Everybody Gets Rejected. Right?

It happens. We–all of us, I think–get rejected.

As my NY best friend S assured me last night, after I’d capped a rejection-filled weekend with getting pulled over by Corrales’ crankiest sheriff for going ten miles over the speed limit only to realize that the  insurance card I had on hand was expired, it often comes in waves.

“You rejected a few people, now it’s happening to you,” she counseled.

And yet, this quantitative knowledge does not make it any easier, any less mood-crushing, any less demoralizing when it happens to you.

This morning, by way of trying to make myself feel better, I recalled something I said a while back to another friend when a guy she liked and had seen a few times told her–in a manner admirably, if a bit painfully, frank–that he just wasn’t that into her.

“I know it’s impossible,” I told her, “but you can’t take it personally. Maybe he likes blondes, or women who are stupid. Maybe he wants to date somebody from Kansas with twelve toes. Who knows?”

“Just because he isn’t attracted to you,” I said, “does not mean that you are not (very, very) attractive.”

How about we all write that on the proverbial chalkboard a few hundred times until it sticks?

Because, as I also tried to remind myself this morning, who among us doesn’t reject people for completely ridiculous reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with said person’s inherent physical, emotional or intellectual value?

Certainly, I do it all the time. I reject people because they aren’t mean enough. Because they remind me of someone I don’t want to be reminded of when I’m making out. Because their voice is a little bit too high or too low. I think I once rejected a guy cause I thought he was too good-looking. (I know, Robbie: and I wonder why I’m single. But alas, we’ve been over this.)

Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve never rejected someone because I thought they could stand to lose five pounds. I’m just saying.

The things that make us attracted to certain people and not others are idiosyncratic. They’re often unexpected and sometimes strange.  It is a mysterious science, this.

And that’s something I recommend we remind ourselves of in those moments when we are tempted to peg our entire self-worth on the determination of a person that, chances are, we hardly know. And whose lack of interest probably has a lot more to do with them than it does with us.

But I understand that it is one thing to grasp this notion intellectually and another to not feel like a worthless piece of dull, chubby crap.

Which is why I also recommend–in these predicaments–going out for soft serve (preferably Dairy Queen, preferably topped with hot fudge) along with a few sympathetic girlfriends.

And talking to other, non-local but equally sympathetic, girlfriends on the phone.

And, if appropriate, reminding yourself that while people may be entitled to opt out of dating you, they generally lack the privilege to opt out of being included and perhaps humiliated in your future writing.

I’m just saying.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Everybody Gets Rejected. Right?

  1. I have a friend who has never asked a girl out, but is constantly in a relationship somehow. I think he might be an exception. It’s really not fair.

  2. Elizabeth: Sorry about your rejection. I know you to be brilliant, beautiful and articulate…set your sights way high, girl.

    After a two-year nightmare with someone who called himself “The Italian Stallion” on Match.bomb. I finally woke up and realized it was not a rejection, but a GIFT that he was giving me when he was a shit and I said good-bye..

    OK, last night I watched that show “Bachelor Pad.” I nearly got myself sick but was determined to see what I could learn. The guys had to pick women to stay in the house which would leave three women who would not be picked. What happened is, irregardless of the strategy, the guys picked women they were already in intimate relations with—even if they thought it would jeopardize their winning 250K. The women who stayed were, you guessed it, bimbos in every sense of the word IMHO, but they swoon over these guys who are their bed partners. And it was clear that the guys wanted a bed partner, not a brain. The girlfriends talk in that baby talk high strung way. They all look the same in bikini’s, and they are all lots smaller than their guys. I thought to myself that this show is being seen and admired by lots of young girls (like my 13-yr old granddaughter). I really think it is soft porn. The women were doing all the admiring (and sexual advances) and they guys seem distant and most of the time insensitive—like rejection of the women, it seemed to me.. If this is how the media portrays interactions between women and men, it is clear that women who are secure, brainy, voluptuous, brunette, and tall, do not stand a chance. It is completely the wrong message for both genders.

    I know there are guys out there who are good guys. You guys need to put your big boy pants on and step up to the plate to ask us out. And we don’t mind if you are 10 or 20 lbs overweight…or bald or nerdy…..really.

    • Judy you are hilarious. Thank you for the kind words. And I cannot believe you made it through an episode of The Bachelor Pad. I actually got really into this season of the Bachelorette, cause she was totally charming, and tried to watch a few minutes of that show but could not…you must protect your granddaughter! Sigh…but thank you for sharing. And yes: step it up, please!

  3. To soften being rejected, especially early in dating someone, I try to see it as the other person saved me the work. If the other person decides quickly that it won’t work, I will probably reach the same conclusion at some point. This allows me to move on earlier and find someone more compatible sooner. Easier said than done, of course, but it is still better than the alternative.

    I’ll see what I can do to convince men to step up and take some initiative, though it would be nice for women to not be (albeit this is all stereotypes) quite so superficial and to be willing to give relationships a chance rather than reaching snap judgments.

    -John

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