Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How To (Gracefully) Deal With Rejection

Sooo if you've been reading LLB for a while, you know I'm maybe a little good at giving you all pep talks. I like to take the shitstorm that has hit me smack in my left eye and turn it into a learning opportunity, not only for me, but for all of you too. Even if "you" consists of my extended family and some people I pay to scan this site for errors.

This week, I've been dealing with some pretty extreme rejection. Like, shitstorm of rejection. Rejection up the wazoo. I'm not really even sure I spelled "wazoo" right, but that's not the point. The point is that I've been really upset with all of the shit that's been going down. It's like the invisible hand of the universe likes to play with me; I feel like I've figured it out, things are going well, I'm slowly starting to get a handle on things and then


Shitstorm. Of Rejection.

And then I turn on some Coldplay and hide under my covers.

(Untrue. I don't really like Coldplay.)

So, here's the situation. And even though I try not to blather on about my personal problems, I'm going to blather. Because it's my blog. So there.

The situation is that I met a boy. On the interwebz. And he was lovely and sweet via the interwebz, which I knew was not pretense that he would also be lovely and sweet via the real world. But then he was. And it was magical and I was totally like "YES! FINALLY!" And I fist pumped a little, like Elliott and Bowie. And I had butterflies, and text messages flew back and forth and a second date was set within 12 hours of the first date concluding.

And I started picking out his and her towels and planning our weekends in the Hamptons.

(I mean, I didn't design the wedding invitations. Who do you think I am?)

And so there I was, going into a weekend away in New England, excited about this first awesome encounter with a decent distraction for the four days in between dates. And then I felt a complete vibe shift. Like, it was so 180 degrees, I thought I had made it up in my head. That I was being paranoid and the fact that I didn't hear from him until like 5 hours before our date meant absolutely nothing. But I went into Date #2 and was totally right. It wasn't as exciting or as hilarious or as UH-MAYZ-ING as Date #1. I still felt the butterflies (still do, although they are admittedly fewer) but it was like he hadn't shown up to play. It was definite date fake-age. I wanted to call a foul on him for false starting and give him a fifteen yard penalty.

And so here's what went on in my head:

"Oh my god. I'm so unattractive. If my nose was smaller, he'd totally be so into me. I didn't play hard enough to get. I should have been more open and honest. I shouldn't have drank so much. I should have sent funny, flirty text messages. My outfit was too Williamsburg and not enough West Village. I wasn't funny. I said the wrong thing. Oh God, did I get drunk and talk about things I shouldn't have talked about? My hair IS A MESS. WHO GAVE ME THIS HAIRCUT?! GOD, MY HAIR RUINS EVERYTHING!"

And then I dissolved into tears at my desk. Which is professional, to say the least.

So after you stop shaking your head and telling me "Listen, Lauren, you MIGHT be overreacting a little bit," I'd like to say that I know I'm not the only one who has gone through this nightmare of finally (FINALLY!) meeting someone that you like. No, REALLY like. And having it go so well that you can't believe you could feel as awesome you feel right at that moment. And then feeling ten thousand times more terrible when it doesn't work out. Shitty right? Yep. Definite shitstorm. So here's what I've told myself about dealing with this rejection:

It's not because you didn't sleep with him
(And it is in this moment that I'm glad my dad doesn't know how to use the comments section of Blogger.)

(Diane, don't teach him, either).

It's easy to think that because you said no, or balked at the prospect of sleeping with a guy, that he decided he didn't like you. I will say, as a girl with three brothers and enough guy friends that are total douches, NO MAN IN THE WORLD will STOP liking you because you said "No" to the big sex. Case in point: My brother is a guys guy, who has talked about women as pieces of meat and definitely gone out with girls before just to get laid. But then he met a girl that he really freakin' liked. And she was "waiting until sex for marriage". And you know what? He bit the bullet and dated her for three months because the connection was that strong. And then she broke up with him. Yep, he liked her that much AND she still broke his heart. So if he can do it, every other man in this world can do it. If you aren't comfortable, say no. If he stops calling, you made the right decision. (You can tell this happened to me with the above mentioned gentleman caller).

