I donated the cupcakes to the picnic. Rob was there and I offered one to him, but he declined. Instead, they were eaten by the other random guys at the picnic. In the evening, Rob & I attended a karaoke pod with a couple of lesbian girls and all was forgotten for a blissful couple of hours. I emerged from the pod into the WiFi zone. Lo and behold, Sid finally replied! Too late. I had already donated the cupcakes. Too bad. No need to offer him any financial contribution. Unless he asks, of course. I can simply owe him a drink next time that I see him. Or several drinks. LOL.
[18:42, 12/09/2021] Sid: Hi Rory
Notice how he has called me "Rory" this time, instead of "handsome", "cutie" or "beautiful"?
[16:00, 02/09/2021] Sid: Sweet handsome :)
This experience is reminding me of Ron. Purely because he is a younger guy? I might never hear from him again. I might hear from him a couple of times more, like I did with Hafyz. A couple of final swipes. To "clear the air". I might not be completely out of the woods yet. It is still raw.
[19:48, 04/09/2019] Sonia: Yeah but ror don’t kid yourself as soon as you start hanging out intimately it becomes intense
Sonia was right. I can act friendly and nice and all. But once we start getting intimate, things become intense. We fail into the trap of labelling. Setting a precedent. I have seen this happen time and time again, both in my relationships and in the relationships of my friends. I know that it was a potentially stupid, reckless thing to do: to engage in sex with Sid on our 1st date. But, hand on heart, I would not have done it if I did not knowingly run the risk of losing him, getting hurt or experiencing rejection. Although Sonia was correct, the reality is that this risk cannot be avoided, regardless of whether the sex happens on the 1st date or several dates down the line. The risk will always be there. If it materialises, it will always hurt. It might hurt even more if I had taken the time to know him better and developed feelings for him before the sex happened. Whichever way around, (I hesitate, trying not to say "I always lose" because that does not have to be the case) I must enter into these encounters accepting rejection as a possibility, not a certainty.
Sid might feel the same way as I do. Confused, in turmoil, mixed feelings. What goes around, comes around. That is OK. Nothing has to happen yet. All that I have to do is be myself: responsive, communicative, open, warm, compassionate. Not expect anything back in return. Not judge a situation too much. If I can realise those qualities, I can attract the same back in return. But there is nothing that I need to do for the time being. I have sent the Last Message.
I can experience rejection. I only need to ensure that I am not fucked over by it.
Yep. The big one. The "R" word. I wanted to explore the topic of rejection, since it is invariably a part of dating.
Initially, I wanted to ask Google "how to avoid putting myself in a position where I might be rejected / experience rejection." I was thinking of Sarah's words from last November. "Do not put myself in a position where he is going to do that to me" (substitute "that" with any verb e.g., manipulate, lie or take advantage of).
While this is an honourable intention and works to a certain extent (e.g., abdication of the "relationship" conversation and dismissal of labels), there are some points in life where it is impossible to avoid rejection, despite my best attempts.
Take Hafyz, for example. He forced me into that position by friend zoning me. Something that I (personally) would try not to do to someone else. Which leads me to the questions of a) whether or not it was a "rejection" and b) whether or not I took it too personally. Despite these questions, the bottom line is that Hafyz forced me into a position where I felt uncomfortable or out of my comfort zone. Hence why I had to get away from him that night.
[16:46, 26/07/2021] Hafyz: I didn’t friend zone you in front of others. You just got upset and it came out in front of everyone. I felt like things were moving too fast and had to slow down. I don’t want to hurt you and thought I’d say whatever I felt now before it’s too late. Last time we met you said we were dating and we made out etc. So I decided to put my foot down and let you know we are moving too fast and for you to slow down and be my friend as I feel that is more important right now than anything else as there’s too much going on in my life right now with the move and the rest
[23:53, 26/07/2021] Hafyz: Can we talk? As friends?
Admittedly, I was drunk, less in control of myself (my words, facial expressions and body language) and therefore inept at self regulating or masking my feelings. By extension, it might have been a classic wrenching.
But the reason why I am raising this as an example (of the impossibility in avoiding rejection) is because all that we did was kiss and make out. Period.
