It starts simply, with a call or text that isn’t returned, then a period of a couple days where nothing happens and you start to worry. It’s easy to spot the signals of rejection when they present themselves but there are some people who remain oblivious and proceed to flood their object-of-interest’s phone with little freak outs that, while an attempt to draw that person closer, only serve to alienate the person more.
You and your friends have stories of crazy exes or crazy dates that just wouldn’t get the hint. You can go on pretty much any online dating forum and find stories of crazy girls or crazy dudes who started out innocent but progressed to dangerously creepy stalker territory. You laugh at these stories and you think about times in your past when you’ve been on the receiving end of creepy, and then you start to wonder if you’ve ever done something completely over the top like that to anyone you’ve ever been interested in. You remember that one time in high school when you were so enamored, so obsessed with a person or the idea of that person that you did some things you weren’t proud of.
Stalking behavior serves as a reminder of the intensity of feelings someone can have for someone else and although in any healthy potential dating situation it won’t escalate to those levels, the fact remains that for someone to dismiss you as a potential love interest when you’ve been pining over them for weeks, months, or even years, it hurts. Sometimes like hell.
There comes a time, or many times in everyone’s life when the person they fawn over doesn’t return the favor. If the receiver of the bad news is of normal healthy mind, they will accept the rejection, nurse their wounds for a few days and move on to something or someone else.
It’s hard to take that rejection at first though and if you’re a sensitive person, like me, it can feel like a stab in the heart. Thankfully I’ve been through enough of these rejections to figure out a way to cope and maybe I can help you not be so completely destroyed by something which in reality, isn’t that big of a deal.
First thing you should know is, there may be nothing specific about what you did, how you acted or how you look, which can essentially be the destroying factor. The spark may have just simply not been there. Many times after a bad date your mind reels about that one comment you made or that one weird gesture, or the fact that there was a spot on the shirt you wore (one that likely couldn’t have been seen by the naked eye) or worse that you’re fat, hideous, stupid and ugly and no one will ever love you. The truth is, not everyone you meet is going to be infatuated with you no matter what. There exist in this world so many different perceptions of beauty and what appeals to one person may not appeal to the next. It’s nothing you did or said or looked like, it’s simply that the appeal of your better qualities was lost on the other person.
The next thing you need to know is that it may not have been you at all but simply an outside circumstance that caused this particular to rebuff. There are so many situations in this world that demand a greater focus of attention than a dude or a lady they met on a train that seemed nice. Maybe they got busy at work. Maybe they’ve had their eye on someone else and they need to focus their attention there. Maybe they just got tired and forgot to call. Maybe they had a family emergency or a big event integral to their career. In all honesty, it’s unfair of you to focus all of your attention on this particular person you’ve only met twice but think COULD BE THE ONE, when their life is full of things that don’t revolve around you.
In essence what I’m trying to say is that each and every person in the world has their own life, rich with experiences, and complications, and friends, and circumstances and you need to let them live it, if they choose to integrate you into that tapestry great, but if not it’s no big deal, just go live your own tapestry.
Third, a wise man known as my older brother once told me, “every relationship fails, until one doesn’t”. It may seem at the time that this potential relationship is the be-all-end-all, but realistically, it isn’t. It may last for a few months to a couple years at which point you guys will find something out about each other that you just can’t accept and then boom, it’s back to singledom. Honestly, singledom is pretty ok. As long as you have friends and motivations and things that keep you busy, it’s no big deal if there’s not a significant other.
What it all comes down to though, is being ok by being by yourself. If you’re happy regardless, then a relationship is a bonus. If you’re completely unable to be alone and are a nervous wreck and are nothing without another person in your life than you get to therapy.
Truthfully though, the best medicine I’ve found for rejection is having prospects. This may sound sleazy but if you have several different people you could see yourself being with and keep the option open with all of them then it won’t take more than a day or two to move on from a particularly hideous rejection. You can’t put too much at stake on any one person because if you do and it doesn’t work out then you’ll have nothing left to give someone else. Of course, if the potential for something serious comes along you can give up your side-projects and focus fully on the good things that are happening with the lucky one.
You can’t give too much to someone so early on though.
A relationship isn’t about completing yourself, it’s about growing with another person while being good with yourself to begin with.