Dating can take an emotional toll. You get your hopes up when it seems someone is a great match. Even when you try to manage them, expectations creep in. You start having hopes, perhaps fantasizing about a future together.
Then something happens that dashes it all. A deal breaker emerges. A total impasse. Something one of you is not willing to live with. And it’s over.
After spending 3 fun days together, nearly 24/7, he left with a promise to call that evening. He didn’t. I felt something was amiss. Giving him the benefit of a doubt that he was too tired or forgot to call, the next morning I emailed him a nice note, saying I had a wonderful time and looking forward to our talking. No response. A the end of the day, I called and left a voice mail asking him to call me back. Nothing. The next day I received a “have a nice life” email.
We won’t go into how cowardly it is to send a blow-off email after 2.5 weeks of nightly hours-long calls getting to know each other and 3 days together. There is sadness, hurt and anger when you thought there was a possibility for a long-term romance that is shattered perfunctorily, without the honor of a conversation.
How does one manage disappointments?
It would be easy to blame and name call. I try to feel the hurt and sadness and let it be, rather than shrugging it off. If I bury the emotion now, it will come out inappropriately later. Allowing myself to feel the anger and pain helps me move through it more quickly than trying to bury it. A good cry is often therapeutic. But be careful not to linger too long in sadness or you can get depressed.
After moving through the emotion, I remind myself that the person I am meant to be with wouldn’t treat me this way. I look for the lessons from the encounter and vow to apply them to future interactions. I focus on the knowledge that what I learn from each guy is helping me complete the puzzle toward a great relationship. The most recent guy is but one puzzle piece toward the greater whole of a loving, trusting, growing relationship. The keystone piece — my match — has yet to appear. Some puzzles are simple, with only a few dozen pieces. Others have thousands. Let’s hope mine is less than 100 — as I’m on to man #72!
How do you manage your disappointments?