7 Tips for Overcoming a Fear of Rejection when Dating


Human beings are built for connection. Our brains need consistent bonding and nurturing. Studies have shown that babies and children don’t thrive without contact and touch. So it’s no wonder that rejection can be a miserable experience.

Rejection appears to activate the same areas of the brain that are associated with physical pain. It may be experienced as painful because it’s mediated by these common pathways.

It’s understandable that many of us dread and fear rejection, especially if you have experienced it frequently or in painful ways.

But a fear of rejection can also hold you back from trying to achieve your goals. If you’ve been rejected in love, you may fear getting close to a new partner, because you may feel vulnerable to getting rejected again. You don’t want it to interfere with dating or your next relationship, so it’s important to consider getting over your fear of rejection.

The good news is that it is possible to overcome it. And, there’s nothing special about you if you’ve been rejected. It happens to all of us. Rejection is a huge part of the dating process. There’s no escaping it. So, overcoming your fear of rejection will help make dating easier for you.

Here are 7 tips to work on getting over a fear of rejection:

1. Acknowledge your feelings.

There’s no avoiding the pain involved with rejection. Moving on from it requires beginning the grieving process. To do that, you must admit you’re in pain.

Others may tell you to get over it, but only you know how you truly feel.

2. Learn something from the experience.

Believe it or not, rejection can help you to grow and understand yourself better. Although it can be very painful, being rejected can help you to figure out whether you are doing something to sabotage your relationships such as pushing your partners away or choosing partners that aren’t right for you. You can emerge from this situation as a much better partner, and you can better understand the kind of partner you need to create a successful future relationship.

3. Be kind to yourself.

Rejection can trigger feelings of insecurity, so you may read too much into any hint of rejection. If you’re dating someone who suddenly disappears, you may assume you weren’t attractive or interesting enough. In reality, some people just don’t have the communication skills to say, “You’re really great, but I don’t feel a spark.” Learning how to get over a rejection involves realizing rejection is normal and happens to everyone. It’s not a personal failure.

If you feel insecure, remind yourself of the qualities you have to offer a partner. The better you understand and like who you are, the easier rejection becomes. Sure, rejection can sting, but it’s just part of the path to your future happiness.

Yes, you may have made some mistakes that led to your rejection. But focusing on those negatives in an overly self-critical way is not helpful. Making mistakes in life is simply part of being human. Learn from them and try to move on.

4. Reassure yourself.

When you’re sensitive to rejection, you may tend to worry about facing rejection again. You might think a lot about worst case scenarios. The experts call it catastrophizing when you focus on every possible catastrophe that could occur. You might worry that you’ll ever meet the right person when dating gets tough.

When you look at the big picture, make plans for the likely setbacks, and reassure yourself, it can help your fears become more manageable. After all, most people who have a burning desire to get in a relationship and persistently do the work to find one, do eventually end up with a partner.

5. Process and face your fear.

What is really bugging you about rejection? Maybe you’re afraid of being lonely.  Having a better support network of friends and family might help you feel more connected.

Maybe you aren’t quite ready for dating if you’re very scared of rejection, but there may be ways to make it less frightening by starting the process in a gradual way. What is the easiest next step for you to start overcoming your fear of rejection? Talk to men who are just friends? Create a dating profile but don’t make it live? Chat with men but don’t meet them? Gradually move on to the next scariest step, but don’t push yourself too quickly so you’re comfortable with the process.

6. Use your supportive friends and family.

Nobody can make you feel more loved and wanted than the people who care about you most. Now is the time to spend time with them. They can help comfort you when you feel discouraged and encourage you to keep moving forward. Having their love and support can help you feel less afraid of rejection.

7. Get professional help.

Although it is possible to get over these fears on your own, talking to a professional can make a tremendous difference in getting over rejection fears. Seeking this kind of treatment is not a failure or a sign of weakness. It shows strength to recognize that you may need help and to ask for it.

You especially want to consider seeking a professional if your anxiety levels are high, you experience significant distress, or it keeps you from doing what you want to do.

Getting over a fear of rejection is harder when it’s complicated by mood or anxiety problems, past trauma, and other issues. You deserve to get the help you need to overcome it.

Bottom line:

Nobody enjoys rejection. It hurts and can cause you to doubt yourself.

The fear of it can interfere with what you want to accomplish in any area of your life. When you see it as a growth opportunity, you don’t have to be as afraid of it.

You can work through a lot of this on your own, but don’t hesitate to seek professional help to make sure you overcome it.

What helps you cope better with rejection? Leave us a comment below. We love to hear from you.

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