“If He Wanted to He Would”: Why Our Consolations about Rejection are Usually Unhelpful and Wrong

This is interesting and useful too. I’ve been reading about the concept of narcissism and this seems much involved with your writing here. Thanks

Leon's Existential Cafe

“If he/she wanted to he/she would” is the most overused and misguided phrase in consolation. By saying it, the person on the other end attempts to provide his friend with tough-love, to say without saying: You need to move on. It’s akin to the saying: She’s just not that into you. Yet, most of the time, she’s just not that into anyone. But the tough-love crowd doesn’t seem to get it.

Romance has a multitude of barriers: income, self-image, fear of criticism from the prospective partner or one’s circle, fear of abandonment, fear of guilt, lack of sexual chemistry (which may be more internal than external), and so on. Yet, we’re keen on reducing rejection to the last barrier on that list and not only that, but to the version of sexual chemistry which implies that you just aren’t doing it for her/him. As you can imagine, this version of…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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