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Doctor Kevin
Doctor Kevin, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  24 years in a private practice
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Ok. So I am a 21-year-old male resident advisor at UNC. There

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Ok. So I am a 21-year-old male resident advisor at UNC. There is a girl who works on my staff who I really, really like. She is unlike anyone I have ever met before. She is kind, genuine, sweet, close to God, and very talented (she sings, dances, and is an amazing artist). I had been spending some quality time with her throughout the course of the semester. We went to a play together, we cooked together, we've had some pretty deep conversations. A week and a half ago, I asked her to my fraternity's semiformal, and she excitedly said yes! I was very excited to be going with her, and I thought things would go well. However, two weeks before the event, she came to visit me in my room and told me that she should've thought about her answer more carefully. She said she wouldn't feel comfortable going with me in this context, and that she was dealing with a lot of personal issues at this time. This whole "yes now, no later" thing has happened to me a couple times before, unfortunately, but it has not hurt me as much as this one. I'm tired of being rejected in this fashion, and I never feel like I truly get a chance.

I still really like this girl. I can really see a future with her. I have also managed to overcome adversity before. I was initially rejected by UNC, but I worked hard and was able to get accepted as a transfer from Penn State the next year. I was one place away from advancing to state chorus in high school during my junior year, but I came back and placed into state my senior year. I just want to know: What do I do now? I won't be able to simply forget about her; we work on the same staff. I want to spend more time with her and get the message across that I want to be with her. Please tell me what I can do to accomplish this. I'm heartsick and I don't know where to go from here =(
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Doctor Kevin replied 5 years ago.

Kevin Kappler :

Thank you for choosing JustAnswerr! You are upset at her changing her mind and that is understandable. The fact that you want to continue in the relationship is also good but will require you to be patient. What is not understandable is when the fact that she rejected you brings out all the resentment of being rejected so many times before. You are using this event to bring up all the events that were similar in your past. Those are what we call your baggage that you need to address and make sure that it does not get in the way and ruin this relationship. If you cant get some closure on those past traumas you may consider some therapy focusing on that. Relationships have a way of pointing out our faults and unfinished business.

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But how is it baggage, exactly? This just happens to be something that frequently occurs to me, for no particular reason. I just get frustrated when it happens because it happens from different girls. There's no real connection behind it; it's just something that happens to me. I have not been in a relationship for over three years, and because of things like these, it doesn't feel like I can even get my foot in the door, if you will. I feel like I never get a chance, and it makes me wonder if I ever will...

Kevin Kappler :

Baggage is any emotional unresolved issue you carry with you through life. You have several matching bags (most people do) that all have the central theme of you getting rejected. The connection behind it is you and the number of bags you bring to the current situation. Avoiding relationships does not put an end to this cycle but processing this conviction that if you start to care about someone they will disappoint you by rejecting you will end it. You need to work on that very phrase: "I feel like I never get a chance and it makes me wonder if I ever will." It is a fatalistic negative self concept that becomes its own self fulfilling prophecy. Only you have control of it and can stop it anytime you decide to resolve it and drop the bags and walk away. in this case it would be to not let the rejection destroy your relationship but to remain patient and wait for her to come around.

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Ok, I see what you're saying. I have tried to not let these thoughts resurface, and they have not prevented me from looking for a relationship. I guess what they have done is affected my minset and caused me to think about the worst-case scenarios.


What are some ways that I can be patient with this girl? How can I show her (without forcing anything or being too chummy) that we can be a good match?

Kevin Kappler :

The ways to not let your past influence this relationship have to do with expectations and emotional reactions. If your expectations are that you are going to be rejected you will find any little rejection and magnify it. Learn to recognize this and as soon as you go there in your mind stop it. The second is the emotional reaction of "Here it goes again, she is pulling away from me." or some variant of that emotional lament. The more you can recognize old baggage the quicker you can be at neutralizing it. At first you will be surprised at the number of times you go back to it. Then it gradually subsides. Keep working on it.

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