A male friend recently asked me what was “wrong” with him. It turns out he was trying to be with this girl (and I guess they did have some fun times together), but then she decided that she didn’t want a relationship. I’m only getting the ‘facts’ from him, and I don’t even know her. There could be a million reasons why it didn’t work out.
The thing is, dating is kind of like a job interview. There might be many people in line for the ‘job’ of potential mate for a girl or guy. Yes, it is a competition, in a way. But just as you wouldn’t give up if you want or need a specific job, you shouldn’t give up on dating just because of one bad experience.
Best Foot Forward
Now, my friend would say that’s “easier said than done,” but it’s really not. I don’t mean anyone should be a ‘player’ or just go from one person to the next. That could hurt people’s feelings, and it’s just not right or fair.
Instead, I told him to keep being friends with this girl. Not like a ‘girlfriend,’ or doing everything she wants without actually being in a relationship. I mean he should still be civil with her. That’s just the right thing to do. Also, you never know if she’ll be ready for a relationship in the near future, or if she knows friends that might be. It’s the same concept as professional networking!
And just like you wouldn’t throw up your hands and decide to be a hermit for the rest of your life if you don’t get a specific job, it’s the same with relationships! So it doesn’t work out with one person. It might with the next. Giving up is never a good option.
What Might Have Been
Now, sometimes it’s helpful to find out why you weren’t selected for the position. It might be a lack of experience, or other factors. While this is sometimes difficult to determine in a dating situation, if you are comfortable enough with the person, you might ask why they don’t see you as a potential partner.
I know that sounds awkward, and it is. I also don’t think it will work in every situation. But when this one guy didn’t want to date me, but wanted to be ‘friends,’ I asked him a few months later what was up. What he told me was not necessarily fun to hear, but it did help me work on my approach toward other dating situations.
The bottom line is that if it doesn’t work out with one person, you just have to move on and trust that it will eventually work with someone else. Just like if you don’t get a job. Sure, you can sulk for a day (and maybe eat a tub of ice cream!), but the next day you get back out there and start searching again.
You have to be confident that something will eventually turn up in the job market, just like you will eventually meet someone that you really connect with.
by Angelina Estevante
Love & Relationships
Residential Life Magazine