She’s out of my leeeeaaggue. Just a fool to believe I have anything she needs. She’s like the wind…
So go the lyrics of the song “Like the wind” that appears in the film that all women seem to adore: Dirty Dancing
I want to deal with the concept of “leagues” and specifically, the idea that certain love interests are out of ours. I’m sure we’ve all felt it from time to time. When we were at school we’re not “cool” enough or popular enough, too skinny, too fat, too quiet, not with the “in” crowd…
Of course, when we look back at our school years we wonder why those shallow and narcissistic creatures ever held our attention. but hindsight is a wonderful thing and we realise that there’s more important things than being popular.
It is a mental health issue that affects our ability to form relationships. If you suffer from constant rejection, it can make you less likely to confess your feelings in future. You will be uncomfortable in their presence and your feelings, rather than making you happy, will cause you great misery as you strive not to make it obvious how much you like then. Eventually you have to tell them and by that point they see how painful it is for you and feel by letting you down they are doing you a favour. Unfortunately, I have had some quite nasty rejection experiences but also some pleasant ones.
One girl told me I was too ugly for her to go out with. Another told me she saw me as a brother. Which do you think stick in the mind more? I know which it should be. When the nice one told me that I was like a brother to her, I was convinced that she felt the same way as the other girl but only her affection for me and our friendship prevented her from telling me the real truth – “you’re just too ugly, too short and you’re starting to put on weight”.
Cut to the end of my marriage, the increased attention from Miss X and the resurgence of a crush I had always had; a crush I thought I’d never get to confess because as far as I was concerned, my marriage was for life. I had nearly a year to drop hints about how I felt and yet I was too terrified of rejection to do or say anything. When I met her in the spring, I identified the flirting but did nothing. Now, it could be that this flirting was because she thought it would be safe to do so, that I would not react because I did not have feelings for her, that she was effectively trying out her feminine allures ready for when somebody came along who did fancy her. The rest is history and when I finally did confess, I was compelled only because another potential suitor came along.
Then I met Little Red on OKCupid. My very first date that wasn’t with my ex wife! She is everything I could possibly want in a partner. She is beautiful, intelligent, funny, level headed, successful and driven. So why didn’t I fancy her from the start? Why did it take so long for me to start to think “yes… maybe I’d like something to happen here and… I actually think I’m starting to fancy her!”
Because I was so convinced that she was out of my league.
Forget that the same afternoon as our first date she messaged me to say “let’s do lunch in a couple of weeks when I’m back from my holiday!” We kept in touch the whole time and when she went silent I was convinced that she was having second thoughts and I shrugged and moved on.
A message. “I’ve been VERY ill. Please keep in touch. Will be nice to hear from you.”
We messaged each other on and off. I did my best to keep her spirits up and she did her best to keep in touch. A few weeks later another message “making good recovery. need to get out of the house!” So I asked her out for another coffee. We met and a few days later she asked me out to dinner – of course that never happened due to the circumstances of her departure but we have kept in touch the whole time.
Out of my league? Of course I still thought so. My thoughts centred around “what the hell would she see in me?!” and imagining that the periods of prolonged silence were her thinking “ahhh, no. what the hell was I thinking when I asked him out to dinner?! I need to put him off.” I hadn’t pinned any hopes on her – and I still haven’t; nor had I developed the sort of harrowing crush I had had so many times before. I saw other women… water baby, songstress and miss outdoors by this point yet Little Red was always at the back of my mind because of the fondness I was starting to feel for her, fondness I felt would inevitably lead to rejection. Yet despite her hectic life, despite having moved a long distance away she found the time and inclination to contact me.
Out of my league? I still thought that way despite the serious challenge that her continued attention and desire to see me was posing to my now untenable thought processes.
Yet these negative thought processes, like any mental health issue, are ideas inside the mind that twist your perspective and prevent you from seeing what is obvious: She likes me and wants to see me. She wants to maintain contact.
This is getting a bit long now so I’ll continue “what to do about these feelings” in a second post.