Rejection is a painful experience and can be made worse when you don’t support yourself through it. A common time for rejection is during the dating process, which can make some people avoid relationships altogether.
There is no easy way to figure out that someone doesn’t like you and acknowledging the discomfort while continuing forward can be helpful. Though you will not be able to avoid the pain of rejection altogether, there are ways to ease it while you are dating.
The dating experience is a courageous act no matter what because you are allowing yourself to open up to the opportunity to be vulnerable with someone else.
With a solid foundation, rejection may not feel as harsh and could be easier to accept. However, if your foundation feels shaky, rejection can feel devastating.
Every person has the ability to strengthen their sense of self while dating. Whether you didn’t go on a second date after a hopeful first date or you are have been dating a romantic partner for awhile, rejection can still be a detour to love.
Even though you will not be able to eliminate rejection…
Here are 5 ways to ease rejection while dating:
1. Acknowledge why rejection is hard.
Suppressing feelings around rejection doesn’t help them. It is okay to admit your negative thoughts and hurt feelings.
If you are unwilling to acknowledge why rejection is painful, dating can be made more difficult. Lack of acknowledgement can lead to moving forward and repeating the same mistakes as well as patterns.
Resentments and unmet expectations are often outcomes when you try to avoid an emotion.
Instead of ignoring the rejection, acknowledge why it is painful.
Understanding your attachment style can be helpful during this process. Even if you identify as securely attached, you will still feel rejection and making meaning can help you move forward with your dating life.
2. Amp up self-care.
Identifying how you can show up for yourself is helpful whether you are dating or not, and when rejection happens, self-care can be a gentle solution to help you.
Image of a closeup of a hand holding a black heart-shaped sign with the text I love me written in it, on a pink background. Read More: “Five Truths About Self-Love. The Benefits And How-Tos”
Allow yourself to feel self-pity and indulge in some of your favorite treats. It may seem cliché and giving yourself permission to fully feel rejection helps to alleviate the pain of the emotion.
This is a time to listen to your quietest voice and understand what would feel best to the part of you that feels wounded.
It may sound like a bath with your favorite salts, a sweet or salty treat, or even a small online purchase.
You know your limitations, so you don’t have to assuage the pain by making yourself feel worse with guilt about your actions.
These are small gestures of love toward yourself when you feel rejected.
3. Be kind to yourself.
Now is not the time to call yourself horrible names and validate the reasons you don’t like yourself.
Negative self-talk will not help rejection during dating, even though your inner critic may be at its loudest.
If you are not speaking kindly to yourself, it can be more difficult to find a romantic partner.
Even if you feel horrible about yourself, you are not a terrible person. It can be difficult to remember that during rejection, and your worthiness still matters.
Image of Selfie smiling young woman happy to be outdoors. Read more: “The Truth About Acceptance And How To Embrace It.”
If you are able, offer yourself loving words as they become available. You can even state some simple affirmations to yourself. Act as if you are a confident person even if you aren’t.
Often, your thoughts will follow your actions. You can stew in rejection for as long as it takes, and when you start to slip into a shame spiral, give yourself a little break with a new train of thought.
Speak to yourself as if you are your own best friend. If you wouldn’t say something to them, don’t say it to yourself.
4. Spend time with loved ones.
It is easy to feel self-pity when you get rejected and make catastrophic conclusions like no one likes you because one person doesn’t like you. This is not true.
It can be hard to accept that you are not liked by everyone, and you are liked by someone even when it is you. As you date, build a strong support system within your friendships and through resources.
This may be a helpful time to access therapy, especially while navigating patterns you are experiencing. You are allowed to ask for help and accept comfort when it is offered by safe, loving people in your life.
Safe people do exist. Spending time with loved ones can build your confidence and lessen negative feelings surrounding dating.
You can set boundaries if you prefer not to receive dating advice. When you set boundaries with safe people, it is easier to set them with less familiar people in your life.
5. Move forward.
Once you have taken the time to acknowledge and process your feelings around rejection, it is time to move forward.
Image of a colorful butterfly is laying on a woman’s hand while she looks over the calm ocean. Read More: “Taking Risks Can Come With Rewards You Are Worthy Of. 5 Truths To Taking Risks”
This can be the hardest step because it is easy to stay stuck in patterns, dread, and the fear of rejection happening again. It will happen again, and now you have a template to help you through it.
The simplest things are not always easy, and you are brave for attempting the steps that best support you. You deserve love even when you feel unlovable, and you have the potential to find lasting love within a romantic relationship.
Though rejection is a painful emotion, it is inevitable throughout your life and especially when you are finding a match for yourself.
Rejection in dating is an interruption that can often lead to a more helpful path.
It may not feel better right away, and that is okay. You don’t have to force yourself through something when you aren’t ready, and you can tap into the courage that was already within you when you started your dating journey.
You are worth the effort.
Written by: Randi Thackeray, MA
Clinically Reviewed and Edited by: Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACS, ACC