Let’s talk about rejection. We’ve all experienced rejection at some point in our lives. Whether you didn’t get into your dream school, that perfect job didn’t come through, or simply the guy you were into didn’t reciprocate. It can be a hard thing to process and move on from especially if you internalize the rejection.
If dating in silicon valley has taught me anything, it’s that you cannot take it personally. No matter how many times I come to the conclusion that anything that ends is for the best, there is the inherent “what did I do wrong?” line of questioning that I go through.
Let us walk through an example, we’ll use the last guy I dated and call him Jay*. So Jay and I met through a dating app and quickly hit it off. For the short 2.5 months that we dated we saw eachother almost every other day. He was attentive, he was a gentleman and he made me feel special. He complimented me like no had ever done before and he made me learn to appreciate and feel beautiful despite what I consider physical flaws.
We hung out a lot and he even offered to accompany me when I boldly proclaimed that I was going to go get a tattoo. He held my hand and didn’t make too much fun of all the crazy faces I made in the process. Then all of a sudden, he get’s a new job that’s out of the city and despite me being legitimately happy for him, I knew that this was ending. I don’t believe in long distance even if it’s only 40 miles, an hour train ride away, or whatever illustration shows that the distance was not terrible.
Long story short, within a week Jay completely became a different person. He no longer responded to texts the way he did before, he kept postponing and cancelling dates; in essence he was trying to ghost me! Now i’ve been there done that with ghosting and it fuckin sucks on both ends of the spectrum — whether you’re the shitty person doing it or it’s done to you. So I’ve learned in the last couple of years to not ghost and actively call out those who are doing it to me and end things immediately. I don’t believe in stringing people along, or being kept on someones back burner.
So I called out Jay and we ended things soon after. It was an amicable break – but it stung, it hurt and it bothered the hell out of me. Despite knowing that this was the rational decision to make I couldn’t help but think that I just wasn’t worth a measly train ride. I thought that if he truly thought I was special he wouldn’t want to lose me. I thought that he would come to his senses and realize that he actually did like me enough and come running back to me.
Boy was I wrong, not only are these thoughts insane but someone not wanting to date me should not dictate my self esteem. Also, by not accepting distance as a legitimate reason to break up I was letting myself be delusional. Talk about being in denial in the face of rejection. Fast forward to 3-4 weeks post breakup and we had been texting and chatting and I of course mistook this for continued interest. In my mind, “i miss your sass” was “i miss you and i want you back” So with some liquid courage i finally asked the question i know that i didn’t want answered “do you want to keep dating or just be friends?” I sensed i was being strung along and knew that i would somehow rationalize it in my head unless i flatly asked. Needless to say, i got the answer i didn’t want and we have progressed to an actual break up. I know the truth, I have accepted the rejection and i have processed it. I know that i can’t take it personally and as easily as he came into my life he’s now gone and that’s ok.
Accepting rejection when it comes to us is an opportunity to evaluate our emotions and learn to deal with them. Putting off rejection or rationalizing it as something it’s not will come back to haunt you. Don’t do what i did, be better! Dating is hard and rejection is hard but it truly let’s you focus on what is more important in life. It’s also important to focus on the positive and loving people you have in your life. I knew that i had not done this with this breakup or my previous one and it’s time for a self proclaimed time out. I won’t actively seek out dates but if one comes along I won’t say no. I’m no longer on dating apps and when i go out meeting someone is the not purpose.
I’ve very excited to focus on me and my friends and see what life throws at me next — actually life happened as soon as I took this approach.
More to come on that!
*name has been changed