You’ve been dating him for a few months now and things are going well. Or so you thought until one morning, out of the blue, you get a text message saying he doesn’t want to see you any more. When you call him, the only reason he gives is because he can’t see a future with you. You manage to keep the disappointment under control until you hang up — and then you dissolve into tears. Tears that last for weeks.
This isn’t the first time you’ve been rejected. Sometimes an online flirtation ends in uncomfortable silence. Sometimes he doesn’t contact you again after the first date.
But the worst is when you’ve been dating for months or years, and rejection comes out of nowhere, like icy fingers grabbing you from behind.
It is difficult not to think that somehow you are at fault, that you possess some entirely repulsive personality trait — that when it comes to love, you are one of the unlovable.
Rejection hurts in any circumstances — when you don’t get the job you want, or a friendship ends — but it is doubly cruel when it comes to matters of the heart.
How to Survive Rejection without Losing Your Mind
Allow the other person the right to change. Although you two might have been perfect for each other at one point in time, people change. If your lover has re-calibrated his preferences, it isn’t usually a direct result of anything you’ve said or done. Growth and change can be painful, but are a necessary part of the human experience.
Think fondly of the time you shared. Just because a relationship doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. Reflect on the good times you had together and the joy that person brought into your life.
Don’t anesthetize yourself. It is easy and almost instinctive to shut down emotionally to try to keep the pain away. But the healing process is over more quickly if you just allow yourself to feel all the hurt, anger, sadness and disappointment. Difficult emotions are just as valid as positive ones. Allow yourself to wallow for as long as you like.
Don’t put up with dickhead behaviour. Let’s face it — sometimes people can be dicks. If your ex is being obnoxious, manipulative or dishonest, put a stop to it. Set boundaries, even if you have to cut all contact in order to stay sane.
Spend time with people who love you. That girlfriend you’ve had since primary school, your crazy Aunty who always makes your favourite cheesecake, your neighbour’s six-year-old kid — hang out with these people. If you look around you will find someone who loves you unconditionally and will have your back no matter what.
Learn the lessons. While I don’t believe everything happens for a reason, sometimes there are lessons to be learnt. Maybe you didn’t listen to your gut, maybe you forgave too often, or maybe you put up with too much. Explore the idea that there might be something you could do differently in the future. Or maybe not. You might not want to change anything at all — except of course the person you go out with.
Be thankful for a lucky escape. It is better to know sooner rather than later that your partner no longer loves you. As months turn into years, it becomes harder and harder to dissolve a dysfunctional relationship, especially if you have children and are financially dependent on your partner. Thank the Universe that you get another chance to fall in love with someone who will love you the way you deserve to be loved.
There is nothing wrong with you. You might be the sweetest, juiciest most perfect peach in the entire world, suitable only for a Queen’s banquet, and there will still be people who don’t like peaches. Or in this case, who liked peaches once but then went off them. Not everyone is going to love you or even like you. They may not like you at all, or they may not love you forever. It’s just the way life goes.
There is no denying that rejection sucks, but don’t let it make you go crazy. You are a wonderful, beautiful, delicious creature, and there are people who will find you entirely mesmerizing and fascinating. Don’t let the knocks and bruises of past relationships dim your sparkle. Shine through the cracks in your heart and I can guarantee you won’t be alone for long.
How do you handle rejection? What are your strategies?
25 thoughts on “How to Survive Rejection Without Losing Your Mind”
I surround myself with love from others like you say, family and friends I trust. I also just started meditation and it makes all the negativity just go away. Even if you do not have the attention span (which I thought I never did) it has helped me feel peace with my current situation and ok with what is happening (mostly give or take). Am human after all 😉
Meditation is a good tip. Thanks, Emma.
It has happened to us all in some aspects of life, no one is immune. Great tips. I will certainly take them on board.
Thanks for your comment, AJ. You’re right – no one is immune :/
Great tips – rejection isn’t nice but at the end of the day you need to grieve over what you had and then move on. I’m a big believer in following your gut intuition too and ignoring that gut feeling makes rejection harder to accept. Lovely bit of writing Katie – written straight from the heart, I believe.
Thanks for stopping by, Linda. Always lovely to see you ♥
Such wise words, Katie. I look back now on when my heart felt like it was broken and realize just how lucky a break it was that I didn’t end up with that person! Every break-up taught me something–especially how to be open and ready for the “right” one.
Thanks for the great comment, Roxanne. You are absolutely right!
Love this, Katie. Rejection smarts no matter where it comes from, but these tips help make it a little easier. Thank you.
Thank you for reading and commenting, Laurie x
Excellent! I love your no nonsense approach. 🙂
No sugar coating here, m’dear 🙂
Happens in all types of relationships. Wise advice.
Yes, not just romantic relationships, but all human interactions. Thanks for your comment, Lisa.
Don’t put up with dickhead behaviour. YES!
Dickheads be gone!
Thanks for commenting, Liv.
So glad i found you and your amazing blog. Im user angiemcmin on instagram. Such wise words here..wish id have read this bak in 2004 when i was going through a pretty traumatic divorce. I look forward to knowing you????
Lovely to meet you too, Angela.
For me the hardest one is to learn – and remember – the lessons. I agree that not everything happens for a reason but I do think that hard shit usually teaches us something. Since I’m pretty hard-headed, I usually have to learn the lesson a few times before I get it. And even then, I often forget it. Guess I’ll always be learning…
I agree – lessons are hard, but we get there in the end … eventually. Thanks for the great comment, Dani.
Always keep your hairdresser and a beautician on speed dial as well. This was my nan’s solution and I still use it to feel better when life has thrown a few rough curveballs.
Good point, PSM, thanks for adding it to the conversation x
I’ve been rejected a lot. I’ve never been married and I’ve find myself wonderfully grateful I never got that far with my past exs. You’re advise is spot on as far as my experience goes. The only rejection I find to be the all time worse to get over is when they fall off the face of the Earth and you’re left wondering what happened. Do you have any advise on understanding or moving past this kind of rejection? Or maybe how to prevent people from simply disappearing out of your life?
I am going through something like, been rejected so many times. Man are smitten by me at the beginning then my personality I think is too open and I show them when I feel too much, I don’t have a clue but I had for the first time one man I met on line we romance for about one year promise to come and met me and he never came he just dissapear out of the blue! maybe was not real, maybe he just need my bank account, who knows I will never know all I know I find myself very difficult to trust again. Been cheated by my husband in our 25 years marriage been left by my first love my parents and I don’t learn is it that I have to give up on love?
I understand this all to well. My heart goes out to those who have been rejected. Unrequited love. To me the cruelest form of love. One that is given fully and not reciprocated. After all these years that love never goes away. You are just alone in what you feel. Even after being married all these years, that unrequited love still haunts me.
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