Incompatibility goes both ways. And generally, rejection is simply when one party spots incompatibility before the other. So the next time you’re feeling down because you got dissed, consider this: it’s almost certainly for the better, and once you get over it, you’ll definitely be much better off.
Still, many times in the wake of a rejection, we have trouble seeing things clearly. We think: the hottie at the bar said no because I wasn’t good looking/rich/smooth enough. Or my blind date ditched me because I’m not thin/successful/intelligent enough. None of these things are true. When something doesn’t click, a lot of the time it’s got nothing to do with you. The person doing the rejecting has his or her own set of issues, wants and needs – whether they’re aware of them or not! And if you don’t fit a person’s partner prescription (or they’re simply not ready to write one!), the last thing you want to do is end up trying to fill it. Doing so would be a hopeless endeavor, one that would leave you spent and certainly less than satisfied!
Think about it: even if you don’t consider yourself particular, you probably have an idea of what you’re looking for in a date and a mate — an image of what type of person he or she is, as well as one of how the two of you fit together. And, psychologically speaking, you’re probably treating the prospective partners you meet as if they have these qualities – even when they don’t. In other words, you forget you’re dealing with an actual person and treat them like your ideal – even during casual encounters.
Sometimes “rejection” is more about what people are looking for than who they’re looking for. Let’s look at some possible reasons behind the brush-off.
She wants to be pampered.
So if that bombshell at the bar is only looking to fill the role of princess, she may balk when she doesn’t get the royal treatment. Chances are you weren’t really interested in playing the royal retainer.
That’s great news for you. Because she probably wasn’t a girl who could hold her own with your friends, or who would be cool with spending quality time with you during your quality time with the TV on Monday nights. Hey, some guys are all about lavishing attention on their girl. But if you’re not looking for a relationship that’s all about her, then it wasn’t going to work out.
He’s just in it for laughs.
On the other hand, if you’re seeking your muse, and he’s only seeking a couple vodka tonics, you might find yourself on a quest for another seat at the bar. Something in your eyes, your posture, the tilt of your head as you asked how many children he wants, just made him uncomfortable. Does this mean you weren’t pretty enough? God no. More than likely, something cued him into the fact that you were looking for different things… which you were.
She’s a Status-seeker.
She says she wants a man with honest eyes and a sense of humor, but if what she’s really after is a 200K salary, a CEO, or a Harvard grad, you’re lucky she’s running before you are! Same goes for candidates who demand your make and model before appetizers. Unless your ride was purchased for it’s sex appeal (and, hey, if it was — the Status-seeker is for you!), you should probably think twice before getting close to someone who’s on the market for a good on-paper guy.
Conversation starters stall out.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but your words will create a fairly clear picture of what’s important to you. If you spend the night Bush-bashing and talking up last weekend’s snowboarding action to a staunch Republican who’s afraid of heights…you may have found yourself a great guy with whom you had nothing to discuss and nowhere to vacation. Opposites may attract, but there has to be some common ground.
She’s constructing her Frankenstein
You’re about to toss her your best line when she says, matter-of-factly, “Sorry, I only date men between 6’2″ and 6’3 ½ ,” with dimples, a light to medium tan and at least a Masters.”
That’s an easy one. Someone with a laundry list of strict physical requirements may pass you up when you don’t fit the prototype she conceived in junior high. But whether she’s unsatisfied with a date who wasn’t featured in GQ or she doesn’t feel secure unless he has the same build as her father, let it (and her) go.
Better to leave her to her search now than be left clueless when Pedro comes along next month with that peculiar beak-shaped nose she likes. Seriously, most of these stats (height, complexion, accent) have more to do with an ex-boyfriend or a psychological hang-up than it does you. Plus, many women – and men — design impossible specifications as a defense mechanism, instantly eliminating almost every eligible dater. So whether she’s on the superficial side of shallow or he’s just not ready to find what he wants, you’re probably better off with a brush-off.
You just weren’t that into him.
No, really. It’s not uncommon for a person to pick up on disinterest vibes, even ones you didn’t know you were sending. The subconscious is a strange and powerful thing, and if he wasn’t really your type, he may actually have noticed before you did…and saved you the trouble.
Clearly, there is no shortage of reasons why two people don’t connect. Is it any wonder? There are countless complexities of personality (not to mention preconceived preferences) that factor into any pairing. And I think we can all agree: we don’t want to be with someone who isn’t sure they want to be with us. Read the signs, and take each “rejection” for what it is–a major time-saver. When you stop worrying about why you don’t “measure up,” you can pay more attention to whether the person you’re picking up on fits your own compatibility profile. And if the answer is no, there is most certainly someone else who will.