His response came late last night and it was very, very nice.
And it was exactly what I was expecting it to be.
I didn’t cry, but for a full twenty or thirty minutes after reading his email, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. But if I’m being honest with myself, that feeling had little to do with him and everything to do with me.
I wasn’t feeling disappointed, I was feeling rejected.
And those are two very different things.
He said that he’d still like to be friends and suggested meeting for drinks on Thursday or Friday of this week or next. I think it’s telling that my first thought was the sincere question:
This is going to sound harsher than I mean it, but I realized that the prospect of spending an evening with FF, at the end of which there is no possibility of smooching, sounded… well… kind of boring.
We make each other laugh a lot, but stimulating conversation was never exactly our forte. Maybe it’s because we don’t know each other that well or maybe it’s because we don’t have much in common, but if I just want to have a conversation with someone, I can think of a lot of people I’d rather meet for a drink.
Isn’t that strange? I was ready to toss aside my fears and fantasies and throw myself headlong into a relationship… with a guy that I’m not that psyched about talking to.
In both of my “serious” relationships, I was unequivocally dating my best friend. I truly connected with those men on a friendship level, as well as a romantic one, and we connected on that level from the very beginning. But pretty much every other person that I’ve dated, or even had a crush on, was someone I was attracted to, but with whom I could barely hold a conversation.
What the hell is that about?
But to be fair, not all of my close friendships started out with fireworks either. With most of my close friends, we met and we hit it off right away. We laughed at the same jokes, bonded over the same heartbreaks, and finished each others’ sentences. And from there, we learned to like and respect each other.
But I have other close friendships that developed the other way around. We met and, right away, we liked and respected each other. But the connection part? The talking into the night and laughing at the same jokes? That came later, after working at the friendship.
I’m not saying that one type of connection is better than the other, but both kinds do exist and both kinds have been rewarding for me.
The truth is that I made it through the first two hours of my morning before the FF situation even crossed my mind. One of the nice things about growing up and becoming a fully-developed person is that my happiness is so much less dependent on the approval of others. I still care what people think of me, of course, but I’m much less affected by individual rejections.
Over the past year, I’ve faced a lot of a personal rejection– people who didn’t want to live with me, people who didn’t want to hire me, people who didn’t want to be my friend. Friends who didn’t want to be friends anymore, boys who didn’t want to date me, people who didn’t call me back. I’ve been not invited to parties, not called on my birthday, not accepted to schools. I’ve been turned down. I’ve been left out. I’ve been judged.
The ‘me’ of even a year or two ago would have been reduced to a puddle of insecurity and self-doubt by any one of these rejections, but the ‘me’ of today is able to take from these rejections what I can and then move on. People make decisions about who to admire and who to love for a myriad of inexplicable reasons and none of it defines me.
None of it defines me.
Truth be told, my brain is filled with so many exciting things this morning that I have little space left for wallowing. A few of the things I’m excited about:
All things worthy of brain space. Especially the lime green tights.
And I deleted my OkCupid profile.
Let’s break and regroup, shall we?