The "Ow" Factor:
Rejection ends "delay-tionship"

Angela Manfredi 2005 ©

Angela ManfrediRelationship rejection comes in many forms.

Sometimes it’s an insensitive introduction. “Hi, everyone. This is my FRIEND, Angela”.

Ow.

Sometimes it’s a distressing declaration. “I’m going back to my: wife/girlfriend/ college roommate, Larry.”

Ow. Ow.

And, sometimes, it’s a mean missive delivered over a midday meal. “A friend of mine just got divorced…. I should introduce you to him…”

Ow. Ow. Ow.

That’s when I realize the man sitting across from me sports icicles in lieu of nose hairs. But, to be fair, his verbal ambush does not take me completely by surprise. It’s the equivalent of the alarm clock going off after I’ve already been awake for 20 minutes.

I knew that he and I wouldn’t be a long term thing. Ours was the quintessential “delay-tionship”. His attention bursts strategically maintained the holding pattern and purposely prevented us from gaining momentum. Alas, he’s dynamic, handsome, and when he isn’t trying to pawn me off on his buddy or explain why Saturday nights are off-limits (something about volunteering at the homeless stripper’s shelter), we have unmistakable come-hither chemistry.

I say nothing in response. For me, it’s a slow burn. The pithy comeback will take time to formulate, and will be delivered with Shakespearean force to the humiliated visage in the mirror. When the pain wave subsides, I make a deal with myself: No more sluggish situations. No more respirator men who intermittently puff a breath of life into my hopes via a nebulous email or phone message designed to stave off the dating death knell but sustain the convenient courtship coma.

I take a sip of water and contemplate the “he’s really and truly just not that into you” home run that clinched him the game. I excuse myself to go to the ladies room, put lunch on my credit card, and walk out the door.

He’s not the only winner here.