(Also, sorry for airing all your shit out there, Andy. It's for the greater female good. I'll buy you Twizzlers next time I see you.)

It's not because of your outfit/hair/larger than average Italian nose.

If you made it to Date #2, he knows that you're pretty bomb and pretty fun to talk to and laugh with. And he is also a guy. So if he didn't like what you were wearing/what you looked like/how you smelled on Date #1, he would have cut that shit and not asked you out on a second date. I get all insecure about the way I look all the time because, for the most part, I think I'm normal, funny, interesting, smart, and genuinely nice. And I've been single for ages, and so the only thing I can point to is the larger than average Italian nose and wish that I looked more like the dark, ethnic, Sicilian side of the family. But I know that's not true. And even if there was a guy out there who loved everything about me except for the jeans I wore? I'd have to say he needs to get over himself and stop wishing that Angelina Jolie is going to someday get over Brad Pitt. And point of reference, my butt looked better than hers in those jeans, thankyouverymuch.

It's not because of something you believe in or have hope for

Stop it right this second. Your dreams and your favorite ice cream and everything you love to do is exactly what it should be and if a guy doesn't like it or is intimidated by it, then it's totally his loss. Like, he should probably man up and get some of his own hobbies, or at least respect you for finding things that interest you. You're a lovely chickadee and you shan't need to feel like you need to change all the lovely ideas that are floating around in your brain so that a guy will like you. As the song goes, "Don't go changing, to try to please (a dude)." And if it's in song lyrics written by Billy Joel, then you know that shit is gospel. Preach, Billy.

So if it's not all of those things, then what is it?

Hell if I know. But generally, I know that, no matter how hard I try, there's nothing I can personally do to make someone change their mind about me. All I can be is me. And as cliche and non-tangible and non-concrete as that sounds, that's what I have to put my faith in to not get bogged down by all the terrible and negative shit that happens on the day to day in the world of dating. What I will say, is that I try very hard to be the best version of myself. I try to be open and honest and encouraging. I smile a lot on dates and laugh a lot too, because there's nothing worse than sitting for two hours with someone who looks like they'd rather be anywhere else than with you.

And even though this most recent rejection still hurts, I know that I'll get over it. And hopefully it will be sooner rather than later, because I hate it when I get all teary in the middle of the day because my hair is frizzy. MY FREAKING HAIR RUINS EVERYTHING!!

How do you guys deal with rejection?


Lorra Fae said...

this is really great. love it - very entertaining and true.

Laura said...

I love how honest you are, and how you put my thoughts into really amusing and yet so true commentary.

Want to come out carousing on Friday or Saturday?

iris said...

My boyfriend has discussed this sort of concept, based upon his expertise from the online dating world (a lot of experience)...that a really great first date does not imply a really great second date.

Everyone's on their best behavior for the first one, and the slack is loosened a bit for the second. Maybe this guy's slack just got loosened too quickly.

Either way, you're probably better off knowing this nonsense sooner rather than later.

islandbum said...

Well written! Thank you for the reminder and the affirmation that it's not just me.

Arenne said...

Love it, well written and so true
I wish I'd found this blog a few months ago

Sarai said...

This is such an awesome post - thank you so much for sharing your story. You get 100% for having exactly the right attitude :) I don't think this was rejection at all - I think this was you realising that there wasn't the spark that you had hoped, but I wasn't there so I don't know the situation :) Still LOVE how you have handled it.

ifs ands Butts said...

I really love this post as I think every single human being can relate to. Except for those few people that seem to capture every person they meet's full heart and soul, but that's certianly not me. However, rejection is still always ahrd to accept, even when you accept this notion. womp

Lauren said...

So true!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, I love this post so much! I just recently went through almost the exact same experience (down to the spontaneous bursting into tears), & while it was incredibly hurtful & depressing, this post perfectly illuminates the need for a positive outlook. thank you!

Anonymous said...

Ditto, went through almost the exact same experience!

Meeting on the interwebz, lovely and sweet in the real world, "magical and I was totally like "YES! FINALLY!"", butterflies after the first date and text messages back and forth....and then who knows what happened on his side of things.

Thanks for this post, it really helped me stop blaming myself and put things into perspective!