Colors. Flavors. Style. Drinks. Cuisines. Hobbies. They all share a commonality: they are all preferences. We all have our own, whatever we decide on, it is not right or wrong, it does not mean one option is better than the other. It is simply our personal choice, a choice that we believe holds a piece of what represents us, a reflection of what we are all about, and regardless of consensus or how unpopular our personal preference is, we stand by it because we believe in it, in its value and what makes us happy.
It is beyond fascinating to me how life is a series of vignettes, lined up one after the other, each representing a decision we made based on our ability to tell right from wrong but even more importantly, the application of our likes, our preferences. Everything you have ever loved, bought into, and believed in has led to this. This applies for every single human being alive, and in the case of dating and mating, this concept is alive and well.
I met this wonderful girl named Alice at a rooftop bar, it was a very organic and casual encounter, she was already sitting down enjoying her drink while I had an exchange of pleasantries with the bartender. I asked what she was up to so nicely dressed and all alone, she said she was waiting for friends, who were a no-show. We kept the banter going while enjoying our drinks, eventually I had to call it cause I had a get together with a friend at a nearby bar, so we exchange numbers and said our goodbyes.
Over the next couple of days, we kept in touch but nothing of substance, simply catching up on our day. With the weekend was fast approaching, I decided to reach out and invite her out for a drink, she said she didn’t want to break my heart by declining the invite, so I suggested to get milkshakes as a safe bet, she admired my confidence and persistence but after going back and forth, she said “I am sorry but I am going to respectfully decline the invite. Thank you for the offer though” to which I responded “Don’t sweat it. It’s not the time, and no need for apologies. I’ll see you around” a dial-tone followed.
“Thank you for being so understanding and such an awesome guy. So cool about not making a scene because I declined… you didn’t even seem fazed when I said I wasn’t interested.”
Time went by and weeks later I received a text from her that read “Do you have a minute, can I call you?“. This completely caught me off guard but I told her she that could. No more than ten seconds went by and phone started ringing. She told me she felt the urge to call me, and what she needed to say was best for her to tell me over the phone rather than sending a plain text. Her call was quite pleasant and after exchanging a couple of lines she told me that she was blown away by the fact that I took her rejection in stride without making a big deal out of it.
Among many things she mentioned, the highlight was the following line that I will never forget: “Thank you for being so understanding and such an awesome guy. So cool about not making a scene and going off on me because I declined the invite. I did very much appreciate the offer, and I like that you were upfront about your intentions, and above all, you didn’t even seem fazed when I said I wasn’t interested.“
Even after a line like that, she went on to say something that completely blew my mind: “If I could go back and record our interaction and your response to my decline, I would in a heartbeat. I would even share it with everyone because it is the perfect example of how men should handle rejection. A gold star for you, sir.“
I knew it all along but it never resonated as much as it did right then and there. Unfortunately, most men do not seem to handle pressure-packed social situations very well, they are not emotionally in tune nor level headed enough to see things for what they are, especially when it comes to women. Yes, I am a man but I am forever grateful for having experienced and learning by trial and error the do’s and don’ts in a female dominated household. Among many things that I’ve learned, two pop in my head when I see these types of situations developing whether it is with others interacting or my own interactions with the opposite sex. Self-awareness and maturity.
“It is the law of averages, it is part of life, not everyone will be into you nor interested in you and that is perfectly fine.”
I am not referring to maturity in the sense that you have to be plain vanilla wearing a suit and tie, be nice and say all the right things at all times. What I mean by maturity in this particular case is maturity when it comes to dealing with tough, challenging times. Times in which you are completely vulnerable and in a compromising position that leaves you exposed to shame and embarrassment.
Those are the times that men nowadays can’t seem to handle well. Personally, a woman declining an invite or rejecting me is not something I would label as a bad thing or a dire situation to be in but is it uncomfortable? Absolutely, because no one wants to be rejected but this doesn’t bother me. It is the law of averages, it is part of life, not everyone will be into you nor interested in you and that is perfectly fine. Why? Because it is impossible to be everyone’s favorite. Plain and simple.
A woman rejecting a man is not and will never be a shot at the man himself, nor his values nor it says anything about that man. She is simply not interested in the opportunity of getting to know him or going out with him, and since there is no attraction, then it’s an “I’ll pass“. He may be the greatest man ever but based on that woman’s preference, the man is simply not her cup of tea. As the old saying goes: “You may be the sweetest peach in the garden but there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches”.
When this happens, a man must learn to walk away. To take it in, process it and realize that she does not have anything against you, she doesn’t hold any ill will towards you. She is not interested and that’s all. Being able to genuinely smile, give her a pat on her back or extending your hand for a handshake and say “It was a pleasure meeting you, enjoy the day / night!” it is the absolute best thing you can ever do as a man. She will be pleasantly surprised and taken aback because this rarely happens to women. It is a win-win because she won’t feel bad about the rejection, the man gets to keep his dignity and both get to move on without wasting each other’s time…
…and that is the perfect example of being able to walk away like a mature man.