I suspect that there are the fortunate few for whom dating never was an ego-crushing experience; they may have had bad dates or bad relationships, but they have the perfect combination of looks, charm and plain old luck to have been spared. The rest of us — that includes me — have to deal with rejection.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (quit rolling your eyes, I’m trying to make a point here) introduced the “Kobayashi Maru” test, a starship simulation in which a Starfleet cadet is put into a situation considered to be a “no-win scenario”.
The simulation is meant to be a test of the cadet’s discipline, character, and command capabilities when faced with great adversity. “How we face death,” as Admiral Kirk put it, “shows how we face life.”
Getting rejected in dating provides all the character testing of the Kobayashi Maru scenario without the military service — or William Shatner’s acting.
There are many ways to get rejected, but one of the worst has to be when they simply don’t return your calls. Many rejectors take this take because it spares them the awkwardness of having to be “the bad guy”, but the rejectee is left hanging with an “unresolved” feeling.
In my opinion, the correct way to handle such a scenario is to leave a single message along the lines of “I’d appreciate it if you would call me back” and leave it at that. There are many wrong ways, and this set of messages left by a guy named Greg [1.7 MB MP3, included as an enclosure for you Podcast listeners] is a prime example.
I don’t know either party in the recording; I just stumbled across the file. The first girl I ever asked out stopped returning my calls after a while and I think I responded in the same way that Greg did, but hey — I was 15. Greg sounds old enough to know better.