I recently met a guy I was interested in dating through a friend, only to find out a few weeks later that he wasn’t interested in dating me. A year ago, this would have absolutely crushed me. Crushed me because I had put all my eggs in this guy’s theoretical basket. Crushed me because I dared to ask myself, “Will anyone else want to date me if this guy doesn’t?” Up until a few months ago, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that just because one guy didn’t want to date me, it didn’t mean I was totally undateable and it didn’t mean that there weren’t still plenty after him that would want to date me (I had been in a couple of relationships after all). Instead, in my head, that guy might have been my only chance and he didn’t want me. This thought pattern has led me to date some less-than-ideal people often because they were interested or they were “ok” with my disability. Obviously, I don’t want to be with anyone who isn’t ok with my MD, but I didn’t realize that also shouldn’t be the only reason I do date someone, especially when he isn’t a very nice guy or good match overall. But I held on to a lot of these guys I dated even when I knew it wasn’t going to work out. I was afraid if I let them go or it didn’t work out, that I wouldn’t be able to find anyone else in the future who would accept me and would accept all of me.
It’s crazy that it’s taken me this long to realize that there really are “plenty of fish in the sea” (I always hated that saying before). But if you think about it logically, there are how many billion people in the U.S. and in the world? When you think about it that way, suddenly this idea that there “may not be a next person to date” just fades away. I live in one of the most populous states in the U.S., too! I wish my younger self would have learned this lesson. It would have saved me a lot of tears and a lot of wasted energy on people that weren’t right for me anyway.
Besides, if dating and relationships were meant to work out with every single person we were interested in, we would be dating a whole lot of people at one time or would be in multiple relationships! It’s all a part of the process of dating for all of us. Of weeding through the not right ones so we can find the right ones.
Of course, it’s always a little sad and disappointing when someone you’re interested in doesn’t reciprocate. It’s a knock to the old ego. But if there’s anything I’ve learned and anything I can share, it’s to never let that you bring you down. Never stop from being yourself just to please someone else or stay in a relationship. Don’t settle for someone just because you think they may be the “only one” who will accept you or love you for you, even if they aren’t a nice person and don’t treat you well in other ways. There is someone out there that will love you for you and be a great partner in so many ways.
I wish I’d learned this lesson a lot earlier in life but better late than never! I know I will find someone, and that hope is never lost. There’s no timeline, and it’s not a competition. You may have to weed through some frogs, but they’ll only make the princes and princesses that much clearer to you and you’ll be oh-so-ready when they come along. Keep the faith, know you are amazing and never give up hope!