40 Harsh Rejections From People Who Need Lessons In Sugar-Coating

By Stefan C

Rejection is just one of those unfortunate aspects of life we all have to deal with. At times, it might be easier to deal with being turned down, but it will always sting at least a little. And no matter how often we face it, it never gets easier. We build up our self-esteem and forge stronger coping mechanisms to help us hold our heads high when rejection happens, and that can soften the blow.

However, there’s one area in which rejection will never get easier: love. Whether it’s the love of a significant other or a close bond with a friend, those are the people whose dismissal hurts us the most.

If you’re going through a tough time or need to feel reassured that you’re not alone, check out these cringe-worthy instances shared online where people were shot down.

Best Buddies

No matter how many friends we have, there’s always that one who makes it to the top of our list. They’re always there to help you get through the tough times, and celebrate the joyful moments, too. Calling them your “best friend” only seems natural.

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But what if the feeling isn’t mutual? Ouch! We hope that this person recovered from that blow and found that one person who would stick by their side no matter what. Maybe it was the person they turned to after this rejection.

No Dessert, Thanks

We always feel nervous before going on a date, especially if it’s the first date with that person. It’s even more nerve-racking if it’s someone we met online. With online dating, this is becoming more common, but we bet that few dates go this badly.

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Well, the girl should look on the bright side — he showed his true colors before the date was even over! Honestly, though, we’re puzzled as to how someone could do this after flirting for a whole month! We hope that karma got him back for this bad date.

Bye, Felicia

Flirting isn’t just limited to Tinder. Especially in the early days of social media, private messaging wasn’t an uncommon way to ask someone out. With the anonymity of the internet, it’s easy to turn someone down, though we usually do that by ignoring the message.

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Deleting a message is the harshest way to say “no,” especially when the other person can see that you’ve literally removed them from their life. It’s kind of dirty that he was proud to kiss her but not actually date her.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Body shaming has never been and will never be acceptable. Though society is finally starting to understand the concept of body positivity, we still have a long, long way to go. High schoolers in particular need to catch on quick!

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We are shocked that anyone would think this was okay, let alone say it out loud. Oh sure, he didn’t call her “fat,” but when you hesitate like that, there’s no need to spell it out. Besides, size should never be a decisive factor in a relationship. Didn’t he watch Shallow Hal?

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Many factors may influence a relationship, including interests, professional life, and financial situation. It’s important to tell your potential partner some of these preferences upfront, but, unless the latter is dire, that shouldn’t be a determining factor. Especially if there’s a spark between you.

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Regrettably, this man learned that when his “financial situation” was a non-starter for his date. That is not only cruel, but it is pretty shallow. Money can’t buy happiness…which is something they would have if she gave him a chance!

Fickle About Freckles

We already read one story about body shaming, and honestly, we’re still fuming. But this guy might just top the shallow teen who refused to date someone because of their size. This lady’s body wasn’t the issue; it was her skin…

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We acknowledge that attractiveness is subjective, and some people even seek out certain body features. For starters, some men like freckles! No matter what the characteristic is, you should never say to someone’s face what it is you don’t like — especially if it’s something they can’t control.

Loyal, Not Local

Moving is tough, especially when you’re young. We have technology to keep in touch but texting and video chats just aren’t the same. It takes a true friend to stay by your side, even if you’re hundreds of miles apart.

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The person who shared this story left us in awe and we have a lot of respect for them. It takes a lot to face rejection, hold your head up, and walk away. There’s nothing wrong with crying, and we bet it took a lot of self-control for a kid to do so in private.

Party Time!

Text rejection is something that we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. Since you’re not face-to-face with someone, “ghosting” is a pretty common method to shut someone down. Whether they’re a disastrous date or a toxic friend, ghosting seems to be the go-to.

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Is it just us, or did the original sender mean the second message as a joke? At the very least, she should have gotten clarification before completely ignoring him. A good sense of humor is rare, so she should have taken this as a sign to keep chatting.

PDA: Private Or Public?

If we didn’t know any better, we’d think that this was a prologue from a movie. But, we’re sure that movie moments happen in real life too — we’ve had our fair share of them. Sadly, this situation didn’t end as a rom-com would.

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After a whole summer together?! Look, we know that high schoolers hold on tight to any shred of popularity, but we’d hope that seniors would know better than to turn away a real chance at romance. Don’t worry, kid; college girls love nerds.

Shall We Dance?

