It was late at night and I had walked my date out of my apartment to the front of the complex. It had been a great night. It had been our first date, although we knew each other really well from work. He had brought over a movie but, rather than actually watching it, we had tons of fun talking and laughing. What was only supposed to last two hours lasted four. So I was happy. That was until he turned and I knew exactly what was going to happen: he was going to try and kiss me. I wasn’t really ready that. So what did I do? I panicked as he leaned in. I turned my head to the side and got a big kiss on the cheek.

Being rejected is tough. Although in that scenario, I rejected him, I’ve been rejected more times than I care to remember. I always would build myself up, trying to overcome the fear I felt, and lean in for the kiss only to be given the cheek, or pushed away. One time, a guy not only pushed me away, but he laughed at me. It just goes to show that guys aren’t the only ones who can be rejected.

And every time my attempt at a kiss was rejected, I felt embarrassed and kind of ashamed. I did not want anyone to know that I had failed, let alone that I had actually tried. So I would go home, completely miserable, and question myself, wondering whether I was good enough, was I sexy or desirable. It didn’t matter how many times I tried to relive the event in my head trying to pinpoint the moment I misread a sign or trying to figure out where I went wrong, I couldn’t ever really figure it out. Even that night, although I was rejecting someone else, I felt awful. Rejection sucks.

So how do you deal with being rejected when you finally try to kiss a girl?

Well, for starters, never get upset or angry. I get that your first reaction might be those feelings but you need to keep it in check. Do not yell. Definitely do not start crying. And do not run off in a huff. Essentially, do not throw a temper tantrum. That is not the way to handle things. You are a man, not a child. By getting angry or upset, you are closing off any future chances you may have with the girl. She might see your tantrum as a sign of terrible things to come in a relationship. Or she might just see you as a wimp.

I actually did have this happen once. I moved out of the way when a guy tried to kiss me and he began screaming in the middle of a hallway in high school about how much of a bitch I was. I was stunned. He turned beat red as continued screaming about how I was every horrible name in the book as I ran off down the hallway. Even though I couldn’t ever face him again, I never regretted turning him down because I could only imagine what the break up might have been like had we actually dated. The idea was terrifying. So leave the tantrums for children.

Also, do not ask “Why?” This just screams desperation. But it also is a sign that you feel like you are owed something. Although you might have gone on a fantastic date and felt like all the stars are aligned, you aren’t really owed anything.

For example, I have a guy friend that demands to know from every girl who rejects his kiss why she turned him down. He has said it is because he does feel like he is owed after every date. If he pays, then he expects reimbursement of some sort. I have asked one of the girls I knew that went out with him what happened and she said she turned him down because she wasn’t ready but now she never would be ready. He came across too demanding and intimidating. She felt like if he was demanding to know why she would not kiss him, what else would he demand? You don’t ever want to leave a girl questioning your future motives. It could leave a negative lasting impression that could taint the rest of the relationship.

On the flip side, I have another friend who called around after a girl rejected him whining about how he did not understand why she rejected him at all. The girl was a friend of mine and she told me he asked her the same question. She said it struck her as childish and needy. No girl wants a clinger or a whiner.

Also, ask yourself this before you ask a girl why she rejected you: do you really think the girl is going to give you a straight answer? She probably won’t. I wouldn’t tell a guy. Mostly we won’t give you the true answer because, as a girl, we want to spare your feelings and leave you with some dignity. Most girls work under the assumption that men can be as easily broken as we are so rather than have you more upset or scar you, we’d rather keep the true answer to ourselves. Honestly, what if your breath was bad from dinner? Do you really want us telling you that? Or what if it is because we aren’t sure how we feel about you yet? I doubt you really want the true answer. The answer could be more painful than the reaction. So do not ask why she rejected you.

So, rather than get react poorly or demand to know why your date has rejected your attempt at a first kiss, just play it off. Act like it didn’t bother you at all. Or play it off like it was a joke. Here is a video of a hilarious way a guy dealt with being rejected. You can do what he did and break into a push up work out to play it off. But what it really boils down to is that you just need to go with the flow.

Lots of people get rejected every day. I know that does not make it feel any better. But take comfort in the face that it is normal. You have just entered a noble brotherhood of men who tried and failed. You took a risk and that is an awesome thing. By simply going for the kiss you showed that you have courage and that is what separates you from all the guys terrified to even try. In reality, you are actually ahead of most guys by even being rejected.

Furthermore, by not letting it bother you, it is going to bother her. That is right, you will have essentially turned the tides in your favor. She is going to question why it didn’t upset you that she turned you down. And she is going to wonder if something is wrong with her. Every girl wants to be wanted by a guy. She wants to be seen as desirable, as an object of sexual attraction. And if suddenly you act like you meant to kiss her on the cheek or you don’t care that you could not kiss her on the lips, she’s going to question herself. She is going to wonder if it is actually you that might be the unattainable one, which is a fortunate turn of events for you. And girls love the unattainable. It is likely that if you play off the rejection well, you will hear back from her again.

Just because you were rejected this time doesn’t mean you will be rejected again the next time.

How do I know?

Do you remember that guy I rejected back in the beginning of this after the movie date? Well, after he kissed me on the cheek, he was smart. He didn’t get mad. He didn’t demand to know why I wouldn’t kiss him. He just smiled and said he’d see me later. I watched as he walked away with a dumbfounded expression on my face. That whole interact me with unanswered questions. Had I been confused? Was he actually not interested in me? I wasn’t sure.

I was so concerned about figuring out why he reacted the way he did that I went back out with him. And the next time I let him kiss me.

It’s been eight years since that night. And every night, he gives me a kiss on the cheek as a reminder. Yes, we’ve been together for eight years.

Rejection isn’t forever and won’t always happen to you. In fact, rejection might just be the opening you need for a long lasting relationship like the opening my boyfriend had with me. So, don’t worry, dude. If a girl turns you down the first time you try and give her s smooch, just move on and see where life takes you. It might just take that girl with you.

Good luck!