Learn how to separate romantic rejection out of your self-worth

When the textual content flashed on my iPhone display, I had the reply to the query I’d been afraid to ask. His reply didn’t shock me, I had identified it deep down inside however wanted to listen to it from him.

The particular person I had emotions for had simply instructed me over textual content they didn’t wish to pursue something romantically with me. Tears rolled down my face as I cried silently. It felt terrible.

However the worst a part of this rejection was that the primary thought that popped into my head was: I would like to alter. My ideas weren’t ‘I deserve higher’ or ‘he’s clearly an fool’ or ‘onwards and upwards’ however as an alternative ‘I’m not ok’. I translated his romantic rejection as commentary on my price, the message felt clear and resounding: it’s you, not him. Nothing may persuade me in any other case.

With the good thing about hindsight, I do know that is all unsuitable. However on the time, I used to be sure of my very own supposed shortcomings. I wasn’t fairly sufficient, wasn’t skinny sufficient, I wanted to drop extra pounds, change my hair, change my character, be much less ‘me’. I acted on a few of these misguided beliefs in a bid to form myself right into a model of myself that I deemed extra ‘dateable’.


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There was nothing anybody may say that may change my thoughts and I didn’t know easy methods to pull myself out of the pit of self-loathing that this rejection had pushed me into. Time, as we all know, is a superb healer and ultimately I reclaimed my self-worth. However, the expertise served as a lesson. It was clear that romantic rejection introduced up among the very worst issues I take into consideration myself and made previous wounds sting as in the event that they had been new.

All the ordeal made me query whether or not my sense of self-worth is tethered to how ‘fascinating’ different folks discover me. How can I guarantee I don’t sink into the abyss the following time somebody ends issues? How can I start to see that it actually isn’t me, it’s truly them?

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So, how do you separate romantic rejection out of your self-worth?

Relationship skilled Rachael Lloyd from eharmony says romantic rejection is among the most painful kinds of rejection. “It actually cuts to the very coronary heart of who we’re and the way enticing we deem ourselves to be,” says Lloyd. “And nobody is exempt. A current report by eharmony and Relate discovered over 60 p.c of males worry rejection, notably when it comes to their age and look. This echoes what girls inform us.”

Low vanity and previous trauma can lengthen the agony of a romantic rejection. “Fortunately, most individuals can climate their manner by the painful emotions by leaning on good associates or household. However these of us who have already got low vanity and carry hidden reserves of childhood trauma can discover ourselves derailed for months, in some circumstances years,” provides Lloyd.


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So, how can we make it much less painful for ourselves? As Sam Owen, Hinge UK relationship skilled, tells me, “Courting, like life generally, is about on the lookout for the folks you click on with.” Let’s face it, we don’t get on with everybody we meet — in any other case we’d be best associates with everybody we’ve ever encountered. Owen says that the method of relationship permits us to study who we’re, what we wish, in addition to enabling you to construct resilience by interacting with people who find themselves and are usually not proper for us. “So when somebody ‘rejects’ you, not solely is that saving you treasured time, however it’s additionally the universe ushering you in direction of potential mates who’re worthy of you, your time and your love,” says Owen. “Thus, rejection is rewarding: it each teaches us one thing and it nudges us in direction of our targets and happiness.”

You’re not being rejected, the connection is

Lloyd says that rejection isn’t connected to 1 particular person. “If our companion ends the connection, it’s as a result of one thing within the relationship wasn’t working for them, fairly than one thing purely in us,” she says. “It may be actually empowering to separate our sense of self, from the mixed self we turn out to be after we bond with different folks.”

So, when somebody breaks up with you or says no to taking the connection additional, it’s not essentially you as an individual that’s being turned down, it’s the connection that’s being rejected. “We additionally want to understand that rejection isn’t solely private, it’s usually reflective of key wants or needs that aren’t being met inside a mutual dynamic.”

Keep in mind that is about them, not you

“Dita Von Teese as soon as mentioned, ‘You may be the ripest, juiciest peach on the earth, and there’s nonetheless going to be any person who hates peaches.’ And he or she was proper,” says Ruby Payne, in-house intercourse and relationship skilled at intercourse toy retailer UberKinky. “When somebody we wish doesn’t need us again, we instantly begin to query ourselves: Why am I not ok? What did I do unsuitable? Am I ugly? We begin to turn out to be outlined by the truth that one other particular person has rejected us, and we deem ourselves unworthy of future love,” says Payne.

“Dita Von Teese as soon as mentioned, ‘You may be the ripest, juiciest peach on the earth, and there’s nonetheless going to be any person who hates peaches.’ And he or she was proper.”

“The straightforward truth is that the rejection was much less about you, and extra about them, with completely no reflection in your price as a human being,” Payne provides. “It doesn’t imply that you just aren’t enticing, enjoyable, or a very good particular person to be with – it merely implies that they weren’t the proper particular person for you.”

Payne says it’s completely fantastic (and wholesome) to be down after a rejection or breakup. “Take time to heal and lick your wounds, however when you be taught that the break-up wasn’t about you, the faster you’ll get again in your toes,” she provides.

Flip rejection into reflection

Certified life coach Puja McClymont says that should you do really feel your self-worth has been compromised, it may be useful to mirror on any classes that you may draw from the expertise.

“Somewhat than deal with what may be unsuitable with you (there’s nothing unsuitable with you however that is the place we are inclined to go) deal with what you’ll be able to be taught from the particular person or expertise,” says McClymont. “Are there any crimson flags that you just missed? By reflecting on this manner, you’re trying to enhance your experiences fairly than put it on your self as a failure.”


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“The last word key to not really feel such as you’re being rejected is to truly work in your self-worth. Who’re you? What do you stand for? Do you reside your life aligned to your values? Do you imagine in your self? What do you want to do to construct extra vanity in order that your price isn’t in query?” McClymont continues. “Some deep reflective work generally is a actual game-changer when on the lookout for love. Constructing you up every time fairly than bringing you down every time will allow you to bounce again from a relationship that didn’t work out in a a lot more healthy manner.”

Flip it right into a optimistic

As Hinge’s Sam Owen factors out, it’s essential to keep in mind that rejection additionally helps you keep away from losing time within the unsuitable relationships. “Although 26 p.c of Hinge daters really feel nervous about hurting the opposite particular person’s emotions once they wish to finish an undefined romantic relationship, an enormous 85 p.c mentioned they might fairly know if the opposite particular person isn’t taken with them. This highlights how ‘rejection’ isn’t about an individual’s price, it’s merely how every particular person seeks a mutually exhilarating connection. And that’s what romantic love is all about,” says Owen.

Rejection is a part of the method that leads us in direction of what we’re on the lookout for. “So, in actuality, romantic rejections are highway indicators and redirections all arrange that will help you obtain your relationship targets, not a mirrored image of your price,” says Owen. “Your job is to work on being comfortable and wholesome inside your self. Should you’re feeling deflated from rejection, contemplate prioritising working in your psychological well being. Taking this time for self-care will result in extra resilience, vitality, and psychological readability in your all-important relationship and relationship targets shifting ahead. Then, you’ll be able to deal with discovering somebody that actually deserves you.”

If I may flip again the clock and inform myself that completely nothing about me wanted fixing or altering, I’d. Rejection actually stings and, relying on how we’re feeling about ourselves in that second in time, that ache can linger slightly. Take so long as you want to nurse your damage however bear in mind the rejection isn’t about you — it truly is about them. Somebody on the market will love you simply as you’re.

This text was first revealed in 2021 and republished in 2023.

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