Dear Basic Neurosis,
Recently, the girl I thought was my girlfriend for two months told me she was never interested in me romantically.
She said she ‘accidentally’ led me on because she didn’t think I would be her friend otherwise. She doesn’t have a lot of friends (surprise).
Seems like if she wanted me to be her friend she wouldn’t have set me up like this. She could have just asked!
Why would someonne lead me on like this, really? Needless to say, I told her I wasn’t interested in hanging out anymore.
19-year-old college student
Reply from Basic Neurosis
This sounds like a classic rejection attachment, which is an unconscious drive toward the experience of rejection. This girl is unconsciously determined to experience rejection on the inside and out.
Here is how she unconsciously created a string of rejection-oriented experiences, using you as a vehicle.
She experienced rejection in the following ways:
By anticipating you rejecting her if she simply asked to be friends without indulging your romantic ambition.
Undoubtedly chiding herself on a regular basis for being manipulative throughout the relationship.
Regularly imagining the day when the truth of her manipulation would be exposed, resulting in a final rejection.
The actual rejection you gave her when you said you didn’t want to be friends with someone who manipulates.
Any and all reflections on your relationship that she will use to criticize herself, indefinitely.
That’s quite a string of rejections. You can count on her repeating this pattern, finding new opportunities to live out her rejection attachment until the unlikely day when she sees the truth for herself and engages in a process of change.
Now, questions for you….
Were there any signs along the way that she was not being 100% forthcoming?
Did you overlook any mixed messages from her?
Did you prefer to believe she was interested in you in spite of evidence to the contrary?
To the degree that you overlooked any red flags in the relationship, you were also setting yourself up for rejection. Investing yourself emotionally in mixed messages is a sure set up for disappointment. This is worth considering as you evaluate the relationship as a learning experience.