When things (and people) just don't come together

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When things (and people) just don't come together

Post by Boxhead on Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:34 pm

Hi everyone,

DNL has said a few times that when we get rejected during the course of finding someone, the reason for the rejection may be completely unrelated to oneself (ie, circumstances completely out of one's control).

I'm curious and I'd like to ask, has anyone here ever met somebody you felt would be a great match for you, but owing to circumstances like these or for whatever reason, you had to turn them down? If yes, how did you feel about that and what did you do?

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Re: When things (and people) just don't come together

Post by Enail on Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:49 pm

I'm not sure if this counts as the kind of thing you're looking for, but I turned down the person I am now married to once early on in us knowing each other, and in a pretty lousy way, too - she asked me out, I said yes, but then I panicked and broke up with her only a few days later. I was into her, but she was one of my closest friends in a fairly new situation and I was scared it would destroy the friendship and damage our social group (which I probably should have thought about before saying yes, because I think breaking up with someone is way more likely to destroy a friendship than just not dating them to begin with  Headsmack ), and in retrospect I was also just not ready for a relationship, but couldn't really articulate that enough to handle the situation in a better way.

I think having more self-awareness and knowing that you don't have to have a reason to not date someone would have helped me do things better; the fact that I could tick all the boxes of "do I like her," "am I attracted to her," and so forth meant I couldn't reconcile my feeling of discomfort with what 'logically' made sense, so I ignored the feeling until it insisted on being listened to.

Luckily she was really cool about it, and managed to go back to a comfortable friendship without it being horribly awkward (very much in spite of me, I would have been super-awkward about it if she wasn't really good at making it not-awkward  Wink ), while still occasionally letting me know she was still interested if I ever wanted but without feeling too pressure-y, so we stayed friends and when I was up for it we started dating. So it worked out in the end, but I definitely don't recommend handling it the way I did!

More of a side note about your question: I do think also when you're talking about reasons for rejection that are outside your control, that doesn't always mean you're a great match for them but circumstances force them to reject, it can also mean things that are not in your control or anything wrong with you, but that mean you are incompatible with them. Not everyone is potentially a great match for everyone else, even if they were absolutely being their best potential self and did everything right.
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Re: When things (and people) just don't come together

Post by KMR on Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:03 pm

My examples are similar to Enail's in terms of rejecting people that I later wound up dating. Mine are basically cases of unfortunate timing and changing circumstances.

My first boyfriend and I were friends before we started dating. We met during freshman year of college but were more acquaintances at first and only started interacting more substantially toward the end of that year. So he was starting to develop feelings for me at that point and throughout the summer, so he asked me out when we got back to college for the start of sophomore year. I turned him down in part because I felt like I still didn't know him all that well at that point, but what really complicated matters was that I had a crush on someone else at the time and wasn't thinking about other romantic prospects. But because I was really shy and inexperienced, I never got the courage to tell my crush how I felt and opted to just wait and see if he would ask me out himself. So I waited around for a few months but got no indication one way or another if my crush might be interested in me. Meanwhile, my friend and I remained good friends, spent more time together (admittedly in part because he had feelings for me so he wanted to spend more time with me than before), and as I got to know him better, I started to return his feelings, so we ended up dating and were together for three years.

My current boyfriend and I met online, and he later told me that he had actually messaged me on OkCupid about five years back when I had first started using the site, to which I'd never responded. I had remembered seeing his profile back then (we were always a high match), but didn't recall him sending me a message and didn't know what it was that made me ignore him the first time around. One possibility is, since he used to be religious and I was always an atheist, if he'd still identified as Christian back then and stated that on his profile, I would likely have been reluctant to respond. So that, coupled with a lackluster message, might have dissuaded me. The second time around, his message was much more engaging and caught my attention, and when I saw the familiar profile I thought, "We've always been a high match, I wonder why we've never talked."
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Re: When things (and people) just don't come together

Post by Datelessman on Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:00 pm

Boxhead wrote:Hi everyone,

DNL has said a few times that when we get rejected during the course of finding someone, the reason for the rejection may be completely unrelated to oneself (ie, circumstances completely out of one's control).

I'm curious and I'd like to ask, has anyone here ever met somebody you felt would be a great match for you, but owing to circumstances like these or for whatever reason, you had to turn them down? If yes, how did you feel about that and what did you do?

This may not be exactly what you are asking about, but I have one experience in my life where an inability to "connect" with someone romantically was due to circumstances which had nothing to do with the other person individually.

In high school I was roughly a year older than about half my friends and since they sometimes dated younger women it meant I was older than some of the associates I had. One of them was the roommate/sometime lover of one of my pals' girlfriends. She came from a rough home life and a pretty tragic past of abuse, but I didn't know that at the time nor why she was rooming with another teen's family as a teen herself, it just was. We met once during a group "hang-out" section where we chilled in their room listening to metal for a while before moving to play pool. The entire night she seemed to share barbs with me and I wasn't under the impression that she liked me at all. Granted, at the time my persona was, "painfully shy inexperienced dude who tries to hide it by faking being aloof and too cool for school." Some time after we met again at another group shindig with pals, this time a massive drinking/metal fest in one associate's basement. I don't drink often nor like to but for whatever reason I'd had enough that night to be buzzed, and I ran into her again. She was pretty drunk and we bonded over Mel Brooks movies, since "ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS" happened to be airing on a nearby TV. After a while most of the group wanted to head to a diner to sober up before continuing the night, and I did not. I'd had enough "socializing" and wanted a break. I imagined going home, having a quick bite to eat (since I had no cash for diner food) and considering rejoining them later. I wound up falling asleep for 2-3 hours and that was that.

Maybe a year or so later I was in college and I reconnected with her over AIM (yes, this was that long ago). By then she'd moved to another state, which would become common. She'd remembered me as a friend of a friend and wanted someone to talk to. She revealed during one of our initial chats that back during that night in the basement she'd "developed a bit of a crush" on me. She mentioned it in past tense; she was seeing someone else now. We would talk online but the timing between us was all over the map. Whenever she was single she was out of state; whenever she was closer she usually was dating someone. In case her orientation is confusing, she identifies as bisexual but seems to prefer men. She had a rough home life, not enough stability to return to college or settle on a career for long, and often jumped from one abusive relationship to the next. We talked as friends and as friends became quite close. To this day she still nicknames me "her therapist." At the time I was a social work major so maybe I assumed that role.

The two of us were passing ships. She's one of my best friends but her cycle continued; she moves between living with lovers or her family at various intervals either upstate or out of state. And by this stage she is looking for someone to settle down with long term after a string of unsuccessful lovers, and I am not. While I would love to explore a relationship with her, I cannot give her what she needs right now (a stable place to live, and a long term commitment or the potential for one) and I care about her too much to ever exploit her for my own ends. Plus, well, being in another state 85% of the time removes that equation. Yet if I hadn't split from the "drinking crew" that one night in a basement as an older teenager, it is very likely we may have "hooked up" and I would not be the Datelessman. But on the other hand, it also is possible we may not have become good friends as we have later on when each of us was more mature, and I value our friendship a lot. I see it as a perfect example of mistiming and two people always being at different stages in life, coupled with a challenge regarding distance.

Anyway, I am not sure if that is exactly what you were asking about, but it's as close a story as I have.
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Re: When things (and people) just don't come together

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