We all want acceptance, belonging; want to be attractive to someone, desired, valued. We strive to be smart, heathy, stylish so that another human will WANT us. We spend hours putting together a dating profile, or choosing the right thing to wear on a first date, or reading up to get inspiration to keep the love alive. We put in all this sweat and effort…and sometimes, often without really knowing it would happen, we find ourselves REJECTED.
And the reality is…in relationships, rejection is a gift. Yep. I said it.
It sucks and feels like you’ll never be clever enough, built enough or cute enough for anyone, EVER. Or it stings a little, but you move on, knowing it’s okay, you’ll be fine and get back to life after a few weeks of the blues. And then there are those who get it; and it doesn’t phase or impact them at all, or very little. Why? They know that rejection is the best thing to ever happen to them.
Picture this…you have a partner in your world that you adore, and you KNOW it’s mutual. You can tell because of the way they laugh at your stupid jokes, or help you cook, or make cute little romantic gestures like holding hands in public, and you would bet your life savings on the idea that this is definitely going to last a REALLY long time. In fact, you start talking to your friends about how lucky and how blessed you feel and how excited you are about this person. Man, it doesn’t get any better. And then they break up with you.
Your world tilts on its axis for a while. Nothing seems real. You tell yourself this is at least two years of therapy before you’ll be able to trust anyone again. Especially yourself, because you just…didn’t see this coming. And that means you have to call everything into question, especially your judgement.
Guess what? You’re judgement is perfect fine. You only operated on the information you were given, and based on that, everything was fabulous. What’s not fine is your perception of events. You think “Why did this happen?” or “What did I do wrong?” or “Why did this happen to ME?”
Here’s the thing…what just happened was you were RELEASED from something that wasn’t working. You didn’t do anything “wrong” – take that judgement and toss it in the trash. And this actually didn’t happen TO you. It happened FOR you.
Let me explain. What wasn’t working? Well, your partner wasn’t for one – they weren’t working for you (even though you didn’t know it). After becoming disconnected from you, they opted out of honesty and transparency, for whatever reason, and in doing so they removed any hope of understanding, clarity or reconnection. There are myriad reasons why someone does this, and it ultimately doesn’t matter. This human being was in struggle, and they chose to advocate for their needs (Yay!) by leaving. Sure we could judge that and say “they should have communicated”, and that’s nice to say and ideal, but often much harder to do. Maybe the disconnect happened for a reason that has little to do with you personally. Maybe they didn’t think it relevant enough to share their reason because they had no interest in understanding, clarity or connection. Maybe they felt ashamed. Whatever. The upshot here is, you are RELEASED. Released from having a relationship with someone who isn’t able or willing to communicate their needs before pulling the plug.
You didn’t do anything WRONG. You loved someone. You showed up the best way you knew how and for the other person it just didn’t happen, for whatever reason.
Why did this happen FOR you? Can you imagine spending years with someone as a partner, not knowing that they didn’t WANT to be there? And then somehow finding out their true feelings? Ugh. That would be the worst hell imaginable. I ONLY want partners in my life who actually CHOOSE to be there.
Or maybe it’s someone you’ve met online and the conversation is flowing, you’re starting to get that “feeling” that this really could be something. Then you meet and you’re all sweaty and fluttery and your stomach is in knots so you hardly eat dinner and you can’t sleep because you keep seeing their amazing face. And they text you first thing in the morning…aw, how adorable…to say “Good morning gorgeous” and you think…”Yes, please. Keep it coming” and then after a week they ghost you. They just stop texting or calling. Nothing.
You are FURIOUS with them, but you’re also furious with YOURSELF. But why? You didn’t ghost them. You showed up as yourself and were authentic and lovely. And for whatever reason, this person just didn’t align with you. Maybe their other partner objected. Maybe they were injured and they’re in a coma. Maybe they just really didn’t know how to tell you that they met someone else and they don’t have the energy to date more than one person at a time. Maybe it really is that they just aren’t that into you. Whatever the reason is, it does NOT matter. What matters is you are no longer trying to build a connection with someone who DOESN’T want it, can’t manage it or is afraid of it. Good. OFF with them then!
Because rejection is a GIFT.
This doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel shitty. It does. Or that you don’t need to process those emotions and heal the wound, because you do. It doesn’t mean you don’t need to reflect and take on the lessons from this experience if there are any to be had. But I kid you not, reframing rejection as a gift is part of that processing, healing and learning. It’s not a gift you enjoy right away…it’s one you appreciate AFTER you’ve moved on. It’s only THEN that you fully understand the value of that gift.