Here’s a question I was recently asked by a friend whose attempts to diffuse a guy’s interest only seemed to encourage his approaches:
Why do some men seem to thrive on rejection and fight harder for the affection of the one who spurned them?
The pursuit of women can bring out the worst in men, and this will be all too familiar to someone who’s had to beat off a guy who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He still calls after you demonstrate disinterest, or even after refusing him flat-out. He’s insistent on becoming friends, but doesn’t stop the pressure to flirt. And if you call him on it he gets self-defensive.
The masculine ideal pressures men to treat sex as a conquest. ‘Not getting the girl’ can be humiliating for anyone, but selfish men often don’t know when to stop. For these guys, being told no initiates a challenge or raises the stakes, and they’re more concerned with validating their masculinity than in being considerate towards woman.
Because men are so afraid of rejection, some practically need a cease and desist order before they will acknowledge the rejection. Guys are endlessly capable of kidding themselves when it comes to avoiding defeat. Accordingly, women should never assume that signs such as disinterest or excuses as to why you can’t spend time together are going to be enough to ‘send him the message.’ You need to be very direct, even if telling him “I’m not interested in you and don’t want to see you,” sounds harsh.
If he’s persistent beyond that –- and I mean after several direct refusals –- you’re probably dealing with a jerk. Don’t ever answer his calls or texts — believe it or not, occasional attention from you, even negative, will encourage him more than consistent contact. If you can’t avoid regular interactions because of school or work, tell him he’s making you uncomfortable and to leave you alone. Tell him to stop. If his advances escalate beyond that, consider treating it as sexual harassment.
So long as you don’t give him room to think there’s a chance, or that you’re merely being coy, most guys will bow out and move on to the next girl.