It’s pretty hard to take the sting out of being rejected by a guy after a month or so of semi-serious dating, especially when the signs seemed to be indicating a reasonable likelihood of success. Sadly, I find myself in this situation a little too often, so by now I’ve got a system for dealing with my hurt feelings and bruised ego in the immediate wake of being rejected. It typically involves a great deal of drunken analysis, the focus of which is to compile a list of non-threatening answers to the question—“Why didn’t he want me?”—and I’ve had a lot of success with this approach for the past couple of years. Until recently, that is, since I’ve started to notice an alarming trend:
In three of my last four rejections, I concluded that the guy ended things with me because I intimidated him.
I call this trend “alarming” because I usually consider it delusional to blame a guy’s lack of interest on intimidation. “He was just intimidated by your awesomeness!” is a phrase that I’ve always thought of as the battle cry for cheesy, brainless girls who are totally lacking in any charming or marketable attributes whatsoever. You know, the kinds of girls who think they’re coming across as totally hot and athletic when they post a Facebook status update about going to the gym, notwithstanding the fact that they’re 15 pounds overweight and probably consumed more calories in Smart Water than they burned on the elliptical (while flipping through the pages of Us magazine, of course). The type who is practically the poster child for He’s Just Not That Into You used to seem to me to be the most likely to over- and misuse the excuse of intimidation when consoling herself in the face of heartbreak.
However, now that I’ve come to the repeated conclusion that intimidation played a role in my recent failed dating endeavors, I feel like maybe I should rethink my stance—especially because in all of those cases that explanation seemed completely likely and totally logical. Therefore, I would like to figure out whether it is factually possible for a guy to reject a girl on the ground that she intimidated him. I mean, it seems like there should be some very basic science pertaining to this issue, no?
Look, don’t get me wrong. There remains an overwhelming abundance of support for the proposition that guys like girls who are hot, smart, awesome, and fun to hang out with, such that they will remain in relationships with girls who they believe meet those criteria and will reject those who don’t. It’s that simple—except, of course, when it isn’t.
Take my very last rejection, for example. Everything about me matched up perfectly with what this guy was looking for. We had genuinely similar interests and there was palpable chemistry between us. Not to mention, every time he brought me around his friends, one or two of them would pull me aside and tell me what a great girl I was and that they were glad he was dating someone like me. I was literally convinced that I was the perfect girl for him.
Then he abandoned me without any explanation. And after analyzing every single second of our interaction at least 100 times, I really can’t come up with anything that makes any sense other than the fact that I was perfect for him—too perfect, in fact. So perfect that it freaked him out. The problem, though, is that I can’t quite pinpoint why it would be scary for a guy to be with an awesome girl.
I realize this isn’t something I’m going to be able to solve in one sitting. But I’m hoping that it isn’t a delusional myth to assume that sometimes a guy leaves a girl not because she isn’t awesome, but rather because she is awesome and that scares him.