For me, life and experience has (cruelly?) taught me that kissing and making out is something that I can do with a friend or anyone. Or maybe this is nothing more than a reflection of my poor luck with guys and the way in which they have treated me as viable, like some sort of experiment? That is a reflection that I have inadvertently projected onto other people? Understandably so, since (in my perspective) guys seemed to think that they could do whatever they like with me without me "reading into it" too deeply or expecting that we are in a "relationship". The reality that I used to place such importance on kissing and making out as meaning that someone loves me. I even had the conviction ("in my opinion, you should only kiss or sleep with someone if you love them / otherwise, you are leading them on") emblazoned in the header of this journal. I was forced into learning that this is not the case, the hard way, many times. Now the boot is on the opposite foot. My experiences with guys have led me to the newer conviction that there are no distinctions between different types of friendships / relationships. The two are interchangeable. Kissing and making out is something that can be done between two friends. Maybe this newer conviction comes from a negative place - my perceived bad fortune?
Read More: 15/02/2021
For Hafyz, it might have been completely different. The fact that we kissed and made out, for him, suddenly brought the topic of "are we / are we not" into stark relief and urgency in a way in which it did not for me. In a way that for me, did not need to happen. He might have felt the need to address and clarify that ("we are not") in order to prevent himself from hurting me. But in the process of preventing himself from hurting me, he manifested hurting me. Or maybe the manifestation was on my part? Because I found the terminology that he used ("I do not want to hurt you") too triggering? It was the same terminology ("I am worried about hurting you") that Avi Taler use before hurting me. Hearing it again was a recapitulation for the famous last words that I have heard before getting hurt.
It is somewhat ironic how guys invariably say "we took things too fast" when they realise that they have kissed the wrong guy. Or end up hurting me by saying that they do not wish to hurt me. 21/11/21
All things taken into consideration, it shows that both guys (Hafyz and Avi Taler) at least fostered some compassion for my feelings. Even if they were inept at dealing with them.
[16:43, 26/07/2021] Rory Duffy: I know myself well enough that I can show love and appreciation towards a person without feeling the need to define or label what I feel or expect the same back from the other person in return.
With Hafyz, he might have approached it insensitively, despite his best intentions and efforts. I never wanted or needed to have that conversation with him about our relationship. Yes, we kissed and made out. Big deal! It did not have to mean anything specific about our friendship / relationship. We did not need to judge it or put a label to it. It was simply something that happened because we were both feeling one another's energy and liked being around one another (in his words, which I agree with). Avi Taler taught me that.
And now, despite everything that I have experienced for these last 2 years, NOW people are trying to tell me that kissing and making out means that there is an expectation to be in a fully fledged "relationship" (whatever that forbidden locker entails) and that we love each other!? Full circle! The irony... 😡
Back to the drawing board. I need to work on:
Hence, why I am reading these articles.
With regards to Sid: we have had sex on our 1st date. Despite Andy's good advice that I should show compassion by messaging him to check whether he has arrived home safely, Sid could by all means ghost me. There is nothing that I can do to stop that from happening. I cannot control someone else. I cannot force them to be in my life if they will not provide me with comfort and happiness. Having them in my life and not being able to dfraw that comfort or happiness from them is the classic "being forced to starve in a banquet hall" analogy. Cue the triggering of meeting exes in Heaven ("can you please stop making out in the halls"). Heaven Nightclub: where the souls of our dearly departed exes go on the haunt.
Read More: 19/08/2021
*IF* Sid ghosts me, it is not a reflection on me. AT ALL. Like it says in the 1st article, ghosting can have that negative effect of those little voices popping up in my head, recapitulating past tragedies, doubting myself and asking questions such as "was my caressing too intense"? These are old wounds. And although these old wounds might be with me for the rest of my life and I cannot simply "move on" / "let go" (easier said than done). People can say that to me. But they do not have to live with those wounds. But those wounds will fade naturally, over time.
*IF* Sid ghosts me, it is probably because he is too young, not ready for the level of intimacy that I was providing him, not ready to settle down or feel pressurised to commit to one, not ready to say "I love you, too". We hardly know one another. We started kissing 1 hour into our 1st date and needed to get a room by the 2nd hour. There is nothing wrong with that. I did nothing bad. We let ourselves carry one another on our energies. There is no need to judge that. All that we did is have sex. But maybe he is not emotionally available enough. Or he is too naive to realise that. He might feel pressured that I have some sort of expectation with him. This might make him seize up and not know how to move forwards with me. There is nothing that I can do to prevent that from happening. It is completely understandable. He might feel scared. He might feel confused. It is nothing that I have done unlawful to create that. It is his situation, his background and how he has chosen to carry himself into his experience of meeting me. We are both liable.
