Let’s be frank, dating is not all rainbows and puppy dogs. It takes time and patience and there can be disappointments and rejections along the way. And it’s those rejections we’d like to address to help you navigate them more easily.
Don’t take it personally
You have no idea what reasons the other person has for not getting back in touch, so fretting about it does more harm than good. We know it’s not always that simple, especially if you have dated the person for a while. Think about it this way, if they don’t share your feelings about the relationship, isn’t it best if you move on?
No one likes to be rejected and it’s perfectly normal to feel upset and hurt at first. And if you’ve been dropped without any explanation it can hit you especially hard. It’s important, however, to practice self-kindness, as blaming yourself will only hurt you further. Unless you’ve been given a very clear reason why it’s not worked out, avoid jumping to conclusions as to why it didn’t last. There may be many reasons why he/she decided to break it off and they don’t have to be your fault.
Avoid a victim mindset
On the flip side of blaming yourself is blaming the other party. After a rejection, it can be very easy to slip into a victim mentality by generalising behaviour (ie. all men/woman are…). This may feel good at first, and it certainly feels easier than looking in the mirror, but in the long-term, this mindset will sabotage any real chances at finding new love and keep you feeling stuck and powerless. Again, acknowledge your feelings but don’t dwell.
After a rejection, especially when we listen to our critical inner voice, it’s easy for self-doubt and insecurities to raise their ugly heads and can leave us feeling less sure of ourselves. When we’ve been left by someone, we may find ourselves feeling out of place. It may become difficult to visit certain places, see certain people, or partake in activities for a while. However, this situation presents an opportunity to really connect with our individuality, your own needs. What is it that you enjoy doing? Who are you outside of a relationship? Focussing on defining yourself anew again, can get you out of heartbreak-mode much faster. Realising that you have a whole life outside of whatever rejection you’ve experienced, and that life will go on.
Every person has experienced the pain of rejection at some point in their life. When you have opened up to someone and given them your trust, it makes you vulnerable and open to hurt. Dating new people comes with the risk of being rejected and that can be very upsetting.
The trouble is that unless you open up, you close yourself off from forming a real connection with someone. So if you are someone who has trust issues, what I’m about to say might sound crazy and you might reject me for saying it. But here goes:
Rejection is good for you.
Huh? Yes, you read that right.
Have I gone mad? Certainly not.
Allow me to elaborate.
Imagine a child growing up, completely shielded from all things bad. Imagine it never falling, never trapping a finger or burning itself on the stove. Never being told not to do something dangerous. Never experiencing fear. How do you think that child would cope in the real world? What kind of person would it grow up to be? Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
A world where there is no hurt, simply doesn’t exist. Life’s lessons make you who you are, they teach you right from wrong and what or who makes you happy. So, rather than dwell on the “Why did this happen to me?” focus on the “How has this made me stronger?”. That’s what I meant by ‘Rejection is good for you’.
Realising that bad things don’t happen to you as a punishment, gives you back control and you will see each challenge as an experience from which you can grow to become a stronger and more confident person. You can chose to be a victim or you can chose to be a victor.
Your reality is yours to create. Might as well make it a great one.
Have you experienced past hurts from which you grew stronger? What did you learn from them?