There is no eloquent way to put it: rejection sucks. Not that eloquence has ever been my top priority when there are still cupcakes to be eaten, reality TV to be watched and an empty chair by the pool.
Not making the cheerleading squad or the debate team are one thing; but relationship rejection is a personal blow. It could be as simple as someone standing you up for a drink or as complex as an affair during a twenty year marriage. Rejection comes in all shapes and sizes, but the one constant is that it always messes with your mind, and will most definitely sabotage your future relationships if you allow it.
After fifteen years of dating, I can promise you that I’ve been on both sides of the rejection fence more times than Simon Cowell has worn a too-tight black t-shirt. I’m going to go over some common responses to rejection and how to work through them. Aren’t you just so excited you could run laps around the house? (Except, I bet you just realized that was only fun when you were five years old, and that level of physical exertion would actually be punishment at this point….)
1. You blame them. You get all of your girlies together and discuss every reason why this person is the scum of the earth and you’d never want him anyway. This is always ironic, considering the week before you were probably in the same room, with the same girls, listing all the reasons why you guys were perfect for each other. Now you’re pride has been wounded, so you have no choice but to believe this guy must be mentally unstable or clueless. Why else would he not want to be with you?
Ever stop and think how insanely cocky that is? I mean, really. You’ve rejected lots of guys before, right? Is there something wrong with your mental capabilities? No. You just weren’t feeling it. Or there was no chemistry, whatever. Last week, I had four different friends, who were cheated on and betrayed — and they were all GUYS! So just remember that you are experiencing the very same emotions that you have caused a guy to feel at some point.
2. You want revenge. Your first reaction might be to tell him just what a stupid decision he made by rejecting you. You want to hurt him back. You want to find the hottest guy in the tri-state area and be seen with him around campus.You want this guy to know exactly how much fun you’re having without him. He needs to see what he’s missing, right?
Okay, tuck the crazy away for a moment. The only thing you can do to make this situation worse is by seeking revenge. He didn’t want you for whatever reason, so seeing you with someone else isn’t going to change that. Nor is you informing him how much he’s going to regret this decision in the long run. It’s just going to make you seem desperate. Why are you wasting your time trying to prove a point to a guy who doesn’t want you? Let’s think about this logically.
3. You blame yourself. I hope by now you’ve read enough articles around here to know that the problem does not lie with you. Nor does it lie with the one who rejected you. Here’s a secret: no one has a problem. It’s called dating. We have to do a lot of it in order to find the one who will make us not want to date anymore. Rejection is just part of the sifting process. You’ll do plenty of it. Start blaming yourself and you might as well throw in the towel because that’s essentially quitting.
4. You allow it to dictate future relationships. The saddest part about rejection is that we let it change who we are. You think, “Well, now I can never trust anyone ever again,” and, “I’m so embarrassed. I’m never asking another guy out after this.” Ahhh! Don’t you see what’s happening here? You are giving this person power over the rest of your life. It’s bad enough that they betrayed you or turned you down, but now you’re going to let them hinder you from being happy? Why? Why would you let them do that? Take back the power. Only you can control your feelings and reactions. Only you can let something affect you — both positively or negatively.
How should you react?
First, be grateful they didn’t just string you along to “be nice” and waste a ton of your time. Raise your hand if you’ve done that, am I right?
Secondly, realize that hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. Has there ever been a guy in your past that you were madly in love with but who didn’t return the sentiment? And have you ever caught yourself saying, “Wow, so glad that never worked out ’cause he is a total loser?” Um, yeah. It might take a few years, but I guarantee you that you will see clear cut reasons as to why it is best that you didn’t end up with that person who rejected you.
Thirdly, don’t be crazy. Don’t seek revenge. Don’t blame yourself — and don’t blame them! They didn’t do anything wrong by being honest, and isn’t honesty what we’re always whining about wanting from everyone?
Time to practice,