I was on my way out the door to meet a new girl that I met online. We’ve been talking for about a week now and figured it time to get together mono-e-mono. Nerves were unusually high at this point. Which was weird, because I’ve been to this show many of times. However, this girl seemed different. She was pretty, smart, self-sufficient, and – most importantly – didn’t seem to care that I had three kids of my own.
As I got to our meeting place, it felt like there were a million butterflies in my stomach trying to eat scratch and claw their way out. I was worried she would show up to a gruesome mess of me – face down – on the steering wheel while my innards lay haplessly on my lap, as those beautiful yet menacing insects flutter their way to certain freedom. Truly not a good first impression, so I decided to calm the fuck down and get over myself.
“It’s just another first date, you’ve done this before. This date is not unlike any others” I kept repeating to myself. Unfortunately, somewhere within this noggin of mine, I knew it wasn’t the case. I knew I seemed to like her more than I’ve liked any others I’ve seen since reentering the dating scene.
This was around the time a white SUV pulled up beside me and rolled down its windows. Well shit, it was her. She was so attractive that I could literally feel my pupils dilate – working numbers on that mess flapping around in my belly.
“We don’t have time to sit at a boring old coffee shop” she said with doe eyed smile. “Hop in, I want to show you something” she suggested while nodding her head in the direction of her passenger door. I was delighted with the notion of a spontaneous adventure, so I complied and jumped in the seat next to her.
We drove for quite a while, to a place I’ve never seen, in a car I’ve never been in, with a person I’ve never met. Sounds – to me – like the start of cheesy C rated horror film. Naturally I made a few jokes about how vulnerable I was, and that I hoped I wasn’t her next unsuspecting victim. To which she replied – with equal wit and humor – at how I was no longer as “unsuspecting” as I thought and that the axe was in the back seat just out of my reach. We were still having a good chuckle over my ultimate demise as she pulled onto a short side road and turned off her headlights. Everything was pitch black except for the glow of the dashboard, the stars in the sky, and their reflections in the… lake? My goodness, she brought me to a rather romancey location.
“Oh my, so romantic, I hope you don’t plan on taking advantage of a girl like me out here. I expect nothing less than a back rub first” I said with a smirk.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle” She laughed, “This is just a place I like to come to and think. Thought you might like it”.
Truth be told, I did like it! I’m a bit of a wilderness geek. That’s all beside the point. She brought lil ol’ me to her favorite spot. If there was ever a time for it to be cool to throw a surprised face emoji into the middle of a blog post, it’d be now. We spent the next few hours sitting shoulder to shoulder, doing that awkward “we just want to touch” thing where we grazed each other’s arms, and chatted away about how awesome it was being us. It was nice. I haven’t felt as close to a person in a mind numbingly long time!
Just as I was about to make my move, it took a weird turn. The topic of kids suddenly came up. Of course, I was willing to answer any questions about my tiny clones. Yet it somehow veered sharp right into a brick wall of emotion and went directly to her experience with a man who had kids. Which was – to say the least – a less than exhilarating time for her.
The gap between us shifted from close to what I can only describe as “chasm like”. Almost as if there was a giant rift in the earth that tore open and flung us apart. No more arm grazing, hand grasping, or giggly flirtation. Realizing exactly what was happening I attempted to get the conversation headed in a new direction, but to no avail.
After another half hour or so of hearing about what happened, slow nods and moans of understanding, and my brain on constant “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit” mode. She took me back to my car, and I drove home… alone… to a message that stated something to the like of “OMG Kurtis, you’re such an amazing guy, if it wasn’t for the fact that you have kids and my past experience with [insert Douchey McBaggerson’s name here] I could totally see myself in a relationship with you…”
Watch this Lise. You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half. – Bart Simpson
Ouch! Any of this story seem familiar to you?
Lately I’ve seen a lot of requests to cover this topic. So, I thought to myself “SELF! Why not make this your introductory piece for the Coaching for Geeks community?”
In all honesty, rejection is one of those tricky topics. It’s one of those issues that the reader must be fully aware of while using full determination and willpower. I’ll get to the reasoning about this statement a bit further on. But first, I’ll list out the top five types of rejection one may endure while searching for a partner. From the least traumatizing to the most.
#1 – The Snub
The Snub is definitely the most common act of denial. There you are on Tinder. Swiping left and right just as every other patron of the app does. Suddenly you see a gorgeous blue-eyed woman whose profile reads out in the most hilarious like-minded way. You swipe right – full of hope that there’s a match. To your amazement and delight there actually is! You quickly open up the messages and send her a friendly “Hi! How’s it going?”
