I, like many young women, am afraid of rejection. Whenever I discover feelings for someone, or think that there is a possibility that a man is a good match, or perhaps even just want to go for coffee wih someone I met online, I am surrounded by a paralysing fear that I’ll be rejected.
This fear isn’t unfounded; if you look back at my dating history (which I recommend you do not) I have statistically been rejected far more than I have had success in the dating game. This registers in my mind as the be all and end all of my attractiveness.
However it wasn’t until very recently that several thoughts occurred to me on this very subject. And here’s what they are, see if they pertain to you too.
One.// I am only eighteen. Even though it feels like my romantic past is a battlefield of broken dreams and lonliness, in reality I’ve only been seeking relationships seriously for the past two years, and I have actually had good relationships within that time. Hell, I started my sixteenth year on this earth in a relationship, so I can’t say that I’ve been alone forever and that it’s a trend that will stretch into my future.
Two.// I’m not ‘out there’. It used to be a criticism of my best friend; I’m not a confident person, and I don’t actively go out to meet people. I never took this seriously until I looked at the way my life is dominated by my academia, even now when I’m not doing anything particularly academic. I still prefer to curl up with a book on American history than I do go out to the pub. And this links back to number one; I’ve only been eighteen for half a year, meaning that I’ve only had a few months in the actual dating world of pubs and bars and clubs. As much as I wish it would happen, it is highly unlikely that I’ll meet my soulmate by chance in a Starbucks, or the local library.
Three.// I compare myself to others. In comparison to my peers, I’m a hopeless case. In proportion to others, I’ve been rejected more often. In comparison to others, I’m less attractive, less confident, less interesting… these thoughts are toxic and really affect the way I act in public. Yes, I’m a shy person, and I don’t have great self-confidence, but when I’m constantly comparing myself to girls in relationships, or my friends and peers, it only makes me feel worse. And I have to keep in mind that my situation is different to other people, and that I don’t know how they came to be in a relationship, or how they met their partner, or how old they were when they found a good relationship. I can’t tell if people are perfectly happy in their situation or whether they were wishing they were single just as much as I wished for monogamy. I can’t keep looking at others and ocmpating my situation to theirs when all I see of theirs is a front.
So, I’ve made a resolution to turn my dating life around and kickstart it myself. I’m off to university in September so I’ll be opening up a whole new realm of possibilities, but for now I’m actually putting myself out there. I’m testing out dating websites and apps, partly because a friend is conducting a social experiment and partly because why not! I’ve read that online dating is the new frontier the same amount as I’ve read about its souless and corruptive influence. I guess only time can tell.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
Speak to you soon,