Women More Likely to Reject Suitors with Encouraging Words

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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No one likes to reject a potential partner, but a recent study found women are much more sensitive about hurting an unwanted suitor’s feelings than men.

The study looked at the ways people turn down unwanted advances, asking participants how they would respond to a request for a date from someone they didn’t want to go out with.

Participants were presented with a date request via email or online dating message and told to respond honestly and authentically.


“Women were much more likely to reject

the request using encouragement.”

While rejection strategies varied from person to person, researchers found most responses fell into one of seven different categories:

  • Direct
  • Explanation
  • Apology
  • Appreciation
  • Concern
  • Encouragement
  • Different Relationship (i.e. friends first)

Looking over the data, researchers found men were most likely to respond to an unwanted date request with a direct rejection, while women were much more likely to reject the request using either encouragement or appreciation.

Aside from gender, researchers also found a second factor impacted the manner in which an individual rejected another — social distance.

Individuals were more likely to reject someone in a direct manner the greater the social distance between them.

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