With dating, some of my perpetually single girlfriends (I don’t have many) tend not to look back at what happened as a learning experience. Instead they blame all failures on the guy being an asshole and proclaim, “his loss!” whenever something goes awry. These same friends consider it rejection if someone is not interested, loses interest, doesn’t want a full-blown relationship, etc. Either the guy is a piece of shit or else they find themselves constantly rejected.
It’s an easy pattern to fall into. It brings you down, it makes dating miserable, and it doesn’t allow you to see things for what they really are. You can’t please everyone, not everyone is going to think you’re great, you won’t always get a chance to shine, and sometimes it‘s just not there. There are other issues at play as well, especially in the online dating world. People juggle multiple potential partners and sometimes they think they like someone better so all of their effort is going to him or her. Since getting back online, I recognize a lot of the men from the last time I tried online dating, so I’m sure they are getting exhausted, bitter, and possibly bored. And then, there are the issues we all face at times: a heavy workload, personal problems, and emotional unavailability. Add to that the online attitude of always looking for someone “better” and the odds are really stacked against you.
In the case of Runner, for example, if I had listened to the things he’d said and taken them to heart, I probably would not have slept with him. I did hear things such as how interesting he thought I was, how he really liked me, and how he loved spending time with me. I also noticed him being kind, chivalrous, and pursuing me. What I chose not to listen to were the negative things that basically pointed to him not being ready for a relationship. So, it’s not his loss, he’s not an asshole, and I wasn’t rejected. But, I do need to remember to ignore the positives and listen to the negatives. This doesn’t mean reading into everything, overthinking, or driving yourself crazy thinking of your next move. It means being yourself, listening, and then doing what’s in your best interest.
I’m doing my best to maintain a positive attitude and so far, it seems to be working. I’ve attracted more men and I’m having a nice time with it. I started contacting men, something I would never have done before, and being flirty and nice. I’m not mad when I don’t hear back and I don’t feel rejected. It takes some work and it takes finesse. It also takes some guts, I will admit. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable because for years I truly felt like the man should always approach the woman. Now, I simply imagine myself standing in line at the grocery store, there’s a cute guy standing behind me who I know nothing about. I just know he’s cute. He has a giant watermelon in his cart, in the front where a child would sit, and I say something witty like, “That’s a big baby you’ve got there!” and then I let him take things from there. Maybe he didn’t approach me because he’s shy or awkward or his mind was elsewhere. Not desperate. Not weird. Just showing that I’m open to him pursuing me, if he wants to.