Have you ever walked away from a date thinking you had a great connection, only to have them hit you with the “I just didn’t feel a spark” text a few days later? What on earth happened, and how could you have interpreted things so differently? It’s only natural to get tired of being rejected while dating — no one wants to feel like they’re constantly catching feelings that aren’t reciprocated by others. But don’t be so hard on yourself to find the perfect person right now. After all, you’ve got so much to offer the world, whether or not you’re in a relationship.
Dating is unpredictable. That’s just the reality of the situation, and it makes for some pretty discouraging moments at times. If you put yourself out there, you’re opening your heart up to finding love, but you’re also creating the possibility that things won’t end as well as you’d hope. Unfortunately, rejection is just part of the dating process. It’s totally OK to feel hurt in the moment, and even to grieve the situation, but try not to let it discourage you from dating again. Just because things seem disheartening right now doesn’t mean they’ll always be that way!
Rather than getting down on yourself and deciding to swear off dating entirely, take a step back and remember these six things.
1. Not everyone will be a good match for you.
There are literally billions of people in the world. The vast majority aren’t going to be a good fit for a romantic relationship with you, and that’s a good thing! “There are a million different reasons why someone just isn’t a fit or doesn’t reply to you,” explained dating and breakup recovery coach Cherlyn Chong. “The faster you stop assuming and just accept what has happened, the easier it is to move on.”
Finding a partner feels special because you’ve discovered someone who shares your values, interests, and lifestyle. And that’s a rare and beautiful thing. “Apply the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto principle, to dating,” Chong suggested. “80% of the people out there just aren’t going to be for you. But the 20% of people who are for you are going to give you 80% of the joy.” Hold out for those 20%.
2. You can always take a break.
If you’re fed up with dating and just need some self-care time, delete the apps for a bit! “It’s not a test, or a race, to see how fast you can find a new flame. You can go on a dating hiatus, and just focus on yourself,” Jenna Birch, strategic advisor for Plum dating app and author of The Love Gap, told Elite Daily. “If you’re tired, stop dating for a while. Or just focus on one app or in-person dating.”
To build yourself back up after a rough spell of dating, invest your time in things that bring you joy. Hang out with your pals, start a new book or TV show, or join a club or interest group that sounds fun to you. And hey, if you get involved in new activities, you’ll meet new people — and you never know where that might lead.
3. Your friends are there for you.
Dating is rough, and no one knows that better than your friends. In all likelihood, they’ve been there too, and they’ll be the first people to pull you up when you’re feeling down. "The moods and outlooks of other people rub off on us, so make sure you’re catching infectious serenity, not negativity," suggested Karen Azeez, integrative health coach and wellness expert.
Turn to your squad for validation if you find yourself in a negative self-talk spiral. They can take you out to do things and get your mind off the rejection. They’ll probably also be able to share their own stories with you about dating disasters, which will remind you that you’re not alone.
4. You never know when love will surprise you out of nowhere.
As much as you might want to engineer the perfect love story, the best relationships often happen when you’re least expecting them. You could even have met your person already — you just might not know it yet. “I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve met or interviewed for my book who had a love story that was years in the making — a friend needed to evolve into something more, or a person from the past was set to creep in later on, or an ex with thwarted timing eventually comes back around,” Birch recalled. “It can take years for a spark to stabilize into a long-term relationship. But even if it feels like you haven’t met anyone who you can see dating, sometimes it just takes more time for things to unfold.”
Try to remember that when the situation is right, you’ll meet someone amazing. Sometimes as hard as you try to put yourself out there, you can’t beat great timing or a chance encounter. Who knows what the future holds?
5. You are worthy of someone’s full attention and care.
Say it louder for the people in the back: You don’t need to change for anyone! “Positive self-talk can make or break confidence and belief systems,” explained Kali Rogers, founder of Blush Online Life Coaching. “Tell yourself daily that you are complete just as you are, that you are deserving of love but happy on your own, and that you create your own destiny … These continuous self-empowering messages will guide you through any ups and downs — single or not.”
The fact that you’ve been rejected says nothing about how amazing and valuable you are. Don’t settle for anything less than someone’s sincere and intentional commitment. You deserve the world!
6. It’s worth stepping outside your comfort zone once in awhile.
To shake things up in your dating life (once you’re ready to date again), start swiping right on people you might not normally gravitate toward. "Try dating people outside your normal wheelhouse," suggested Bridgette Hall, matchmaker at Three Day Rule. "Go out with a match who doesn’t exactly fit your ‘checklist’ — or better yet, ditch your checklist and give everyone a chance to exceed your expectations.” You might even discover that the most unexpected person turns out to be a great match for you.
Plus, when you start dating people who are different than the love matches you’re used to, you’ll inevitably learn more about what you’re looking for — and that’s helpful as you refine your dating strategy moving forward.
When dating is getting you down, sometimes the best thing you can do is step away for a bit and then come back with a fresh new outlook. Even though you’ve had bad luck in the past, that doesn’t mean the future isn’t bright. You attract the type of energy you put out there, so shake it off, take a deep breath, and move forward. Rely on your support system and spend time loving the only person whose opinion really matters here — you.
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