h2>Dating : I suck at rejection.
I suck at rejection.
That means both handling rejection as well as dishing it out. When it comes to romantic partners, I don’t ever want to hear that I’m anything other than absolutely perfect, and I can’t stand telling anyone that I find anything remotely wrong with them. It’s why I get angry at the tiniest digs, and stick with terrible men for far too long.
And yet, I decided to reject Clay this past weekend. It completely tore me up inside.
All week, I had been thinking about how I would do it. We had plans to take a walk and enjoy the rare, sunny spring day in Connecticut. I was all for it. I enjoyed his company so much that I wanted to soak in one last hang before I ended it completely. My plan was to talk to him like I normally would and then bring up my brilliantly thought of question 20 minutes in: “We get along well, right?”
And then of course after he agreed (because I’m perfect, remember?) I’d say “Yeah, we get along SO well. To me it feels like you’re more like my friend.”
F-bomb dropped. He’d get the point and I’d be completely free.
Of course none of that happened.
As the days drew nearer my anxiety grew stronger. He lived 45 minutes away and I wasn’t sure if I should let him drive to my town just to be rejected. On the other hand, I also didn’t want to meet him in the middle just to reject him. I decided that the noble thing to do would be to simply text him. Lay it all out there for him to see and decide whether he still wanted to bother with the drive or not.
My text was nice and tactful. I, of course, edited it and perfected it in my notes first before copying, pasting and sending it to him. I reassured him that I did like hanging with him but I also didn’t feel as if we could have more than a friendship. No mention of his skinny legs whatsoever.
He texted back ‘Oof!’.
And then he said ‘Could we talk about this in person?’
I threw my phone down on my bed in disbelief. I was already counting on him hating me and not wanting to see me ever again. I was already thinking of what else I could do with the sunny day now that my schedule was cleared up. But here he was. Wanting to TALK.
The nerve of him.
So I met him on a trail near my house and enjoyed the sunshine anyway. We made small talk and caught up on our weeks but underneath my smile was a sense of urgency. When are we going to talk about this? WHEN ARE WE GOING TO TALK ABOUT ME REJECTING YOU ALREADY?!
Finally, there was a lull in the conversation and I made my move.
“So………. what did you want to talk about?”
He stumbled over himself a little bit. I guess he wasn’t expecting me to ask him so frankly. He took a minute to get his head together while I thought about how he had a whole 45 minute drive to do this.
Eventually he said. “I think you’re wrong.”
I looked at him, a little shocked and amused that he would say that to me. We hadn’t even kissed and somehow I was wrong about getting a friendship vibe? Oookay.
He continued on, explaining that he doesn’t date just to date and that he was really enjoying getting to know me while I tried my hardest to maintain polite eye contact and not stare at his legs (which were just as skinny as I remembered). He spent a lot of the walk picking my brain about what I wanted and trying to convince me that he was exactly that while I tried to stick to my guns and not mention anything about how unattractive his body was to me.
But to be honest, his trying to convince me turned me off even more. To me, it seemed like he didn’t like what he was hearing and decided to completely reject my experience and my feelings. He was experiencing more than platonic feelings so in his head, I was too. From his point of view, I just didn’t know it yet and so it needed to be explained to me.
By the time our walk was finished I was happy with my decision. I couldn’t imagine what a relationship would look like with someone who disregarded my feelings so openly (at least, not again). I realized that from the moment I rejected him he should have accepted my feelings without question. And yet, here we were.
We got back to the parking lot where our cars were. I saw dandelions growing in the grass and decided I wanted to try blowing one. I’d always seen children doing this on American television but being from the Caribbean it wasn’t something I could try for myself. He saw what I was doing and instead of making fun of me he joined in as well. And for one very small moment I saw what keeping him in my life could look like. It wasn’t bad.
But just for good measure I took one last look at his legs and — yeah, no. I was good.
We said goodbye and I hopped in my car and opened my sunroof. I looked out at the clear blue sky and breathed a sigh of relief.
That was over. I was free.