If You Lash Out After Rejection, You May Not Be Ready for Dating
Getting rejected is never fun, but it's an inevitable part of dating. We've all been there - you meet someone new, you're really feeling it, but they just don't feel the same way. It stings, but how you handle rejection says a lot about your emotional maturity.
Lashing out at someone who politely turns you down is a major red flag. If you can't handle rejection with grace, you probably shouldn't be dating right now. Here's why flying off the handle after getting rejected is always a bad idea, and what you should do instead.
Why Lashing Out Is Never Okay
When someone tells you nicely that they just don't see a romantic future with you, they aren't attacking you as a person. They're simply stating their own preferences and boundaries.
Getting angry or abusive with that person is unacceptable. It shows that you feel entitled to their affection, and that you don't respect their right to choose. Here are a few key reasons lashing out is never justified:
Having an adult tantrum because you didn't get your way makes you seem childish and unstable. It's a huge turn-off for most people. If you want to be seen as a mature, dateable adult, learn to handle rejection with grace.
It Damages Your Reputation
Word spreads quickly, especially in the age of social media. If you develop a reputation for flipping out when rejected, most people won't want to take a chance on dating you.
For many women especially, an angry response to rejection is frightening. You may think you're just venting, but it can feel like the precursor to abuse or violence. Scaring off potential partners should be motivation enough to change.
It Won't Change Anything
Lashing out won't make someone attracted to you. At best, it will make them think they dodged a bullet. At worst, you could be slapped with harassment charges. Either way, it just makes you look unstable.
Healthy Ways to Handle Rejection
It's totally normal to feel disappointed, sad or embarrassed after putting yourself out there and getting rejected. Those feelings are valid, but they don't justify cruelty or aggression toward the person who turned you down. Here are some healthy ways to process the sting:
Let Yourself Feel It
Don't suppress your feelings or beat yourself up. Let yourself be bummed out for a little while. Talk to a trusted friend about it, or vent in a journal. Then move on.
Learn From It
Think about what factors may have influenced their decision, and how you can apply that feedback to future dating attempts. But don't obsess.
Remind Yourself It's Not Personal
Rejection usually has much more to do with the other person's preferences and circumstances than anything about you. Don't take it as an indictment of your worth or dateability.
Focus on Self-Care
Do things that make you feel happy and confident, like exercising, spending time with friends, or pursuing a hobby you're passionate about. Boosting your mood and self-esteem will help you bounce back.
Don't let one rejection deter you from putting yourself out there again. Romantic success requires perseverance. Use each experience to get better at connecting with potential partners.
How to Gracefully Reject Others
Being on the other side of things can be awkward too. When you're just not feeling it with someone, it's important to turn them down in a kind, considerate way. Here's how:
Do It Sooner Rather Than Later
Don't string someone along if you know there's no future. Break the news early so you both can move on.
Start by expressing gratitude for the time you spent together. Say something like, "Thanks for the fun date the other night. I had a nice time getting to know you."
Don't beat around the bush. Make it clear you see them as a friend, not a romantic partner. Something like, "You seem like a great person, but I just didn't feel enough of a spark to keep dating."
Explain briefly why you don't see it going further. For example, "Our lifestyles seem pretty incompatible for a relationship." Don't leave them guessing.
Wish Them Well
End on a positive note. Say you hope they find the right match, and mean it. They'll be more likely to take it with grace.
Romantic rejection is always a little painful. But it's a normal part of dating that mature adults accept and move on from. If you find yourself wanting to retaliate or punish someone for turning you down, take a step back. Get support, perspective and time to heal instead of taking it out on them. You'll be glad you did.