A woman rejects a man's attempt to kiss her

Coping with rejection: 7 ways to deal with it

by Eharmony Editorial Team - October 24, 2011

Unless you marry the first person you date and live happily ever after you are going to face some rejection during your search for a new partner, here are a few tips to help you deal with it.

Rejection is a natural part of the dating process, whether it’s not getting a reply from your message or securing a second date. The most important lesson to learn is how to cope with rejection and move on. Happily, we’re here to help

Rejection can occur at all different stages in the dating process. Right at the beginning you might send a match a one liner and they don’t respond at all; you may be chatting on line and they suddenly cut contact or block you; you may go on a first date and you think it has gone really well but they decide they don’t want to see you again or you may have been on a few dates and then they change their mind. Whichever stage it happens at how you cope with rejection will depend very much on how you think about it.

Don’t take it personally

Although it may feel very hurtful it is not you as a person that is being rejected. In the dating process it’s unlikely that the person rejecting you will have begun to really get to know you. They are more likely to be responding to something in their own life than anything you have said or done. So, try not to label yourself based on one interaction which was probably superficial anyway. Be careful that you don’t give your power away and allow someone who doesn’t really know you to have a great deal of  influence over your self-image.  Online communication, or even several dates, doesn’t qualify someone as an expert on ‘you’ to judge you.

Don’t generalise

Whether one or several people have turned you down you cannot logically generalise to “everyone” or “always”. Each time, place, and person is different. What is true for one is not true for all. The next person could be different. So, try not to over generalise. Stay hopeful. Keep an open mind.

Stay positive

Coping with rejection and overcoming it will be helped greatly if you can maintain a positive attitude. This will help prevent you from feeling sorry for yourself or from getting being scared off the dating process altogether. It may also help you to maintain a better perspective and view the situation as one door closing so that another one can open.

If a match wasn’t interested in talking with you – well go and talk to another one, there are many more online. If someone doesn’t want to have a second date, well, go get another first date with someone else. People who have a positive mental attitude don’t let a knockback ruin their day or deter them from finding their special someone.

Let them go

If someone wants to make a break, let them go. Even if you think they are making a mistake and there is potential in the relationship it will be better for your dignity and self worth is you respect their decision rather than beg them to reconsider. Do ask some questions if you think it will help but don’t beg, plead or whine. You deserve to be with someone who really wants to be with you rather than someone who stays because you put up a convincing argument for them to stay. It is better to find out early on that someone isn’t really into you than to spend months or even years adoring someone who can barely remember your name.

Keep trying

As difficult as it can feel to do it is important that you don’t give up. If you allow one rejection to cause you to cancel your subscription and resign yourself to a life alone you are hurting no-one but yourself. It might be helpful to see it like buying shoes, you don’t expect every pair to fit perfectly and you certainly don’t blame your feet for it! Keep trying and you are sure to find the right match eventually.

Ghosts of the past

If you are deeply affected by rejection and feel unable to pick yourself up and brush it off it may be that even the slightest rejection is tapping into unresolved issues from your past. If you think this is the case it would probably be advisable to talk to someone to help overcome this as it is likely to get in the way of you moving on with your life.

Be conscious about how you turn someone down

Not only will you get turned down sometimes but there will be occasions when you want to turn down matches. The golden rule here is to do as you would be done by, be kind, polite and respectful. Don’t string someone along because you don’t know how to turn them down, it’s unfair to them and you.

And finally remember if you are not ready for rejection you may not be ready for a relationship.