There are several ways to let someone know that you aren’t interested in them, and this one is among the most creative. This guy got up the guts to ask a girl to dance — kudos, by the way. That’s a brave move.

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She didn’t share the reason for her refusal, but there was no reason to think of such a thinly-veiled lie. As we’ve already seen, honesty is not always the best policy, but tact is important. We hope that cookie was worth it, lady.

New Home, Who ‘Dis?

We enter romantic relationships with the hope, and often expectation, that it’ll last “til death do us part.” Sadly, that isn’t always the case. And, the longer the relationship, the harder it can be to deal with that. Perhaps that’s why so many people stay in unhappy marriages.

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When you’re engaged, there’s often talk about moving to a new home, but that’s supposed to be an open discussion. A new home isn’t exactly the same as surprising someone with a new car. Did he plan on moving and not sharing the new address?

Just One Glance

As we’ve already seen — more than a few times — too many people are caught up in how their potential partner looks. While they’re not actually anything wrong with that, there are more delicate ways to reject someone if you don’t find them appealing.

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The girl in this account needs to take a few lessons in subtlety. She didn’t even pretend to reject the man for any reason other than his physical appearance! This kind of conduct, no matter the scenario, is completely unacceptable.

Not-So-Shiny Smile

Is there no end to these stories of people getting rejected for their looks? Well, humans can be shallow, so we shouldn’t be so surprised. This one is a double punch since it involved both directly stating the issue and abandoning the date.

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“Wonky teeth”? She managed to get braces in the end, but that shouldn’t have stopped the guy. Perhaps there was a reason her teeth weren’t pearly and perfect. Did he ever consider that dental correction might not have been an option?

Missed The Mark

This one is cruel, but at least it has a happy ending. Well, a happy ending for the storyteller, that is. We don’t know if she used Mark as an excuse to kick out her long-term boyfriend, or if she was just eager to finally date Mark.

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Ah, but little did she know that Mark wasn’t the man of her dreams. She traded in a stable three-year-long relationship for a 3-month-long couch potato. This story is a perfect example of how not every rejection ends in tears; Karma saved the day here.


Based on the submissions we’ve seen so far, it seems that teens are the harshest people around. They have no tact when it comes to rejecting others! Need more proof? Check out this story; it smacked us right in our hearts.

Image courtesy of Jonathan Adato

Based on the story, we’re assuming that the storyteller’s name is Kyle. That’s one tough way to learn that your crush doesn’t feel the same way. Calling someone “disgusting” is never okay, especially if it’s not your BFF and you both know it’s all a joke.

Get Thee To A Nunnery

Here’s another tale of someone who was rejected because of their size. And, unsurprisingly, it took place in the halls of a high school. Teenage romance is tricky, and those relationships — successful and failed — have a lasting impact.

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That blabbermouth couldn’t keep his opinions to himself, or even his close guy friends. That’s the sort of thing you say while playing video games, not tell every kid in school. We hope the girl had an easier time with romance in college.

All At Once

Breaking up with someone is tough, and it will always end in tears. But unless it’s a severely toxic relationship, there’s a “right” and a “wrong” time to break it off with someone. And the longer you’ve been together, the more gentle you need to be.

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This guy must have seen a list of when not to break up with someone, but missed those three important letters: NOT. Presentations are bad enough to deal with on your birthday, and topping it off with a pre-dawn breakup, canceled plans, and suddenly needing to move in with your parents is a new low.

Unreciprocated Love

Valentine’s Day might be cliche, but even hipster couples will succumb to the opportunity to smother their significant other with love and affection. Though it can be tricky if you both don’t agree to do something special that day. Feelings are sure to get hurt if only one person “celebrates.”

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She baked him fudge and bought a present, and what did he get her in return? A ghost. Or, rather, he turned into a ghost and completely disappeared from her life. On the bright side, she already had the heartbreak chocolate ready to deal with the breakup.

How About Some Voice Acting?

Have you heard the saying, “you have a face meant for radio”? If not, take a minute to let that sink in. Yup, it’s a clever yet cruel way to call someone ugly. This person didn’t hear it directly, but the other person’s reaction said it all.

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To be honest, we don’t like looking through the IMDb pages for our favorite animated movies and shows. We don’t want to risk the disconnect between what the actors look like in our heads versus in real life. But even then, we can’t imagine having such a harsh reaction to failed expectations.

