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AUGUST ISSUE

Ways to Handle Rejection: It's Really Not About YOU!

So you've been rejected by someone you like or are in love with. Rejection is painful no matter what, but too often do we think it is something "we did", or "we are not good enough". Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, in some cases you can be rejected despite the person actually like you back! I was in a situation like that once where I met a man who showed all the signs of being "into" me. He would take me out for coffee, dinner and events but never made a move further than those 'dates'. To cut a long story short; after about seven months of 'dating' this guy but now know what in the world he wanted from me, I brought up the conversation. By then I was deeply in love with him, and really wanted to hear the same thing back. I told myself he was perhaps just shy.

He didn't know "what his feelings were for me". I was devastated. To make matters worse he never gave me an outright "no". He himself did not know if it was a "no" or not.

It didn't take much effort to find out what the real problem was. It wasn't a lack of attraction for me, it wasn't that we didn't have a lot in common. He genuinely liked me and cared about me, but he could not handle the age difference between us. It never bothered, or would have bothered, me. He on the other hand could not get past it, and told himself many of my character traits (spontaneity, love of life, etc) were because I was still "very young" in his eyes. Everything is relative of course, and he had made his decision. Even though we were very compatible on many levels, and he even liked me and felt attracted to me, he just couldn't take the plunge because the age difference bothered him too much.

Situations like these often let us wonder why a person can let one, or a few, little things, stand in the way of a potentially fulfilling and loving relationship. Sometimes we just meet people at the wrong time in their lives, and whereas a year down the road they would return your interest, at that time they just can't. It may be that they themselves are dealing with a broken heart, family problems or too much stress at work. In other words; their mindset just isn't there! You can stand on your head or strip in public, it won't change their minds! In fact, you could be the 'perfect' person, and it would still not matter.

Rejection therefore is often not personal at all; it doesn't mean there is something wrong with you, there is often something wrong with them. Even if they don't show it, you can be sure there is some factor keeping them from either liking you back or acting on their feelings for you.
A girlfriend of mine met a guy once who liked her very much. She liked him back as well, and they became friends. When he wanted to take the relationship to the next level she rejected him though, why? Because she thought he was perhaps Mr. Right. The problem was, she wasn't looking for a person to marry yet, she was still looking for a Mr. Right-now. Many of us would call her a fool for passing up the opportunity of meeting the love of her life, but she would simply not have been happy in a serious relationship. She still needed to do things on her own in life without a significant other in the background, and although he was perfect for her, his timing just wasn't. Five years have gone by, and recently she started dating him. She went on a biking trip across South America, came back and felt like she got whatever it was out of her system.

When you have to handle rejection remember the examples I mentioned. It really isn't about you, more often than not the situation or timing just isn't right. In other instances the other person sees an important incompatibility between you, perhaps one you have not noticed yourself with your rosy glasses on. Instead of feeling sad and angry, be happy that the other person prevented a relationship that would not have worked out anyways under the given circumstances. Whatever you do, never think the person will 'want' you if you change yourself. First of all, people don't easily change, and second, you will be changing for nothing because there really isn't anything wrong with you in the first place!

You may also want to read How to Get Over a Breakup.

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