However, I do not need to worry about all of this. He is sufficiently, geographically removed for us to not see each other regularly anyway. It gives us a bit of time and space to cool off. I am a patient person. I am not sufficiently emotionally invested in him to need to have that clarification on our friendship / relationship. I have not entered into a contract with him. I have not asked for us to have that "are we / are we not" conversation.
Fundamentally, there is no explicit risk (like there was with Hafyz) that this conversation might be forced unwillingly upon me. So, for the moment, I am safe. We had sex. It was lovely. Apart from that, I do not need to judge it or read into it too deeply. Rather to see it as simply something that happened. Without all of the implications crap that comes with it.
Time to re-read those articles.
I Take Dating Rejections Way Too Personally, And I Know I’m Not The Only One
After being ghosted and dealing with canceled dates, I found myself crying over random dudes. It’s exhausting, but moving past these feelings is a process. Here’s how I’m learning to let rejection roll off my back.
By Jennifer Garam
Here's a snapshot of what my love life has been like for the past few months. In December, a guy I went to high school with started messaging me on Facebook. That escalated to texting every day, phone dates, and him bringing up visiting me over Valentine's Day weekend (he was in the Midwest, I'm in New York City). A few days after he suggested the trip, he asked if he could come earlier than we'd planned. And a few days after that, he said he wouldn’t be able to make it until April, and actually, this wasn’t going to work and he couldn’t do it anymore. I was crushed.
Six weeks later, I met a guy I really liked through Tinder, which so rarely happens it’s like the unicorn of dating experiences. Everything was going great until we had sex and he ghosted me. I was devastated.
Soon after, a really cute guy from San Francisco messaged me on Tinder (we'd matched when I was in his area for a wedding). The West Coast was a little far to pursue anything serious, but I was just so happy to feel excited about someone else to get my mind off the ghoster. Coincidentally, it turned out the San Franciscan was going to be in New York City that weekend, and we made plans to meet when he arrived. When his plane landed, he said he was too tired to get together but asked if we could reschedule. I wrote back to let him knew when I was free and then…crickets.
I chalked it up to another ghosting, but not without worrying that I did something wrong, like somehow coming off as too desperate or too available in my one-line text about rescheduling. I wound up crying over yet another dating disappointment when the pain from the last ones was still so fresh.
Through it all, my friends were repeating the same thing, a dating mantra of sorts: "Don't take it personally." And sometimes, "You didn't even meet him. You can't take it personally."
Oh, but I can. Bad dating experiences prompt the voices in my head to chime in with, "You were rejected AGAIN. No one will ever love you. You’re going to be alone forever." The problem is, when you’re out there trying to meet someone on dating apps—and even IRL—hurtful stuff happens all the time. It’s exhausting and depressing to constantly take everything so personally.
For as long as I’ve been dating, I’ve been drawn to emotionally unavailable guys. I’ve primarily been single, mostly as an attempt to protect myself from this kind of pain, and the relationships that I have had have been chaotic and pretty excruciating. Because I’ve felt repeatedly hurt and rejected so many times by men who weren’t capable of being in healthy, nurturing relationships, I’ve internalized the (untrue) belief that love is something that’s for other people, but won’t ever work out for me. And the storylines in my mind—that I’m unlovable, that I’ll always be alone—are so deep-seated that it’s hard to see around them to any possibility other than that I was rejected, and it’s totally personal.
My friends keep insisting that it’s not, and I shouldn't take it as such. This is a lot easier said than done, but I'm finally coming around. So, what helps me actually not take it personally?
Honestly, almost nothing when I’m in the midst of an I’m-unlovable-and-I-must-have-done-something-wrong spiral. But there are two techniques that can sometimes give me a little bit of distance from my internal storylines. Over time, they can help ease the pain.
First, when I start hearing those voices in my head saying (OK, more like shouting), "Something you did ruined this!" or "This is all your fault," I try to question them.
"This sounds suspiciously like my old negative beliefs," I’ll tell myself. "Is this really true? Could there be any other possible explanation for this guy’s behavior that isn’t about something being wrong with me?"
