Of course it does! Any kind of rejection, professional or personal hurts. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Sure the degree to which it hurts will vary, but you know it still hurts.
Whether it’s that dude who matched you and never sent a message or never responded to your message. The one who matched and then quickly unmatched you or the one who just disappears after one, a few dates or even weeks/months of dating; it hurts. While at times our behaviour can lead to the unwanted ending of a courtship it’s important to remember that there is a whole other person involved in this equation. Another person with a different experience and self-evolution that brings with it an endless supply of independent variables beyond your control. For my tips on how to stay cool despite the possibility of rejection see Tinder/Bumble Survival Tips. You may not have much control over whether or not you are rejected (especially when you’ve only just connected), but…
You most certainly have control over how you respond to rejection.
If you’ve taken the relationship (however loosely you can definite it at this point) for what it is and met him where he was in terms of his behaviour towards you, it certainly makes it easier to accept your current situation. So when I’ve been rejected, thinking about the below is how I get it handled:
- I used to say this to my BFF all the time when another woman crossed her (I don’t anymore because she already knows the drill, and owns it): Does she feed you? Put a roof over your head? Keep you safe and warm? Help you to achieve what you want in your life? No. Then you don’t need her, or in this case him. You not only survived but thrived before him (believe me you were definitely thriving if he was attracted to you) and you will certainly thrive after him.
- It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to accept and feel pain. I find it far easier to move on when I embrace the negative feelings rather than trying to pretend they don’t exist. The important thing is to set a limit on how long this pain will affect you (and also accept that the line is movable, sometimes we backslide). How long this will take depends on you and the investment put into the courtship but acceptance with a set expiry works for me.
- Learn from the experience. If you matched with someone and they just never said anything, there may not be much to learn from that situation – except maybe that just matching someone isn’t the biggest indicator of interest or that this person would make a good whatever it is that you are looking for. However in a situation where more investment was made, and without over analyzing the situation:
Thinking about it for even a few minutes can improve self-awareness.
For example as difficult as it can be to ‘be yourself’ when in the high-anxiety situation of getting to know someone new, perhaps you were being someone completely unlike yourself. Maybe you tried to be someone you thought this person would like but was not authentically you. The thing about trying to be someone else is that you can only keep the charade up for so long; eventually the truth comes out. So perhaps what you learn from this situation is that you could benefit from working on authenticity and keeping consistent with your personal values when you meet new people.
4. Remember the bad times. Of course we want to remain positive but also realistic. I can’t remember where I first heard this concept but when a relationship ends we have a tendency to romanticize the good times and completely ignore all of the bad ones. Sure there were some great memories made during the course of this relationship, but save those for later because right now you need to get back on point. In your lowest moments you will remember some amazing time you had or some sweet thing that he said and trick yourself into thinking the entire experience was all sunshine and roses. When you catch yourself doing this force yourself to remember the negative experiences, the disappointments, the things that made you two incompatible. I’m not proposing you do this long-term; it’s a tool to put your current situation and emotions into perspective.
5. Remember there are other positive things in your life. This person was not and is not the determinant of your happiness. You definitely have other things in your life to be happy about, otherwise this person would not have been attracted to you. You have friends and family who love you, you have a career, you have aspirations and all that you need to achieve them. These are the things that will continue to prove themselves far more valuable than this person who’s decided to bounce from your life.