There’s another big mistake in the way we look at relationships that holds us back from enjoying them fully.
The fear of rejection is due to this flawed framework through which we view relationships.
The biggest barrier to finding happiness in a relationship is the fear of rejection.
There’s something devastating in being rejected that goes deep into our core.
We send someone a message asking them to do something and get a no, or even worse silence. Or someone tells us that they don’t feel attracted to us.
It is a personal rejection because they’re saying that they don’t like you enough.
And as we have already discussed, we are seeking that adulation that we are special that we got from our parents as the apple of their eye.
So every time someone shows us that they don’t feel that way about us, it is a kick in the ego.
Again this is because we are using the wrong frame through which we look at relationships.
The question we ask when we look from the usual framework of relationships is;
“What’s wrong with me?”
This is such an egocentric question. It is because we have grown up in an individualistic culture. And so we continually seek to be special. And consequently when things don’t work out as we hope, we’re hard on ourselves.
“If only I’d…”
We idolise people based on the fact that they excel in one area. And we think because someone has achieved success in one area of life they must be better than other people in all areas. And so we listen to our Musicians on politics and ask sports stars for life lessons.
People are successful because they put in the work to be prepared for success and they have greater chance because they’re preparing they tend to be in the right place, but the extra ingredient is luck. Sometimes, it is luck that makes the difference.
Pete Best was in the original lineup of The Beatles, but was ousted before the band found fame. He was more talented, handsome and popular than his replacement, Ringo Starr, yet Ringo went on to become the richest drummer in the world.
Now to look from a less egocentric perspective we have to let go of the old frameworks and start with a different question. Instead of “what’s wrong with me?”, “what are they looking for?”
As we have already talked about, people are looking for the adoration that they received (or wanted) as a baby. They want to feel special. Really all people are, are frightened children seeking wholeness.
We are all often frightened, afraid we won’t cope on our own and for many people, a relationship is a way to find comfort and safety from that basic, and largely unconscious, fear.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE… is our personal journey.
Along the way we will have relationships with lots of people. Some more deeply than others. Some for a short time and some for a long time.
However, the one and only ever-present person is ourself.
The relationships we have, serve to enhance our life. However, what happens all too often is that we give the relationship priority.
We make it bigger than our personal journey. And so we sacrifice or diminish our personal journey and lose ourselves to the relationship.
The relationship stops being something that enhances our personal journey because we change to ensure the survival of the relationship.
If we start from this framework we see that the basic desire for a relationship is needs seeking being met.
Therefore rejection, however personal it may seem, actually isn’t.
We seek the things we are drawn to feel complete and happy. We want the Prince or the Princess to make us feel whole, but there’s a whole other ecosystem of wants and needs that we subconsciously want to come in that package. This is why there’s no one universally most attractive man or woman.
Because what we really are finding attractive is not the person we see, but for what we project that the person we see could bring us. In other words, subconsciously, we see what we think the person could bring us.
People don’t think about this consciously, but they are looking for a feeling of love and happiness. They think they want someone to love, but what they really are looking for is someone with attributes that they believe will make them feel love and happiness.
None of us have every attribute. We have strengths and weaknesses. Each of us is a pick and mix bag with different sweets.
So daters are not looking at people and saying you’re not in the 65th centile of attractiveness and therefore you’re outside my attractiveness zone, goodbye. They’re actually saying, I like these ones, but not those. I think you’re missing this thing and I need that thing.
So rejection is not about you not being good enough as a person, but about how compatible your mixed bag of needs and gifts fits with their perceptions of what they are looking for.
Of course there are universally attractive features. There is a pattern to physical attractiveness, which is a science in itself. Men go for women who look fertile and healthy. Women are more drawn to men who look virile and strong. Though even within these tastes, it depends on the individual’s personal experiences and stage of life.
A woman who has had every handsome hunk cheat on her may avoid handsome men. A man who has had a traumatic relationship with a redhead, may avoid redheads.
Rejection is a reflection of the other person’s viewpoint of the world. It’s often little to do with your value because on the same dating site on the same night, the same message that can make one woman swoon will have another retching.
If you’re looking for a lasting relationship, it doesn’t matter if you get 999 rejections if you get the one yes that gets you the girl. Just stay on your quest and you’ll get there.