The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
It’s harsh to understandーlet alone acceptーthat things don’t usually go the way we expect them to. Sometimes we see things going so great that we start to create scenarios in our head. This person is great, this person is the one… What we seem to not understand is that yes, this is the one person that might, maybe even will, break our hearts.
If there is anything important to understand within the wide world of dating, it’s that, sometimes, things just simply don’t work out; not necessarily because you did anything wrong, nor the other party. In these instances, it’s most likely due to a matter of timing, the chemistry between you, and sometimes even fate. Not to sound like a broken record… but it truly is as simple as them not being into you. Rejection is an essential part of dating. Whether we like it or not, it’s included in the dating subscription under very fine lettering. However, it does not have to be such a bad thing. In whichever position you find yourself, being in the rejected or the rejecting end, this kind of experience teaches us to be honest about what we feel. It molds our growth and reflects how we’re somewhat functional adults. This is a huge milestone. Understanding he/she is not into you, or that you are not into them, comes at a cost. But why is it so high? Why are feelings so fragile and hearts so breakable?
I’ve always believed the signs are there. The real problem here is that we choose to ignore them. As the one rejecting, we don’t seem to see how our “unintentional” actions can lead people to think something is brewing. For instance, consider flirting, deep conversations and even “dates”. In the rejecter’s defense, these are all things we do with friends, but when you know… you just know. While it’s always great to have friends, it begs the question: When does it stop being a friendship to form into something more? When this person approached you, or you approached them, was it really with the intention of being friends? Or did you realize it was only going to be a friendship along the way but forgot to mention it? There is a fine line between friends, flings and heartbreaks. It’s up to both parties to define it so that no one gets hurt in the process.
As the rejected, we seem to think of the bare minimum as positive signs. We are so accustomed to being treated poorly that, whenever someone asks us about our day, we’re ready to say “I do”. Someone asking about our day is a sign of interest, but not necessarily because they are into us. It’s usually because they care. And before you even think about it, caring is not a sign they are into you. Both parties tend to make the clear mistake of quickly seeing each other as what they are not. The faster the rejection happens, the better for both parties.
While I don’t think we do this on purpose, I believe we act this way because we decide to focus on what looks great. In my case, a guy interning for a huge corporation with a recent bachelor’s degree and a somewhat good fashion sense seemed like a great fit, someone with good qualities to focus on… until I realized he wasn’t. Between very late replies and some very good “dates”, I genuinely started to fall for this person. However, I did not see everything behind all the pretty-yet-little things that were happening. Between one-sided conversations, talking about other people he liked and even giving advice on how to express feelings for someone else, it was more than clear that if anything was ever going to happen with this guy, it was a friendship. And while I did not have a problem with this, I still had feelings for him, and I technically was not properly rejected (or so I thought at the time). Sometimes rejection does not have to be a direct, “It’s not you, it’s me (but really, it’s you)”conversation. Someone important once said that actions speak louder than words.
If there’s anything smart I did during this whole process, it was to never stop dating. As I continued to go on other dates and notice how other people would treat me, I realized I was feeling something for someone who could not even do the bare minimum sometimes. However, I would usually ignore the other people I went out with because they were not him. I was so into the idea of this person and how long we had been in this weird rollercoaster that, until recently, when someone else swept the rug off my feet I could not help but wonder: Is he not into me? And if he was, why was everything so weird?
Tired of the confusion, I decided to finally go for it. In true Rauw Alejandro fashion I decided to ask “¿Somos o no somos?”. And, to my surprise, I did not expect the answers I got. Of course, if it’s not them not necessarily being into you, it’s the timing. In this case, excuses to justify why weren’t things going how they were supposed to. At the end of the day, you win some, you learn some.
Throughout this thing we call dating, I’ve come to learn that, of course, having feelings for someone who does not feel the same can oftentimes be degrading and humiliating. You then start to question, doubt and compare yourself: Oh, maybe if I was prettier, funnier, more interesting… But none of these thoughts are actually true. Them not being into you has everything to do with them, and nothing to do with you. I’ve tried to change the way I perceive these feelings in these situations. Having feelings is a sign you care, that you obviously feel! Sometimes, with the uncertainties of the world, it’s comforting to know you can somehow find a way to give love and allow yourself to feel, regardless of who you feel it for. While we are the main character in our lives, we cannot expect to be like everyone else’s. As the lead role in our own lives, however, we must experience these never-ending life lessons life throws at us and make the best out of every situation… even if they suck.