8/17/2012 9:59 AM
In the course of working on a few other blog entries, I started running across comments about getting rejected, and started to see a sort of a pattern emerge. A couple examples of the ones that caught my eye:
“I was rejected, for the first time in my life. And now she's got a boyfriend. Someone who she obviously thinks is better than me, and can make her more happy than I can (which is impossible, by the way. Another arrogant thing to say but I don't care).”
“If you get a casual brush off from an uninterested girl with no additional feedback, you go away and painfully analyze every second of that encounter trying to think where you might have gone wrong.”
These comments about rejection, while different from one another, both indicate flawed ways of thinking about dating and relationships.
(By the way, while most of the examples I ran across were from guys, any advice on this can go for women, too. I think guys experience more rejection simply because they’re the ones who are under pressure to be the pursuer.)
As far as meeting someone for the first time, trying to make a connection, and having it go down in flames: you may not have done anything wrong. For whatever reason, she just was not up for whatever you were proposing at that time. Could be she had a boyfriend. Could be she just was not in the mood to chat with a guy she doesn’t know. If it wasn’t in the cards, there was likely nothing you could have done “right” to get the reaction that you wanted.
In situations where people feel that they’ve been passed over in favor of someone inferior: it’s still not about you. There was almost certainly never a moment where she considered a choice between one person and the other. When a relationship forms, it’s because she has good rapport and chemistry with someone who, in this case, was not you. Some people click, and some people don’t. It’s a combination of chemistry, timing, and a whole lot of other impossible to control variables.
There are two really important things to remember to help you cope with rejection:
Every interaction of this kind involves two human beings. There’s still a tendency to think of women as puzzles or prizes, or something akin to a particularly tricky piece of IKEA furniture that comes with a lot of parts and seven pages of instructions, half of which are written in Dutch. The truth is, women are just people, same as men are. And, any woman you meet in your day to day life can have plenty going on that might make her oblivious or unreceptive to whatever advances you are making. It’s totally not you.
Second, never compare yourself with the person who got together with the one who you wanted. There is no objective scale where we are able to rank people as better or worse than one another. Romantic relationships are not like job hunting, where we all submit our resumes and go through a set of interviews, and the best person gets the job.
In the end, you need to remember that, when someone does not return your interest, they are not deeming you unworthy, faulty, pathetic or anything else. Your interests, at the moment, just don’t align. Never forget that it’s not personal, and it’s not a slight. Get back out there, meet new people (including people you aren’t trying to date) and most of all, have fun.