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How To Date After Divorce And Handle Rejection

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How To Date After Divorce And Handle Rejection

Delaine Moore

From: Delaine Moore

You thought your first date went well but now you are feeling rejected. He hasn’t called you back in two weeks. Or suddenly he’s saying he’s busy every time you ask him out. Or maybe he was big enough to come right out tell you, “Sorry, but I’m only interested in you as a friend.”

Any way rejection is served to a newbie dater post-divorce, it feels crappy. It can also do a real number on your self-esteem. “Why didn’t he feel the spark when I did?” You wonder solemnly. “Am I not pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough? Suddenly you want to disappear from the dating scene altogether, imagining yourself alone and unloved at age eighty.

When I first got divorced, I took every form a rejection I received personally – especially when I began online dating. If I sent a man an email and he didn’t reply to me, I thought, “What doesn’t he like about me? Was it something I wrote? Do I look fat in my profile photo?” And when I actually started going out on first dates, only to have some brush me off thereafter, my disappointment and self-battery went up a notch or ten.

Now, almost two years into my divorce and many dates later, I’ve learned many a wise thing about how to date AND handle rejection. So straight from this veteran in the dating trenches, here are four tips on handling rejection that I wish someone had told me:

  • Take a time-out for some logical thinking.

    There really is a place for our brain’s sensibilities in managing dating rejection. Too often we let our sensitive, divorce-worn hearts take centre stage, when what we really need to do is assess it from a rational standpoint.

    Please contemplate the following commonsense points:

    1. Most daters you’ll meet have a list of first date ‘deal breakers.’ These vary from person to person and could be as simple as, “She has to have long hair and big breasts,” to “He can’t be a smoker and my pulse has to race in his company.”

      The bottom line is that people are entitled to like what they like and if you don’t possess that deal making attribute then Oh Well! Seriously - it’s a shoulder-shrugging, backhanded, Oh Well! You needn’t change who you are or feel unworthy because of some guy’s list. For truly, he is but one of many in a vast ocean of men and you have only just begun to go fishing.

    2. Realize that if you sat down right now and counted how many hours you spent with him, you’d be able to come up with a number. What does that mean? You don’t know him! Sure you’ve skimmed the surface and he seemed charming, smart, handsome, funny and all else you yearn for.

      But, he was also putting his best foot forward to impress you. The reality is that he’s full of flaws, weakness, and probably even annoying habits. At the end of the day, no matter how your heart dresses him up, he’s just some man. Say it again and smile: He’s just some man!

  • Try to keep more than ‘one set of eyes’ on you as you navigate the dating trenches.

    If you are remotely like I was post-divorce, some part of you consciously or unconsciously gages your value through the eyes of a man. In other words, if a man sees you as funny and engaging, you’ll think you’re funny and engaging. If he thinks you’re physically unattractive and a bore, you’ll find yourself feeling insecure. Whether we were aware of it or not, this kind of belief-mirroring usually was at work in our marriages, and it can easily carry on into our dating lives.

    My solution: keep more than one set of eyes on you as you begin dating. That’s right – date more than one man at a time. After all, you’re still getting to know yourself at this stage post-divorce. And, isn’t it wonderful you have this opportunity to amputate old, un-serving beliefs about who you are, and begin reconstructing broader, more empowering ones.

    When I first started dating men and they’d pay me a compliment like, “You’re so funny” or “Wow, you’re so interesting,” I couldn’t believe they were talking about me. I had fixed ideas in my head about who Delaine was – and believe me, she had lots of flaws. But the more I dated, the more I actually began believing that “Yeah, I AM funny” and “Wow, I really AM interesting.” A new sense of confidence, a new sense of ME was slowly building.

    And of course, another plus to dating more than one man at a time is that you won’t get swept away in unrealistic visions of who he is, cause you know you’ll have fun with the other guy on Tuesday night. Moreover, if either one of them breaks up with you, there’ll be no alarming 911 response; it’ll be more like the sound of a shoulder shrug.

  • Realize that any form of rejection can open old (marital) wounds.

    Especially if infidelity or any kind of domestic abuse were involved in your former marriage, you may find that dating rejection reopens that wound. If you dig down deep, you’ll probably discover that your current rejection has more to do with your ex-husband than this man. THAT is the wound that must be carefully identified and tended to.

  • Your attitude and self-talk mean everything.

    Again, so what if this man or that man wasn’t interested in you! You know that life goes on, that it HAS to get better than the Divorce Hell you’ve endured. So remember that you are on your way to finding a new you, a happier you, in the next chapter of your life.

    Remember that you can choose to laugh, roll your eyes, and have some fun as you explore yourself and the dating trenches. And last, but certainly not least, remember: it’s a big, BIG sea out there, and way better fish will come along. Cause you deserve it.

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