“I think you’re cool and all, but I don’t get any romantic vibes between us.”
I average about three of those conversations a year. Sometimes, I am the rejector and, in others, the rejected. Whichever side you’re on in the conversation, rejection can be a bitch, but through it all, I’ve come to learn a few lessons.
‘The truth can be ruthless, but it’s never useless’ I once read. Openly and honestly letting someone know you’re not interested in them is difficult but necessary. Being dodgy, distant, or outright ignoring someone to avoid turning them down, even if you have the best of intentions, is childish and cruel. To someone who’s interested, a clear rejection is always better than feeling as if you weren’t even worth one.
I have learned to accept rejection, accept that someone is not feeling you the way you are feeling them. Most of the time, it’s not your fault nor is it theirs. They aren’t playing hard to get, and no amount of wooing and gifting will change their minds: they just don’t want you the way you want them. That doesn’t make them bad people nor is it a negative reflection of you. As Dita Von Teese once said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
You might as well turn a negative into a positive. Rejection offers an opportunity for self-reflection, and if someone can tell you why they were not interested in you, then great, you have more to work with. If it’s something you need to change or improve within yourself, then good. And if it’s something shallow or silly on their end, then it’s their loss, not yours, and you’re better off without them. Either way, rejection can offer an opportunity to assess the person you need to be and who you need to be with when juxtaposed with the person you are and the people you’re always falling for.
Being rejected sucks. Sometimes, I have felt as if I was never meant to find love. You are overwhelmed with this feeling of loneliness, because you are at that point where you believe that, perhaps, the joy of companionship will always escape you. But don’t let it keep you down. I’m convinced there is someone out there for you. Just understand that everyone you want isn’t necessarily that person.
Sincerely, Kwapi Vengesayi
From my new book, Men Cheat More, Women Cheat Better: Stories and Conversations About Love, Life and Everything in Between (2017) Available on Amazon