How do you tell if he’s just not that into you? It was easier in school. I mean most things were easier. Never having to make a decision about what outfit will send the right message to your new boss, the luxury of a full hour lunch break and those 3pm finishes. When they say ‘school days are the best of your life’ they really mean it; and it isn’t until your skirting around your mid 30’s, in mountains of debt from the new ASOS ‘try before you buy’ scheme with only Netflix and a Dominoes for company that you truly appreciate that. In hindsight, everything felt easier, including dating. Now I am not saying I want to transport myself into my 15 year old body, with all the raging hormones and self doubt (OK that bit sucked) but getting a date seemed a lot less complex to teenage me.
Dating at school was simple. Firstly, you would spot your Target, swoon over Target, write Targets name incessantly on all school books including your Bible, until Mrs Jones sees and gives you a detention for blasphemy. Secondly, tell you need to tell your closest pals about Target, knowing they have absolutely no capacity to keep a secret. Thirdly, allow said friends to flit over to Target’s friendship group and scope out Target’s availability, feelings and opinion of you. This would shortly follow some back and forth negotiating that David Davis should take note from. Fourthly, receive filtered information from besties about Target’s emotional ability to commit. This would even result in you now being in a fully committed relationship where you would both now hold hands to and from the school gate to bus stop, or would involve an elaborate story from pals which highlights Target’s terrible flaws, lack of personality and his commitment to the school sports team which means he is currently unavailable (despite your inkling that they’re already snogging that long limbed model in the year above). That was the joy of school dating, you had a buffer. A buffer of ‘hype men’ willing to protect you from that face to face rejection or being told ‘they’re just not into you,’ allowing you to happily plod along to the next your next Target (in the form of that new Year 12 transfer with the floppy hair). Heart is saved.
But there is no buffer in adult dating. Sure your besties may still be present to tell you all those elaborate lies like they did when at school, but only after you’ve found out the brutal stabbing truth that they just don’t want you. Your protector shields will most certainly be down and you’ve had no opportunity to practice your best sexy cry face as a teenager. Hence, being dumped, pied and ghosted as an adult is a bit more brutal. So what are we to do now we’re grown ups when he’s not that into you and how can we just ‘get on’ when we face rejection? As someone who has been dumped more the past 5 years than I have in my 32 years of existence…I have some tips for that.
1. “It’s not you it’s me”
Sure, this is a classic, thrown out as part of the ‘let down’ spiel before they swan off into the sunset with their new beau in tow. It almost always feels as if it is you, and when you’ve been dumped you can’t help but run through the lists of all your insecurities to work out which personality default made them run a mile. Even if they try and protect us by throwing themselves under the bus, our little brains our quick to recognise it must be our fault they have dropped us quicker than Blac Chyna once she’d popped Rob’s baby out of her vag and secured those child support payments. But what if it is them? And even if it is something about you that didn’t tickle their pickle, isn’t that still their problem and not yours?
Whether it’s because they ‘aren’t ready’ for a relationship yet, you’re too confident, not quite ‘their type’ or they fancy someone else they’ve been talking to for 4 months. It really is their issue and not yours. You can only be yourself, and unless you’re a grade A psychopath, you have lots of qualities that make you, you. You’re unique and you should be in a relationship with someone who appreciates that, why would you want to waste your time when he’s just not that into you? They’ve probably done you a favour. So don’t spend three months querying which part of ‘you’ needs changing in a hope of securing them back. Accept that it’s them that has the issue, and someone else will like that part of you that they could never appreciate. No self assassinations here people, no promises to change, no quick fix diets or botox or promises to be more polite and less weary. Fuck ’em.
2. Snot cry like Kim Kardashian and be proud of it
It is OK to feel sad when you’ve been rejected. It is OK to wallow, and it is OK to cry even if you’ve only known them for a week, a month, twenty years. There isn’t a time limit on feelings being hurt and sure there may be other complications and issues if you’ve been dumped when you’re married to someone you have just met, but the feelings remain the same. You’ll be sad and wounded, and you need to stop and heal those wounds. Absolutely, a one-week wound may not cut so deep but you’re allowed to still spend some time healing.
