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    The Worst They Can Say Isn't Always "No" — 42 Cringeworthy Stories About Rejection

    Prepare to cringe.

    Ah, young love.

    A boyfriend giving his girlfriend a piggyback ride on an urban rooftop

    Holding hands...

    A young couple holding hands

    Doing the kissing...

    A young couple kissing in a meadow

    Taking public transit to one of your many dates...

    Teenage couple riding the bus

    Having adorable pillow fights in your ultra-hip apartment...

    Two girls having pillow fight in hotel room

    But unlike the happy people in royalty-free stock photos, for most of us in real life, it doesn't happen without some trial and error. The road to Love City is a bumpy one, riddled with potholes and tears. We all have at least one story about working up the courage to ask out a crush, only for their reaction to tank our self-esteem and haunt our memories to this day.

    A meme where a bus labeled "The worst she can say is no" is hit by a freight train labeled "Ew"

    Over the years, numerous threads on r/AskReddit, r/AskMen, and r/AskWomen have compiled thousands of such stories from people across the world. Here, we've collected a small sampling for your entertainment and commiseration. And as always, we urge you to share your own stories in the comments below.

    1. "She told me she would rather eat her own tampon."

    2. "I stuttered multiple times while asking her out. The only thing she said was 'fail.' Then she walked away."


    3. "'Like pretend, right?'"

    4. "'Do I know you?'"


    5. "Once, post coitus, a woman said to me: 'I always like fucking ugly guys — they try harder.'"

    6. "In elementary school ALL the girls in my class had a crush on the same boy. A bunch of us got together and wrote all our names on a paper, which read, 'Circle the girl you like the most.' He replied with, 'I hate all of you.'"


    7. "The first time I ever had a crush on a boy, I invited him to dinner. I cooked all on my own and everything. I waited 45 minutes before I finally just went to my room and cried. I was 13."

    8. "Wha... I... I've been telling people you were my gay friend!"


    9. "Cheekily asked a girl on a dance floor once how she liked her eggs in the morning. She replied with, 'Unfertilized, now fuck off!' Fell in love right there and then... But it wasn't to be..."


    10. "'Eww, you're like obviously 40!' I was 16."

    Meme of Steve Buscemi pretending to be a high schooler and saying "how do you do, fellow kids?"

    11. "She said yes to the date, and while on it we ran into my friend. She decided she liked him more and ditched me."


    12. "In seventh grade playing spin the bottle, my crush at the time landed on me and said, 'Ew, I'm not kissing that thing.' Still hurts when I think about it."

    13. "Stabbed me in my hand with scissors. Third grade. They sent her to a special school afterward."


    14. "A guy told me he was only dared to talk to me because I was the ugliest girl in the room."


    15. "Went out for lunch with a dude I had a crush on. Told him I liked him. He said, 'Are you aware of the concept of the friend zone?'"


    16. "I asked this girl out. She started to cry and told me I looked just like her brother that had died in Iraq, and then she showed me a photo of him."

    17. "Met a girl on OK Cupid. We do some internet chatting and some texting. We decide it's time to meet. I go to the spot. I see her — it's obviously her. She makes eye contact with me from about 20ish feet away and just keeps on walking."


    18. "Twelfth-grade prom, I finally got up the nerve to ask the girl I was dreaming about for the last four years. She says yes to my astonishment but says sadly she or her family didn't have the money for a dress."

    "I promptly offered to buy her dress for her. She appeared very happy. After some time, she said, 'Let's rent a hotel room; we can go early and get it, then go home and change.' So she went with me to get the room first thing in the morning. She grabbed the key when the clerk gave it to us and said, 'OK, see you tonight.' We had already planned the limo and paid for it. I found it weird she wanted it to pick her up first. She said she wanted to meet my parents. Well, I go home and get ready, waiting and waiting. Limo never comes. She doesn't answer the phone. I get ahold of my buddy at the prom. He tells me she is there with some other guy from another school wearing the dress I bought her, riding in the limo I paid for, and I'm sure going to the room I paid for... Needless to say I have trust issues to this day." —u/Sumanis

    19. "I went on a date years ago. The girl I was with got up saying she needed the bathroom and was gone about 15 minutes. I happened to look across the street, and I see her queuing to get into a nightclub with her friends."

    20. "I was having a party for my 13th birthday. I sent my crush an invite. A week after giving them out I found a bit of torn paper on the school field; I recognized the color/pattern, then looked up, and there was the rest of it, torn into tiny pieces. The kind of tearing that takes time and effort to get it into as many pieces. 10/10 would not be a teenage girl again."


    21. "Mid-20s, out at a club all night with a buddy. We take two girls back to his place. Things are looking good. Once we get there, the girls ask me to leave so they can double team my friend. I had to walk home at 3 a.m."