Second, when I’m trying to consider other possible explanations for why a guy bailed or ghosted or cut and ran, I could, in trying to comfort myself, decide that he’s just an asshole. But I remind myself that most people are pretty wounded from childhood and past relationships, and they're going around acting out their wounds on each other. This is a way to comfort myself without deciding that I hate men, and also feel compassionate for them while still being kind and gentle to myself.
Now, when a guy effusively expresses interest in me then abruptly changes his mind or ghosts after sex, I can think about how it’s likely that given his particular emotional wounds, he hit a wall for intimacy and had to retreat. And given my particular emotional wounds, I experience this as intensely painful rejection and abandonment. On my better days, I can observe this phenomenon with curious detachment and think, "Hmmm, look at how this thing happened, isn’t that so interesting?" instead of what I usually do: sobbing uncontrollably while manically downloading meditation apps.
I still struggle with this. I expect that I will continue to for some time to come, if not forever. But between my therapist who helps me question my negative beliefs, my friends who keep telling me to not take things personally, and my own relentless work on myself to shake loose from these painful storylines, I’m making some progress. While it’s still hard for me to not take it personally when a guy I know and like does something insensitive, I can let it roll off my back when someone I don’t know does, even when he’s cute and seems interesting. Like a few weeks ago when another Tinder match I hadn’t met yet cancelled a date, promising to reschedule, and I never heard from him again, I didn’t even a shed a tear—or download one meditation app.
In another unicorn of dating experiences, the guy who ghosted me after sex wound up un-ghosting me. We talked about what had happened, and he explained why he’d been out of touch. And guess what? IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. He’s divorced and realized that he wasn’t ready to be in a serious relationship yet, and admitted that he had his own patterns he needed to work on, like, for instance, withdrawing.
While it was extremely helpful and comforting to hear that from him, I can’t count on this always happening. Most of the time when guys disappear like that, they’re really just gone for good. In the absence of reassurance from a man, one day I want to be able to tell myself that it’s not about me—and believe it.
You may also like: One Man Tried To Prove His Friends Should Be In Love
Here’s How To Handle A Rejection From Your Date
Doyou know that feeling when you come home from a pretty epic date, ask for the next one, and all of a sudden, the other person says:
“Sorry, it just doesn’t feel right. It has nothing to do with you.”
Maybe you’ve been seeing each other for a while which makes these words even more hurtful.
You keep ruminating in your head: Was there something I shouldn’t have said? Was my laughter maybe a bit too creepy today? Should I have crossed my right leg over the left one instead of the other way around?
Do these thoughts sound familiar to you?
Rejection hurts and it is real. Research has found, that when you get rejected, the same areas in your brain are activated as if you actually experienced physical pain.
Here are 4 ways to reframe rejection into something positive and efficiently combat your ruminating thoughts.
1. The Other Person Already Made The Right Decision For You
“Rejection is not someone wanting you out of their life — rejection is someone that your higher power wanted out of your future.”
I know what you are thinking right now: how can she know it was the right decision specifically for me?
Well, that’s very easy to answer.
If another person doesn’t want to be with you, it is also best for you not to forcefully keep them in your life.
When you get rejected, simply ask yourself the question:
You will save the rest of your life trying to convince someone why they should want to be with you if they initially never wanted to.
I’m sure you agree with me that it cannot be the basis for any functioning relationship that your partner had to be convinced to be together with you.
Therefore, by being rejected, the other person already made the right decision for you. A decision, you should have taken anyway — sooner or later.
The right person will feel the same way you feel about them which always means: they want to be with you and won’t reject you.
2. It Can Mirror What Areas In Yourself Need Work
Maybe you are hurt not only about the rejection itself but about the specific person that rejected you.
If you seem to have a history of being rejected by your dates, ask yourself:
For instance, in my past, I always aimed at dating very attractive guys.
If they kept dating me, I thought that was proof that I am worth something: “Look, this hot person wants to be with me so that means I am worthy.”
On the other hand, when I was rejected by those kinds of people, I used it as evidence against myself for “not being enough”.
The truth was, I didn’t think I was worthy nor lovable myself.
We come up with various possible reasons for their rejection which in fact are all reasons we give to reject ourselves.
Imagine the person who just rejected you is holding a mirror against your face. What can you see in yourself that you need to work on?
Next time, view rejection as a gift — someone just opened your eyes to an area of yours that needs improvement and only you can change that.
3. You Save Time And Effort
“A clear rejection is always better than a fake promise.”