I always allow myself a little cry after being rejected regardless of how long we’ve been dating or even how much I like them. I remember one time dating a guy that I wasn’t that keen on. So much so that I had planned to give him the ‘it’s not you, it’s me” spiel. But that week he cancelled three dates and then proceeded to ghost me. We had only dated for 8 weeks, but I was actually devastated. Not because I liked him, not because I was hoping for something more, but because being rejected or treated badly hurts no matter the circumstances.
So pull on those PJ’s, have a good cry, eat good food, drink good wine with friends and do what you need to do to heal. This isn’t 1941, we don’t need to ‘Keep Calm and Carry on,” we are allowed a bit of selfish me time to make sure we’re OK.
3. Ghosts Should Remain In The Graveyard
We have all done it. We’ve found ‘the one’ we’ve played that tape right to the end, we’re having weddings, and babies and romantic candle light dinners on exotic beaches, even when we don’t know their last name. It’s fun to play the ‘hope’ game and when you’re pied, that hope is shattered into smithereens…unless. Unless we don’t give up hope. We hope that when they see us at that wedding, in the £200 outfit and a blow dry they’ll realise their mistake. We hope that if we bombard their social media with likes and flirty comments they’ll notice us, or perhaps if we delete them from everything they’ll realise how hurt we are and come rushing back. We hope that an action after the fact will change their mind and stop us having to address the real issue, that we’ve been dumped and it fucking sucks.
Sure, that woman in that Take a Break magazine who reunited with her childhood sweetheart after 20 years could give us all hope. But we aren’t them, they aren’t coming back, and the quicker you except that, the quicker you can invest time with someone who is worth it.
4. You are not Inspector Clouseau, put the magnifying glass down
You can’t move on if you keep looking backwards. That’s the saying isn’t it? I think it probably needs an update for the millennial generation – “You can’t move on if you’re scouring every one of your exes posts on social media, have tracked down ‘the one’ he dated before you, know what his Mum is doing this Sunday and what their Auntie Deborah had for dinner.
You can’t get over it if they’re still in your head, and god is it easy to lose a good four hours down a social media time hole filling your mind with things they probably don’t even know about themselves. This will probably mean deleting, it might lead to blocking and it will definitely take some self-restraint. But trust me, a head no longer filled with all the unnecessary information about them, torturing yourself to see whether they’ve met someone new, or haven’t thought about you at all is pure bliss. In reality, you will never find out what you want to on their social media. There will be no gushing post about how they miss you or want you back, and no one needs to spend their Saturday nights scrolling through photos of bellends ordering bottle services in clubs when they told you they couldn’t stretch to paying for your Maccy D’s. Stop stalking them, put the phone down, you aren’t the FBI.
5. Create a new plan and move on
So he’s just not that into you, what are you going to do now? Fear is a tricky thing. It stops us from venturing out, being excited and making the most of new opportunities. Being single can be scary, especially when you’ve made this imaginary plan with them and all of a sudden it’s up in the air and you’re alone again.
If you’re dating with the hope that every time someone messages you that you’ve found Mr or Mrs Right, you are likely to struggle even more so when they tell you they’re done. Dating shouldn’t be your whole life. It is a part of it, like being in a relationship isn’t everything (unless you want a truly unhealthy co-dependent disaster on your hands).
Your buffer of friends may no longer be present, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create new buffers which make it all that bit easier when you face a knock back. Having a grand plan, smaller plans, plans for tomorrow or today, are great ways in providing a buffer for dating and making you more resilient. Be your own hype man. Create a life that is fruitful whether you’re with someone or not and you’ll find it so much easier to jump back up when you’ve been knocked down. You’re options are limitless, go create a new life plan, but maybe leave a little gap rather than a gaping hole to fit them in it.
So those are my little tips to get you through a dating drama. Have you been recently rejected? Any sure fire tips to get over it and move on? Let me know in the comments or catch me on my socials. Until next time…happy swiping.