Deep thoughts – Why rejection?

Pr-amble


[DISCLAIMER]
The following are out loud thoughts. I'm asking *myself* these things.
If you wish to constructively interact, please respect that this is intended as a dialog between me & myself, and leave judgment aside when choosing to provide commentary...Thank you.

Dating 'rules' & conflict of principles

I only briefly alluded to some of the deeper issue(s) in the pre-amble.
Here I try to delve into some specifics.

  Q:
  Why is it, for me, that being honest and open really seems to backfire?
  A:
  Well, speculatively, it is unpleasant (for me) when I really enjoy someone on a potentially romantic level, only to be rejected.
This may be a harsh assessment, but it's one I have to make (of myself).
Consequences of being open & honest are going to happen. People may choose to react in ways you do not want or appreciate. That's the nature of individuality & separateness.

I think I get very attached to the mental imagery/concept of being in a coupling with people, regardless of how reality may reflect the situation. That is not to say I obsessively expect reality to mesh with my desires. [nor do I play it out by becoming a stalker or anything scary as that!]
I believe we all affect each other, regardless of direct interaction or not.
I seek out connection (and understanding ABOUT that connection) where I comfortably can.
Watching others sever connections sometimes plays badly upon me. Damaging others is akin to damaging self, if we are all interconnected..no?

Conversely- rejection seems to really [negatively] affect me. So much that I simply prefer not to put myself in situations that may lead up to it.
Yes, that's a fear based behavior, and one that is not healthy to my growth.

To apply this abstraction to example:
I (usually) cannot even bring myself to ask a person out on a 'date'.
I typically wait for them to ask me.

Obviously, this doesn't work on several levels and for several reasons I won't necessarily be exploring right now.

I don't date.
I don't ask people out on dates so I cannot be rejected.

This is irrational, as I still want to get to know people, but really don't like the social stigma (I'VE) associated with the concept of 'dating'.
Heck, I prefer to get to know someone as a friend FIRST long before I would even want to consider 'dating' them. But the supposed point to 'dating' is to get to know a person? (EXCEPT- when people KNOW they're on a date, they're usually NOT REALLY BEING themselves, they're trying to be a more 'perfect' version – which can lead to deception!!!)

So, I try to engage anyone purely as a friend…However, in the back of my mind, I'm painfully aware of my romantic/attractive interest in any given person. This totally freaks me out. If I even contemplate asking them to do 'friend stuff', I end up associating this with 'dating' (And therefore placing a different mental/behavioral framework around the 'interaction expectations').
Intense internal Conflict ensues.

What a mess.

Rationally, I know I need to adjust my own thinking.
Where to begin.

If I get 'diplomatic', as is my tendency, it still doesn't seem like a workable solution to provide some sort of outward indicator that 'dating' activity is ensuing. [Hi, yes I will be your DATE tonight…]

So, here's a question I now throw out to other-
'How does one effectively communicate the desire to 'date', but somehow get people to not feel the pressure of 'being on a date'?

Whew.
I'm over-analyzing. (something many a person has pointed out in the past- including people whom I'd like to 'date' *grin*)

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