The more time passed, the more sure I became she’d [...] me.

The most common word in this case is reject. I'm wondering, though, what euphemisms I can use aside from turn down?

  • 2
    she'd walked out on me. Commented May 3, 2015 at 15:47
  • You have to be with someone before you can walk out on them. I read OP as thinking of the wooing-in-vain scenario.
    – David Pugh
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 19:00
  • 3
    She dumped me. Short and not very sweet.
    – Robusto
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 0:12

4 Answers 4


You can say "She spurned me", though that's typically a very conscious, deliberate, and negative action.

From Collins, for example:

spurn: to reject (a person or thing) with contempt

So you would not be uncertain if the woman spurned you (she would make sure of that).

For a more passive rejection, one where she simply isn't reciprocating your affections, you can say "My love went unrequited".

From Collins again:

unrequited: (of love, affection, etc) not reciprocated or returned

Though you can see this phrase has the drawback about taking about your love as the object, rather than the woman or the relationship between the man and the woman.

Somewhere in the middle between passive and active rejection, in a way that talks about the relationship between the man and woman, is the construction:

The more time passed, the more sure I became she’d dismissed me.

The drawback to dismissed is that it is not specific to love or affection (though your readers would understand that's what it meant in this context, i.e. the elided clause [... as a lover] would be inescapably implied).

In regards to your "vice-versa", I'll caution you that turning the question around, and not-requiting a woman's love, is, to put it mildly, risky:

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned⁵

aka Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

-- William Congreve's character Zara, in his play The Mourning Bride (Act III, Scene VIII).

  • 1
    These sound like what you'd hear in an 18th century novel.
    – Robusto
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 0:13
  • Best I could do, @Robusto, best I could do ;)
    – Dan Bron
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 0:14
  • Not exactly euphemisms though, are they?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 6:31

A number of indirect or figurative expressions for rejection exist, but I can't think of any single-word alternatives that aren't either just as brutal as "rejected" (for example, "dumped") or excessively vague ("released").

Here are some phrases that describe the process of rejection in indirect or metaphorical terms that may border on euphemism (I made up these examples; hence no attribution for what looks sort of like a block quote):

The more time passed, the more sure I became that she was giving me the cold shoulder.

The more time passed, the more sure I became that she’d decided to try her luck [or test the waters] elsewhere.

The more time passed, the more sure I became that she’d made up her mind to put me in the rear-view mirror [or put our relationship on permanent hold or move on].

  • Somehow I accidentally voted this down. I can't fix it unless you edit your answer. Sorry. Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 11:30
  • @RichardKayser: Thanks for your note. I was away from my machine for several days, but have complied with your request for a useful edit so you can undo the downvote if you wish.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 6:33
  • Will take care of it right now. Have a good night! Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 7:05

...she'd shown me the door.

...she'd flown the coop.

...she'd kicked me to the curb.

  • These all seem quite good but can you expand and provide evidence, such as an online dictionary quotation? Take the Tour and see How to Answer for more. Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 16:58

Perhaps, disregard works irrespective of the man-woman and vice versa situation.


disregard VERB

[WITH OBJECT] Pay no attention to; ignore:

‘Jamie disregarded Dougal with a shrug and pushed on the golden rod to the door.’

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