You may have been
- Hurt in your childhood by care providers
- Wounded by parents’ inability to love you
- Rejected due to incompatibility with the other person
- Exhibited some behavior unconsciously that was off-putting
- Shunned due to bad timing as your intended just ended a relationship or isn’t ready to start something new
- Turned down as there are other things going on in their life e.g. work
- Scarred due to cowardice of the other party – their fear of intimacy or risks of being hurt themselves
Certainly, rejection is painful. It is therefore completely understandable that you may approach intimate relationships with apprehension, and inadvertently sabotaging your chances at love.
A series of bad experiences will only serve as reinforcement that love is fraught with pitfalls. Whatever the reason for the rejection, it’s important not to generalize over one or two bad experiences. You are unique and have something special to offer. You are lovable and can be seen this way by someone else.
The real issue is when you come to assume that if you were rejected once, you’d be rejected again. This isn’t the case at all. You were not rejected because you have some fundamental defect in you or are a bad person. Rejection can be viewed as an opportunity to learn about how to act in ways that are more conducive to a successful relationship.
If you continue to avoid intimacy out of fear of rejection, you’d never learn that love is possible. Rather than focus on the fear, try to remember three important truths:
- You are strong enough to survive disappointment or loss in love. Let go of your fear.
- It is better to love, even if it were a brief romance. Your life can be enriched for it.
- Every relationship is an opportunity to learn more about love, and get better at it.
Love is important. Continue to heal yourself but keep trusting that your heart can take it. Keep going.
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Dr Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical counselling, life coaching and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops and speak at public events in Asia and beyond. For more, visit www.ErosCoaching.com.
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