Reading the title of this post, it might sound rather obvious. Of course, rejection is the number one barrier to dating, how can you date if you’re getting rejected? However, we’re not talking about rejection itself, but rather the fear of rejection. A lot of people can get so paralysed by the fear of hearing a negative response to their advances that they either overreact wildly to them or simply do not try in the first place. Here, we’re going to look at a few tips you can take to get over the fear of that rejection to both date and live a little more happily and healthily.
Remember that Rejection is not usually about you
One of the first things you have to bear in mind is that when you’re getting rejected, it’s not because there is anything inherently wrong with you. Even if that particular person doesn’t have an attraction to you, there is as much about their personality that goes into that rejection, if not more, than your own. For instance, something as simple as being reminded of one of their parents by a habit of yours could be a major turnoff, even though that wouldn’t be anything close to a deal-breaker for most people. By learning more about your own tastes in your dating partners, you can start to see that even you have some of these biases, as well. When you recognize that, it becomes a lot easier to see others acting on their own, which can help you take rejection a little less hard.
Learn how to bounce back
This guide isn’t about pretending that rejection doesn’t hurt, especially when you’re feeling a real connection with the person on the other side of it. However, even when it comes to real heartbreak, it is possible to overcome the pain and make it out on the other side. Rather than rejecting your feelings of rejection and trying to simply be too cool for it all, it’s more effective to take the time to process those emotions instead. Embracing your feelings by journaling, meditating, trying some art therapy or otherwise might sound like it gets you uncomfortably close to your own emotions and it does. However, it’s important to take the time to reflect back on yourself and your experiences to get to the bottom of why a particular rejection affects you deeply.
Anticipate the rollercoaster
This is not a tip that you should always be ready for rejection. If you’re cringing in anticipation of a rebuffing, then your approach is more likely to be timid and defensive, rather than confident and lively. Rather, this is about getting to know the emotions that are associated with rejection if and when it happens to you. We all have emotional reactions and we have a right to our feelings. However, there are reactions that are emotionally unhealthy from us, whether it’s falling into a pit of self-loathing or lashing out in aggression or spite to those who have rejected us. Mindfulness is all about getting to know how your own mind works, which includes spotting triggers for emotional responses. Some of the apps from Mindful can help you build on this skill and when you start to notice your own reactions, you can work on managing them, processing your emotions a little more successfully.
Date more casually
It may be the case that you are putting a little too much of yourself on the line when you start dating or even start leading with an invitation to those you have some romantic intentions towards. Now, when we’re talking about dating more casually, we’re not saying you should force yourself to adopt a casual approach to sex if that’s not your style. Rather, you should go in with an open mind, be willing to take it slow, and don’t tie all your expectations to a single person until they start showing that they might actually be receptive to it. SMARTY reviews top dating apps that can help you be a little more prolific in your dating life. One of the benefits of online dating is that everyone is likely to get rejected the vast majority of the time, so you can look at it like it’s a little practice, as well.
Remember that it’s all a numbers game
Whether you’re dating solely in the physical world or turning to dating apps, you have to remember that it’s very much a game of numbers and probability. In the online world, rejection is a lot easier than committing, so you have to remember that it offers a skewed perspective, but it’s still entirely possible to succeed there. You simply have to be willing to persevere. Take a look at the probability behind dating and you will soon see that it’s not only you dealing with rejection. Overwhelmingly, men deal with the majority of the rejection while women deal with a small dating pool full of prospects that don’t have the same intentions as them. No-one has a particularly easy time, but it does mean that if you’re willing to crunch those numbers, you’re a lot more likely to see success as a result.
Remember the times that you have been on the other side of a rejection
Does it feel like, right now, everything is terribly unfair to you? Those feelings are understandable, but if you want to help return your emotions to a bit more of an even keel, then it’s important to remember when the shoe has been on the other foot. If you have been in the dating game long enough, then there is a good point that you will have dealt with having to reject someone else. If it hasn’t happened yet, you simply haven’t dated enough. But looking back on how you reject others, you have to remember your emotions and intentions and follow the tips at the School of Life to reject as kindly as possible. You will see yourself that rarely is it because the other person is repulsive or undateable, but most of the time it’s a much smaller mismatch that just gives you doubt as to whether or not a relationship with that individual could work.
Pump yourself back up
Again, we’re not here to pretend that rejection doesn’t sting. It does. It sucks, in fact. Each rejection will take a little toll on your emotional wellbeing and it’s important to recognise that and to recognise when you need a little self-care. If you’re feeling like your rejection load is getting a little too heavy as of late, then you should take some time to yourself, and give yourself some R&R with these tricks from The Healthy to help improve your self-confidence. You need to reconvene with yourself and remind yourself that you are worthy of love and deserving of romance. No amount of rejections will ever change that.
Learn about yourself
While it’s not always about you, it’s important to know that there is always room for self-growth and development. You can make yourself a better person to date. You can look at these defensive dating techniques to help you take a look at your own dating behaviour. You might not even be fully aware of it, but you might have some unconscious reactions that are designed to push others away, often as a mechanism to protect yourself from getting hurt. Otherwise, you might come on too strongly, or you might take teasing a little too far (especially if you’ve fallen into the harmful cycle of ‘negging’ as is popular with pick-up artists.) A little self-reflection will go a long way. It won’t guarantee a life free of rejection, of course, but it can at least help you make a better impression on those that you date.
Talk about it
One of the most harmful emotions that can be related to rejection, especially when it’s given the time and opportunity to bubble up due to a lack of expression, is shame or embarrassment. No-one wants to be seen as unlucky in love or as undateable. As such, many people will hide rejection that they have had to deal with, not to mention any self-esteem issues that might make that rejection more likely or more hurtful. If you have a supportive group of friends and family around you, consider letting them in and talking about your problems with dating. Otherwise, you can take the more anonymous route of talking online. The Relationship Advice forum on Reddit offers a very wide range of viewpoints. Not all of them are helpful, but it’s important to get a perspective other than your own and, most importantly, to take the room you need to get out and express your feelings.
The fear of rejection doesn’t just apply to dating. It’s a risk-averse mindset that can keep you living small in all areas of your life. Hopefully, by learning to accept rejection and keep going in dating, you can also learn to accept that failure is a natural part of success in other parts of life, too.