I Took My Clothes Off And She Rejected Me

By Matt Joseph Diaz, ravishly.com

I didn’t understand what was happening.

“…I think you should go.”
Can you tell already that this isn’t going to be a fun story?
Those five words have never been said in that exact order unless what happened directly before or after was a total bummer. It’s never like:
“Hey honey, the guys want me to skip work tomorrow to chug a lot of beers and go to Six Flags. What do you think?”
“…I think you should go.”
No, unfortunately this is a story about rejection.

The most personal sort of rejection in fact, like when you’ve leaned in and closed your eyes for a good night kiss that your date wasn’t expecting.
In February of 2015, before making a video where I revealed it to millions people, I treated my body like a secret. It’s a long story in itself, but after losing more than half my weight, I was left with a lot of excess skin covering my chest, stomach and upper thighs.

I didn’t know how people would react if they knew about it. The more I continued layering my clothes so nobody could tell, the more compliments I received about how “thin” and “perfect” I looked.
This planted the tiniest seed of an idea in my mind — that the excess skin made me look gross and ugly.

During that time, only five people saw what my body actually looked like: my parents, a close friend, and a girl I dated for about six months — Dana (we’re gonna call her that because I can’t use her actual name and I’ve been watching a lot of X-Files recently).

It was a cold winter night. I sat at the end of the bar, exhausted from a long day of work, when I saw her sitting three stools over from me. She was sipping from a glass of red wine and reading her book, her messy brown bob obscuring half her face. I figured I shouldn’t say anything, since I’m not really into trying to pull someone’s attention away from their own business so I can awkwardly flirt at them.

It was at that moment, though, when I accidentally pulled my best opening move: knocking over a full bottle of beer and muttering “aw, fuck” while trying to spill as little on my shirt as possible.

We started talking and didn’t really stop for the rest of the night — telling each other about our life stories, our goals and what we wanted to find in a partner. The bar lights came on and that annoying song by Semisonic started to let us know that, yes, it was closing time.

We looked at each other drunkenly. A decision had to be made.
“Want to come to my place for coffee?” she asked.
“Sure,” I replied, even though it was 2 o’clock in the morning on a Thursday and I hate coffee.
Once we were in her apartment she grabbed me by the necktie, kissed me softly on the lips, told me to take my clothes off, and walked into her bedroom. Her clothing dropped to the ground piece by piece from where I stood to the bedroom — like some sort of Hansel and Gretel breadcrumb situation (if it were less creepy and filmed for Cinemax).

I’d always kept a shirt on during sex at least, but I was just the right amount of drunk and riled up to give it a shot. My hands shook as I undid my tie, but with each item that fell to the floor, I started to feel more free. I’d never gotten naked with a partner before, and the feeling was so liberating.
I walked to the door, pulling off the last thing I was wearing, and there she was. She was smiling at me— well, for a moment. It went away after she looked at me.

She was staring, now. Not at me, exactly, more like through me.
The room was filled with a resounding silence I’d experienced before. It was the silence of shock.
“…I think you should go,” she said softly.
“What?”

“I wasn’t expecting this,” she said as she gestured at me. “I just can’t. I think you should go.”
I didn’t understand what was happening.
Everything started moving faster than I could process it, and before I knew it I was mostly dressed and standing in her doorway, getting a half-whispered, “I’m sorry,” and an indirect glance before the door closed on me.

That was one of the worst nights of my life. The still-drunk subway ride home from an unfamiliar part of Brooklyn was plagued with thoughts of what on earth I could have done to make her reject me.
After pushing the thought out of my head, I had to face the facts: It was because of my how my body looked.
I took the long ride home, decided to deal with those emotions in the morning, and went to bed.

I’m not telling you this story because I want pity, or because I’m fishing for compliments. I’ve gotten more than enough of both in the past year. I’m also not telling you this because I want to see that woman burned on a stake — regardless of how she acted, she was in shock and caught off-guard.
You can’t blame people for who they are and aren’t attracted to, and I hold no ill will towards her.
I’m telling you this story because nowadays, I’m naked with every partner I have.

I’m naked more than ever, as a matter of fact. I’m telling you this story because I feel sexier than I ever have, even before I had any surgeries to remedy the excess skin. I’m telling you this story because often, the thing you’re most anxious about is just an exaggeration that’s built up in your head.
Being rejected was my biggest fear. The fallout of that night stuck with me for a while — but ultimately, the world kept on spinning.

Sometimes, the things we’re terrified of come true, but our fear of them doesn’t make them any less survivable.
You may think you’re weak, that these things you’re afraid of have control over you, but in those pivotal moments I promise that you will find a strength in you to pick up and move forward.
It may hurt for a long time, but it can’t kill you if you refuse to let it.

In those difficult, painful, formative moments, I want you to remember this:
You’re so beautiful. If 20,000 people tell you on Instagram today, or if one person looks at you like you’ve shocked them, you’re still so beautiful and you deserve to hear it. There’s a resilience that lives in you, and it’s capable of surviving the toughest experiences life can throw at you.
Believe in yourself, and above all things, love every piece of who you are.

Written by our friend Matt Joseph Diaz
MATTJOSEPHDIAZ
For Ravishly.com

Image: Thinkstock.

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Written by Abel Udoekene Jnr

Abel is a blogger, a social media strategist and a small business influencer.

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