I met a young woman we’ll call Natalie on an online dating site. We seemed to hit it off well. Our conversations over text messages and phone calls went smooth and we shared a lot of laughs. It appeared that we made a strong connection.
We decided to meet up at a local brewery in Lakewood, California. Meeting in person after getting to know a person over the phone and through text messages is scary.
Will she look like who I expect? Will we like each other?
I roll up through the front door in my wheelchair. A rough, tipsy looking dude with a shaggy beard is sitting at a picnic table. Oh man, I better get past this dude quick before he goes crazy on me.
A bench seat blocks my path but it’s no match for my tank. I push it aside and drive towards the front of the place.
I hear a young woman call out, “Hey, Robbie! Over here!”
I turn my chair towards the voice. I see a cute, brunette in a short, black, pink flowered dress sitting next to a guy at a picnic table. Oh no, this can’t be good. She brought a friend.
“Hey, Robbie. How are you? This is Richard. He’s helping me pick out some beer,” says Natalie.
A surge of relief flows through me.
We shared some laughs and good conversation. Topics ranged from how my writing is going to what I thought of her pictures on the dating site.
Natalie’s expressive auburn eyes, pink nails, and large, pink glasses captivated me.
I love the way she squeezes my shoulder when she’s teasing me. And how her fingers brush across my lips as she puts popcorn into my mouth. My heart skips a beat.
The date ends as I roll with her to her car and we share a few kisses. My take is that the date went well.
The next night, I get the dreaded text: “I have to ask you something…” Uh oh! Here it comes. It’s the end.
“I am overwhelmed by you and your strength. I broke down and cried for a while in my car due to the circumstances you face on a daily basis,” she says, burying the hatchet.
Dating is a complicated matter when you have a physical disability. It’s hard for somebody to relate to and deal with sometimes.
Rejection has taught me three valuable life lessons:
1. Rejection builds resilience
The interview for your dream job that you’ve prepared months slips through your fingers. The boss won’t give you that raise. The person you’re dating can’t accept you the way you are.
Rejection constricts your heart until your heart is about to implode. It allows us to unleash our warrior spirit to find better opportunities and relationships.
Knock down the barriers that limit your mindset. Our mind is more powerful than we could ever imagine. Don’t cling to the fear of uncertainty.
Fear is the call to never back down from a challenge.
Rare gems aren’t easy to come by. Look beyond a person’s imperfections to find the beauty within their heart.
You must take a chance to find love and reach your dreams.
Opportunities present themselves when we least expect them to.
The best opportunities are the ones with an uncertain destination.
Stay positive and determined. The beauty you’ll discover will amaze you.
2. Express what’s on your heart without fear
Having a big heart is the best trait to have. It’s the best gauge of our character. It allows us to become a better person. Caring for others isn’t shameful but honorable.
Never be afraid to express yourself to others. You can show vulnerability without looking weak or lacking confidence.
Become more open and honest with yourself and others. That’s how we learn who our real friends are. Don’t wear a mask. You do make a make difference. People need your strength.
Risking heartache is always worth it. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise.
Heartache teaches us a lot about how to fight our insecurities and learn how our mind works.
3. Patience is our greatest ally
Take your time. It will build your confidence. Don’t ever take shortcuts in the dating world.
Don’t over complicate things. Emotions are already churning at a high pace. Give love a chance to build.
What do we have to lose?
It’s easy to get into rush mode where our conversations will suffer.
Rejection teaches us to notice what’s important in life. And, patient with ourselves and others.
Never jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Get familiar with your intuition. Your first instinct is usually the best one.
Don’t break your code of principles because it will backfire on you. Rejection cuts deeper when we go against ourselves.
Don’t be afraid to stay in your element on the first few dates.
What are some important lessons you learned about rejection? Share in the comments.