“This is not going to work out,” he texted me to finally put an end to the aimless series of dates we had gone on over the last few weeks. My heart felt heavy, and a sunny Saturday afternoon turned grim with that one sentence text. I mentally made note of all of my flaws that I was sure were turning off men.
I ran through all of the things I probably said or did wrong. Why didn’t they want me? What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? Am I unloveable?
I had been going on a few dates with three different men. None of these three men were looking for the same things out of life as I was. But I still hadn’t gotten to the point of being open and honest about that and just let date after date go by as I slowly disconnected. Each guy finally came to me and did what I could not: They ended it. Even though deep down I knew these guys were not a good fit for me, a huge, gigantic wave of rejection rushed over me.
I called a trusted, much wiser friend of mine and told him the story. He said to me, “Erica, do you know the difference between rejection and disappointment?” I didn’t.
“In all of these instances it is okay to feel disappointed,” My friend explained. “You had hoped these relationships would work out, disappointment is normal. But you are personalizing things that are not personal when you feel rejected. Those men do not truly know you after a few dates so they cannot reject you.” He added there are often a number of other factors that lead guys to their decision, many of which have nothing to do with me.
I knew that what he said was true. I was always looking for reasons to back up my belief that I was not good enough, which resulted in the immediate feeling of rejection.
Since then, I repeat to myself “disappointment, not rejection,” when things don’t work out with a guy I’m seeing.
I went on a date with this one guy and had a great time, a really great time. We seemed to have similar values and experiences. At the end of the date, he said, “Let’s get together next week.” I was excited. But a week later he didn’t call to set up that second date or respond to the text that I then sent him to set up the date.
This time, I decided to feel disappointed rather than rejected. Sure, I had been really looking forward to the next date, but the three hours we spent over coffee and dinner gave him no grounds to reject me. I don’t need to change who I am.
The benefit of this little reminder is that this feeling of disappointment goes away much more quickly than the feeling of rejection, and I don’t waste any more time making the list of all of my faults that he maybe didn’t like. It allows freedom in my dating. I am not looking for validation from these men and when a situation is not right, I can move on and open up to the next one.
Do you ever feel rejected after realizing someone isn’t interested in another date? What do you do to handle feelings of rejection?
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- He’s Not Interested In Me Anymore. What Did I Do Wrong? - May 27, 2015
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