Dating is a scary thing. We put our hearts out there and hope someone will accept them, but we all know that sometimes they end up broken. And no matter how serious our approach to dating is – if we’re in the market for a real relationship or just looking for something casual – we’re bound to get rejected at some point. It’s just a fact of life, and it’s definitely a fact of love. But if your fear of rejection is making you stay home alone on a Friday night instead of getting out there, there are some ways you can get over it, so you can meet someone who appreciates just how awesome you truly are.
It happens to everyone. And not just when it comes to matters of the heart. Sometimes we don’t get the job that we’re dreaming of, miss out on grad school of our choice, or we lost that killer apartment to someone else. Once you accept rejection as just something that happens all the time, it starts to lose its sting.
It’s not personal. So you went on a first date that you thought was great and the guy never texted you again? Of course you feel awful, because it sucks. But you don’t really know him, right? It was one evening. Maybe he doesn’t want to date right now after all or he just wasn’t feeling the connection, which is totally valid. Think about how many times you’ve been in the opposite position and haven’t been attracted to someone on a date. You can even be happy that someone rejected you because it means they know they’re not the one for you. You’d rather find out on date one instead of after six months, right?
Practice makes perfect. Some of us like to go on a lot of dates in hopes of finding someone we click with and others like to take it slow. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, try asking some guys out. Some may same yes and some may say no. The point is that you will have mustered up the courage to even ask in the first place, which will make you a pro when it comes to not caring about the outcome. The more you do this, the less of a big deal it seems.
If you like someone, tell them. This is probably the hardest thing to do. It brings back memories of high school crushes and being too afraid to talk to the cute guy in your English class. But it’s fun to have a crush, when you think about it. It sure beats spending a Sunday afternoon browsing Tinder and wondering why you are so indecisive about who you actually find attractive. Once you tell someone how you feel once, you can do it a thousand times.
Be casual yet confident. It’s tricky to know what to say when asking someone out because you don’t want to look too eager if the answer is no. It’s best to say something like, “I think you’re cool and we seem to be getting along. Would you want to grab a drink sometime?” No one would feel weird about hearing that. If you were on the receiving end and just saw the person in a platonic way, it would be easy for you to say so.
Make a list of your positive qualities. Well, in your head, at least. If you remember how cool you are, that you’re a good conversationalist and that you have a ton of interesting and quirky hobbies that make you who you are, it’s easier to be more confident when it comes to facing your fears of rejection. Be your own hero. Putting yourself down and being negative will just make you want to hide under the covers forever, so definitely don’t do that.
Talk to that one friend. You know the one. She’s super confident and asks guys out whenever she feels like it and seriously shakes it off when rejection inevitably happens (probably while listening to Shake It Off which is another reason you’re friends). Ask her for some advice and you will definitely feel better after your chat. There’s nothing like some good girl talk (about boys).
Get some famous inspiration. There is not one piece of pop culture that came into being without its creator being rejected first. When Matthew Weiner pitched Mad Men, every single network rejected it – except AMC which only focused on movies at the time. J.K. Rowling was told no a massive amount of times when she tried to get Harry Potter published and, well, we all know how that worked out. If they pushed ahead and followed their dreams against crazy obstacles, you can ask someone out or tell someone you had a great first date and want to see them again. You can do it.
Focus on living a fun life. When we’re single and envious of all those smiley faced couples, it’s difficult to remember that we actually have a pretty amazing life, but we totally do. So live yours and enjoy yourself. It will make any rejection hurt so much less when you know you will wake up tomorrow, go to the job you love and meet your BFF for dinner afterward. Once you take back the power, you can get rejected anytime and it will mean nothing. Aren’t you so cool?
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