    22. “'No. No, no. No. No no no.' I only asked once."

    23. "Told me she wasn't wanting a relationship at the moment. Agreed to go out with my best mate about two hours later."


    24. "Asked if she wanted to go for a drink at the weekend, and she said yes. Within 12 hours she texted me, 'I've thought about it, and I really don't want to date someone like you; it would be bad for my image.'"


    25. "Screenshot. No reply, anything, just screenshot. Never again."

    26. "I asked a girl out, and she said yes. Surprise face. During dinner she stated she only went out with me 'cause she wanted to go out to dinner and didn't have any money. She said I was so below her social status that she was taking a chance to a hit on her rep for just being seen in public with me, and I should be grateful for paying for her to eat."

    27. "There have been a few, but the one that really stands out is the four-page rejection letter I got in eighth grade from the first girl I was crushing on hard. It started off with the fact that she knew I had a crush and she didn't appreciate it, then just kind of went blow by blow into just how much of a loser she thought I was. Looking back, it was remarkably thorough for junior high."


    28. "I asked out the girl who did the morning announcements in high school. She ended the morning announcements by saying, 'On the final note, to Brian Lastname, no, I will not go out with you because you're a loser.'"

    29. "Ugh, If I wanted to date a pimple monster I would go to the dermatology ward to look for a boyfriend."


    30. "No, not even just friends. Strangers at best."


    31. “If only you were skinnier, I’d love to take you out.”


    32. "I wasn’t remotely attracted to you AT ALL, but you seemed a lovely person so I thought I’d hang in there a bit and see if I could get past your looks, but I can’t..."

    33. "Went to a bar with some friends and then to the upstairs dance club. I have social anxiety and hate dancing or crowded places. My friends are dancing, and I am just standing there trying to not look too uncomfortable. An attractive girl asks me to dance. We dance to a few songs, and when we stop I asked her out. She says, 'No, I just asked you to dance because I felt sorry for you.'"


    34. "A girl I had taken out a few times and I were at a relatively expensive restaurant; she couldn’t find her phone, so I called it. It rang next to me — I was saved as ‘free dinner.’"

    Meme of water being poured on a burned hand, with the caption "Apply cold water to the burned area"

    35. "I had been chatting to a girl on Tinder. We were out separately with our friends one night, and she messaged me, saying she was at a bar across the street. I walked over to the bar and looked for her everywhere but couldn’t find her (it was a big bar, and we had never met before). She wasn’t messaging me back, so 10 minutes later I left. I got a message 30 minutes after saying, 'Sorry, I thought you’d be taller.' I’m 5'10"..."


    36. "'Oh shit, you are too early! You see, I really want to go out with XXXX. And I decided that if he hadn't asked me out by next Friday, then I would settle for you... So could you please ask me next Saturday? Because then I will know if I have to or not.'"

    "This was not junior high or high school. I was 32; she was 30 — both of us divorced with children." —u/KYHY

    37. "Had set up a date... We had exchanged pics so we could recognize each other at the meet. I watched him walk toward me...look at me...pull out his phone, and text me saying something came up and he couldn't make it, LOL."

    38. "I was hitting on a guy at a bar and somehow misread his signals. We were talking for what felt like several hours, and I thought we both were attracted to each other. I asked if he wanted to crash at my place, and he said the following with a straight face: 'I'm sorry, but my doctor told me to avoid fats in the evening.' Now I can laugh about it, but it hit really deep."


    39. "Dude told me he doesn't think God wants us to be together. LMAO. K."


    40. "It was like sixth grade, but it still hurt. I asked this boy out, and he said no. When I asked why, he simply reached over and jiggled my arm fat. As a chubby kid, this devastated me, and it definitely hurt my self-confidence for years."

    41. "High school. My awkward phase. My mother tells me I'm pretty, and I finally get up the courage to ask out the cutest guy in my year to the movies."

    "He says, 'I'll have to think about it,' and takes my cellphone number, which I thought was a good sign. We texted a few times, arranged a meet-up at the movies. Gets to the day, I'm getting ready to go, make myself look all pretty, and do my hair nice. I get to the movies. He's there...but so are all his friends. All of them including the guy I liked are laughing at the absurdity that he could ever want to go out with me, laughing at the fact I got dressed up. It was all a big prank. I have never been so humiliated." —u/Madeleine227

    And last but not least, this all-time classic...universally feared by all, and experienced by many...simple, direct, and perfect to end this list on:

    42. "Laughter."

    Meme of Tom Cruise laughing maniacally

    Do you have a completely horrible rejection story you want to share? Don't worry, we've all been there. Let me know in the comments below!