We all know the situation when you go on a date and you already know after 2 minutes that this person is not gonna be the one for you.
Maybe that’s exactly what happened to the person who just rejected you.
Most of us would have been too worried about hurting the other person. Out of politeness, we would have probably kept talking to them or even met them a few more times.
Let me tell you this straight: if the person didn’t tell you right away that they don’t want to be with you, they would have only wasted your precious time.
Think of rejection as something valuable that eased up space and time in your calendar for someone you should actually put the work in.
Putting someone on hold is never the right decision only because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.
Why would you rather want someone to lie to you instead of being honest right away?
By being rejected sooner than later, you get the chance to refocus your thoughts on yourself instead of what meme you are going to send next to them.
4. Rejection Means Redirection
“In every NO from someone is a YES to someone better.”
When being rejected, you instinctively want to convince the other person that they are wrong and try to change their mind.
You so stubbornly want to pursue a certain path that you forget that there are many other paths out there.
Therefore, view rejection as being brought back on the right track — the path that was always meant for you anyways.
It’s as simple as that: A person who cannot appreciate you is not the right person for you — therefore, you are only being redirected to someone much more suitable.
“You are the right person for the right person to appreciate you.” — Susan J. Elliott
Rejection itself can be a great reminder for you to stop chasing what is not made for you.
It teaches you to reject someone who was never meant for you and would not do you any good anytime in the future.
So, fall in love with the “NO” and trust the process that with every rejection, you are one step closer to someone who can see the true beauty in you.
“Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough, it means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer.”
Rejection from a date is painful and it makes you doubt your own actions and behavior.
However, if reframed in the right way, you will be thankful for a clear rejection and it can become a very valuable friend.
Next time you get rejected, remember:
7 Therapist-Approved Ways to Deal with Dating Rejection
Updated: Apr. 01, 2021
Rejection is a part of life. Here's how to overcome dating rejection using therapist-approved tips, from taking your time to recover to seeking professional help.
From Bumble to Tinder to OkCupid—oh yes, and in real life—there are more ways than ever to meet a potential mate and also, unfortunately, get rejected. Online dating has become the most common way for couples to meet with a reported 39 percent of heterosexual couples in the U.S. meeting through online dating as well as more than 60 percent of same-sex couples, according to 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. However, the convenience of choosing potential partners and replacing one with the other—literally at your fingertips—has led many people to get hurt both on and offline.
“We are hardwired to bond, unite, and to form connections with people. Rejection results in the loss of connection, and instead creates the sense of feeling isolated, cut off, disconnected, unwanted, unloved, or inferior,” explains Patrick Wanis, PhD, a behavior and relationship expert in Los Angeles and Miami.
Rejection is processed by the same areas of the brain as it processes physical pain. (This is the type of breakup that hurts the most, according to science.)
“The body can react to social rejection like it’s feeling physical pain. Social rejection can trigger the overstimulation of your vagus nerve, which can lead to neck soreness, tension headaches, chest pain, nausea, and more” Wanis says. “So there can be actual physical symptoms that are direct results of experiencing rejection,” in addition to the emotional ones.
Dating rejection is among the most personal—and painful—kinds of rejection since it brings our innate insecurities to light, according to Sanam Hafeez,PsyD, a neuropsychologist and faculty member at Columbia University in New York City.
“Being rejected from a job because you lack specific credentials, years in the industry, or skills feels less personal. Although being rejected by friends is personal, it’s not a rejection of one’s sexual desirability or appearance,” Hafeez says.
Someone who experiences romantic rejection might feel humiliated, stupid, unwanted, unloved, inferior, or not good enough, Wanis explains. They might even experience shame, too. (Worth noting: There’s a big difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is, “I did something bad.” Shame is, “I believe I am innately bad.”)
Since those feelings sound about as fun as diving into a 20-degree pond, we asked Wanis and Hafeez to sound off on the best ways to stop wading in sorrow—plus how to know when you’re ready to jump back into the dating pool.
Remember: It often has nothing to do with you
Most likely, not all of the blame for the breakup is on you. In fact, none of it may be.
“Understand that sometimes dating rejection is not a mark against you. Sometimes it’s about the other individual,” Hafeez says. “Perhaps you unknowingly intimidated the other person and they felt inferior to you. Maybe they have too much baggage and eventually realized they aren’t quite ready to date. Maybe they feel you are too successful for them and out of their league financially.”
