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It’s Not You, It’s Me – Dealing with Relationship Rejection

The phrase “it’s not you, it’s me” is enough to make you double over. Let's talk about rejection, it's impact, and practical tips to come out stronger than before.
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Key Points:

More often than not, rejection has nothing to do with your worth or their desirability.

Rejection is nothing more than an opportunity not turning out as expected.

Overcoming rejection means coming to terms and exploring your emotions.

Have you ever heard the phrase “it’s not you, it’s me” and felt like you were gut punched? This article looks at romantic rejection and its essence, to understand it’s impact, and discover practical tips to come out stronger than before.

What is Rejection?

Romantic interest is not just a black-and-white situation; it’s a spectrum that includes levels of attraction, compatibility, and timing. There are several reasons why someone may not be romantically attracted to another person that have nothing whatsoever to do with their worth as a human being or their desirability. These reasons might include lack of emotional availability at present time in someone’s life; current life circumstances or simply no “spark”. Rejection does not always mean rejecting someone else’s qualities in negative terms. Instead, this might be a reflection on where they stand in their life right now or what they think they want from a partner that does not necessarily match up with your attributes currently.

Rejection: A Harsher Reality

Whereas rejection tends to be more final and conclusive as there is an act of dismissing someone who might have been considered for the purpose of deciding on whether one wanted them as romantically inclined future spouse or lover. Sometimes rejections tend to close more directly which could be even harsher since it unambiguously says ‘no’ to the relationship. Though rejection is usually more painful because it insinuates that something is wrong with the bond between you two preventing any further development but also contains within itself an impetus for moving forward quickly without wasting much energy and time on futile attempts at nonreciprocal relations.

Forms of Relationship Rejection

Romantic Rejection:

This type of rejection may include any situation where romantic advances or desires are not felt the same by the other person. It can happen at any point in a relationship, ranging from when someone doesn’t call back after a first date to a long-term partner breaking up with you.

Social Rejection:

Friends or potential friends who decide not to include someone in social activities or who stop responding to social invites form a type of social rejection. These range from not getting an invite for a party, to being excluded from an established group of friends.

Online Rejection:

With the rise of social media and dating apps, online rejection has become more and more common. This includes people ignoring your messages on Facebook; swiping left on Tinder; or failing to respond to your profile on other dating sites.

Is the Rejection Real?

The truth is your perception of rejection may not be the reality of the situation.  Rejection is nothing more than an opportunity not turning out as expected in love, career or friendship, and it usually has nothing to do with your worth or potential. It may not have anything to do with you at all!  You may feel rejected by someone you are interested in, only to find out that they just went through a terrible breakup and haven’t started their own healing process.  Maybe that movie you weren’t invited to was a misunderstanding of whether you wanted to see it.  You could have been “left on read” because the person checked their text messages and then received a phone call before they could respond. But what about that person that didn’t respond to your flirtatious message online?  Honestly, who knows?  They may only date people over 6’ tall, or those with brown eyes.  Maybe you remind them of their ex, or they just glanced over your message and didn’t read it.  Start by asking yourself if you ever ignored a message sent to you, and then ask whether that had anything to do with the person’s character, personality, or integrity.  In the end, it didn’t have anything to do with those things.  It was a split-second decision and you moved on without thinking about it again. The truth is we don’t know what someone else is thinking, going through, or the situation they are in.  Understanding that we don’t understand rejection is the key to moving past it.

Why Rejection Feels So Personal

More than anything else, relationship rejection feels personal by attacking our self-image. When a person rejects us, this means that we are not wanted, and it seems as if it is confirmation of our sexual powerlessness or being worthless as an individual. This is precisely why overcoming rejection is so difficult and why it results in massive self-doubt. The feeling of rejection taps into our deepest insecurities and fears, primarily the fear of being alone. In terms of evolution, one had to be part of a group to survive; thus, whenever denied access or turned away this instinctual phobia towards exclusion & isolation can make us respond emotionally.

Dealing with Rejection from Someone You Love

If it comes from someone you deeply care about, the impact of rejection is magnified. This type of rejection can be especially devastating because of the significant emotional investment in the relationship. Here are some steps to go through this painful experience and find a way back to health:

1-Recognize Your Emotions

To start dealing with rejection, you must come to terms with your emotions. You could feel incredibly hurt by this ordeal; others might feel sad, angry or even relieved by what just happened. These emotions are important. Allow yourself to experience them without judgment for long enough till they subside.

2-Find Other’s Support

While at such times you should lean on friends and family who love you. Talk to those close friends or relatives about how you feel. Sometimes these people will comfort us and give us an ear but also they can provide us with new points of view that we hadn’t considered before regarding our situation. Loneliness intensifies feelings of being rejected, so staying in touch with other people is essential.

3-Contemplate What Happened

Afterwards try reflecting on the relationship as well as the rejection itself when ready. What did you learn from it? How has it contributed towards your understanding of yourself and wants in relationships? Reflection helps convert miserable experiences into valuable lessons for personal growth.

4-Take Care of Yourself

It is essential that you take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Engaging in activities that nourish your body and soul is critical. You may engage exercise since it releases endorphins while another person may opt to write, paint or play musical instruments as sources emotional release. Make sure that you eat properly, sleep enough, and do things that make you happy about who you are.

5-Consider Professional Assistance

Sometimes friends or relatives can offer consolation but full healing rests on seeking help from professionals. A therapist, life or divorce coach can teach strategies specific to your own situation that can help you understand and manage your emotions better. In case you are not sure about starting therapy, most services offer a free life coach consultation where one can get to see if this is what they want.

6-Make New Plans and See Friends

After a period of reflection and healing, focus on setting new personal goals. These goals may be related to career development, hobbies or personal growth. Achievement of set goals helps in reconstructing self-esteem as well as shifting concentration from the past into the future.

7-Give Yourself the Gift of Time

You won’t get over a rejection overnight. Give yourself time to heal at your own pace. Don’t rush through it or expect unrealistic recovery timelines. You may want to sit and think about past relationships that ended.  How long did it take you to move past those relationships?  Did something help you recover from that heartbreak?  Do you think that would help you in this situation?  Remember that your personal growth is something that you are building on, and not starting from scratch each time.  Use the skills and techniques that you’ve developed through your lifetime. When you finally feel like it’s time, get back to dating after finding yourself whole again. New relationships, whether romantic or platonic, can reaffirm the joys of connecting with others and help you move forward.

8-Stop Looking on Social Media

In today’s digital era it might be quite tempting for someone to follow up on their exes via social media platforms but that would only mean prolonging the healing process. Instead, it would be better for you to completely unfollow him/her wherever they are on social media until you feel like getting back with them again.


Although heartbreak is certainly a painful experience; it creates opportunity to know yourself better as well as grow personally. There needs to be an understanding why rejection hurts so much if we want healing. Your road to recovery and inner joy is lined with friends, family, and professionals trained to assist you.  In love and life, rejection is just a short-term setback, not a final destination. All it takes to get back on track to happiness is resilience, support network and some self-love.
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