1. Rejection sucks. One of the reasons we feel so bad when we’re rejected is that there’s nothing more personal than dating. Hearing a “No” is like hearing “I don’t like you”. And you know what? It’s ok to feel crappy about that. Simply: rejection sucks.
2. There’s no set formula to successful dating. You will, undoubtedly, have been told already not to compare yourself to others when it comes to dating and relationships. This can be especially tricky though when you have no single friends! For you, it might take a week, months, or even years (as in my case!) but feel comforted by the fact that relationships are constantly in flux. There will always be a wealth of single, partnered, engaged, married, separated and divorced people out there, even if they don’t happen to be in your immediate vicinity right now!
3. Always stay cautiously optimistic. Having a good first date can feel like heaven on earth – that butterflies-in-your-belly feeling, staying up all night excited by the possibilities, is fantastic. Rush out and buy wedding magazines after the first date though and you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Flights of fancy will only raise the expectation level so – for now – stay grounded, and just aim to keep getting to know each other better with each successive date.
4. You can’t rationalize every misstep. When I was dating, there were a few times when everything seemed right between me and my potential partner; we had loads in common, were around the same age, both looking for a committed relationship – the works. Then I’d get a text to say “You’re great, but…” and the whole thing would come crashing down. Sometimes it’ll be obvious why it didn’t work out, but not always – you can ask yourself why, but try not to get too hung up on it. Don’t replay every date or conversation you ever had in your mind, and in no circumstances blame yourself. It just won’t help.
5. The temptation to settle is a truly evil force! There were times when I would have given anything to be in a serious relationship. Just occasionally I found someone who wasn’t right for me, but who I know I could have had a perfectly fine relationship with. There’s no need to settle for perfectly fine; we all have our own standards, and if it’s not right, it’s not right. No more explanation needed. Just remember that you know how it feels to be the reject-ee, so treat these people as you wish you had been treated!
6. You must stop looking for or pining after ‘The One’. The truth is that there’s no such thing as ‘The One’. In a world that’s home to billions of people, the idea that there’s only one person who’s right for you is absurd. Accepting that fact doesn’t make you unromantic, it just makes you a pragmatist! If you’ve been in a great relationship before, it can happen again. Don’t fall into to the trap of thinking that the odds are against you.
7. You can never, never give up. There’s an old saying where I’m from: ‘Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince’. And boy did I kiss a lot of frogs! But persistence is key, and even if it’s not right away, it’s important to try again. Tired of dating? We all get tired of it sometimes! Take a break if you need to, because the dating world isn’t going anywhere. Just get back on that horse whenever you feel it’s the right time.
Rejection can hurt, and chances are it’s not something you’ll ever really be numb to. But you can learn to deal with it. Feel assured that you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and – when the time is right – go out and look for love again.
Even if you feel like the King of Rejection right now (someone must have inherited the crown!) things can, and will, get better. Remember, it’s always darkest before the dawn.