All Or Nothing Dating
By Frank Kermit
There is little point in constantly continuing to pursue someone that has rejected you repeatedly in the past.
When you ask someone out, and that person says no, but would rather remain friends, think very carefully before agreeing to it. There is a difference between dating as friends as a means to get to know one another enough to see if there is a potential for a relationship, and being just friends and hanging out as friends with no intention of moving it to the next level.
When the person you ask out is someone new in your life that does not know you well enough; there is no shame in a rejection. That rejection may have nothing to do with you per se as that other person may have things going on that make starting a new relationship very challenging (such as still on again off again dating of an ex). However, when that person that rejected you happens to be someone that has been friends with you for quite some time, it is an insult.
Yes, an insult. It is not that you got rejected from immediately going on a romantic date. What makes it an insult is that the friend in question is not even open to trying to build a romantic relationship with you. It is one thing if your friend claims he or she never thought of you in that way, but is open to going out a couple of times to give the two of you a chance. It is quite another when that “friend” makes it clear that your friendship wasn’t valuable enough to give it a chance for romance.
Most people feel that valuing a friendship means you never take it into a romantic realm. I disagree. There is no value in maintaining friendships with people who are romantically interested in you. At best the person with feelings will end up feeling used and resentful over time, and at worst, the person will continue to forge a friendship in the HOPES that the nature of the non-romantic connection will change over time. Both situations can be emotionally damaging for the person who continues to long for something more, and to have those affections unreturned.
The BEST thing that can happen is that the friend agrees to give the two of you a fair chance at romance. One of two things will happen. You either will end up in a relationship, or you will not. Is it possible that a break up down the road (whether after a longer relationship, or just a couple of dates) could end the friendship? Of course! That is one of the risks of dating; getting to know someone enough and having experiences with them that you end up not liking the person at all.
However, the real secret is that the friendship in question is already dead. The moment that one of you proclaims affection and a desire to move things forward, for all intent purposes, the friendship is over and the only way to show respect for, and salvage the friendship, is to give it a real chance at becoming something more than just a friendship.
A friendship that does not merit even taking a chance at turning to love was never a real friendship. The sooner people realize it, the sooner they can build long term relationships that actually have the base to withstand what causes many couples in love to succumb to divorce.
FRANK KERMIT MA
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