In my last post, I discussed the DOs and DON’Ts of handling rejection in dating. Rejection is an unavoidable part of dating, and the sooner you learn to put it in perspective, the better. However, that article dealt with rejection in general, the kind of rejection that happens to every person who’s single and out there making an effort. But what about repeated rejection? What do you do when you keep getting rejected, when you can’t get a date, can’t make it past the first date or dates?
Repeated rejection can devastate a person’s confidence. With repeated rejection, you’re not only NOT getting what you want, you have no idea what you’re doing wrong. People think it’s the not getting what you want that sucks. Sure, that’s no fun… but it’s the 2nd thing, the NOT KNOWING, that eats people up.
Why is this? When we get rejected repeatedly but don’t know why, we assume the worst. On some level, we assume we’re not attractive, not worth being with, or some other self-denigrating belief that makes us feel like shit. Some will blame the other sex for their “stupidity,” others blame themselves for their inherent “unlovableness,” some keep trying the same ineffective techniques, some give up altogether. So what’s the solution?
Start Problem Solving
The first thing you do is stop blaming. As I discuss in my books, don’t blame yourself and don’t blame others. Blame makes you powerless. And feeling powerless works against you. Instead, see the problem for what it is, and begin attempting to solve it. There is no one, and I mean NO ONE, who can’t get dates or find a partner who’s attractive and well-matched to you. I hear men bitch that you have to be gorgeous or rich to get dates, and I hear women bitch that you have to be gorgeous or young to attract men. Yes, rich guys and hot women get more options. But, statistically, most of us aren’t gorgeous or rich, and we still manage to get dates. Poor and relatively plain people get dates and find partners. So can you.
If you’re getting rejected repeatedly, the problem isn’t your looks, your age, or your income. The problem is you’re doing something to knock yourself out of the running, and you need to figure out what it is.
First, recognize your problem. Is there a reasonably consistent pattern for you? Here are a few basic rejection principles to get you thinking.
1. If you aren’t able to GET a date (i.e. you’re not getting asked out or you’re not getting a yes when you ask), you aren’t triggering basic attraction. You either need to improve your physical appearance, or you need to work on leading with your masculine side (if male) or feminine side (if female). Or, as one reader pointed out, you need to consider whether you’re aiming out of your league.
2. If you get to a FIRST date but not a SECOND (i.e. they didn’t ask you out again or didn’t say yes when you asked), whatever basic attraction that person felt extinguished, either due to something you did to sabotage it, or simply because it’s not a good match. If the former, you probably broke a date etiquette rule, e.g. you got too personal, talked about your ex, etc.
3. If you manage to get through several dates before being rejected, you’ve either done something significant enough to sabotage attraction strong enough to warrant multiple dates, or there is a lack of compatibility that has lessened their attraction to you. The latter can’t be helped, but the former can be due to various fundamental dating mistakes. After multiple dates, if chemistry (attraction) and compatibility aren’t sufficient enough, you won’t move into relationship-ville.
To some extent, these rules require some modification when dating online. Here, there are two attraction hoops to jump through: the profile and the first in-person meeting.
Rejection Principles for Online Dating
1a. If you have an online profile and you’re consistently getting few to no responses to your emails, or getting few to no emails, there’s something about your profile and/or email technique that isn’t creating potential attraction. You’re either turning people off, or failing to turn them on. Reasons for no initial attraction include crappy photos, poorly written profile, grammatical errors/typos, boring profile, negativity, or bad email technique. It also includes emailing the wrong people, either by emailing those whose criteria you don’t fit, or generally aiming out of your league in terms of attractiveness.
2a. If you’re able to get to the meet-and-greet, but your dates aren’t interested in seeing you again, you’re triggering basic attraction/interest, but then the real you didn’t trigger attraction the way the virtual you may have, or you did something to sabotage attraction. If this happens to you repeatedly, either your real self doesn’t reflect your profile (you lied or your profile is misleading), or you’re committing date faux pas that are killing your game (e.g. talking too much, interrogating, etc.).
3a. If you’re able to get beyond the meet-and-greet and go on a few dates, but then get rejected, see 3 above.
Remember: these rejection scenarios happen to everyone. Don’t sweat it. But if any one of them is happening to you consistently, it’s time to start problem solving. The next post will talk more about how to do that.