Rejection Is A Constant In Dating — Here’s How To Keep It From Getting You Down

If you’re single and actively looking for a partner, you’ve no doubt faced your fair share of rejection. Sometimes it’s subtle; maybe you get ghosted or the guy tries to let you down gently by telling you he thinks you’re better off as friends. Occasionally, it’s absolutely brutal and leaves you wondering if you’re better off becoming a cranky old cat lady and swearing off men forever. While you definitely shouldn’t give up hope, you do need to shift your perspective a bit. Rejection will always be a part of dating — it’s knowing how to deal with it that will keep you sane until you find your person.

  1. Celebrate your independence from sh**ty guys and relationships. While not every guy who rejects you is terrible, your relationship would have been because he clearly didn’t appreciate all the wonderful things that make you a total catch. Or, you just weren’t right for each other. Being on your own and living an amazing solo life is so much better than being stuck with someone who makes you miserable. The more you remind yourself of this, the easier it becomes to deal with rejection in dating.
  2. Find comfort in your crew. Friends can be your biggest cheerleaders. When you’re feeling down about another dating fail, talk it out. Vent your frustrations, question whether you’ll be alone forever (spoiler alert: you won’t), and ask for advice. Chances are, your girls have been in your shoes before — hell, maybe they are now! — and can provide the comfort and encouragement you need to keep going.
  3. Avoid playing the comparison game. Put down your phone and come away from social media for a while. It’s so easy to get caught up in everyone else’s highlight reels, believing that everyone else’s life is better. Maybe you follow influencers who have the perfect boyfriends who are over-the-top romantic and treat them like queens. The more you compare your life to theirs, the worse you feel. And what sucks even more is that what you’re seeing isn’t even a reflection of reality! Social media is fake AF, and deep down you know that.
  4. Show yourself a bit of compassion. Be gentle with yourself. It’s totally natural to feel hurt when someone rejects you, especially if you really liked them. However, you can’t let that temporary feeling affect your overall self-worth. Make sure your self-talk is kind, gentle, and positive. Easier said than done sometimes, of course, but practice makes perfect, as they say.
  5. Set your sights on something higher. At the risk of using one too many corny platitudes, remember that when one door closes, another opens. When you’re dating someone who ultimately rejects you, they’re doing you a favor. They’re freeing you up for someone who’s better suited to you and with whom you’ll have an incredible relationship with once you cross paths. See rejection as a blessing that’s allowing something better into your life.
  6. Try to stay positive. If it was as easy as just deciding to be optimistic, no one would ever feel down about the dating scene. You might want to try some journal prompts to remind yourself you’re amazing, meditations, or affirmations to help you shift your mindset and maintain a glass-half-full mentality even during the toughest times (and not just in your love life).
  7. Take a dating break if necessary. If you feel like you’ve been dealing with one too many dating rejections and it’s taking its toll on your mental and emotional state, you might need a dating hiatus. How long it lasts is up to you — you’re free to get back in the saddle whenever you feel ready. In the meantime, you can focus on yourself.
  8. Remember that you’re enough. It’s really hard not to internalize rejection. After all, you felt like you had a lot to offer, so when someone says “no thanks” anyway, you feel like you must be lacking in some way. Something must be wrong with you, or else this person would be super into you, right? Not necessarily. You don’t like everyone you meet, do you? Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there. That’s not a personal reflection on you — remember that.
  9. Go on a solo date. When you’re sick of the lack of romance in your life, why not give it to yourself? Take yourself on a date to a fancy restaurant, out to the movies, or even for a spa day. Pamper yourself and treat yourself like the queen you are. This is a good way to boost your self-esteem and enjoy your own company.
  10. Start your own rejection ritual. This sounds like a weird one but stay with me. A rejection ritual could be something as simple as writing a letter to express your feelings and then shredding that letter as a way of relinquishing the emotions you’re having. Whatever it is that helps you transform the experience into something useful and positive for you will work fine.
  11. Start a vision board about what you’re looking for. You already have a Pinterest board for your favorite recipes and maybe even you’re future wedding dress. The same principle applies to your vision board. Collect words, photos, and other materials to bring together that represent your ideal future relationship. Study it regularly to remind you of what’s important and the things your one-day partner will bring into your life. This shifts your focus from rejection in dating to hope.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill