Dealing With Rejection in Dating
When talking about self-improvement, success, and motivation, I see relationships (or rather, seeking a relationship) as a very dominant motivation for many guys. “If I get in shape, she’ll date me!” “If I have a great job, I could find a nice girl to settle down with.” and so on. I’m as realistic as possible – plenty of us have that as a primary motivation in our lives. Some people will go as far as to equate marriage with success. It’s human and evolutionary nature to want to find a partner. As much as I disagree on a personal level, I also believe that sometimes you need to use whatever you can to motivate and push yourself forward. There is no such thing in my book as “bad” motivation. Sometimes, motivation can come from the strangest places.
As a guy who used to – and occasionally still does – fall flat on his face with whatever woman he pursued, my heart’s out there with anyone that faces a lonely night, a bad breakup, or another instance of “let’s be just friends”. Over the years I’ve chronicled my ragtag group of friends and their various relationship endeavors, as well as mine, to answer that harrowing question that keeps some guys up at night: “How do I win her over?” I don’t know all the answers, but I’ve noticed a pattern over the years that might go over most people’s heads.
There are a countless number of pick-up artist books, websites, and blogs that will describe with perfect accuracy how you can get any lady you want. Let me start off by saying this – they’re crap. They’re filled with false promises and methods that are about as scientifically founded as leprechauns are. Many have disagreed, but I stand by the mentality that there is no single perfect method to success with women. Personalities, interests, wants, and other situationally-specific variables prevent that from occurring. The way I view talking and approaching the opposite sex is pretty simple – make it about what you do, how you react, how you feel, and don’t worry about how they react. If it’s not working, move on.
I was an awkward kid. I would always, always build up a relationship in my head, pursue the girl, date her if I was lucky, and have my heart broken when we broke up. It was mentally trying. This pattern more-or-less continued for the next few years. Some girl I liked and I start talking, I’d eventually ask her out, and then at some point (or immediately) I would be rejected. I’d get sad, hurt, devastated even, and then I’d get back up to repeat the cycle.
Except I wouldn’t repeat the cycle. I’d put less mental energy into it each successive time – I’d feel more calm and collected when talking to the fairer sex. I eventually stopped seeing women with rose-colored glasses, and each and every failure made that mentality even stronger. Getting turned down, getting dumped, having to dump someone – they really weren’t that big of a deal. Yeah, it was never pleasant, but I’d be fine pretty quickly after that. I’d survive. Since then I’ve had some great relationships. Definitely some that didn’t work, but I didn’t put nearly as much pressure on whether they would, and for the most part they were worth it.
The best of us are the ones that have been rejected, insulted, and turned down over and over again. One of the most successful guys I know spent years getting turned down before he evolved into where he’s at now. It’s basic conditioning. The more you realize that being turned down isn’t the end of the world, the less you care when it happens. There is such a thing as social anxiety – and sometimes we might not even be aware of it. I and anyone else can remember that time that we acted awkward, borderline foolishly, around the cute girl at the party and had no idea why we acted like that.
Here’s the magic formula: The more you’ve been turned down, the less of a cost it is to your ego. The less risk to your ego, the more open, honest, and simple you can keep your interactions. The more simple and honest your interactions are, the less ‘games’ you have to play. The less games mean that you are able to be real – and you can filter out somebody you aren’t compatible with and continue searching for someone that fits the bill.
You don’t have to run funny guy routines, you don’t have to say the right thing at the right moment. You always hear “be confident”. I agree with that statement, but I’ve noticed that a lot of women are very attune at noticing the difference between real confidence and fake, forced confidence. Confidence for many people is not something that they can spontaneously develop. You first need to realize that you have little to lose – and the only way to do that is to keep living through the cycle. You’ll have success, you’ll have failure – but the more you are out there the better you’ll feel. This can only happen when you force yourself to be willing to be rejected. Enough rejections and heartache and your mind will adjust – it will no longer matter to you like it once did.
It’s not that relationships should or shouldn’t be important – everyone is looking for something different in that regard – it’s that it shouldn’t define you. The guys – such as myself and the friends I’ve spoken of – put ourselves out there enough that we’ve gotten over the ‘rejection-hump’. And honestly, rejection shouldn’t matter. It’s nearly as universal as the air we breathe. You won’t be compatible with every cute girl you meet. Chalk it up as a learning experience – not an assault on your pride. Get out there and be willing to get emotionally smacked around a bit – you’ll come out better than ever.