're there.
  22. Jun 15, 2013 #21
    No no no, that's not what I was trying to say. I mean that men's fear of women is part of why that doesn't happen. It has nothing to do with "want" This evolutionary train drives the want, not the other way around. It's woman's fear or reluctance of being hit on by an idiot that also drives it.
  23. Jun 16, 2013 #22


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    Firstly, I fail to see the connection between 'romantic' and 'seduction'. Seduction has the connotation of 'one deliberately enticing a person, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour.' Seduction generally implies deception or dishonesty, and selfishness. I don't see anything romantic in that at all. Why would a woman want a relationship with someone who is selfish and dishonest?

    I'm not sure I understand the third question. What does a woman's attitude have to do with a man's fear? Is one holding women responsible for a man's fear?

    I've had wonderful friendships with many women, and I've generally enjoyed the company of women more so than with men (my male friends). Since I've been married for 31 years, and with same woman for 32 years, my relationships with other women are tempered.
  24. Jun 19, 2013 #23
    I'd say the fear of rejection is similar to the fear of failure you feel when you're about to speak publicly. There is no real danger, but you still perceive rejection/failure as damaging socially. Some would say that it's evolutionary in nature, as you generally need to be socially acceptable to find a mate.

    As to the rest of your post? Have a couple of drinks, and go in knowing that you won't win most of the time. If you don't, try very hard to act like you never noticed them. It's better than looking like you want to say something but are scared.
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