We can’t talk about dating without mentioning the ‘R’ word: Rejection. It’s a basic fear that prevents many people from putting themselves out there. No one wants to feel rejected, unloved, or worse, unlovable.
It’s easy to feel stung, or rejected, when we reach out to someone to invite a deeper connection and they do not share our desire. Sometimes it’s easier to simply protect ourselves, and not expose our hearts to the humiliation of having our advances spurned or not embraced.
But it’s also true that not everyone resonates equally with everyone else, and sometimes even though we are quite attracted to someone, it isn’t a healthy situation for either person to be in. So being “rejected” is often a blessing in disguise — it removes a potentially unhealthy situation and allows us to move forward into a world rich with people better suited to our needs and desires.
So if we reframe it, rejection can be a step forward, says friend and colleague, Lisa Steadman. It can challenge us to look at the way we go about dating and evaluate how our choices contribute to the experience of “rejection.”
Many of my clients come to see me when they are lost in a sea of what feels like rejection. They’ve been in and out of relationships for years; none of which has stuck. No one they’ve been dating has been ‘The One.’ They walk in my office with an imaginary basket filled to the brim with “rejection.” They show it to me, “See! No one likes me. There’s no one out there for me. All the good men are taken. I’m doomed to a life of singlehood; I’ll be the Old Maid.”
Of course I have compassion for how they are feeling and what they have been through. I listen to their stories of heartache and loss, loneliness and hopelessness.
But here’s the truth: they’ve been dating inappropriate men all along. Do you want to know the secret for not feeling rejected and not being rejected? Only date men that are right for you, good for you – in other words, men who meet your wants, needs and requirements in relationship.
Most people jump into relationship within the first few weeks (or days) of getting to know someone. Hormones are raging. The partners are totally infatuated with one another. They speed past the red flags waving goodbye, and dive right in to the deep waters. Having sex releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, and the next thing they know, these two people who barely know each other are in relationship! Fast forward a few weeks or months (if you’re lucky, for some it takes a few years), and the relationship is thrown into the basket of rejection. Over time, that basket fills up and soon it’s overflowing with rejection and failed relationships.
So, how do you date differently and not waste time in relationship with men who don’t meet your needs? How do you stop adding to the basket of rejection, but instead put it down and move forward towards what you truly want?