Rejection is one of the hardest emotional experiences for anyone to cope with. As social animals who evolved to depend on the approval of our tribe, personal and social rejection cuts us deep. Romantic rejection involves the most intimate and delicate part of our emotional lives, so it should be no surprise that romantic rejection can be a devastating emotional experience.
Rejection can come in the form of a partner leaving you after a long relationship or earlier with a rejected invitation to dinner. Either way, the experience strikes at your sense of being loved and loveable. You aren’t a teenager anymore, so you can’t scream, cry or cause an enormous scene. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to let your feelings out.
In the initial aftermath of rejection, most people want to take their minds off it. Making new memories can help turn the page on an unpleasant chapter. If you can you might want to go out dancing, it’s hard to ruminate in a club full of loud music and people out for a night on the town. It also gives you an excuse to dress up, meet friends and do something active. You’re already worthy, but seeing yourself as an attractive, social person can really help you to remember it.
If in doubt, work out. It may not be a saying, but it should be. It doesn’t matter if you run, row, cycle or swim but start sweating. If you can’t get around your conscious train of thought, then bypass it. Exercising is one of the most reliable ways to lift your mood in the short and long term. The worst-case scenario is that you’ll look better, which should help you feel better too.
If the problem is that you feel like you have been branded unloveable, then remember that a ‘no’ from one or even ten people is absolutely no measure of your value. At worst, it’s an indication that you might be fishing in the wrong pool and you would be better appreciated by a different kind of person.
What you are good at, bad at and your unique strengths are not something that any partner or love interest has any control over. If you love to travel and they hate you working away, that’s a mismatch but not one that makes you any worse. If you love heavy metal and they can’t stand the thought of overhearing it, that doesn’t make either of you bad. Just a bad match.
If a partner has a legitimate criticism about your kindness or morality, then, of course, you should consider it. Don’t assume that the fact you have a flaw makes you bad though, we all have them. What makes us good is the ability to learn and develop and by examining your conscience, you’re already doing so.
Don’t obsess over the moment or interaction where you were rejected. Particularly not if you or your lost love interest said things in anger. All the words indicate is that you both felt strongly. Going over it will not help you. If you’re tempted to replay it then do yourself a favor and instead call a friend, put on a funny movie or make yourself your favorite dinner.
You deserve to feel better, so start treating yourself better.