“So, you’re a Christian?” she asks me for the second time with nonchalant disapproval as she looks up from her phone to inspect her assumedly perfect nails.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
At this point, as I grasp at straws trying to salvage a clearly sinking ship, I realise I am truly way out of my depth.
I was experiencing one of my very own Annie from Netflix’s Good Girls’ painfully hilarious disaster romantic encounters.
My latest run-in with rejection comes in the form of a 5’5 Taurean stud.
She has eyes that completely draw you in and looks and an energy that makes you contest Miles Halter in Looking for Alaska’s infamous description of Alaska Young as “the hottest girl in all of human history” (read: he’d never met her).
Rejection, this time around for me, was a friendship (and hopefully romantic) prospect.
I had been pining over her for months by then and had now, by some miracle, gained the courage to secure a platonic “hang out”.
And to say it did not work out would be an understatement.
Not only did she have an aversion to my tribe (South Africa has an issue with tribalism) there was also a misalignment of values, perspectives, and lifestyles:
My Christianity to her non-Christianity.
My introvertedness to her socialite-ness.
My preference for dates to her preference for “hangouts”.
My spending my free time partaking in food- and activity-centred engagements to her vaping with friends.
(To be fair, I’d anticipated differences, however, sometimes you need to expose yourself to people who differ from you so you can grow as an individual.)
Miscommunication was also the undertone of the whole encounter:
I had wanted to get to know a new LGBT friend, while she… Well, to this day I do not know… I am yet to figure out why she agreed to come over in the first place especially if she was also going to be on her phone the entire time.
Anyways, I knew as she said her last, “Your room is so neat, thank you for your great hospitality” closing as opposed to, “I had fun, we should do this again sometime” that she didn’t plan on us hanging out again, even platonically.
She had rejected me — my keenness for friendship (and maybe possibly more) — despite my pure intentions.
And it stung.
However, she was indisputably more than allowed to do so.
Misalignment of souls
If you’re an earthling — unless you’re Chris Evans — chances are you’ve experienced your fair share of people rejecting your love in friendships, romantic relationships, and even from familial relations:
The friend who no longer wants to be friends. The romantic prospect who gives mixed signals. The cousin who never wants to spend time together.
And the thing about them rejecting us is that it always feels personal, but really it isn’t.
We pour ourselves onto people and we assume just because we are genuine, just because we are willing to invest in the connection, and just because our intentions are so pure, they shouldn’t have the option of turning us down.
However, people are allowed to decide we are not what they want and that is okay.
You cannot make someone recognise your worth or value if you are not what they are looking for.
You also cannot make someone appreciate you by giving them more of what they already don’t appreciate.
This also applies to us as well, when we find ourselves in positions where we feel we are misaligned with certain souls, we are allowed to decide they are not what we are looking for.
We are allowed to say no, we are allowed to reject their offer, and we are allowed to gracefully leave.
It says nothing about the worth or value of either party, it’s just a matter of a misalignment of souls.
And so, don’t take people’s lack of receptivity to your efforts personally — their actions rarely have anything to do with us.
Also in the same way they have rejected you, you have also rejected others for reasons that are specific only to your personal experiences and preferences.
That is just how life works — you can be the juiciest peach and you’ll still find someone who dislikes peaches and prefers plums instead.
𝕌𝕟𝕥𝕚𝕝 𝕟𝕖𝕩𝕥 𝕥𝕚𝕞𝕖, ℕ𝕠𝕝𝕨𝕒𝕫𝕚 (:
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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|White Fragility: Talking to White People About Racism||Escape the “Act Like a Man” Box||The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer||What We Talk About When We Talk About Men|
Photo credit: Roberto Júnior on Unsplash