I want to hide… Literally just want to get under the covers, ball up like a baby and hide. Why? Because of this feeling of rejection—and how I chose to respond to it. Disclaimer: This post is going to share my flawed reactions to a recent male friend’s choice to be in a relationship with someone else. No details about his identity will be revealed because, well, that just wouldn’t be fair.
If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you probably remember the following quote:
Posted in January of this year, the photo reached just shy of 2,600 individuals and sparked 41 profile visits on Instagram. Cool, right?
Well, it probably would’ve been dope—if I actually would’ve taken my own advice. You see, I entangled myself intimately again (this time, building what I thought was a stronger friendship) with the same man this post was about just three months AFTER I wrote about being content with us not being in a relationship.
Now, let me be honest this time around, I have not really been self-aware these past few months. I thought that I could be intimate with him and not catch feelings. Honey, I had it mapped out so clearly in my head.
…Until, we started acting like real friends toward each other. Because of this new pattern of interactions, my feelings grew exponentially faster than his did. When I realized he had become interested in someone else, again lacking self-awareness, I thought “okay, cool, we can still just be friends.”
Big pause here: Show of hands. How many of you think I was ready for us to just be friends?!
Seriously, what was I thinking?! Deep down, I knew I wanted more from the beginning and should have been honest with myself enough to create boundaries to let him know that as well.
But that wasn’t the choice I made. So when he decided that he did NOT want a relationship with me again—one would likely think: Oh, she knew it could end this way. She’ll be fine.
I did know that it could end this way and yes, because I’m an adult who made the choices I made, I SHOULDA been fine with his decision. But, for the sake of my own personal growth, let me tell you why I wasn’t:
I do not handle rejection well.
…There I said it.
I’m honestly just not used to it. I was one of the top students in school all throughout my life. Got rewarded left and right for my intelligence, work ethic, and ability to help others. I was popular in college and am still very much the person everyone has a good time around. Other guys are vying for my attention. So why wouldn’t he want to be in a relationship with me?
That was the million dollar question that I didn’t realize I was even struggling with this time around. When I say struggle… it took TWO good friends to sit me down on TWO separate occasions over the course of this past week for me to realize that I have been giving this man hell over a choice he FULLY has the right to make. (Note: 🥴🤦🏾♀️ is how I feel admitting to this and realizing I’ve been acting like crazy person. I’m supposed to be cooler than this.🙄)
Last Friday, without knowing about my situation, one of my best guy friends was venting to me about a woman he’s been involved with recently. Hearing his feelings about her actions confirmed that I had been irrational with my expectations of the man I was only intimately involved with. So, it was then that I decided that I was over it. At least, that’s what I thought.
Then, yesterday, after sending a text to the man that explained how I felt—about him not choosing me—I called another good friend for validation when he told me I was wrong. How could he say my feelings were wrong? But, because my circle keeps it very real with me: she told me I was DEADASS WRONG for some of the things I said to him. Ultimately, I apologized to him because of that conversation and her ability to help me see a different perspective.
So this morning when I get another like on the Instagram post above, I realized that this feels terrible because I’m not used to feeling “rejected.” I wanted something from him that he didn’t want from me. Hence, the REJECTION.
If I was more self-aware or problem-solving this for one if my own friends, my advice would be that:
1) I could have chosen to not fool around with this man.
2) I could have been real with myself—and chosen to correct my attitude toward our time together.
3) We were just two people making decisions about what we wanted in the heat of each moment.
4) Despite how much you disagree with their choices, you don’t always deserve an apology.
5) Sex and friendship does not equal a relationship.
Everyone has choices to make in life and we’re not always going to like what other people decide. These past few weeks have helped me to become more aware of my own choices and although I still feel bad for how I was treated and how I decided to react toward the man, I’m thankful that this experience has granted me insight. Next time, I know to be more upfront with myself.
How do you know when you’re not acting like yourself? Have you had an experience that caused you to act differently than you normally would act? What lessons did you learn about self-awareness? Full disclosure: I’m still learning and your comments may help me grow!