Embracing Rejection Helped Me Love Dating and Meet My Husband

Relaxation

“Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.” ~Steve Maraboli

I think most single people these days dream of meeting someone “in real life.”

The fantasy is that in “the real world” it’ll be easier.

I dated BA and AA. Before apps and after apps.

The sad truth is that technology changed the game whether you’re on apps or not.

The life skill of walking up to someone in a bar and starting a conversation out of thin air has vanished. The ability to be the receiver of that conversation without the safety net of a screen followed close behind.

I’m from a small town where everyone says hello to everyone, but do that in the city, and people jump back like you’re an apparition.

Dating apps are hard, but meeting someone in real life just might be harder.

You need to be confident enough to walk up and chat with anyone, let everyone know that you’re single and want to be set up (even your work colleague Sue from accounting), and be ready to be rejected to your face.

It’s a classic “grass is greener” scenario.

The reason people hate apps so much is because of the rejection, the sheer volume of it.

You’ll get rejected less in real life simply because you’re probably rarely meeting anyone to get rejected.

Reframing rejection helped me meet my husband.

I’d been single for years after leaving a toxic relationship. Sure, there were a few relationships here and there, but like a sitcom with low ratings, none of them lasted too long.

I worried I’d be swiping left and right forever. I was stood up at 10 a.m. on a Saturday at a Melbourne landmark, I’d been ghosted, and I was constantly rejected.

I felt the need to bend and shift myself and rewrite my Bumble bio just to be chosen.

I was born with intuitive abilities, meaning I can see, hear, sense, and know things that others can’t. I always wondered at what point should I share with someone that I know they have a strained relationship with their dad or their boss at work can’t be trusted.

Obviously, I’d never word it this way. But essentially, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. People don’t love the idea of dating a human lie detector.

You might wonder, why tell people? Well, these abilities are my work; they are a massive part of who I am. So it’s pretty unavoidable. It’s like Chad not telling me he works in finance. Or trying to hide the fact I have brown eyes.

I tried sharing about my abilities early on the apps, or on first dates, or third dates. All to avoid rejection. Thinking I could somehow change the outcome as to whether someone accepted me or not.

I hated the feeling that something that was a big part of me was being made fun of, or deemed weird, or even that it just wasn’t ‘for someone.’

This fear of rejection was preventing me from meeting the right person.

I was wasting SO MUCH time trying to please the wrong people, cloaking myself, and not being authentic. It meant that anyone interested in who I really was would never find me. The real me was nowhere to be found.

When I shifted my perception of rejection, dating became so much easier and, dare I say, enjoyable!

I almost encouraged rejection. I put my true self out there and held nothing back—not in a creepy share-every-intimate-detail-about-yourself-on-a-first-date kind of way; I just wasn’t filtering or scared to scare anyone off.

I had the new mindset that rejection saved me time and energy for the right ones. Rejection freed me up. Rejection was a normal part of dating; it wasn’t a ‘just me’ thing.

Cut to: I met my husband. Our first date was non-stop talking about everything from J Cole to Arrested Development, to exploring life’s big questions like Where do people go when they die? We got married two years later.

Just the other day over brunch at our local café we reflected on how embracing rejection changed everything when it came to dating.

My husband has a disability and could have let that hold him back from putting himself out there. I could have been completely discouraged from countless ‘failed’ dates. But thankfully, we kept going.

If you’re reading this and you feel deflated by the dating process, but you really want to meet someone, my hope is that you don’t give up.

Someone out there is looking for you, just as you are, and what a shame it would be if you were nowhere to be found.


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