One of the most problematic aspects of dating is, in my experience from matchmaking, is the fear of rejection.
Time and again I come upon clients who have either been rejected or who, for a wide variety of reasons, fear rejection and therefore fear dating.
The fear may be reasonable or entirely unreasonable but either way it makes little difference. If it exists, it will torpedo any potential matching possibility.
Of course rejection is a part of life and we have all experienced it from time to time. It is part of life and need not be taken personally, even in a relationship situation. But when it comes to relationships and dating it can be a killer. But it is a killer that can be controlled if you recognise it for what it is and deal with it effectively.
And in my view there are some readily simple ways that those who have needed to counter the rational or irrational fear of rejection by following a few clear steps.
Here are four steps I recommend for those wanting to overcome the fear of rejection.
1. Deal with it and move on.
As rejection occurs in many relationships it is perfectly understandable to be upset and to find matters difficult to handle. However, you need to recognise it and deal with it by understanding what has happened, regardless of how unhappy you may be about the situation. You need to process the rejection in a way that lets you retain your self esteem and move ahead with your life.
This may take some time but you will ‘recover’.
Remember that you do not need to immediately start dating someone again. What you need to do is to handle the rejection before it festers and drags you into the abyss of feeling lousy, or worse.
Be self-aware enough to rebuild any lost or damaged confidence by doing something new. Take some clear and necessary steps that permit you to deal with it by talking about it, taking on a new interest, exercising, taking a holiday.
2. Talk about it.
This is much harder for men, but you need to find someone you trust to talk with.
It may be a professional, but you need to offload with someone whose judgment and views you trust. Find someone you really feel you can talk with and whose views you respect. It may not even be a close friend, but someone who is experienced in handling people problems, or who is suitably empathetic.
But here’s the trap: Don’t overdo it. Don’t become isolated and bitter. I have seen this ‘grieving’ really impact upon people in a manner that totally jeopardises their ability to get ‘back on the horse’.
3. Put the rejection in context.
I have known people still dealing with rejection that occurred many years earlier. When questioned about it they are often able to explain that ‘things were not really right’, or the other party ‘really had his/her own issues’ and so forth. In other words, the ‘rejection’ is often the result of outside or extraneous factors, not you.
You need to know that very frequently rejection is not really about you at all, but often about a range of other factors that have nothing to do with you.
A spurned ‘date’ for instance, is not necessarily ‘rejection’, its just a ‘no’ (for whatever reason).
Don’t permit such issues to amount to some wholesale rejection that pushes you into any sort of downward spiral.
If you interpret the ‘no’ as rejection then it becomes something bigger and much worse. Place the ‘rejection’ in context. See it for what it is and why it occurred and you will often find it has nothing to do with you, directly. At all costs you should not cut yourself off from others. Keep mixing with others who make you feel good about yourself or who inspire you and help build your confidence.
4. Stay positive.
Use the rejection to develop yourself and remain positive. The fact that a relationship hasn’t worked on one occasion does not mean all other relationships are doomed to failure.
But if there is something you can learn from the failure then do so. Use it to develop your own interests and attractiveness.
Finally, my over-arching view on matters like rejection or relationship breakdown is to do some thinking about yourself too, but in a positive way.
Look to how you can become better, more interesting, more attractive in terms of personality and interests and generally enhance yourself. You must not, at any cost, permit rejection to hold you back from developing yourself and new relationships.
You use it to move ahead with confidence, not remain trapped in an unhappy past.
-Written by Rosie Bowie
Rosie Bowie is a professional matchmaker, she has been helping people to find long term relationships for the past 12 years.