Make the distinction between your role and the other person’s role.
That being said, it’s valuable to reflect on how you may have contributed to the split. Ask: “What must I own, and what must the other person own?”
If you skip this step, Wanis says you’re likely to fall into one of two negative-thinking camps:
Try to determine what factors stacked up to cause the rejection. Wanis recommends journaling or talking through these questions to help with the self-examination:
That last one is vital: “When we become compassionate to ourselves we become more compassionate to others. By expressing compassion to yourself, you are empowering yourself to change your behavior rather than simply condemning yourself, writing yourself off, or labeling yourself as a helpless victim,” Wanis says.
Own the behavior that may have contributed to the division, but don’t claim it as who you are. Claim it as something you’ve done, and then go deeper and ask you why you behaved that way.
“Or perhaps you simply experienced rejection because you happened to choose someone who wasn’t compatible with you or wasn’t interested in you,” Wanis adds.
Take stock of your overall rejection load
If you think you’re sensitive, have dealt with depression, or have been rejected multiple times in a row, you may experience a bigger ego blow by a breakup. When we experience rejection, we make certain conclusions about ourselves, Wanis says, and we often blame ourselves and think that there is something wrong with us. (In case you need them, here are 9 science-backed tricks to boost your self confidence.)
“That is the core issue that most people have: The belief or the subconscious feeling that, ‘I am not good enough. There is something wrong with me. I’m an outsider and I’m unlovable,’” Wanis says. “A rejection today at work can also trigger unresolved issues regarding rejection you might have experienced as a child or in a romantic relationship. Not all rejection is equal, but all rejection is connected.”
Avoid revenge dating
Seeking out another potential partner as a way to get back at your ex? Not a smart strategy, Wanis and Hafeez agree.
“If you’re not relationship-ready, then be careful about going out and dating—and ultimately hurting other people. You’ll just be creating more strife for yourself,” Wanis says.
Take the time to heal from the pain of rejection, learn from any of the mistakes you’ve made, perhaps take some time to pamper yourself, thenstart dating again. (Here are 22 ways to remind yourself that you are worthy.)
“Before you make plans to go out on another date, be as sure as you can that you will be able to put your best self forward—without having to bring a box of tissues with you while you cry over your ex. Make sure you feel emotionally stable,” Hafeez says.
Take the time you need to recover
“Recovery is a very individual process and often depends on what occurred during the relationship and how hurt the person feels in terms of their self-esteem, trust issues, and if there was verbal or physical abuse, or manipulation,” Hafeez says.
And contrary to popular belief, time does not heal, Wanis adds. If it did, no one would be angry at a former boss or have pain connected to childhood.
“Time in and of itself does nothing. What determines your result is what you’ll do within the space of time. What action will you take and what strategy will you use? Time isn’t going to heal you. You have to make a conscious choice to heal yourself,” Wanis says. (Here are 10 science-backed facts about break-upsyou should know.)
Try not to dwell on it
The post-rejection funk is dragging on too long if you feel stuck. It’s normal to lie in bed for a few hours or a day, then say, “Enough. I’m done mourning and will start making a plan to bounce back.”
“If, days later, you feel helpless, are frequently reliving the rejection, finding it hard to sleep, or are constantly trying to win back the other person, it’s time to seek help,” Wanis says.
If the other individual has moved on, if even your most well-intentioned, supportive friends feel it’s time for you to let go, or when you are simply feeling unhappy and lonely, call in reinforcements to help with the rejection recovery mission.
(Here are 7 things that happen to your body after a breakup.)
Seek out professional help, if needed
So much of the way you respond to rejection is related to emotions and circumstances that have nothing to do with dating at all, Hafeez explains.
“The way people handle dating rejection has a great deal to do with how they feel about themselves before going on a date. People with a higher sense of self-esteem will fare better than those whose sense of self-esteem is more fragile and subject to the approval or disapproval of others, especially potential romantic interests,” she says.
While some can brush off rejection and head out on another date the next day or week, others may ruminate. “What did I say wrong?” “Am I too overweight?” “Do I need to change my hair?”
“This is like post-traumatic stress disorder, when you’re reliving the trauma. For some people, rejection is actually equivalent to trauma. This can trigger the vagus nerve, which, as I mentioned before may lead to physical pain,” Wanis says.
For others, compounding rejection can lead to anxiety or turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking too much or eating too much or little.
