Separation is a time to turn inward and to grow as you figure out how to balance dating, rejection and what you want. As awful as it may feel, this is the time to focus on the things that went wrong in your breakup. It’s a chance to figure out your part and to forgive yourself so you have permission to change. Working this out, while also dating may feel odd. You may worry, “What if they’re the only date I’ll ever get again?”
On the flip side, there are times when you’re very clear. You’ve been listening to your gut and you know the person asking you out is totally wrong for you. Because you’ve been doing your healing work. But if you have not been dating for a while, you may wonder what to do when someone ignores what you’re saying. Your life, especially after divorce, is for you to create with clear boundaries and intentions. Be choosy. That means at times, dealing with rejection.
Rejection hurts. It taps into every past rejection whether from a lover, parent, friend or boss.
It fuels that common feeling that “I’m not enough” and triggers us to react. But rejection is universal. It’s also a part of why your relationship ended. Yet, it’s best to end relationships when you’re not heard, seen, and taken seriously.
To put this in perspective: several decades ago, when someone said, “I’m not interested” it was easier to deal with. Not that the disappointment or the pain of the rejection was easier, but the inability to troll someone with technology was more difficult. Writing a snail mail letter took a relatively long time. So people poured their feelings into poetry and song. Instead of stalking someone online to see if they’re happy. Be honest, how many times have you stared at an ex’s IG account?
The online world is a curated version of people’s lives, only showing those looking, a near perfect impression of reality.
Social Media is seductive and addictive. It’s a place where we can easily relieve everyday boredom with one easy click. Unfortunately, it’s hard enough to separate truth from fantasy during a breakup. But it’s exacerbated by the way we communicate on social media.
Likewise, just because they look happy with someone else, doesn’t mean their life is a movie star ending. Dating post-Divorce is still dating. We all struggle with rejection from Tinder and all those Match type algorithms.
Are you happy when your profile lights up? But feel dejected and lost when there’s no date on the horizon? I’m always curious, “When did we become so fragile and needy?” If you haven’t done any self-reflection, how can you show up as a worthy partner? Part of the inner work is figuring out who you are today so you can wisely choose a new partner for tomorrow.
If you’re uncomfortable rejecting someone else, try these as you get the hang of setting boundaries:
Online Dating Sites: “Thanks for reaching out. I’m pursuing other ‘matches’ for a bit and wish you good luck with yours!” (Then Mute, Block or Swipe)
On Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and IG: Mute, Block or Delete
For an Email or a Text:
Dear _______ ,
Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in your romantically and wish you well. (Sign your name because it’s polite!)
If you’re the one being rejected, try these ideas:
Block them. Really and truly, use the technology to block or delete the person who doesn’t want to see you anymore. Simply protect yourself from yourself… tell yourself that “you will find a great partner” and stay off their feeds. Mute, Hide, Delete the connection. Step away from the emotional hit. When you focus your attention on taking care of yourself, you can balance the hit of rejection with the joys of being accepted.