Momma’s Boy

This excuse was valid at one point in our lives — aka when we were kids. But as we grow older, we become independent and even go against what our parents want. You remember your rebellious teenage years, too, right?

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That excuse might work for a seven-year-old, but not a seventeen-year-old. We don’t even know if his not asking his mom was better or worse. We’re just in shock at this paper-thin excuse for saying no to a prom date. We hope the girl found her true love on that dancefloor.

No Supporters

Schoolyard fights didn’t happen often, nor did every school have them. To be honest, our “experience” comes from the movies. Supposedly, kids would circle around the fight and cheer on their favorite as if it was a kiddy version of Fight Club.

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Wow. It wasn’t a failed date or false friend that shot down these two people; it was the whole school! That certainly had to hurt their self-esteem. We hope the pair made up and became friends afterward. After all, had something in common.

Height Hype

The only thing worse than rejecting someone because of their looks is when it’s something they have no control over. Case in point: height. It’s true that some people have a particular preference for height in potential dates, but this lady took it to the extreme.

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Six feet is too short? Geez, lady, what did you want? And standing at only 5’3″, it’s not hard to find someone taller than you — which is what a lot of women prefer. Was this just another lame excuse and her real reason had nothing to do with height?

Poor Timing

Here’s another tale of a disastrous birthday breakup. And, once again, he messed up in several ways. Breaking up over the phone is a cheap move, and doing so on a big birthday is even worse. Well, at least this woman still got her surprise party.

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We bet there were a lot of drinks that night. And, on the bright side, she had her close friends surrounding her right after her jerky boyfriend broke off their relationship. Seriously, how many people don’t know that there’s a wrong time to break up with someone?

Some Other Guy

We hate to think that our partner is secretly dating someone else. And though it rarely happens, it’s not impossible. Usually, however, cheaters make a decent attempt to hide their other boyfriend or girlfriend. Was this a slip of the tongue or just an oblivious woman?

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Once again, honesty was not the best policy here. Not only did she say the other guy was “really sweet,” but she didn’t even wrap up the date/relationship by paying for even part of the meal. Just like this guy, we’re at a loss for words.

Playground Problems

The kids are at it again. And, just like in the previous playground tale, the storyteller was rejected by a whole group of kids. We often think of our school days as the perfect time, but reading these stories makes us second-guess that.

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At that age, it’s a big deal to tell anyone that you have a crush. Normally, the fear of rejection is just that they don’t like you back. There usually aren’t any real insults exchanged. We hate to think of situations like this happening often.

Fake Flowers

Receiving a bouquet from a loved one is cliche, but always appreciated. Or so we thought. It turns out that flowers can be given as a way to soften the blow of a nasty rejection. Certainly, there was no love hiding in these flowers.

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The note didn’t contain any sweet sentiments; it was an eviction notice! This is wrong on so many levels. Could he not have said it to her face? Not that we support petty vengeance, but we think it would have been appropriate to dump that flower water onto his clothes.

Jesus Comes First

We’re not here to insult anyone who feels strongly about their religion. In fact, many people want to date someone with equally strong religious views/values. But, as with everything, that is something to be upfront about and not wait to tell your date.

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Being told that loving your significant other “more than Jesus” is actually a bad thing is perplexing. Again, it’s okay to have things like religion play a strong role in your life, but saying that it’s more important than your connection is too much, if you ask us.

New Relationship Over The Horizon

We’ve seen a lot of bad dates before, but this appears to rank among the most unpleasant and heartbreaking! This girl’s crush expressed his admiration for her. Doesn’t it sound too good to be true? As it turns out, it was…

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That compliment took a serious 180. Really, is the guy that oblivious? His “new girlfriend” wasn’t as good as the woman sitting in front of him. Gee, we wonder if a perfect girl exists. Spoiler: she does, and she’s sitting right in front of you!

“He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”

We all had that one friend who wistfully wrote out their name alongside their crush’s name. It was annoying sometimes, but mostly it was just too cute. This person’s BFF wouldn’t let those cute notes go unnoticed and even put the shreds of one back together.

Image courtesy of Jonathan Adato

Kudos to this person for even approaching their crush and trying to play it off, even using it as an opportunity to figure out if the feeling was mutual. That’s a seriously harsh no, but the joke’s on that guy. He missed out on the perfect girl!

