Karma Chameleon: how to handle getting a fake number

how to handle getting fake numbers

Rejection hurts. Fact. At some point in our lives we’ve all experienced a rejection of sorts; and none of us are immune to its sting. In matters of the heart, deception can feel like a particularly raw and personal rejection; and as dating is a trust-based exercise, deceit will often rear its ugly head – an aspect of the dating game we cannot control nor prevent, sadly. What we can control, though, is our response to this deception: how to handle getting a fake number?


At some point, most of us have also done the rejecting. However sensitive and considerate I believe I am, I’m still guilty of having given someone a fake number – I didn’t want to hurt them. Or, if honest, maybe I just didn’t have the guts (or respect) to be honest to their face? This is a poor reflection on my character and a shame because, as I now know, if done with courtesy, this immediate brush off would have hurt far less.

It’s them not you

It’s easier to move on from a swift and polite ‘no thanks’ than to bounce back from the hurt of getting your hopes up (and subsequently being made to feel like a fool). It’s cruel to deliberately mislead someone and this sort of deception especially hurts because it feels so personal. But it is not as subjectively raw as it feels. Consider it a knee-jerk, panicked reaction and/or a reflection of that person’s lack of social skills and emotional maturity, and nothing more.


This experience does not diminish the possibility of finding love (with someone who is right for you); nor is it a reflection of how attractive and datable you are. This experience has merely exposed the fact that that person simply wasn’t right for you.

Dating is a lottery. Don’t let this discourage you from asking others; not everyone is going to deliberately deceive you, I promise. View this as a personal development opportunity, and remind yourself: what goes around comes around. Please treat others as you’d like to be treated.

How to handle getting a fake number

Once you realise you’re fighting a losing battle by trying to anticipate and control another person’s actions, your life will be happier. The only person you can control is yourself – it is your choice how you handle this situation. Choose to respond with dignity, without bitterness or resentment (which harms only you). Resolve not to dwell on it – it merely adds salt to the wounds. Instead, socialise with people who love you and make you feel good about yourself. Spend time doing things for the betterment of yourself; things that remind you how full of fun and possibilities life actually is. You’ll quickly gain the perspective needed to realise how inconsequential this small deception was. And, in time, the experience won’t even flicker as half-memory.

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