Let’s face it: rejection sucks. Men hate it, women hate it, and it will never feel good. However, rejection is an unavoidable part of dating, and the better you get at dealing with it, the better your dating life will be.
Here’s the thing: rejection is rarely about YOU. As I discuss in my books , when two people fall for one another, it’s because they had enough chemistry and compatibility to keep them attracted. Rejection occurs when one (or both) of these two elements is missing to some degree; usually, one person senses this first and rejects the other. More importantly, we have NO CONTROL over how attracted we feel to one person versus another – if someone can’t help their lack of interest in you, why should you take it personally?
3 Types of Rejection
Rejection can be good, typical, or bad. Good rejection is when your date tells you in a nice way that she only sees you as a friend, that he’s dating someone else, or is otherwise not interested. Good rejections are respectful, but also rare.
Typical rejection, the most common type, is when you’ve gone out with someone once or twice and he or she just stops calling or returning your calls, or starts acting “off” until you confront them.
Bad rejection is when someone disappears after seeing you for a while or after sleeping together, stands you up, lies, or otherwise treats you disrespectfully. Bad rejection sucks, but it does tell you that your date is a jerk and not worth dating anyway.
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for handling rejection:
DON’T get pissy. As I said above, your date can’t help his or her lack of interest. Acting snippy or angry means you’re taking it way too personally and punishing them for feelings they have no control over. This only makes a difficult situation worse, and makes you look pitiful.
DON’T argue. Trying to talk someone out of rejecting you only makes you look like you have poor standards. If she says she’s busy or hedges about going out with you, say okay and move on. If you haven’t heard from him in a week, don’t keep calling or texting him to see what he’s up to. In other words, don’t waste your time with people who aren’t clearly interested in being with you.
DON’T ask why. Because attraction isn’t something we choose, asking why someone isn’t interested in you only invites them to say something that will make you feel worse. You don’t need to hear that you need to shed a few pounds or get a better job – chances are that isn’t the real reason anyway.
DO be understanding. Being rejected isn’t pleasant, but having to reject isn’t fun either. If you get a good or typical rejection, simply be polite, say okay, and move on. This makes you look (and feel) like a confident person, and also keeps the door open if your date changes his/her mind later, which happens more often than you think! However, with a bad rejection, don’t be polite; just walk away and go find someone with good integrity.
DO learn from the situation. Rejection, and the pain of it, can open your eyes to ways you can improve your dating life. If you keep picking drama queens or players, maybe it’s time to look for nicer people. If you learn to recognize signs of disinterest, you will often see rejection coming ahead of time.
DO improve your game. While most rejection isn’t personal, if you find you’re getting rejected often, it could be that you’re somehow turning your dates (or prospective dates) off. Solicit honest feedback from others about your dating habits or online dating profile, and make some changes.
Rejection, as painful as it is, can be a good thing: it steers us away from the wrong people and it gives us a chance to improve our dating skills. Hold your head high and keep at it!