It was the end of January, I had downloaded my ebook copy of Get the Guy the day before and I was eager to claim my first victim. I met Brad* in line at a Starbucks in Covent Garden, I was playful, a little challenging, made appropriate amount of body contact, I laughed at his bad jokes; Matthew Hussey should be very proud of me, I did everything right and I mentioned my love of art galleries and museums and he suggested a date the following Sunday afternoon at the Victoria and Albert Museum. My date with Brad was perfect, I looked cute with minimal effort, I made a few surprisingly amusing jokes about the naked statues and Brad laughed, then joined in on the fun. A couple of evenings later, I ran into Brad along Regent Street, he flashed a smile and placed a kiss on my cheek. He was polite and chatted with me for a while. Towards the end of the conversation, I casually mentioned ‘I liked spending time with you at the Victoria & Albert Museum the other day, it was fun.’ Brad’s entire demeanor changed within seconds, he placed his hands out like he was stopping traffic or perhaps as a sign of extreme caution and replied ‘Um, no thanks.’ He disappeared into the crowd never to be seen again.
My announcement was neither earth shatteringly surprising nor unnecessarily keen and I refrained from texting or contacting him between the end of our date and our conversation. I was the epiphany of serenity and not my usual anxious self; I adopted a see how things go approach. We all experience rejection at some point in our lives, maybe not so publicly on a busy high street like Regent Street, nevertheless it’s a certainty, a matter of when not if; that’s what my Mother tells me and she must be right! In consideration of the certainty of rejection, is it possible to embrace rejection as opposed to fear it? I took me a long time to realise how to do this successfully, but here is what I have learned along the way.
1. It’s not you, it’s them.
At first glance, this does sound like an excuse to positively puff up my wounded pride however, he has in fact, missed out on getting to know my amazing self. I am smart, funny and pretty and I am not prepared to spend hours psychoanalysing my every move, in order to protect myself from heartache, because that type of thinking comes from a mindset of low self-worth and a failure mentality. Dating is not a game of winning and losing, but every encounter is an opportunity to meet new people, discover more about yourself and fine-tune your social skills. When you play the dating game, you play to arrive at a certain destination but, it is the journey that is equally as important.
2. Stop overvaluing the people who you feel attracted to.
I am a firm believer in the idea, that a potential love interest must earn their place in your life. I am not saying to play games with people, however, it’s about guarding your heart, and not giving away your affections to someone who has not proven their value to you, as a partner. People often wear masks and conceal their true selves while playing the dating game and unfortunately, we can often rush in, too quickly and not notice the obvious warning signs that appear in the early stages. In consideration of this, Brad is just a man and one of many who I will have a chance to meet along my journey to finding a life partner.
3. Perspective is everything.
Your mindset is the most important tool that you can take into the dating game. Two people with different mindsets or perspectives can look at the same situation, one will see tragedy and peril which is born out of an end of the world perspective and the second will see an opportunity to grow and meet new people. Brad’s ‘Um, No thanks’ response doesn’t really have any affect on the outcome of my life; I haven’t lost or gained anything, but I have remained the same. In other words, I have successfully lived before dating him and I will continue to live without him in my life. Your perspective will often determine whether you will go on to meet the love of your life; if you embrace an ‘end of the world’ perspective every time you experience rejection, you may eventually lose momentum and not be able to move on and as a consequence, admit defeat.
The advice in the Get the Guy book certainly works, but perhaps it should contain a caution sign, ‘apply the contents of this book with care.’ Resilience is the key to embracing rejection as opposed to fearing it. Embrace a healthy level of self-worth, stop overvaluing the people who you are attracted to and assume a positive perspective will enable you to move on quickly after a dating situation ends in a manner that is less than ideal. Do you have a process of dealing with rejection? Please let me know by using the comments box below. I’d love to hear from you.
*name changed for privacy purposes