When it comes to my love life, I am no stranger to the sting of rejection. In fact, my love life has been a pretty steady stream of rejection– either from my end or the person I’ve fallen for.
Rejection blows. It has knocked me down, left me in bed for days, pushed me to points that I hate that I ever allowed myself to get to.
I have allowed another human to make me feel worthless an unhealthy amount of times.
But, as I’ve grown, I’ve also grown in how I deal with rejection. As I’ve been on my own and the years have passed, I’ve gotten to know myself extremely well. I’ve slowly realized that I like myself, and while I am a little messed up (aren’t we all) I’m going to be okay. It took me a while to be content, and things have thrown me off, but I think it’s safe to say I’m finally at a good place. Like I said, it took me a while to adopt my current mindset, and what I was doing to myself in relationships didn’t help the process. I look back on the rejection from men in my life in phases.
Five years ago, I had a rejection that crippled me. I hated myself because he made me hate myself. He told me I was unattractive, I told myself he was right. He told me he was better than me, I agreed. I was weak. Beyond weak, and I know it showed.
I felt this way for too long, but life went on (as it does) and soon I was able to get to know myself again and realize hey, that fucker was wrong.
I wasted so much time allowing myself to hate who I was because of one single person. So, I got angry.
Anger was the next phase of how I dealt with rejection. I chose men who I knew would reject me at some point, because I knew they weren’t relationship men. I wanted them to reject me. I wanted to be angry and hate them, and allow that anger to feed my independence and make me stronger. On the outside, I said “fuck it”, while I cried alone in my room because I know deep down I hoped one of these guys was going to realize how amazing I was and keep me. They never did. I reached numbness around this point. This is when I began to worry.
I oozed confidence, but I think I had a year where I felt nothing.
I could get any guy to come home with me, or get him interested enough to start hanging out, but they were still the guys I knew would leave. And when they did, I didn’t care. At this point there was no hidden sadness. I truly did not care. Onto the next one.
This lead to a turning point in my life, because I woke up one morning and realized that me “not caring” and not allowing myself to feel was just as bad as the crying and the “being weak”. I wasn’t being myself and was almost accepting that I was never going to be good enough for any man.
It wasn’t independent, it wasn’t badass. It wasn’t okay.
The last year has had some shitty rejection looped in, but everything has been different. I allowed myself to fully fall, so when they said they didn’t want anything with me, the pain was brutal.
I allowed myself to be sad, but not for too long. I cried myself to sleep, but just for a night. I spent a day wallowing in bed, but just one day. Just long enough to get it out of my system, get up and practice what I constantly preach to everyone I know: if it’s meant to be, it will be. You cannot make someone love you.
Sometimes, things just don’t click. He may not want you the way you want him. You may not want him the way he wants you. You need to know that this does not mean you aren’t an incredible person.
You have to realize that one day, someone will want exactly what you are– no bullshit, no lies.
You should never have to beg someone to see this, or make yourself sick over the fact that they can’t see it. The truth is, maybe they never will. Or, maybe they do and they know you’re a catch, but you’re not what they’re looking for. You can not let anyone dictate how you feel about yourself and what you know to be true: you’re fucking great. It took me a while to get here, and some days it’s much easier said than done to feel this way. But, deep down I know it’s the case.
I’m not changing who I am, and one day who I am is going to be all that someone wants.
The one day part is shit, but you know what’s shittier? Not waking up happy every morning, and liking what you see in the mirror.
(Originally appeared at Thought Catalog)