Rejection Backlash


Rejection is brutal. It brings out insecurities that you’re never fully conscious of and projects them like a Viewmaster 3D: whenever you blink, another one appears. This and the following week at work is all Super Bowl. The city is about to light up: it’s never hosted the big game before. With the very real possibility that I would disappear in work, I tried to see the Australian again. We made tentative plans, they fell through on her end, but I just offered other times – then suddenly I receive a message with my favorite words.

“I’m not ready for dating…”
“… not quite over my ex…”
“… really nice guy.”

Lingering moments of disappointment came over me, but all in all, I didn’t feel so bad. The rejection and idea of losing was the dominant emotion. It was a broken recording of the same song that came from the nurse. Something must be wrong with me. And there it began: the fog of insecurity crept in and I was analyzing every little detail of our dates, cross-referencing them with my dates with the nurse.

I came to two conclusions. First, our last make-out session was a pail of cold water on her head: I am shorter than her. Second: I’m too intense. In the week and a half we knew each other, we went out three times and were planning for a fourth in two weeks. Meet impatience, my major flaw. I was driving it forward too fast because I would be out of sight and out of mind for a while. Unlike the nurse however, it wasn’t because I couldn’t wait to see her again. This was me trying to get closer before the bustle of life undoes all the good work I’ve done. It did exactly that.

Later in the week, I did see the nurse. After plans the week before fell through, I met up with her and two of her girl friends. It had been two months. You know you’re hooked when you’re sitting at a wine bar hanging with the ladies. I did my best to win her two friends over and finally gave her the book. We didn’t kiss at the end of the night (she was staying with her friend), but her friend invited me up and I joined them. I entered, used the bathroom, then promptly left. At the door, she said she was going right to bed, her friend was heating up food, I had work the next day… and the insecurities set in. During drinks, she was texting away and looking for responses on her phone. This is not how she is with my messages. I get responses 24-hours later. That was when the fog set in.

She texted me quickly after I left telling me she opened the gift and how interesting it seems. I wasn’t sure if she read my note. The next day I knew she read my note when she said the gift was really sweet, while also updating me that the last minute plans we tentatively made were probably not happening. She texted me to clear up why she wasn’t feeling up for it and cancelled later in the evening. If it weren’t for that, it would be the Department of Homeland Insecurity in here. But it comes and goes: Did I make the right move leaving the way I did? Am I being too pushy trying to see her again the next day (even though she invited the group, then asked me what I was doing)? I have no clue. I know she’s not in a mindset for dating, but likes me and we’ll see each other as it happens. So play it cool – this is after all, what I do best and what I do worst. Play it cool to the point where I convince everyone that I don’t give a shit. Throw in her upcoming birthday (either this week or next) and I can easily see myself making that some sort of deadline to get closer. Impatient bastard can easily make a mess of this.

Rejection is a bitch. Don’t let it get to you. It will unravel you in a domino effect of negative emotions. Take a moment to stop and see what’s really happening. There is someone who you really like who is also really into you. If it’s right, it’s simple. You don’t need to figure everything out right now. There are no deadlines. See each other. Enjoy each other.

I gotta follow my own advice.

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