Let me start by saying this: I've been you. Like 40 million times. I've been you.
It’s hard isn’t it? That glowing brick of anxiety that you’re holding — the one your fingers tip-tip-tap on, your thumb in a constant state of swiping up and down and left and right — it can have a wicked sort of hold on you sometimes, right?
But let’s cut to the chase and get quick to the point: You and I both know we’re not talking about the phone. We’re not saying your iPhone is evil or your new Galaxy (whatever they’re called) is the root of all that is wrong with this world. You and I both know we’re talking about the angst that comes alongside whatever role it plays in the way we interact with the opposite sex.
Maybe he texted you first. Maybe you stepped outside of the big, bad lie that is your comfort zone and you texted him first.
Maybe he slid into your DMs in a totally non-creepy way. Maybe he said he’d text you. Maybe you’re in the flow of a conversation and you’re just anticipating the moment of the screeching halt.
It’s the waiting. It’s the lulls and the recessions. It’s the five, ten, fifteen seconds, twenty minutes of “…” that hangs like a weight from your heart, bearing down the middle of you. It’s whatever it is that prompts you to leave your phone in your room while it charges (who does that?) or leave it on silent in your purse. It’s the part where you tell yourself, “Okay, I won’t check my phone until after I get out of the shower,” and then take the World’s Quickest Shower before racing back to your phone. (This is a safe space — so we can all just be super honest about the reality here.)
I know the ridiculously consuming anxiety that comes from texting and trading messages – but really, it comes from from waiting. And I know the retching disappointment that comes when it all ends.
When he doesn’t text you first. When he doesn’t text you back. When he says he’d text you and he doesn’t. When you’re in the flow of a conversation and all of the sudden the memes and gifs just… stop.
I’ve been the girl that has a great first date only to never reach the second. I’ve been the girl who meets the guy, exchanges phone numbers, spends hours sharing and hearing parts of each other’s stories over tapas, sends a “Thanks for dinner — I had such a blast!” text and then never hears from him again. I’ve been the girl who’s read the words in the grey bubble, “What are you up to this weekend?” and who seemingly killed the conversation with a, “Nothing too crazy planned. Brunch with friends on Saturday. What about you?”
For the sake of each of you out there, I’m just going to come out and say it: It sucks. Not sometimes. Not just with the good guys. Every time. Even when the guy was a total dud, it just sucks.
No matter how you slice it, not being chosen can take a real toll on your confidence. Being tested out on a date (or maybe even two or three “dates”) only to be passed up before things take off has a certain way of wearing on you. No amount of free dinners makes winning the award for going on the most first dates desirable.
So let’s make a pact, can we? Let’s all just get really real for like five seconds and let’s give each other permission to admit that it sucks. Let’s grant each other the courtesy to say, “This is hard. This is really, really hard. I want to be chosen. Just once.”
Once and for all, let’s stop making rejection harder than it already is by pretending it isn’t hard.
It’s hard. It hurts. It affects us. And we need to let it.
A while back, I had a conversation with a sweet friend from back home who recently called a guy out on being ambiguous in his biddings. This girl is probably one of the most well-spoken, articulate and straight up beautiful women I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to call my friend. When she filled me in on the conversation, when she brought me up to speed on the way things were going down — my first reaction was ugly.
How could this guy now see who he was talking to? How could he not see what his flirty but completely non-committal texts and actions were doing to her? How could he not take a step back and say, “Okay, I see how this may be leading her on. I should just come clean here and state my intentions one way or another,”?
I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I could only sit next to her from afar and be there as it came to a screeching halt.
And it did.
There was rejection. There was heartbreak. There was resolution, finally. But it sucked. She had to lure it out of him – the honesty, the truth disguised with excuses, the words that indirectly spelled out “I’m not really looking to date anyone right now but I think you’re super great,” – but it finally unraveled.
And when she told me his actions made her feel like she wasn’t worth his time? My heart broke some more. I’d been there – for years, I’d been there – and I wanted not to just send down a rope ladder deep into the pit, but I wanted to crawl down there with her and wade my way through the dark and murky waters to hoist her out on my shoulders.
Ironically enough, all I could do was text her — so my thumbs went to work on this:
Your worth is not, never was and never will be contingent upon a person’s assessment of your value. Your worth is sealed forever – written in stone and hard-pressed in scarred hands. You have been bought with the most precious of blood and at a price that is more valuable than anything you could ever imagine. That does not change. No one gets to dictate your value. No one gets to scribble over your price tag. No one gets to tell you that you’re on clearance or that you’re marked down because you’re last season. You are beloved because of the Cross of Calvary. You are pursued and chosen and chased after because someone rolled back a stone and walked out of the tomb for YOU.
You are beautiful. You are worth more than any person could cram into a text or convey through Emojis. You are diamonds, girl.
Don’t ever forget it.
And the same is true for you, friend. From wherever you are reading this, in whatever place you are in. Your worth is not determined by someone else's inability to see it.
Your worth is imbedded and forever derived by the God of the empty grave.