Handling Rejection In Relationships

by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Relationships Columnist


Published in Relationships on 29th October, 2018


Rejection is painful, and it can sometimes be very embarrassing. However, it's also a normal part of life. Consequently, it's important to learn how to handle rejection in a graceful way.

handling rejection

While it's never going to feel good to be rejected, you can learn how to handle it in a way that doesn't leave you feeling regretful. We'll also discuss how you can use the rejection to promote self love and self growth. Take a look at these tips and pick up the ones you like!

Types Of Relationship Rejection

There are a variety of different types of rejection that you can experience involving relationships. They can also occur not just in romantic relationships, but also in those with friends, family and coworkers. For our purposes today, we're going to focus on handling romantic rejection.

It's also important to keep in mind that this kind of rejection doesn't always happen the same way. Sometimes it's gentle, while in other cases the person simply seems to disappear. No matter how it occurs, it's so important to be able to take care of yourself during the process.

Rejection In Dating

This is rejection that can occur at some point in the dating period, typically before you get engaged or married. Mainly, we're going to pinpoint the rejection that can occur when you've been on a date, or even a few dates with someone, when they decide they are no longer interested in seeing you.

Sexual Rejection

For those who understand the concept of a dead bedroom, that's what this kind of rejection can lead to. It's simply rejection involving one partner rejecting the other when they are seeking out sexual activity. In some cases, it can be rare, while in others it may become a frequent occurrence.

Intimacy Rejection

This kind of rejection is similar to sexual rejection, but refers to other kinds of intimacy. For example, when cuddling or hugs become less frequent. If your partner doesn't seem to enjoy physical contact, or becomes unwilling to share deeper thoughts or emotions, this is the rejection present.

intimacy rejection

Progress-Related Rejection

While this rejection type can fit into dating rejection, we found it important to include as a separate section because these rejections tend to be large. They can include rejections towards moving in together, becoming exclusive and getting engaged or married. Often, these rejections can be extremely painful.

Break Ups

Most of us are very familiar with this kind of rejection. It essentially includes one partner no longer wanting to be with the other, and it can happen at any point in the relationship. This is one of the most common forms of rejections to learn how to handle effectively.

Handling Rejection Of Different Kinds

Handling rejection can be extremely difficult. After all, it hurts, and it can leave you feeling unwanted and sometimes even unlovable. However, rejection is something everyone goes through at some point in their lives. While it can be painful, it can also be a very useful tool for personal growth.

Below, we're going to take a look at some tips you can use to get through just about any kind of rejection. Keep in mind that different tips will appeal to different people, so focus on the ones that you believe will help you to the greatest extent.

Think About Why The Rejection Occurred

Sometimes, you won't be able to find out why a rejection occurred. In other cases, the other person will let you know why they are rejecting you. For example, if your partner rejects a marriage proposal, they may explain that they want to have more money saved, want to finish college, or have other reasons why they aren't ready for marriage just yet.

Whether you receive the reasons or not, it's wise to think about why the rejection took place. Think about what was going on in the life of the other person as well as what you could have done differently, but be gentle about it.

Be Honest With Yourself

While you're thinking about what happened, be honest. Don't hold the other person on a pedestal, don't give yourself 100% of the blame, and don't place it full on them either. In the vast majority of these situations, mistakes exist on both sides, or there is no blame to be placed at all.

be honest with yourself

If you go on a date with someone and they simply aren't interested in another date, that typically isn't the fault of either party. Sometimes it just isn't a match. However, in other cases there can be mistakes that come into play that are worth considering for the future.

Remember That You Aren't Entitled To What You Want

While rejections can feel terrible, it's important to stay humble. Neither partner is entitled to the other. Meaning that just because you're dating or married, doesn't mean you deserve sex every time you want it. This applies to just about everything in the relationship.

People are allowed to change their minds about aspects of the relationship, or the relationship as a whole. When you think about it, would you really want your partner to give you what you want just out of obligation? Most of us would prefer they give because it's what they truly want as well.

Take Some Time To Yourself

It can be natural to feel like you want to withdraw after being rejected. In some cases, like a break up, the withdrawal can happen naturally. However, in other cases a rejection doesn't mean the end of a relationship, and in those times it can be hard not to feel unwanted.

Remember that there's nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself, but try to do it in a healthy way. Rather than giving your partner the silent treatment, let them know that you need a little time to process what happened. If you can define how much time, that will be even more helpful.

Don't Be Cruel To Yourself

For some, falling into depression and self-blame is very easy. It's important to keep in mind that even if the rejection is a result of a mistake you made, human beings make mistakes. Beating yourself up about what happened in the past isn't going to make it go away.

dont be cruel to yourself

Instead, take an objective look at what happened and use it to learn how to better handle yourself in the future. Using these situations to grow can allow you more success and happiness in the future. You'll also find it a little easier to regroup.

Don't Punish Your Partner

In many cases, the rejection that comes from someone else isn't done with the intent to hurt you. In fact, it's often a reflection on something going on with them. As a result, it doesn't help to take out your frustration with the situation on them.

That said, it's understandable that you may be frustrated. Keep in mind that there are often deeper reasons for the rejection. It can be helpful to find those out if you can, and see if there's anything you can do to help them. If you cannot, it's best to make peace with it.

Let Yourself Feel

So many feelings can come from being rejected, and they can come at different levels depending on how serious that rejection was. These feelings are perfectly valid and natural. It's okay to be angry, sad, or upset in other ways due to the event. Let yourself feel these emotions.

Bottling them up can often result in a snowballing effect, causing a deeper resentment towards the other person. It can end up coming out in some ways that are very unhealthy. The good news is, by allowing these emotions to flow freely, you can allow them to heal more quickly.

But Don't Be A Victim

While it's good to be honest with yourself about your feelings, it's not a good idea to wallow in the negative ones. Make sure that you continue to enjoy other aspects of your life. Go out with friends, engage in hobbies, and focus on your work.

When you become wrapped up in negative emotions, it can result in thinking of yourself as a victim. In turn, this kind of thought process can become very maladaptive. It's far better to accept the feelings, allow yourself to feel them and then let them go so that you can go on with your life.

Talk About It

If the situation isn't clear, or you're having trouble with the rejection that occurred, it can be very helpful to talk about it with your partner. Of course, this isn't something that can be done as easily if the rejection included the end of the relationship.

In those situations, talking to friends, family or a therapist can be key to healing. Express how you're feeling and seek out help in improving or learning from the situation. In time, you'll come to see that while rejection is unpleasant, it isn't an end for the happiness in your life.

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