How I Handle Romantic Rejection

The other day, I gave a guy my number. It took a lot of courage to do that. As I braced myself for the rejection that I was certain I’d get in response to his receiving my phone number, I got to thinking about the one last time I gave a guy my number unprompted.

I’m not the kind of girl that guys typically go after. I’m not traditionally attractive so I get rejected a lot. In fact, I didn’t actually have a boyfriend of any kind until College. I’m inexperienced in dating and I always assume anyone asking me out is a joke like it was back in middle school and high school.

But even if I assume the worst, rejection hurts. It’s allowed to hurt. You wouldn’t have stuck yourself out there if you didn’t feel something in the first place.

Here’s what I do when I get rejected.

Step 1: Receive letter/email/text/call letting me down easy.

Typically these are very courteous and sweet. I’m a pretty nice girl so most guys don’t tear into me. In fact, the case is usually that they have someone they’re with.

Step 2: Take it horribly.

What I hear is not that they have someone they’re already attached to or that they aren’t looking for a relationship. Thanks to my poor self esteem, I hear that I’m not good enough. I hear that I don’t deserve nice things.

Step 3: Be a complete baby about it.

I eat a tub of ice cream and drink all the soda I can get my hands on. Chocolate helps too. I get mad because I should have known better and why didn’t my friends stop me from making a fool of myself?

Step 4: Sleep it off.

This is possibly the most important step. If I didn’t do this, I don’t think I’d be able to get to the next step at all. Step 5 has never come before this. I sleep off the initial hurt. Sometimes there’s alcohol involved to help me sleep. Sometimes I just can’t stand being awake and being me any longer. Either way, I sleep as long as I can. My record is 20 hours of sleep and naps. If I have work the next day, I go to sleep early and deal with what I can get.

Step 5: Practice Some Self Love

This can come in lots of forms. Sometimes it involves a fancy lunch or some retail therapy. Sometimes it’s a bubble bath or a vacation day.

This is actually a hard one to do because there’s a thin line between practicing self love and binge eating or compulsive shopping. It can’t be about distracting yourself from the problem. It has to be about showing yourself that you still care and think you deserve nice things. Step 3 is where the binge eating and compulsive shopping happen. Step 3 is about feeling and expressing your feeling. Step 5 is about caring for yourself.

Tonight, I’ve got plans. I’m gonna take myself on a date. Just me. I’m gonna go to a restaurant with linen and tableware. You know, treat myself. I deserve to be treated like I’m special sometimes.

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