‘Rejection’ within dating and relationships is widely treated like ‘auditioning’ for a part and then failing to get the role. Think about this for a moment: Treating dating like an audition means someone always holds the power from the outset. Your fate is in their hands. You have to interview, perform, demonstrate, convince. Handing over all of your power in dating is like telling the other party to kick back and relax because you’re going to make all of the key effort. Based on what? They’re not God, a higher power, or that special!

What kind of expertise or power are you granting people?

Which characteristics, qualities, and values do you assign to others that you can immediately (or very quickly) ascertain that you need to put on your costume?

That they go to church? Have been in the same job for a gazillion years or are just very good at their job? Have big breasts? Well hung? Beautiful? Super-intelligent? Ph.D in People Picking? Good with animals and children? Money and status? Chemistry? Common interests? Good sense of humour?

Not one of these are reasons to demote yourself and act like you’re auditioning for a relationship.

Now, you’d like to believe that people who have the power to decide someone’s fate get it right every time. Plenty of actors, authors, dancers, singers, job interviewees, successful entrepreneurs, sports stars and more, though, were rejected and thrived anyway. Many went on to be more successful than people who they were rejected for. Many of the remainder are still trying. The ‘experts’ don’t always get it right and do back the wrong horse. They often end up gritting their teeth or are even embarrassed at their failure to recognise a good opportunity.

Seeming authorities and experts get it wrong all. the. time.

Many of these folks believed in their own judgement at the time. Of course, this may have been prejudiced by their mood, ego, favouritism and other biases, or any number of other factor. None, though, have anything whatsoever to do with the fundamental talent, ability, or whatever, of the candidate. They didn’t have the vision, the patience, the creativity for it. Ultimately, they went with what they felt was the right decision at that time. And it was the right decision; they snoozed, they lost.

They may regret their actions. Some might reach out, by which time, the ‘passed-over candidates’ have hopefully moved on and found success elsewhere with someone who recognises their value. It’s similar in relationships.

What’s the difference between the person who experiences rejection in these circumstances but perseveres anyway, and the person who takes someone’s ‘judgement’ as ‘final’ or at least as an indictment of their abilities?

Belief. Self-belief; belief in their work, their product, service, talent, abilities, experience. etc., that it will happen one day.  

They keep trying, knocking on doors; they, where appropriate, take on feedback (hopefully from a respected source). They build on their strengths, work on any weaknesses, continue to invest in themselves. And even when they waver or even have massive wobbles, they remember who they are and believe. They get back up.

This can be hard in dating. This is especially so if, like a salesperson who doesn’t qualify their ‘leads’ before they spend most of their time knocking on doors in a neighbourhood that’s the wrong target market for their product or service, you spend most of your time doorstepping in Unavailable Town or even Assclownville. It’s accentuated when you keep trying to convince that one or a few disinterested or half-interested parties who keep throwing up objections. Or you keep trying to convince that one person who keeps calling you back for a wildcard ‘audition’, only for them to turn you down or make deal-closing noises and then back out at the last moment.

When all is said and done, you both have to choose in a romantic relationship. It’s got to be a mutual relationship.

This means, if you insist on behaving like you’re auditioning, at least do it on their basis that they’re doing it too. You’re both auditioning for a co-piloted relationship. It’s a co-interview process where you need a recruiter mindset.

Hello (!!!), what do you think? What do you want? What do you need? It’s not all about them you know, especially when you don’t even know them to be handing over all of your power in the first place!

What about you? Aren’t you to be valued?

Stop waiting for someone to scoop you out of [a current life you don’t want] and make your life for you. Aside from the fact that it’s too much power and responsibility to give someone, if you took less of a passive role and weren’t afraid to be yourself and have boundaries, while you’d date less unavailable and shady folk, you’d be available for a mutually fulfilling available relationship and recognise one. You won’t be afraid to ask questions, to communicate, to have basic needs, to pick up the phone. You certainly won’t be abandoning your life so you can fit in with someone else’s agenda, often without being entirely sure of what it is or knowing full well that you’re not on board with it.

The irony in all of this is that if you stop auditioning, especially for people who you have no business elevating to expert judge status on a pedestal, you dramatically reduce the amount of ‘rejection’ in your dating life because whether they’re around for a hot minute, a few dates, or a relationship, you’re an equal and evaluating and choosing too.

When you stop auditioning for [romantic] judges, your self-esteem will rise.

You won’t think about things in terms of winning them over, which prevents you from morphing and adapting to win a prize that you don’t even know is a prize in the first place.

You’ll either both ‘get in’, or neither of you will. The point, you’ve either got to work together or go your own way. I’ve found in life that you have the people who want to try, those who want to make the initial movements and then dump the load on you while enjoying the glory and the fringe benefits, and folks who will ebb and flow, give and take, and work with you. Trust me when I say that you won’t see this when you’re too busy worrying about pleasing someone and being accepted, treating them like the sun rises and sets on them. They’re just not that special.

I should add, some of the people who didn’t know your value, or did, but thought that they could do better, will regret their decisions but expect that you’ve found better. Some will regret, hunt you down (likely with a lazy text or DM) and reel you in again, only to still have poor judgement. Hopefully, you’re not secretly looking back and waiting around.

You could spend your whole life auditioning the crap out of yourself for one person or variations of a type. Or you could know your own value and go where you’re wanted and can be equal. You won’t know where that is if you’re ‘auditioning’ and ‘convincing’.

Your thoughts?

Check out my book and ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl in my bookshop.

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