What would high school be without any relationship drama? Whether in math or in advisory, anyone can easily catch your eye. The question is, how do you start getting to know them? The fear of rejection can be a daunting obstacle to overcome, so it may be easier to stare at them from afar and hope for the best. For those wishing to start an initial conversation, junior Daniela Fernández advises starting simply: “Find ways to be around them. Sit next to them when possible.”
So, you make the initial interaction and it goes off without a hitch. You find common interests and manage to make them laugh. Though as time goes on, dynamics can shift. Junior James Fan shares how a relationship started, “We were on a field trip. She asked me if I liked her and I thought I was hallucinating. I ended up saying yes.” That doesn’t mean it is always smooth sailing. Sometimes, the relationship is unable to get off the ground because one party fears being rejected. One junior guy shared, “I had liked them, but I didn’t think they liked me. And so it sat there for an entire year.”
Perhaps the other person expressed feelings you were not able to reciprocate. Some attempts to initiate a relationship can border on the downright creepy. Freshman Siobhán Ong shares her experience, “He would break into my locker. He would hack into my email. He would buy me new Airpods when he heard I lost mine.” Eventually, Ong brought in her parents to try to shut down these threatening attempts. Rejection is nearly inevitable, so whether you are the rejector or the rejected, it is important to know how to deal with it.
Letting someone down is a delicate task, but remember honesty is the best policy. Be upfront about your feelings. Try to avoid cliché lines like “It’s not you, it’s me” or “I do not think this is going to work out.” These phrases are all too broad and do not address any thoughts or feelings. Instead, be specific but not unnecessarily mean. Friendzoning someone can also be an option but tread lightly. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. As a junior boy mentions, “What are my thoughts on the friendzone? It is very comfortable here.” Fan adds, “If they’re willing to friendzone me, then they weren’t ever my friend.”
Though, there are worse ways to reject someone than friendzoning them. Junior Lydia Yu says “One thing we say in Chinese is ‘哥哥我觉得你今天怪怪的,怪可爱的’or ‘Brother you’re acting weird. It’s weirdly cute.’ So the brother zone exists too.”
Sometimes attempts at relationship building can be overwhelming and hard to cope with. Junior Jonathan Zhou shared, “She asked me to dance. I ran away.” Although ghosting can be easy, it is better to rip the band-aid off when it comes to rejecting somebody. Ong concludes, “Be straightforward. The quicker you get it over with, the quicker you both can move on.”
On the flip side, rejection is never fun and can definitely sting. To those feeling rejected, addressing negative thoughts like denial or regret will help you move forward. Junior Jake Carlyle shares, “If you knew someone for a long time and they just rejected you, don’t worry. They were thinking about it the entire time.” Remember to deal with your feelings instead of repressing them, and know that some things aren’t meant to be. Junior Noah Pope states, “Don’t play their games afterward. If you feel like you can’t be friends, don’t lead them on the way they lead you on.” If it is difficult to move on and seeing their name pop up on your phone triggers negative feelings again. Fernández suggests that sometimes, “You just kinda got to block them.”