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Gay Advice: How to Turn Rejection Into Inspiration

Gay Advice: How to Turn Rejection Into Inspiration image
Posted by Joseph on March 3, 2015

I’ve never understood why people nowadays judge their value on how their relationships end: They weren’t broken up with, but were “dumped,” “tossed,” or “abandoned.” They were cheated on because they weren’t “good enough,” “sexy enough” or “interesting enough.” Gay men in particularly tend to take it to a whole other level since same sex marriage has been running the discussion across the world. When we’re committed, we’re “wanted”; but when we’re single… we’re “alone.”

Since DOMA was repealed, gay men my age started thinking a bit differently about relationships. Even if we were around same sex couples, the idea of marriage was always a bit distance. It was, after all, not a true reality at the time. Within a matter of weeks (since July 2013), the gay community entered a new enlightenment. Love looked different, felt different, and sounded different. Now that it was possible to have real marriage on paper, we felt like we needed to. Suddenly, we shifted our social perception of dating from “fun” to “required.” But have we depended too much on it to create our self-worth?
The end of a relationship doesn’t mean the end of the world. Some work, others don’t. In fact, you have more reason to celebrate when it doesn’t work than when it does. The more you filter, the more you learn; and the more you learn, the more you discover about yourself and men in general. The whole idea of dating is to know what works and what doesn’t. When it doesn’t feel right, congratulations, you now know what not to look for. If it does work, consider it an opportunity to relish in what that feels like (and remember to visit it often). Rejection, however, can be a whole other ball of wax.

I remember being a kid and loving my family dog more than anything. Her name was Sandy and she was a gorgeous cocker spaniel, but as much as I loved her it was clear she loved my sister more than me. She’d always go to her whenever she was near and was always happier to see her than me. I tried not to take it personally, but when you’re nine-years-old, how can you not? I saw this rejection as having to do with me; ultimately it started affecting my esteem.
Obviously owning a dog isn’t the same as having a boyfriend, but they both require us to judge our worth on mistranslation. Whenever someone seemingly “chooses” another person over you, we’re quick to say that we weren’t adequate enough for them; and nothing is worse than lacking the attention of someone you really care about. But the truth is no matter what they do, they have no affect on how you think of you. I’m sure if you focus on your feelings, you’ll realize that it was you who planted the seed in the first place. Most of the time, their “rejection” wasn’t a rejection at all.
Just because a relationship doesn’t work out doesn’t you aren’t good enough. You are an amazing person with a lot of love to give, but if a relationship is missing compatibility or a linear structure that benefits you both, it’s eventually going to crumble. In order for two people to be together long term, they must share common interests stretching beyond physical and sexual attraction. Goals, aspirations, morals and principles need to apply, and even though we try desperately to intertwine them, sometimes it just doesn’t mesh – that has everything to do with the relationship, and nothing to do with YOU.

Rejection isn’t rejection, but an opportunity to do better, be better, and know better. The end of a relationship isn’t a reminder that you’ll never be with someone or that you’re always going to end up heartbroken. In reality, breakups deliver more good than bad because they make us stronger and wiser to see beyond the complexity of what relationships are to see what they truly can be. You deserve to find your perfect match, but in order to find him you must first filter out the not-so-perfect ones. It’s called dating. Not everyone you meet is going to be your Prince Charming, and guess what, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

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