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Ways to take romantic rejection in stride

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Don't take it personally

It’s not you, it’s me, is one of those clichéd phrases we’ve heard so many times that it sounds hollow now, but it’s really the truth when it comes to romantic rejections. When someone declines a date, a relationship, or whatever it may be, it’s really just as much about the rejecter as it is the requester.

Be kind

The best thing you can do here, for you and for the other person, is to say that you understand, that it was worth a shot, and that you wish them well. The more easily we offer compassion to others, the more easily we can offer compassion to ourselves.

It's okay to feel hurt, but it's no one's fault

When someone rejects us romantically, sure, we’ll say it again, it hurts! It’s okay to feel that pain, to sit with it a while, to grieve our romantic feelings loss, but it’s important to remember: Just because someone has done something that hurts us, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they wronged us in any way. It’s natural, when feeling hurt, to feel as if we’ve been attacked, but a romantic rejection isn’t an attack or wrongdoing.

Distance is good

It can be tricky to put distance in between you and the object of your unrequited affections, especially if the person is a friend or someone you see often. But distance may be just the thing you need right now, or else you may find it difficult to get your mind off the painful episode. It’s always appropriate to say, I just need a bit of space for a while to work through some feelings.

Keep busy

Don’t let yourself sit about too much, feeling sorry about everything. You need to get out of your head. Throw yourself into your passions instead. Get out and exercise however you prefer. Learn a new skill. Pick up a new hobby. Catch up on work. Catch up with old friends.

Keep looking

We are hardwired to fear rejection. Instead of letting this one romantic rejection build into that natural fear we all have, try to use this as an opportunity to grow, and to find your courage. Think of it this way: The worst just happened, and you’re still here. Your life didn’t end. Tomorrow is still on its way. Choose to let this make you braver instead of more discouraged.

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