Manic Laughter

The only thing more stressful than going on a first date is asking someone to go out with you. Few things in this world compare to the anxiety of asking your crush out. At best, we hope for a “yes,” and still, we try to brace for the rejection…

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This, folks, is not how you turn someone down. We thought that the flimsy excuses we read before were bad, but laughing for several minutes straight makes the others seem kind. We hope that she got a similar reaction at least once, so she could see how mean it was.

Fantasy Vs. Reality

We’re not sold on the idea of soulmates, but we respect anyone’s choice to believe in them. We can’t deny, however, that there is something about strong connections and people who just…click. These two knew one another for 15 years, so clearly there was a connection.

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And, apparently, it was a platonic connection, and the romance was all in his head. The worst part is that he was the one that proposed going out. If we were in that position, we’d have trouble staying friends after an insult that harsh.

Couples’ Outfits

Come October (or even September) couples tend to discuss if/what they’ll be dressing up for come Halloween. After all, there’s something uniquely charming about couples’ costumes. Plus, it’s a cute way to tell people that you’re in a relationship with someone.

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The target audience of that message, however, is your friends and family. Your boyfriend or girlfriend shouldn’t be the one learning that your significant other has feelings for someone else. We can’t tell if he was truly ignorant of his feelings for the other girl, or if he was just playing dumb.

The Results Are In

We know that grades are used as a metric to gauge a student’s level of comprehension, but we couldn’t help but use them as a way to compare ourselves to our friends. And, of course, we would also compare ourselves to our crushes…

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Some people are just too competitive and self-absorbed for their own good. Yes, it can be hard to accept that you’re not the smartest person in the room, but shouldn’t you be happy for someone else when they do better than you? That’s a seriously shallow move.

Not A Groupie

This story has raised a lot of questions for us. To begin, what exactly is a “secret band”? Is that what they call their imaginary garage band they failed to start with their friends? We don’t blame this person for not understanding because, frankly, we don’t either.

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Some musicians play their instruments in quirky ways as a way to stand out among the hundreds of hopeful musicians, but this is too much. Admittedly, it takes talent to play the guitar with your feet, but that’s not as impressive as he might think.

Looking For A Home

Do you remember the story of the fiance who “secretly” bought a house? We didn’t think it could get worse than that, but the internet has proven us wrong once again. After 10 years together, this couple decided to search for a new home to call their own…

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He wasn’t just engaged to someone else at the time, but he used their house-hunting as a way to look for the ideal house with his other girl! This is one of those stories that are almost too crazy to make up.

An Urgent Situation

Even if you’re not romantically involved with someone, the least you can do is be there for them in their time of need. We often equate “holding someone’s hair back” as a way to say that it’s true love, but this situation didn’t need any long-term commitment…

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We don’t care if you’re planning to break up with someone; if they are violently ill, answer their calls! You don’t need to be dating, or even remain friends to help them out. It’s just the right thing to do.


Speed dating has been around for a long time, and it’ll likely never go away. It can seem overwhelming, but it’s admittedly an efficient way to “sort through” a list of potential partners. With so many connections to make, one would assume that speed dating would end with at least one phone number exchanged.

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Statistically, his optimism made sense. Certainly being the only guy among 14 girls would normally result in at least one match, but this guy was very unlucky. We hope he didn’t give up and tried his hand at speed dating again.


So far, we’ve seen a number of rejections from individuals in relationships or potential partnerships. However, it’s a sad truth that disappointment can occur at any point in your life, even in your academic or professional life! Of course, in those cases, we hope for some more class and tact.

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Well, they started off the rejection letter with the usual phrasing. They’re pretty standard, so reading that first line didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. Was the intern writing letters that day? We never thought that John Hopkins would send such an unprofessional reply.

Cure Light Wounds

We hate to say it, but we feel almost numb to blatant rejections like “no” at this point. There are so many terrible examples that something so direct seems like a mercy. And yet, it can still sting, especially if your crush says it too loudly.

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They should’ve rolled a D20 to see if the person would say yes. That way, if the answer was no, there’d be an easier way to reject them. Then again, she’d run the risk of rolling a 20 and feeling obligated to accept.

Too Much

We didn’t think that there was something worse than dumping someone on their birthday over text. And yet, guys continue to impress us with just how low they can go. When this girl needed a shoulder to cry on, her boyfriend turned away…

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We applaud her for driving over to confront him, though we can say from experience that driving when you’re upset is not safe. This woman won the award for “worst day ever,” and we feel sorry that she was even a contender.