Article originally appeared on JustMyType.ca
When it doesn't work out with someone, it's common to think, "What's wrong with me?" You self-diagnose that there must be something you messed up in the dating dance. Perhaps you said the wrong thing, appeared too eager, moved too fast, moved too slow... the list goes on. You think: if only this happened or didn't happen, then perhaps he'd still like me.
But here's the thing. You could have said all the right things. You could have had impeccable timing and the best hair day in history -- but none of that matters. Because at the end of the day, people connect (or don't connect) based on an energy exchange.
When someone has genuine interest in you, the little, trivial things don't matter. Glaring red flags, incompatibility, and toxic baggage -- that's another story. Those are definitely issues that surface and can make an emotionally healthy person re-evaluate your romantic potential. But the little things -- not so much.
Rejection can be tough on the spirit. If we don't have a healthy sense of self-esteem, we allow the feeling of rejection to disintegrate our own self-worth. It's as if the lack of romantic interest from someone else somehow reduces your own value.
Since I was a little girl, I faced a lot of rejection and abandonment. I created a story subconsciously that love = abandonment. Thus, I carefully crafted survival mechanisms to reject people, before they had a chance to do it to me. Yep, I've mastered the "find-something-wrong-so-that-you-do-not-invest-your-heart-and-mitigate-hurt-strategy" to perfection. Rejection petrified me. And with such a fear ruling me, I happily stayed in an unattached, single bliss for the last few years.
But a shift occurred. In recent months, I set an intention. I finally feel ready to share my beautiful life with another, and invest in building a partnership with someone. I knew that if I continued my avoidant ways, I would not actualize my intention of creating a meaningful relationship with someone else. So I decided to open my heart, allow myself to be vulnerable and welcome the risk of hurt.
Not long after, I met someone who I liked and was excited about. But while he started off with romantic interest, he later made it clear that he did not feel the same way. I felt rejected. It hurt. I felt sad. I cried.
And then as I processed the feelings, I realized, "Hey, I got rejected, and I didn't die!" In fact, within a day, I was smiling and back to my usual jolly, positive self. One of the results of constant self-work and mindfulness is strengthening your tenacity to get back to equilibrium. It's a skill that comes from practice. I'm not saying that there should be a rush to get out of the uncomfortable feelings, but I do know it gets easier to bounce back through experience.
I realized that all those years of strategic navigating to avoid rejection was silly. Rejection actually isn't bad at all. It's a filter. It's the universe helping you close a door so you can make room for another one to open.
If this were five years ago, I would have taken it personally. If I liked someone and he didn't like me back, I would store that as a message that something was wrong with me, that I wasn't good enough, hard-to-get enough, or
Don't ever give someone the power to determine your worth. Don't waste your energy repenting. When I interview healthy, happy couples, this is the one commonality I keep hearing. When it's the right fit, there is an ease and effortless flow to things. You really don't have to try so hard to make someone like you. It just kind of happens organically.
And if you've been disappointed in a relationship or have felt rejected or abandoned, I promise you, one day, it will all make sense why it didn't work out with that person. Chalk it up to experience and a learning lesson, and you will evolve. But if you become jaded, you ultimately get in your own way of joy and happiness. Don't let someone who didn't recognize your awesomeness deter you from loving fully and generously. They don't deserve that power over you.
Our lives will be filled with different cast members. Some are temporary. Some come in to shake things up. Some are critical to the plot. Some will change the storyline forever.
Don't give so much power to a person who was never meant to be in the permanent cast of your life story. Go out there, love fully. Love generously. Love with reckless abandon. Because that's how you create magic. That's how you create a life worth living, and a story worth telling...