By MEGHANN NOVINSKIE & KIM ROSENBERG
Rejection. It’s a hard, strong word. Even when you mutter it out loud, it’s harsh. When you think of “rejection” or “being rejected,” you think of colleges that declined your acceptance, you think of your first credit card maxing out and declining a purchase, and you think of being dumped. One of the most defeating feelings is when you are overcome with sadness and resentment when your partner says, “we gotta talk” and you know the topic of conversation before he says it.
Let’s face it: Rejection happens to everyone. Even your hottest ex has been rejected. We want to address a deeper issue, not if you’ve been rejected or how many times, but how you deal with being rejected. Ask yourself what your response would be to the situations below and think, has rejection hurt or helped me?
Situation No. 1. You’ve experienced a time when your stomach drops, you get a little nervous, and the eye contact between the two of you sends shivers up your spine. You finally get the courage to ask him/her out, and he/she says no. What was your reaction? Were you devastated or did you brush it off and know it “wasn’t meant to be?”
We agree – it’s hard hearing no. But at this stage of the game, it’s not the end of the world. Swallow your pride, move on, and don’t over think it. Take this rejection and realize it’s OK to be disappointed. Better now than later, right?
Situation No. 2. You have a great first date. You think there is chemistry, sparks are flying, and maybe you even get a kiss. As the night ends, you say, “I would love to see you again” and he gives you some type of stupid excuse that he’ll be out of town or busy, but he’ll “be in touch.” You clearly read him wrong. This situation is worse than situation #1 because he accepted your offer to go on a date, you spent three hours together, and then decided he doesn’t want to go out again. OUCH. Major blow to your ego.
Remember, relationships are two sided. He is actually doing you a favor by cutting the cord now before things get complicated. There is no reason for us to just “go through the motions” at this point in our mature dating life. Take this rejection and a couple deep breaths, go to a couple extra meditation classes, and keep at it. There’s someone out there for everyone. If you had that kind of chemistry once, you’ll see it again – and now you can be more perceptive.
Situation No. 3. You’ve dated for “X” amount of time. Maybe you are living together, or maybe you just became #1 on his/her speed dial. Regardless, you got dumped by someone you truly cared about, or loved. Now what? You feel rejected, lost, sad, hurt. Think about it – as much as you want to mourn your relationship, it’s time to turn your hurt feelings into a helpful lesson learned. Maybe your relationship wasn’t meant to be from the start. Did you think about the pros and cons of your relationship? He/she left you for a reason. Maybe he/she uncovered some deeper personal issues you need to address. What is the real reason it’s over and what are you going to do about it?
Let’s be clear – your relationship ending doesn’t mean you need to jump into another relationship to fix the feelings of rejection and resentment from your last one. Rejection turns to rebound which turns to rejection again. Don’t be the jerk that was rejected and turns around to take it out on someone else.
Now, how many times have you wanted to leave your partner but he dumped you first? Now you end up feeling rejected. Remember that you sustained a healthy relationship for “X” amount of time. You can either do your reflection, hire experts to get you to your next stage in life, and move on. Or you can wallow in the “reject pool,” cry that your relationship ended, and never move forward. By the way, was he/she really the best for you? Probably not.
Rejection does not mean failure. Unfortunately, many people believe this is the case, which can lead to many personal issues, including a bruised ego. You absolutely can be strong and learn a lot from being “rejected.” Remember that rejection is normal, so welcome it and use it to understand how to not make the same mistake twice. Questions? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.