This Is How I Was Rejected By My Dream Guy
These days it’s soooo easy to hide behind your computer or smartphone, swiping left and right, liking profiles, and chatting with a potential love interest. Rejection is as easy as a tap of a button with no stress or guilt attached to being honest with someone face-to-face in real life. It’s so simple to be a coward and not practice confidence when your finger does all the work.
I personally hate online dating. I tried a couple apps, dated a few guys, and saw that no matter what platform I was on, I was seeing the same faces. This pool of single dudes started to feel really…small. I have never been 100% comfortable putting myself online under those pretenses, so I made the confident, single-girl decision to say no to dating apps and get back to real human interaction. If I saw a guy I liked, I was going to go say hi and see what happened. I liked this idea in theory, but continued to silently walk past major babes on the sidewalk and spend date nights at home with my cat and Netflix…talk about a cliche. Fortunately this all changed over the summer.
It was Saturday in NYC, I found myself with not a lot to do. My cat had woken me up at 6:30am begging for food like a little pig and it was pointless trying to get back to sleep. I took in a 9am hot yoga class and returned home to lay in bed and marathon half of season 2 of Sex And The City. I finally got in the shower, dressed and was out the door at 3pm to wander aimlessly around the big apple for a few hours. Since I had no set destination in mind, I began following strangers to see where I ended up. The idea of following strangers sounds weird and mildly creepy (ok maybe a lot creepy), but I wasn’t doing it for any reason other than to hopefully end up in a place I hadn’t been before.
I began following a couple, then a guy with a black backpack. I was now down near the water and decided to keep heading west until I found someone else to latch onto. I was suddenly at South Street Seaport, but the touristy crowds and brunchy basics was a lil’ too much for me. I made a quick exit from the area and carved a path through the towering buildings, shading me from UV rays and picked a guy in a green t-shirt to take me elsewhere. I ended up being “dropped off” down in Battery Park, a place I hadn’t been since my second trip to NYC in 2003 and found it to be surprisingly mellow.
I sat on a bench, drew some comics, and when I grew tired of the families who had camped out on the benches next to me (crowding my space and essentially forcing me from my spot), I packed my notebook in my jewel studded backpack and began to walk along the water. Turning a slight bend, I saw a very small film production happening. There was a couple wearing stupid looking straw hats and dated looking outfits, doing some sort of dance moves. They were being followed by a guy who I guessed was the director. I walked past them and posted up against the railing a bit out of frame to watch.
That’s when I saw him. A lanky, 6’2” babe. Dressed in a black t-shirt, tan pants and sneakers, he had a perfect head of thick chocolate brown hair, dark sunglasses that gave him movie star appeal, and when I saw him flash a smile at something the director said, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. He was assisting the production, fiddling with some lenses, adjusting other minor equipment and just kinda hanging out. He looked over and saw me looking at him, gave a brief look of curiosity and went back to what he was doing. I couldn’t see his eyes so it was impossible to tell if he thought I was a babe or if I just looked stupid in the outfit I had thrown on. Ugh…I felt flustered, and while I was already sweating from the late August heat, an undeniable wave of prickly, nervous sweat sprung to the surface. I wanted to walk away, but was feeling like a little baby afraid to take their first step. My legs were jello and I was confident if I let go of the railing separating me from the bay, I would stumble and draw all the wrong kind of attention.
Then I was saved by the bell…or rather my phone ringing. It was Audrey, one of my best friends from Los Angeles and maybe the only friend whom I still talk to on the phone. I picked up immediately.
“OMG, I am so fucking glad you just called me.”
Having Audrey on the phone grounded me enough to walk up toward the public restrooms and take a seat far enough from the mega-babe that he wouldn’t hear me, but close enough that I could watch him like a lurker while I talked to Aud.
“Ugh, there is the biggest babe ever sitting in front of me.”
“OMG really? What does he look like?”
I described this dream guy to Audrey, which released the nervous energy that had spiked upon first sight. Soon I was moderately relaxed in a conversation about the recent “to dos” in our lives, her dating life, and random bits of gossip about our friends, but every couple minutes I couldn’t help but say,
“OMG Audrey this guy is so fucking hot. I don’t even know what to do.”
Finally Audrey said, “Go say hi.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Because what if he has a girlfriend? What if he doesn’t like me?”
“You should just go up to him and say hi,” she advised. “I’ve done it before. One time I went up to a guy and said, ‘You’re a babe, want to party?’ and we ended up dating for nine months.”
“Yeah but that’s you. Guys love you.”
This was true. Audrey had a knack for getting guys hooked from hello, a magic trick I’ve never been able to master. Having a friend whose energy, smile and disposition attracts guys like bees to pollen, it can, at times, be intimidating and I was doubtful I’d get the same reaction if I went up to this beautifully ideal male.
Still, I listened when she said again, “I think you should say hi.”
I opened my mouth with the intent of laying out another lame excuse as to why I couldn’t, when she launched into a story about recently getting rejected. Wait…Audrey was…rejected?
