Embracing self-compassion after the pain of romantic rejection

Yesterday, I went on a first date with a girl I met on Bumble. She was masculine-presenting on the outside, and feminine on the inside (just my type), complete with dreadlocks and a lust for freedom (the sweet spot, or so I thought).

When I arrived at the restaurant I was surprised to see that she was there with a friend. I’d had no prior warning and definitely wasn’t expecting to start dating/chatting up two strangers, but being the confident baddie I am, I smiled and pulled up a seat.

On my end, I thought the date went well. I chatted with the two of them for about an hour, mostly about our work, “careers” and desires for the future. I presented as my most authentic self, albeit maybe an extreme version. It’s hard to include all the nuances and details of your life in a fast-paced conversation, and I guess we also try to present the “coolest” version of our stories on a date.

I told her I’m a high school dropout. I’m bisexual. Self-identified hippie. Currently living in the servants quarters of a lesbian couple. And I told her (well, them) I have no desire to work a 9-5 job pretty much ever. I kept it very real.

At the end of the evening, as she fumbled with the apps on her phone trying to pay the bill, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “I don’t want to waste your time or lead you on. I am not going to the club with you. We are not compatible.”


I had never been rejected so coldly and outright. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Here I was thinking the date went quite well. I didn’t find her wildly attractive, but nice and interesting enough, at least to keep hanging out the rest of the night. I guess not.

I kept a smile plastered on my face. One of those painful heartbreaking ‘smiling through the pain’ forced ones.

“Why?” I asked. “I thought that was the plan.”

“It’s the whole hippie thing, staying in someone’s servants quarters, smoking weed all day. I used to do that and I feel like I’ve evolved past it. I want someone with more structure and order.”

Oh my god. She had hit me right in the core. Used all the information I’d given her against me. Attacked every aspect of my “authentic self” that I had so confidently presented to the table. Once again I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I couldn’t believe I was being rejected so wholly and straight to my face. 

When I try to take a step back from the emotional damage of it all, I realize that it was great that she was so straight up and didn’t indeed waste my time. But as I look at the situation from the perspective of my ego-self, so much hurt and so many questions show up. My past wounds of rejection and undesirability were dug up and triggered.

Am I really that undesirable? Not even worth a second date? Why would she match with me in the first place? (I presented authentically online as well, had “hippie” in my bio and everything). Why does my type never seem to want me? Why does no one ever want to pursue something meaningful? Why am I always the one hitting on people and getting turned down?

Within the same week of this rejection, another girl I’d been talking to had also declared that she doesn’t want to pursue anything. My ex had declared that she no longer loves me. Another girl I’d tried to hit on had turned me down. And my own mother wouldn’t even pick up her phone when I tried to call her. Let’s just say, the rejection wounds were wounding. Big time.

Though each incident hits like the pain of a hundred bee stings, rejection is an inevitable part of the human experience. Sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it really does not, both in the present and in hind-sight. From my own spiritual perspective, romantic rejection is always an opportunity to affirm and remember self-love. As brutal as it may seem, I like to view it as a test sent to me by my higher self on switching my validation lever from external to internal. Ever internal and ever present.

In my past, my romantic rejections have brought up severe wounds of not being chosen, not being worthwhile, and beliefs of lack in the availability of romantic partners out there for me in the world. These wounds and beliefs clearly stem from my life experiences that imprinted on me and I unconsciously internalized. I believe the rejections I face are reflections of those beliefs, and an opportunity to confront and overcome them.

Of course I am desirable. Of course I’m beautiful and worthwhile. All that appears in contrast to that is simply an opportunity to return to a core and whole truth of who I am. Who we are.

So to my Bumble match, thank you. For your brutal honesty and the opportunity to restore to my core truths. For now, I’m a bit too traumatised to open the app again, but I hope for the next encounter to be more mutual and well, loving.

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.