Confessions Of A One Date Wonder, Or How I Learned To Remove The Word Rejection From My Vocabulary and Not Take Dating Personally.

OCTOBER 1, 2014
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Photo by Emily Long

GREAT NEWS EVERYONE!!

My psychic told me this week that my soul mate would be coming in to my life within the next three months because I no longer have wounded bird syndrome. Yes, I have a psychic. Yes, that probably means you should stop reading now (unless you are a male Virgo, creative, possibly musician or entrepreneur – then contact me, you might be my soul mate.)

What was my problem? It was confusing. I never had a physical dependence on men. I loved being single. What I did have, though, was an emotional dependence on them, as in I gauged my own self worth off their interest, or disinterest, in me.

Why was I always scrambling for attention?  Every time I felt an emotion—anxiety, sadness, depression—I would reach for my phone and satiate that feeling by texting, calling, or… Tindering.  I refused to be left alone with my feelings.  Instead of healing my own wounds, I just replaced them with the attention (or inattention) of men.

I didn’t have a problem being asked out. I went on dates.  Dinners. Coffee. Lunch. The occasional movie.

I went on one date to a carnival in Koreatown, but when we couldn’t find parking, we settled for a dingy bar in Downtown Los Angeles.  After he admitted to Googling me prior to our date, and telling me every detail of his parents’ divorce, I assumed he was suffering from a vulnerability hangover when there was no date two.

Then there was the amazing blind date I went on to the zoo.  We even planned our second date to the Botanical Gardens…but no flowers bloomed there.

I had a five-course dinner with a man from OKCupid, in which we planned a figurative road trip we would take together.  By the time we “got” to New Orleans, I was certain he was relationship material.  That faded out.

All my dates were going well, but they never turned into relationships.  The weirdest part? Most of them kept in touch with me, continued texting, liking my Instagrams, my statuses…IT WAS SO CONFUSING! Why didn’t they ever ask me out again, if they clearly wanted to keep in touch?

I need a boy-tervention. Men had become all I was talking and thinking about. I had become my own worst nightmare, everything I preached against. So I set some ground rules for myself.

DON’T

  •      Play games—you’ll only attract a game player
  •      Talk about boys endlessly with your girlfriends. It’s negative and wasteful energy.
  •      Wonder what your crush is doing or thinking—you aren’t a mind reader
  •      Analyze, fixate, or fantasize.

Do

  •      Keep living your life like a normal, whole, complete person (Alison, you psycho.)

By doing this, I realized a few things.

It’s not my job to figure out what other people are looking for.  It’s not my job to become what someone else wants or needs. It’s not my job to try to figure out what I did wrong (no such thing, unless you secretly pick pocket your date when he goes for a hug upon greeting), or wonder what I could have done differently.

What’s my job? I want to have fun. I want to show up for dates (and life) as the best version of myself. But I really can’t do that when I’m fixated on what the person across from me is thinking.

Here’s the thing, most people aren’t right for one another, and just because someone isn’t interested in me, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with me.  You can’t force chemistry, nor do you want to.

There’s no such word as “rejection” in dating. No one is rejecting the idea of you, or slamming the door in your face.  I had to learn to stop taking dating so personally.  People are allowed to want what they want, even if it’s not me. I have to be okay with that. Everyone is entitled to his or her own happiness—me included.

If we constantly need outside validation and attention in order to think we are “good enough,” we will always feel unsettled. Anytime you create a dependence on something or someone else to make yourself feel complete, you are giving your own power away.

I was gauging my own self-worth on whether or not people were interested in me and wanted to pursue me, as opposed to whether or not I was proud of my own actions and accomplishments.

Why would I do that, when I am a strong woman?  I needed a change.  Googling pictures of Queen Latifah and Tina Fey wasn’t working.

So, I removed the word “rejection” from my vocabulary entirely. This word creates a hierarchy of power that doesn’t exist in the dating world. I began to place my own self-worth and esteem not on the opinions, love, attention, or inattention of others, but on pride in my own actions and accomplishments.

When I made this shift, my own behaviors became more important to me. When my own behaviors became more important to me, I became more conscious of my actions. I became kinder, more deliberate, and more productive. I kind of started being on my A-game, not to brag, but I’m bragging. And thus, I became attracted to and began attracting entirely different people (romantic and otherwise) into my life.

So, on your next date, have fun and be yourself. A date is really just two weirdos having a conversation with one another. So relax. And remember, the most important relationship is going to be the one that you have with yourself.

Anyways, I’m going to go off and enjoy the day, being complete on my own, unchanged by the opinions of others as long as I am proud of my own actions.

UNLESS U R AN ENTREPENEURIAL VIRGO, THEN COME FIND ME!

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