“I asked out Mike. He said yes, then two days later broke the date. Apparently he just started dating this girl and said he actually was going to try and make it work with her and that it probably wasn’t a good idea to go on a date and lead me on.”
As my friend Brian would say, Mind. Blown.
Here was my gorgeous and gregarious friend telling me a guy had passed her up for a girl, who by all accounts sounded pretty basic and boring. Lame.
However, Audrey wasn’t too bummed, in fact the next thing she said was my dating life GAME CHANGER.
“I think you should go say hi to this guy,” she said for the third time. “What do you have to lose? So what if nothing comes of it. It’s good for people to get rejected.”
Audrey was right. I had nothing to lose and I couldn’t sit in this fucking late afternoon Manhattan heat much longer. My sunscreen probably wasn’t working anymore and all the sweating and city grime was likely making me look like 2009 Lindsay Lohan stumbling out of da club.
I had a surge of excited confidence and verbally committed, “Ok! I’m gonna do it!”
“Cool! Go get rejected and then call and tell me all about it!”
I hung up, but now the director and the dorky actors were crowded around my dream babe discussing the next shot.
Fuck. I couldn’t go up when there were other people around so I wrote my number down on a piece of paper, put it in my back pocket and retreated to the public bathroom. I was thrilled to find it was large, clean, empty, and had mirrors!
I peed out my coffee and water from earlier, washed my hands and, looking in the mirror, thought, “Ok you don’t look like a total hag.”
In fact, I thought I still looked reasonably put together and cute. No visible sweat marks, the humidity had given my skin a dewy look, and with my hair pulled back in a perfectly disheveled ponytail and aviator sunglasses I was, as Larry David would say, ”Prittay..prittay good.” One refreshing swipe of my Marilyn Pink lipstick, a few mini Altoids and I was set. I walked out of the restroom and saw there were still conversations going on with my future boyfriend and the director, so I sat down next to a family in the shade and watched the little girl eat her sandwich and try to feed some of it to her doll.
“Jeez it was so much easier when there was no interest in romance stuff,” I thought.
Thinking this suddenly made me lose the rush of excited confidence I had, and my mouth felt like it was full of sawdust.
I tried to pep talk myself. I was going to do this. I told Audrey I was going to do this. She was expecting me to do this. She was waiting on a call or text to tell her I had done this. Yes, of course I could wimp out and lie, but knowing I was better than that shit, I went to the water fountain, took a few long draws and turned around to see my window of opportunity. He was alone.
Ok this was the moment of truth. Deep breath…here we go. I concentrated on the pace of my steps, too fast and I’d look like a creep. To slow and I’d look like a creep.
“Ok ok keep it chill.” I said to myself.
Then I was standing right next to him.
He looked up…oh my fucking god I was actually doing this.
“Hi, what’s your name?”
“Kyle,” he said smiling.
Oh shit this guy was even hotter close up. Dare I say dazzling?
“Hi, I’m Aimee.”
I extended my hand and he took it, giving it a nice squeeze before casually leaning back to look up at me as I asked,
“So what are you guys shooting?”
“Blah Blah Blah” was really all I heard come out of his mouth, because all I could think about was my next question.
“Cool.” I responded, to whatever he had just said.
Then, “So do you have a girlfriend?” dropped out of my mouth.
A sheepish look washed over his face as he said in a slightly disappointed tone, “Yeeaaah, actually I do. Otherwise I’d say we should hang out sometime.”
“Mmm ok, that’s cool, you’re just such a babe I had to come over and ask.”
“Wow thanks, you are too.”
What happened next sounds like a lame move, but at this point, the guy could be lying, he might be caught off guard, and I was feeling out of body anyway so I reached in my back pocket, pulled out my number and said, “Just in case, here’s my number.”
He took it, slipped it in his pocket, and I said good-bye. Walking away, I didn’t feel embarrassed or stupid, but rather like a million fucking bucks.
I did it! I had a light spring in my step, a smile across my face, and feeling like I had a super power. I was no longer afraid of approaching an attractive man. Nothing bad happened. Sure the outcome wasn’t what I was hoping for, but fuck it, I still got something major out of it, thereby making the experience worth it.
Fifteen minutes later a text popped up on my phone from an unknown number.
“Nice to meet you today Annie!”
LOL..I had an immediate cheap thrill knowing my ‘already taken’ insta-crush had just texted me, but realized I hadn’t written my name down with my number, and he had heard different when I introduced myself.
“You too! I should have written my name down…it’s Aimee…haha.” ::spazzy ghost emoji::
“Ahh I’m sorry.”
“It’s ok…I already forgot yours. Haha…not really.”
“Kyle…just in case.”
“Thx. Noted in my contacts.”
I never heard from Kyle again, but it’s a perfect example of what a little confidence can do. Rejection isn’t scary, it’s life, and when done right, it doesn’t feel so bad.