“When you get to the point that you realize the rejection is destroying parts of your life—you’re isolating yourself, you’re depressed, lonely, anxious, overly angry, struggle to sleep, or are experiencing nausea or pain— it’s time to go get help,” Wanis says. (Here’s how 16 real-life people overcame depression.)
Keep in mind that no risk equals no reward
Sure, you could go through the rest of your life without dating, but that would also mean you’d spend a lifetime without romantic love.
“The trick is to ‘lick your wounds,’ discuss your feelings with a therapist, if needed, and get back in the game until you find someone to appreciate the great qualities you possess. Keep on dating,” Hafeez says. “Eventually, you will have a good experience and positive reinforcement from other dates that will wash away the negative,” Hafeez says.
And if it eases the aches, keep in mind that some of the most desirable, wealthy, and talented humans have been broken up with or even cheated on.
“If it can happen to Jennifer Aniston, Christie Brinkley, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Nick Carter, and Jennifer Garner, it can happen to anyone. Most would not consider any of the above “losers” or undesirable,” Hafeez says.
Originally Published: January 28, 2020
Karla Walsh is a food editor and freelance writer based in Des Moines, Iowa. Passionate about all things wellness, Walsh is a NASM certified personal trainer and AFAA certified group fitness instructor. She aims to bring seemingly intimidating food and fitness concepts down to earth for readers.
Rejection can be such a conundrum because it seems as though no matter how early you experience it, it can still really sting. When it comes to understanding how to deal with dating rejection, normalizing the idea that it has no reflection on your worth is a great place to start. Additionally, according to a 2011 study of rejection published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, it's also important to understand that rejection stings for a reason, and it's not because you're overly sensitive or weak.
In this study, MRI scans of 40 of subjects showed that physical pain and social rejection stimulate the same areas of the brain. "These results give new meaning to the idea that rejection 'hurts.' They demonstrate that rejection and physical pain are similar not only in that they are both distressing — they share a common somatosensory representation as well," the study concludes.
So there's a reason why being rejected can cause that pang deep in the your chest, and it's an experience many are familiar with. Whether you get dumped, ghosted, or turned down after asking someone out, rejection can come in many forms and it's OK to be hurt by it. Understanding how it impacts you can help you process the shame surrounding an experience that's unfortunately integral when searching for companionship, sex, love, and relationships.
We evolved to hate rejection.
Rejection can make you feel like you aren't valuable, lovable, or desirable, but this is absolutely not true. People reject others all of the time for reasons that have nothing to do with the person that their rejection. Klapow stresses that the important thing is that you allow yourself to feel sad or disappointed without letting this rejection to serve as proof that you are unworthy of love or connection.
Take a step back and see what there is to learn.
Talk it through with people that love you.
Remember that this is a part of trying.
Have you ever had a computer glitch where you turn on your computer and a million tabs reopen? That's kind of what rejection can feel like in the heat of the moment — overwhelming, confusing, shocking. You may get turned down after asking someone on a date or left on read, and that can call forth a bunch of past experiences with rejection that can all sting. The thing is, rejection is something everyone has to deal with and process at some point or other. Allowing yourself to look this rejection head on and believing that you're still worthy of love is a great start to healing. And you don't have to process it all in one day, so, if all else fails, you can take today to recover and try again tomorrow.
All that remains to be seen is whether or not Sid messages me randomly out of the blue asking me how my week is going. Like he did last week. Or whether that is simply something that one does only in the run up to (before) a date / hook up scenario. And not after a date. Last week, I was predicting that Sid is a guy who might put on the charm offensive as a way of getting what he wants in the future, in the present. Just like Hafyz did by suggesting that we go ice skating in the winter. When pigs fly! I hypothesised that Sid might be after only one thing. Sex.
Since I am able to recognise future faking well in advance, I am able to see it for what it is. This is enabling me to protect myself better, to prepare myself for the possibility that whichever guy I am dating might not be all that he is cracked up to be. That his actions might speak louder than his words.
Where do I go from here? I must take care of myself and heal. Small as it is, there is a microcosmic bubble of grief inside of me that needs to be taken care of. It is not like we have had a break up. Call it a Love Hangover. I had a wonderful evening with a nice guy. At some point, it had to come to an end. I am feeling the anti-climax. We are on good terms. But maybe I might not see him again for quite a while?
