Been Dumped? How to Deal With Rejection When Your Date Dumps You
Being dumped is not fun. It doesn't matter if you were together for years or went on just one date. Either way, it hurts. It makes us question our attractiveness, whether we did something wrong.
Sometimes we ruminate about that last date, turning it over and over in our heads like the world's worst post-game replay. Even though it may have been a first date, or even a few dates, getting over that experience and how it makes you feel can be hard.
If you're having a hard time moving on and letting go, I'm going to talk about some tips on how to deal with rejection after getting dumped.
Don't Personalize the Issue: Put it in Perspective
When someone breaks up with you, declines a second or third date, or, in this day and age let's be real, "ghosts" you (or zombies you or whatever the fuck people say these days) it's easy to take things personally. Like really personal.
You might assume that there's something wrong with you, you start to doubt your value as a person, or conclude outright that of course that person didn't want to see you again. Who would?
You might think that you'll never find someone who is a good fit for you, and/or you're fundamentally unlovable. Little column A and a little column B of misery.
When you get into that negative spiral, you focus on yourself as the reason why someone didn't want to pursue things further. That erases from your mind literaly any other possibility that, frankly, may have very little to do with you.
It's important to remember that there are lots of reasons why people stop seeing someone they've been dating. There's a good chance their decision had nothing to do with you--and everything to do with them.
It wasn't the right time, or they just got out of a relationship, they didn't feel the "spark," they suddenly had to rush to find a new roommate because the old one who swore they were up for signing another year lease bounced (this is New York City we're talking about), or they didn't like your tie and/or blouse.
Whatever the reason, it is fundamentally outside of your control. Control is often a big reason why we blame ourselves when we get dumped (and for other things). Blaming ourselves gives us this fleeting reverse-backflip sense of control. If we could just figure out what that thing was that led us to be dumped, we can fix it. That desire for control can lead to other problems in your dating life too.
Don't Blame the Person Who Dumped You: Accept that Things Don't Work out
What?, you may ask, well if there wasn't something wrong with me, then there was something wrong with them, right?
No, not necessarily. If they dumped you because they didn't like your tie and/or blouse, didn't feel the spark, etc, you could take the attitude "Well, screw them then! My tie/blouse is amazing!"
And it might well be. But while that may shift the blame from you to the other person, and even make you feel good by dismissing or being angry with them, life is usually more complicated than that. Often times, neither party is really "to blame." Nobody did anything wrong.
For example, I love chocolate. If someone is a vanilla extremist and sees that as a dealbreaker, I can't really do anything about that. That person also has a right to their choices and preferences. Besides, would I really want to date someone that feels that hardcore about ice cream?
You get the point. Furthermore, getting and staying angry with someone who dumped you is another way of staying connected to them and exerting some form of control.
Some empathy can also go a long way. If you were dating someone and not really feeling it, would not feeling attracted to them make you a bad person? Of course not. You just don't feel that way about them. You'd likely want them to be understanding of you as well.
Don't Pursue the Rejector: Save Your Energy for Someone Who's Worth It
Sometimes after you get dumped, you might feel stuck wondering why. You want an answer or explanation as to why this happened. You might feel tempted to try and continue pursuing the person who rejected you. Maybe you think that if you can just have one chance with them, you can change their mind.
Resist the urge to chase after them, though.
In most cases, it's more painful to continue pursuing someone than it is to let them go. As much as it might hurt now, you'll feel better later if you avoid chasing them and focus on the future.
Not only does pursuing someone who already rejected you fuel those feelings of anxiety and insecurity, it is also very unattractive. To most people.
We've all seen the "Your Eyes" boombox scene in the movie Say Anything (or at least, seen it on YouTube). Hollywood likes to sell the idea that a grand romantic gesture can suddenly turn a no into a yes. In real life, continuing to pursue someone who has dumped you with such an act can turn awkward for everyone involved.
There's nothing wrong with being thoughtful and romantic, even a hopeless romantic. Save those energies for someone who clicks with you, shares your values, accepts you for who you are, and wants you.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Remember, it's okay to feel hurt when you're rejected. Rejection stings, and no amount of rationalizing or dismissing of the other person changes that. There's expectations you build up over someone, dreams, wishes and wants that suddenly vanish when that person dumps you.
While it's important to focus on moving forward, that doesn't mean you have to get over your feelings overnight. You're allowed to take some time to feel sad and angry and process your emotions.
The important thing about grieving is slowly coming to accept what happened. You went on a few dates. Maybe you started to really like this person. You started having fantasies about what you could do together, even think about the future. But for one reason or another, you got dumped.
You feel disappointed that this person doesn't want to continue seeing you. Depending on how close you felt to this person, you might feel heartbroken.
Understand that everything we've addressed so far are different examples of how we get stuck after getting dumped, in part because we're trying to reassert control. We think that will help us feel better. It often does not, we feel worse.
Let yourself grieve your hopes and your fantasies, and accept this person did not choose you.
Let yourself grieve for a while, and then work on moving on when you feel prepared to do so.
Take Care of Yourself
While you're single, this is a great time to take care of and soothe yourself--reach out to friends, take up a dancing class, go to the gym, binge Stranger Things. Some of these activities may focus on helping you distract yourself from your thoughts and help you feel better. But some of them can also focus on your self-improvement.
Improving yourself can help to improve your dating life in the future when you decide you're ready to get back out there.
However, this isn't about trying to change yourself or make yourself more desirable to the person who dumped you. No, this is about being the best version of yourself you can be.
Do things you enjoy. Exercise and eat in a way that makes you feel good. Set aside time to spend alone relaxing and recharging.
Dealing with Rejection: Time to Move Forward
There will likely never be a time when getting dumped doesn't suck. You can learn how to deal with rejection and move forward from these unfortunate events with poise though.
Keep this information in mind and you'll have an easier time bouncing back and putting yourself out there again after someone breaks up with you.
Do you need help overcoming feelings of rejection? Do you want to learn how to handle relationships (and the ends of relationships) in a better way?
If so, contact me today. I'll get back to within 24 hours so we can book a free phone consultation and start working toward your goals.
Taking the Next Step
Learning how to cope with rejection can be difficult, and learning to accept yourself more so. But it's a journey you need to go on in order to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Contact me today to learn more about how I can help you achieve this goal.