I think there is something about being a human that has us innately fear rejection. Maybe because it wounds our pride. Each of us handles rejection differently, and some people have no problem with it at all. But as a whole, I don’t think that most people like hearing “no.”
The word no quickly starts to feel like failure. Whether you’re dating and you keep hearing no, or if you’re job searching without any luck, or whatever it may be. “No” quickly gets associated with “whatever you want isn’t happening.”
But I had a session with my excellent coach Sandi Amorim the other day and she reframed how I see no when she simply said “No is not failure. It’s just Next.”
And, damn, that resonated deep in my soul.
Not only because this year I learned how to ask for what I wanted and willingly heard the word “no” over and over, but because at the beginning of this year I was single and didn’t take the word “no” as a bad thing. I actually saw it in a completely new way. Dating is actually the process of getting really good at sorting the good fits from the bad fits.
“No” is not failure, it’s just a sorting tool? No is just “Next.”
There are 7 billion people on this planet. Obviously, not everyone will be a fit. We need to be really good at sorting in order to get to the good ones quickly. We need to have a system in place to go “no next, no next, no next, yes that one, no next, no next…”
If we look at dating as sorting, the question is no longer “How am I going to deal with rejection?” It’s now “How can I sort as quickly as possible to get to the best fitting options for me?”
When it comes to sorting you need to efficiently eliminate the no’s. The criteria isn’t based on looks or a person’s job or education or their political affiliation. Instead, the key to quickly recognizing who is a good fit for some of your attention is quite simple:
Do I feel safe with this person?
Do I want to know more?
Let me use an analogy. Being your long-term committed romantic partner is like getting in the VIP room at a very, very exclusive club. Like any good club, there is a bouncer outside with a velvet rope. And he is not letting just anyone in. In order to even step foot in the club they must pass the criteria that you feel safe around the person and you are curious to know more.
Once they are in the club, there other criteria to weed out who is worthy of a dance, who you’ll spend time with, and then ultimately who you invite to the VIP room. But that is for another blog post.
If you have been dating and never even thought about asking these questions about safety and curiosity, you’re not alone. It is so basic, that we take it for granted. We just assume that if we’re attracted that we must also be safe and curious. It’s not true, unfortunately. And I know from personal experience that I overlooked the red flag of trustworthiness and I found out later that the person cheated on me. Deep down I knew there was something that wasn’t trustworthy, and eventually it proved to be true.
We know very quickly if we feel like we can relax with a person. Do you feel yourself getting comfortable in their presence? You don’t need to divulge all your dirty laundry when you first start dating, but do they feel trustworthy? Do they keep their word with you and with others? Do they have close friends that rely on him/her? Do they do what they say they will do?
The second question about curiosity into who the other person is will serve you far better than if you are physically attracted. Yes, a certain level of attraction is needed for success in a romantic relationship but often this grows as you get to know a person. They become more attractive for all that they are, and this is not immediately visible. You do know immediately if you are curious about a person. Do you want to know more? Are you interested in his/her stories? Do you want to share things and explore things with this person? Does something keep drawing you back?
If your answer is no to both these questions, I would encourage you to say Next. It is really, really difficult to recover from no trust and no curiosity. No hard feelings, it’s really not even personal. It’s just not a fit. You can’t fake this and you can’t force it.
Can you remember a time in the past when you did try to force it? Maybe you knew deep down that you didn’t quite feel safe with a guy or you really weren’t interested. But he was soooo cute, you went out with him anyway? Tell me the story! Hit reply and share.
Did you find this blog post helpful? Do you want to increase the love in your life? It all starts with yourself, which is why I created a simple self love meditation. Claim yours here and get more love immediately.