Sid's words are not a rejection. I am conscious that he said to me in person "when" he comes and now he is saying "if" he comes. But put it this way. Sid trekked all the way down to London to see me. That alone is a lovely gesture. Would I trek all the way up to Cambridge to see him? Possibly. Possibly not. My life is in London. I have enough going on here. I have possibilities with other guys. Much as I like Sid, the reality is that we are separated by a slight distance. We might have a cordial relationship. But maybe not a close relationship like I have with Rob. Whatever is true for me must be similar for Sid. And that is OK.
Even though I have concluded that I am not experiencing rejection this time (despite how much my mind might try to convince me otherwise): I take great comfort from the 2nd article point #4 "rejection means redirection". It ties in with the Abundance Mentality philosophy. In the words of my maternal grandfather, "never chase after a bus or a woman [man], there is always another one coming".
If I perceive a rejection of any sort as someone alleviating me of the need to make a decision, this actually puts a positive spin on it. I could even see it as someone letting me off the hook. Effectively making the same decision that I might have made about them anyway, further down the line.
Rejection or not, I cannot deny that I am feeling a slight sting of disappointment, however small. It is definitely there. But the significant reality is that I am not trying to end my life over it. This is a massive improvement. I have come a long way.
[17:11, 15/05/2019] Sonia:
Sweetie, you left your cupcakes! 🙈 it's a shame as you had a long journey, I was worried about you, travelling all that way, so late at night on your own...2am - you poor thing!
Earlier, when I was on my run back from the gym, I was also thinking about the "friend zoning" topic and drawing comparisons between Ansh, Marvin and Hafyz.
In the case of both Ansh and Marvin, there was the dropping of masks / empty shells / walking zombies aspect. Recently, both of them completely blanked me when I was in close proximity. Whether or they genuinely did not notice me or were deliberately avoiding me remains to be seen.
In the case of both Ansh and Hafyz, I responded way too self subjugating. Sure, we kissed. But that did not mean that I was under any obligation to offer them my friendship. I think that they were jumping the gun slightly by that assumption.
Exactly in the same way as Grant Russell (Read More: 19/02/2020). There were no grounds for me to restore our friendship. He did not treat me well. Not like a friend would treat me. Grant Russell obtained my validation without necessarily giving me a choice in the matter (or creating a safe environment in which I could make that choice for myself).
Ansh and Hafyz both kissed me and might have expected me to think that I am automatically "in love" with them simply because we kissed. By expecting my friendship to be automatically on offer as a 2nd resort, they might have been jumping to conclusions. Leading me into the trap of mirroring and offering them my friendship when I did not necessarily need to. Because I felt socially obliged to. Like it was a given. That I should feel lucky that they were still talking to me! Self Subjugation to the nth degree. For the sake of someone else's validation.
A friendship that turned out to be nothing in the Ansh example. What sort of friend would make a booty call to their "friend" and 2 years later completely blank that same "friend" in close proximity?
Next time, I could come up with a better response. Like "why would you assume that we will automatically be friends if we have only met a few times?" Maybe that is a little cold and harsh? But it is true. I might think of a warmer way of expressing the same nuance.
[22:31, 25/06/2019] Ansh: But let's keep it as friends between us
Later in the night, I was chatting and flirting (in Spanish) with a Latino guy called Marvin. He is 2 months older than me (34). I cannot remember much (it must have been the wine) but the next thing that I knew, we were kissing. It was pretty strong and arousing. He said that he was not looking for a relationship. Just a bit of fun. We will see! People often say that. The reality is that we never know what we are looking for until we find it. This week's experience with Sam has only hammered that home to me harder. Marvin & I exchanged numbers and a few messages when he left. I sat down with the other girls who had noticed the two of us kissing. I could not suppress the grin on my face. I told them that I felt slightly stunned. And that this is the normal way in which I respond to kissing. It sends me off into euphoria. Who knows whether or not I might meet up with this guy again? It might have been a one-off. If he is not up for a relationship, I can respect his wish and not feel the need to contact him. I feel satisfied in myself that I have sent the Last Message. And I feel happy that I have had a nice kiss with a guy. I needed that.
[16:46, 26/07/2021] Hafyz: Last time we met you said we were dating and we made out etc. So I decided to put my foot down and let you know we are moving too fast and for you to slow down and be my friend as I feel that is more important right now than anything else as there’s too much going on in my life right now with the move and the rest
2 final notes...
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
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I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.