4 ways to deal with rejection
So, it’s happened again, you were matched with someone great online. They ticked all your boxes, you chatted, you clicked and there was a definite spark – that is, until one day you receive the dreaded “Sorry, I think I’d prefer it if we were just friends!” message. No matter how long you’ve been seeing someone, rejection sucks – whether it’s the anguish or heartbreak of a long-term connection ending, or the sharp sting of being rejected before you’ve even met the person for a coffee.
But the fact is that if you’re part of the dating game, then you’re probably going to be more familiar with rejection than you’d choose to be! And it makes sense – with millions of people searching for their special someone, there are bound to be a few missed connections along the way.
Dating, whether online or offline, involves putting yourself out there and taking a chance. But even if you do get turned down, here are four strategies to help you move past rejection and keep searching for that special someone:
1. Don’t take it personally. When we’re rejected, so many of us tend to personalise the situation and mentally turn it into our own fault, or tell ourselves that it’s because we weren’t good enough. Chances are that if you’re rebuffed online, it’s because the other person thought that you weren’t the best fit for them, got serious about someone else that they were pursuing, or just didn’t feel a connection. Think about it – have you ever been on a date with someone who by all accounts had potential as a partner for you, but you just didn’t feel a spark with him or her? It doesn’t mean that they were a bad person or that you could do better, just that it wasn’t the right time or the right place for that person to be in your life. Try to view things the same way if and when someone doesn’t feel that connection with you.
2. Know when to let go. In online dating, you’ll sometimes experience a situation where you’ve been enjoying some back and forth conversation with a match and all of a sudden, you just never hear from them again and they disappear. It’s the virtual equivalent of giving someone your phone number, and them never calling. If this happens to you, it’s best just to let go, particularly if the conversation has stayed online and you haven’t yet met them in real life. If they valued your connection, they would stick around and continue to talk to you. Know your worth and pursue the people that do value your time instead.
3. Be patient. When you’re smitten with a match, it can be tempting to be overly eager for them to respond to your messages. Sometimes, if your match takes too long to respond, it can feel like rejection. But we all need to be mindful that these days people have a lot of stuff going on! They may just need more time to reply, and sending too many “hey, what’s going on? Did you get my message?” prompts can be a huge turn-off. Give the relationship time to grow organically, and see what happens from there. A lack of immediate reply is not a rejection.
4. Don’t romanticise missed connections. Ever notice how, after a break up, you realise all of the qualities in your previous partner that you actually found to be really negative? Often, when we’re in the early stages of a relationship or have just been matched with someone, we tend to see them through rose-tinted glasses. And whilst this can be helpful, it’s not healthy to continue to romanticise someone who is no longer interested in the relationship. Try and see things objectively, and remind yourself why they may not have been a good match for you after all.
Remember, rejection is natural, normal and a part of dating! By all means, take some time to grieve a missed connection if you really thought there was potential there, but try not to let a rejection knock you around and send you into a downward self-deprecating spiral. Get back out there. You may have been rejected, but now you can focus your energy on pursuing finding the right person for you!
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