Rejection Hurts: 5 Ways to Make the Best of It


As you well know, dating can be difficult. Dry spells, disappointment, confusion… many obstacles wait in your path. REJECTION, though, is probably the worst of them all.

Whether you have felt rejected because you never got a call for a second date or because you were broken up with, most of us can clearly remember the painful feeling. It is no wonder that an experience like this might leave you afraid of pursuing another relationship.

Learning how to handle rejection can help you prepare for your next relationship. Believe it or not, you may even feel like it was worth the heartbreak when facing the pain leads you to a better relationship in the future.

There is no need for rejection to make you feel bad about yourself or scared to date. Here are some tips to help you cope better with rejection and to learn something useful from it.

1-    Feel your pain.

Admit you’re hurting rather than pretending it’s no big deal. It’s normal to feel some kind of grief when you’ve been rejected or experienced a loss. In fact, the pain of being rejected in a relationship and breaking up is akin to the grief felt after a loved one dies. Trying to hide your pain will only delay the healing process. If you are getting overwhelmed by your feelings, take breaks from them and distract yourself. Give yourself the chance to explore your feelings at a more convenient time, if you can.

2-    Be good to yourself.

Don’t kick yourself when you’re down by being overly critical. Understand that this is a hard time for you and treat yourself the way you would a good friend who’s in pain. Look for support from friends and family. Try to do things you enjoy, whether it’s being in nature, taking walks, or just making time to relax.

3-    Recognize your growth.

Pain is part of the growing process. Give yourself credit for going for it, putting yourself out there, and taking a risk. It’s true that staying in your comfort zone keeps you safe from getting rejected, but it also makes it almost impossible to move toward your goals. Staying at home and watching TV, for example, may feel safe, but it won’t allow you to meet anyone to date. Try to be proud of yourself for whatever progress you do make.

4-    Learn from your experience.

Do you know that something isn’t working in your love life, but you’re not quite sure what the problem is? Maybe it’s time to figure out whether you are repeating any patterns in your love life that might be stopping you from getting the kind of relationship you want. Learning from your past experiences, viewing the situation objectively, and consciously deciding to remain committed to your relationship goals are just some of the ways you can use your experience to bring your love life up a notch.

5-    Get help if you need it.

If you’re anxious, depressed, or thinking of suicide, you may need help from a mental health professional. Many people fear getting the help they need because they see it as a sign of weakness, but getting help is actually a sign of strength. It takes courage to recognize a problem and seek help. If you think you would like to speak with someone, these resources can help you decide who to see.

Rejection is a teacher. It can show you how to take better care of yourself and others. It can reveal that you need to take steps to improve your life. Rejection may even be doing you a favor, revealing to you that he’s just not the right man for you.

The question is: Are you willing to learn from it?

Don’t worry – you don’t need to confront any of this alone! Hundreds of women in our community have gone through similar situations and are here to support you. Our sisterhood is all about self-improvement, using our stories as a way to cope and come together.

After all, Being Your Own Brand of Sexy is all about learning who you are, from both your successes and your struggles. If you’d like to read a more in-depth discussion on rejection or dating in general, don’t miss my book Be Your Own Brand of Sexy: A New Sexual Revolution for Women.

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  • Kirsten says:

    I feel like you wrote this just for me. Thank you & it made me feel a lot better. I’ll definitely think about getting back out there!

  • christiangreypua says:


  • Idie says:

    This is a mind blowing, I was in a deep relationship ( I thought) 1 year after losing my spouse of over 30 years. Rejection has been so difficult that I felt guilty for feeling more pain for rejection then the death of a long loving marriage. I suppose with death we know they cannot come back, but rejection gives you hope ( that’s pretty sick).. I’m very afraid to go out searching again, the pain remains. I’ve learned ” I’m just was not ready”! It’s not that I failed, simply it’s not “my time”. Thank you for your beautiful writing. It was “wright” on!

    • Dr. Susan says:

      Hi Idie,

      It was very nice to hear from you.

      I’m so sorry for your losses. Emotions and grief are very complicated.

      Sometimes people experience losses more deeply after losing a spouse.

      Be kind to yourself. It’s a difficult process and can take time.

      Please keep in touch.

      Dr. Susan

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