So, you went on a date. You wore your fav outfit, ordered food you couldn’t pronounce, so you just pointed to the dish on the menu to avoid butchering the pronunciation and even managed to crack a few decent jokes that made your date laugh. But, after all that effort, you get a text (or no text, we see you, ghosters)–they’re just not “feeling it.” Ugh.
Rejection is the spice of life. You thought we were going to say variety, right? Nah. Rejection is spicy but not in a good way–it gives you heartburn and gurgles up that acid reflux, but you didn’t even get to eat anything good! It stings, it sucks, and it happens to everyone. You heard us, EVERYONE. Those super hot people you see on dating apps? They’ve been rejected. Hard to believe, but it’s reality.
And although you know you are not alone, that doesn’t make it suck any less. But here’s the thing: while it hurts and cracks your ego, rejection can be… beneficial. No, we aren’t just trying to make you feel better—allow us to elaborate on how and why rejection can become resilience and how you can transform dating setbacks into self-improvement opportunities.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me”… No, Really
Most of us can count on our fingers—some of us all 10 fingers and toes—when we’ve taken rejection way too personally. It’s not weird to do that; it’s natural to internalize it.
Yes, I’m talking about me moping for a week because my date didn’t chuckle at my corny pun. But here’s a little secret–often, it isn’t about you at all. Maybe they’re not in a place to date, they had a bad day, or maybe they just hate puns.
Try not to dwell and replay every awkward moment and misstep on a loop in your brain: interactions are a two-way street. It’s about romantic compatibility, not about you being worthy of them.
Lessons in Humility: Embrace the Oops
Ever buckled your ankle in a 4-inch high pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos while walking with your date while trying to look sexy? Or spilled wine all over your dinner plate? I have done both of these things!
These “oopsies” teach us the fine art of laughing at ourselves. They’re basically the universe’s way of saying, “Hey, you! Take yourself a little less seriously.”
The next time you look like a newborn foal trying out its brand-new legs on a pair of too-high heels, giggle and move on. Unless you broke your ankle, that wouldn’t be funny at the moment. But odds are, in a few years, or when you get the cast sawed off, it’ll be a hilarious story to tell.
The Resilience Gym
Ever heard of emotional push-ups? No? Me neither; I just made it up. But dating rejection is kind of like that. Every “nah” strengthens your resilience muscles, preparing you for bigger and better challenges ahead. It’s like working out, but instead of six-pack abs, you get a buff spirit. And no sweat or weights are involved.
While not every rejection is a fun lesson, some do offer moments for some self-reflection. Did you interrupt your date constantly? Maybe you talked about your ex? You can use these reflections as growth opportunities. But remember, we’re aiming for self-improvement, not self-destruction. There is no need to be harder on yourself than needed—you’re probably your own harshest critic.
A Booster for Empathy
Experiencing rejection firsthand gives you a doctorate degree in the empathy department. The next time you see a friend going through a similar situation, you can be a shoulder to cry on or a sounding board. Because, honestly, who can understand the pain of rejection better than someone who’s been served the same cold dish (yes, revenge is the dish that’s best served cold, but it works here as well)?
Every rejection saves you precious time. It acts as a sieve to filter out the not-so-compatible for you. So, for every “thanks, but no thanks,” try to think of it as there will be someone better suited for you in the future.
Remember, It’s a Numbers Game
We promise we are not reducing romance to math, but bear with us. For every rejection, there’s a “hell, yeah” around the corner. It’s only a matter of time and persistence. So, put on that dating warpaint and remember that dating is kinda like fishing: sometimes you get a bite and it’s a minnow, but every once in a while, you’ll get a bigger fish.
Forms of Romantic Rejection
Dating rejection comes in many forms—some are subtle, and some are outright aggressively brutal. While there is no blueprint for rejection in all its forms, here are some of the common types:
Shake it Off
Dating setbacks and rejections don’t just roll off your back—sometimes, it takes some effort and creative distractions. Here are some things that could help you shake it off.
Just know that everyone, and we mean everyone, faces rejection at some point, from authors who’ve received hundreds of publisher rejections to actors who’ve been turned down for countless roles.
It’s as unavoidable as losing that one sock after laundry that is now mateless. By the way, where do those socks get to??
With time, perspective, and the right mindset, you can transform those setbacks into stepping stones. After all, resilience is nothing but a bougie word for getting back up and, like Jay-Z says, brushing that dirt off your shoulder and knowing that it wasn’t you; it was them.