1-hour passes, nothing. 2 hours pass, still nothing. The next morning, gawd dammit, nothing. Turns out you’re no match at all because its now a week later and – yup, you got it – nothing.
This one is probably the easiest to get over as there was no contact made, no getting-to-know-you phase, and no emotional bond made.
#2 – The Fade Away
This form of rejection is also quite common. Let’s say that you met a good looking strapping young man at the bar. You guys talk for a good long while in the corner booth, and you find out that he too enjoys a big bowl of Cookie Crisp and watching Saturday morning cartoons!
After more conversation about taking your dogs to the park, and helping the elderly cross the road, you decide he’s a perfect candidate to give your valuable number to. After walking away, you look back, give a wink, and walk out. Confident that he’ll message.
Low and behold, there it is. Your phone buzzing with his name across your lock screen. “Too bad you had to go, I had fun chatting with you [winky face]”
You then spend the next two full days messaging back and forth like some sort of giddy teen. Foot up in the air, smiling at your phone, playing The Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited” over and over on Spotify. Until suddenly it takes him ten full minutes to respond. Which is ok, you’re not THAT needy. But then it takes a half hour, then 2 hours, and so on. Unexpectedly, you’re the guy from the snubbed story and it’s gone a week without hearing from him.
This one stings a little more. But it’s still overcome somewhat easily by realizing that there’s been no intimacy beyond some shared stories and laughs.
#3 – The No Show
In this case. I’ll assume you’re doing well and passed swimmingly through numbers one and two. No worries there. You’ve even set up a first date!
Excited – you dawn your best gear and get your butt to the chosen restaurant. Asking the host to please sit you in the most romantic location the place has to offer, you settle in and await her presence.
Well shit, there’s that waiting thing you’ve read about in snub and fade away. Twenty minutes, thirty minutes, then one full hour passes. You pay up for the two pints of beer you just sobbed silently into, as you start your slow walk of shame back to your car.
Not even a message? Really?! Sadly, yes. This happens quite frequently. Fortunately, it’s not all that much worse than the fade away. Aside from the added embarrassment and worried looks from the servers at the bar.
#4 – The PTSD Shield
Here we get to my story from above. Everything is going great! Until something from the past comes back to haunt them ultimately causing them to put their shields up and flee.
The PTSD shield really sucks because not only have you been rejected, but a bond has usually been formed and you end up feeling for their situation. The same can be said about people who have been cheated on, left in the dust, and yes even death can all attest to this.
The only thing you can do is try your best to understand. With people not yet ready to move on, it’s very hard to change their minds. They usually do feel like they can go forward, only to realize that shit gets real, real fast and shy away.
#5 – Ghosting
Ghosting is probably the most disrespectful way to reject someone. Yet, it’s one of the most used.
Ghosting is the term most commonly used when you get through that first, second, or even third date. There’s an intimate connection made, and you decide to put out. This is where they get up, gather their belongings and leave. Only to be never heard from again. Poof, they vanish.
Stings, right? How does one overcome this shitty display of human indecency?
Your Rejection HP Potion
Are you ready for it? The remedy for curing rejection is… Rejection itself!
Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyy… Wait what?
Ok, bear with me on this. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it really works. No, I’m not saying you go out and push people away. I know that you, being here, reading this means you’re probably a sensitive soul looking for a way to be successful without turning into a jerk, so I’m not telling you to go out and reject poor innocent souls. Although, I’m sure there will be a time where you may (We’ll get to that on a later date).
What I am saying is that it’s like the snake venom that cowboys stick in their horse’s arse. They do it in small doses at first and then up it as they go. Why? To build immunity of course! The horse then becomes immune to the pain of rattlesnake bites as they traverse the Texan Desert.
Hopefully you’re not taking this literally. Don’t go ordering rattlesnake venom and putting it in your butt. It’s the immunity part I’m talking about. You must build a rejection immune system by putting yourself out there and getting rejected. The more you do it, the less it stings.
Start small, by saying “hi” to as many people you can. Then switch up your greeting “hey, how’s it going?” Then start only acknowledging the opposite sex. What happens is that you start seeing a transformation in yourself. You stop noticing the negative and realizing the positive.
With the understanding of the dating world being full of this sort of thing, it’s an inevitability will bump your game tenfold. It worked for me and I promise it will for you. Eventually you’ll get to the point of saying “alright fine, their loss, someone else’s gain”.
Just put yourself out there and be fearless about it. It’s all part of the building your dating confidence course I’m building for you. (COMING SOON)
Do you have any rejection stories? Let me know in the comments below!
Kurtis Kehoe – Online Dating Dad and a bit of a wilderness geek