Any type of breakup, whether it be a breakup with a friend or a significant other, is ouchies. But apparently, simple rejection from someone you may not know that well is actually tougher. Here’s why:
Rejection while dating around is often more confusing and less clear than a breakup from a relationship. The vagueness of the rejection can leave you feeling confused wondering what just happened. Breakups, on the other hand, have some sort of tell along the way.
What kind of dating rejection is he talking about?
We’ve all found ourselves on the receiving end of rejection and we know it can take on different forms. Like, did you think you had a connection with someone on the app and then all of a sudden they’ve blocked you from contacting them? That’s rejection. Or have you gone on a few dates and totally thought you two had a spark only to realize you’ve been ghosted? That’s also rejection.
No matter what kind of rejection though, the underlying commonality is that the victim is left with questions and no answers. According to Bennett, that can cause a lot of “anguish and anxiety”. And, like, fair.
It’s not just rejection’s fault, excitement is also the culprit.
The actual act of rejection which leaves you confused and with unanswered questions hurts, because of course it does. But, it probably hurts more intensely because newly dating someone brings that excitement and hope, no matter how badly you try to squash those feelings. So, with intense highs, come intense lows, Cherlyn Chong, dating specialist, tells Bustle.
Because naturally, you can’t help but feel optimistic that this person is, you know, THE ONE!
After years of kissing frogs, you’ve found him and he’s totally everything you could have ever asked for (…because you don’t know him that well yet and you only know the best version of him but we’ll just ignore that). But then all of a sudden, he turns into a giant toad and hops the eff out of your life without a word. Leaving you dazed and confused and wondering what the hell happened.
If it ends abruptly and it seems like it’s totally out of left field, you’re left craving those intense highs and all the “what ifs” you daydreamed about, which Chong says, obviously hurts.
[dating rejection can] sting a lot more than the rejection of a long-time partner, where the love is more comforting than passionateCherlyn Chong
Great, so…what now?
Experts recommend literally what your best friend probably recommended but you ignored: go into the date with zero expectations. Don’t build it up more than it actually is and focus on the present. Don’t think about the future, don’t think about your past, and just focus on right now. This way, you manage your own expectations and your own emotions, experts say.
“When you expect nothing, you can’t be terribly disappointed, but you can be pleasantly surprised if everything goes well.”Cherlyn Chong
At the end of the day though, rejections are inevitable. After every date, whether good or bad, make sure to celebrate them! Either way, a bad date makes for a hilarious story and a good date makes for an exciting story! Dust yourself off and try again, as our ’90s goddess Aaliyah said.