I’ve never enjoyed being rejected. And I’ve also never met another person who enjoyed it.
Even when I was rejected from a talent show in high school, I cried for three days because I thought there was something wrong with me and it was difficult to believe otherwise in that moment.
Three years ago, I was a newly single 19-year old moving to Los Angeles—I was clearly ecstatic. Prior to this, I had just gone through a gnarly breakup and was ready to be single for awhile. I couldn’t wait to thrust myself into all the sexy men I believed to inhabit all of LA.
My first day moving in was when I met him. And by him, I mean my neighbor. He wasn’t someone I would normally be attracted to; he was more on the short side and I liked my men tall. But I ended up falling hard for him. It was almost like a romantic comedy except the ending was anything but.
After two months with him, I knew I didn’t want it to only be physical. I wanted more. It took literally every ounce of my body to finally be honest and tell him how I felt. He responded to me by saying this was supposed to be purely physical and if I could not handle that, then we shouldn’t be together.
At that moment, I knew what it meant when people said they could feel their heart break. I was devastated and went home and cried to my roommate, but I took what I could get. I automatically made an excuse and made myself believe that it was because I am not the “relationship” type. Clearly, I was just a girl that guys wanted to get a good lay out of and liked to have some fun with.
Throughout the next year, whenever a guy wanted to date me and wanted to get to know me better, I rejected them before they could reject me.
I was afraid they could never love me or I would have to suffer the repercussions of them not wanting me.
I never wanted to relive the feelings of vulnerability I felt that night. For me, it was one of the worst feelings I had ever experienced, so I avoided feeling vulnerable even if that meant I would never open up again.
Three years later, I have made my peace with rejection. Instead of focusing what I haven’t gotten, I focus on what I have. It took me a while to come to terms with rejection, but I realized how much better it was to open up and be honest, rather than keeping my feelings inward and never knowing what could have happened. Truthfully, I did not know if I would be able to ever open up to a guy again about how I felt.
After I went through my phase of rejecting guys and feeling insecure, I began to understand that putting myself out there might hurt me, but doing it will help me grow and learn. When we read a book, there is always the slight chance of receiving a paper cut (and that shit hurts!), but that doesn’t mean we will stop reading books to avoid getting a paper cut.
It’s the same way about men and relationships. We might get
hurt, but that is the risk we take. Being rejected by someone has nothing to do with you, it simply means it is not the right time.
Rejection is something we all face and something we all fear, but it is all about moving forward and trying again. If we keep repeating the same thing, we will obtain the same results.
I don’t see myself ever looking back and wishing I hadn’t been honest about my feelings. I would regret it if I wasn’t.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Sue Adair/ Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: flickr: Katie Levesque