How To Use Rejection To Your Advantage When You're In The Dating Scene
As I quietly embark on my journey to find love, I sometimes think a journey to the center of the earth might be easier. OK, I'll stop being dramatic, but seriously, finding love is tough.
Unfortunately for most, with searching for love comes rejection. Rejection is like the old family friend we never want around, but shows up anyway. We all know we have played with him from time to time, and it's never pleasant. So how is my search for love going?
I'm sorry I didn't have more promising news to share. Over the past few months, rejection has taken me by the hand and we've danced the slowest of dance numbers. But I remain hopeful and optimistic. Rejection can bring many things, I'm going to tell you about the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Good: Perseverance
Nothing can give you the will to succeed like rejection. It feeds you, it drives you, it hurts you. It brings you to rock bottom, but as the old saying goes, after rock bottom, the only place to go is up. In my quest for love, I have felt like Charlie Brown many a time. So much so, I started reading a lot of "Peanuts" comic strips. That led me to read about "Peanuts" creator, Charles Schulz, a man who had seen his fair share of rejection and heartbreak.
He had something very interesting to say about his beloved character Charlie Brown:
"[He] must be the one who suffers because he is a caricature of the average person. Most of us are much more acquainted with losing than winning." Despite this, Charlie Brown does not always suffer, as he has experienced some happy moments and victories through the years, and he has sometimes uncharacteristically shown self-assertiveness despite his frequent nervousness.”
Schulz went on to say, that despite Charlie Brown's rejection and maltreatment, he is still hopeful. He never stops trying. Experience tells him that Lucy will pull that football out from under him, but he still tries to kick it anyway.
Why? Because he's stupid? No, because he's hopeful. Rejection can never destroy us as long as we do not stop trying. So like Charlie Brown I will never give up. As long as I'm here, I know there's love out there for me.
The Bad: Ego Blow
One of the most sobering feelings in this life is knowing that something or someone doesn't want you. Whether it be a guy, girl or even a job opportunity. The fine folks who brought us psychology tell us we must separate the rejection from the reality.
In other words, we have to stop personalizing rejection. Just because that guy or girl didn't want to date you, doesn't mean you're undateable; it simply means you weren't right for them. The same goes with that job. Just because they gave it to someone else is not saying that person was better than you. They were just a better fit.
My response to all of that: bullsh*t. On a cold Friday night when I have nothing but my hopes, dreams and a Snuggie to keep me warm because the heat is out of my apartment again, that psychobabble does me a world of good.
When I'm hungry and my stomach is scratching my back, as my uncle from Mississippi used to say, another candidate being a better fit doesn't really help me out. I need to eat and I need to be loved, psychology! Like Drake, I think you caught me in a moment, but I'm fine; just had to let that out, it's cathartic. I guess that psycho-babble is not all bad. Thanks, psychology.
The Ugly: Letting Others Down
Anyone who knows me knows that I adore my mother. She is my hero and my inspiration. I would love to give my mother everything she desires in this world, and one of those things is grandchildren. My mother loves kids, she always has and always will. Her dream was to have three kids, she had to settle for one.
My mother also has a dream of being a grandmother. Now it's not what you think. My mother is not one of those overbearing moms who's always asking when I'm going to have kids. But I know my mother would love to be a grandmother. Every time I strike out in the field of love, I remind myself I need to get somewhat socially functional so that I can fulfill my mother's dream and give her a grandchild. But above all, my mother has always told me her dream for me is to be happy. As long as happy is not selling crack or doing any other type of illegality, my mother will be happy how I turned out. And I thank her for that.
We all do different things when we're feeling sad and rejected by the world. Some people read books some people, some watch TV some people eat ice cream. I do something a little different: I watch political speeches. Yes, maybe that's why I'm still single, but I do have a point, I promise you.
One of my go-to speeches is Al Gore's concession speech after the 2000 presidential election. Due to voter irregularities in Florida, the election between George W Bush and Al Gore would not be settled for weeks. After a protracted legal battle, Gore finally conceded defeat by making one of the most gracious concession speeches of all time. Here is a man who had a dream to become president of the United States and due to irregularities, and as some would call treachery, the victory was snatched from under him like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football.
Al Gore could have been bitter, he could have screamed and yelled but instead, he gave a speech for the ages. He graciously urged the nation to get behind the man who had just defeated him and denied him the position he worked so hard for. My favorite line is, "No matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out."
If Al Gore to come to terms with losing the presidency, I could come to terms with losing out on a date, job or whatever because I have faith that one day I'll be able to let my glory out.