Earlier, I wrote about how someone recently accused me of being too formal and cancelled our date cuz I asked him what his expectations were for communication after he suddenly went from messaging me all day, every day to barely messaging me. I asked me therapist if I did something wrong, and she said no – that he and I just aren’t the right match.
I have anxiety, and interactions with people are one of my biggest anxiety buttons. I’ve decided that, since I bring my anxiety up respectfully, take responsibility for it, and don’t talk about it too frequently, it’s okay for me to bring up my anxiety, and right person for me, as well as the right friends, will be people who can be patient with me and can appreciate direct, vulnerable communication. Everyone has flaws, and it’s okay for me to have this flaw as long as I do my best to manage it. My flaw can also be a strength, since it enables me to catch relationship issues early on before they get bigger.
After getting rejected last weekend, I put myself back out there and tried to set up a date for Monday. At first, he said, “I’d love to!” but he ended up cancelling. He said that I’m too formal.
Earlier, he went from messaging me throughout the day every day to suddenly slowing way down. The first time he took all day to reply to a message, I didn’t say anything about it. He messaged me himself to apologize and say he thought he had answered. The second time it happened, I messaged him the next day to ask if he wanted to wait until the date to continue talking.
He said that he has trouble remembering to use the dating site and asked if we could use another app, so I added him on Facebook. He started a conversation on Facebook, and he told me that it seemed really formal of me to ask a question like that. He said that he’s used to fucking around more with people. I didn’t feel good about that. I ended our conversation a while later to have lunch. After lunch, I messaged him again to say that I felt bad about how he criticized me when I made myself vulnerable trying to find out what was going on. I said that his comment about fucking around made me feel pressured to try to be entertaining, and I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. I added that before that, he had been very complimentary, and this was the second major change in his demeanor that I had seen already.
He replied saying that he didn’t wanna be a source of stress for me or for me to feel like I have to change. He said that he wanted to get to know me. Our conversation ended with him saying “Good vibes.”
However, he later messaged me saying that he wanted to cancel. It makes me anxious when someone changes their behavior, and I got burned really badly from trying to share my concerns with him. It has been a pattern for me to get anxious about a friendship or relationship and then for the other person to dismiss my concerns or even reject me altogether for it. I’m in so much pain. It’s hard to keep trying to build the social life I want and find a partner, but I want these things so badly that even with my difficulties weighing heavily on me, my social needs compel me to keep trying.
I’m gonna bring this up at my next therapy appointment, but I’m afraid that my therapist will think that it’s my fault that this keeps happening to me. I’m afraid of being judged. I’ll make another post about this sometime this week to share my therapist’s thoughts on the subject and how I feel about her input.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how I got rejected on a first date and how I dealt with it. Another tip that I have for coping with rejection is to keep looking for other opportunities. I got back on OkCupid and messaged someone else. Now I have a date with him on Monday. If I had given up, I wouldn’t have a date to look forward to now.
Another example of being persistent after rejection is J.K Rowling. She said that she received “loads of rejections” before Harry Potter was published.
If you keep trying, the odds are good that someone will eventually respond favorably.
Yesterday, I went on a first date with someone I met on OkCupid. He ended the date after only half an hour and said that it was nice meeting me without adding anything else, like that he had a good time.
I spent hours yesterday and today googling things like “reasons you rejected someone,” trying to figure out what I did wrong, but I wasn’t able to find much information. The only thing left is for me to look for ways to cope.
I’m trying to keep in mind that there are people who enjoy my company. For example, I recently ran into a former neighbor, Isaiah, and he invited me to hang out with him at the library, which we’re doing tomorrow.
Since rejection makes me feel helpless, cuz it’s outside of my control, I’m doing something that I can control by posting on my blog. This is also helping me cope.
The writer of a letter to an advice column, who kept persisting when women responded ambiguously to their romantic overtures, was told to take ambiguous answers in the future as a no (Captain Awkward). This is an important social skill cuz some people are uncomfortable with rejecting someone directly. While it’s okay to prefer a different type of communication, it’s still important to respect their boundaries. Taking an unenthusiastic response as a no will also protect you cuz it’ll prevent wasting your energy on someone who isn’t interested. It’s a win win!
Here are some examples of enthusiastic responses to look for:
- “That sounds fun!”
- “I’d love to.”
I made similar mistakes when I was younger. For example, when I was in high school, I asked someone out from the running team. He said, “I don’t want to date during running season.” I waited until the season for practice ended and then asked him out again, and he got upset. I’m more cautious now. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve just let go, partly so that he wouldn’t get upset, and partly cuz it’s better to hold out for someone who’ll wanna make time for me even if they have a busy schedule. I recently reconnected with two old friends, and the warm responses I got when I asked them about getting together or scheduling an im session felt so much better than the lukewarm response from my long ago crush. Holding out for people who show enthusiasm about you is worth it!
“#1009: Persistence is grossly overrated in dating and romance.” Captain Awkward. 14 Aug. 2017. Web. 3 Sept. 2017.
Last week, I went on a date with someone who I allowed to keep me waiting for three hours until he finally showed up. I was waiting at a bookstore in a mall, and I got so tense and anxious that I couldn’t enjoy browsing the books. The situation brought back bad memories of waiting for hours for other dates, even with people I was in a relationship with. People I have been friends with have also kept me waiting for long periods of time. Both friends and dates have also stood me up altogether. I dunno why people keep treating this way, but I’ve decided not to put up with it anymore. From now on, I’ll wait fifteen minutes past my meeting time with someone, and that’s it.
If someone you just met wants to give you a ride or hang out in a not-public place, it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to arrange your own transportation and insist on staying at a public place, even if upsets them.
If someone wants to have sex with you, and you don’t want to, or you want to sometime, but aren’t ready yet, it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to say that you’re not ready, even if it upsets them.
I’ve done things that I’m uncomfortable with and things that have compromised my safety cuz I’ve been so worried about someone being disappointed or getting angry with me. After talking to my therapist, I understand that my safety and comfort are more important than someone’s feelings.
The same is true for you. If someone gets upset with you for putting up boundaries, that’s their problem, not yours.