Thinking back to past relationships, can you acknowledge that fear of rejection holds you back from sharing your feelings?
If you can relate to this experience, you’re not alone. Nobody likes to feel this way. Whether it’s a job interview, dealing with colleagues at the office, or in your personal life, there are no two ways about it – it hurts. And if the rejection comes from someone you care about, it’s even more challenging to process.
Sure, we’re resilient. But the more we are rejected, the stronger and higher our walls become. Pretty soon, we hesitate to put ourselves out there at all, just in case our ideas and emotions are not validated.
Throw Away The Rule Book!
In dating life, the fear of rejection is especially concerning because it could prevent you from accepting love and affection. The truth is, there are no rules about dating anymore. So if you’re waiting for him to reach out to you after a date or share his feelings first, you might be waiting a long time. A conservative approach will not often get you the results you want.
Maybe you’re just old-fashioned, and you want him to be the one to follow up after your date. But here’s a newsflash – it’s going on 2021. Dating hasn’t been like that since well before Match Me Canada launched more than 11 years ago. These days, if you want to know how he feels, you ask!
Daunting, for sure. But if you really, genuinely want to know, you need to do it. Think of it this way; whatever answer you get, it moves you forward. You can either take it to the next step or put it behind you.
Best-case scenario, you share how you feel, and the person you are dating expresses the same feelings to you. Sweet!
Worst-case scenario, you share how you feel, and they don’t reciprocate. While there might be some initial disappointment, you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time and heartache. You know how they feel, and you can start to move on.
Signs That Your Fear Of Rejection Is Holding You Back
Now, none of us enjoys rejection. Ideally, everybody we date thinks the same way we do, and there’s no need even to talk about such things. How ridiculous does that sound? We’re all individuals, each with our own needs, wants, and dreams. Not everybody you date will be on the same page – and that’s okay! But if you’re going to prioritize your own happiness and avoid falling into unfulfilling relationship cycles, you need to take control of your fear of rejection. See it for what it is, and don’t let it hijack your dating life.
Here are a few signs that you are letting the fear of rejection get the best of you:
- Not allowing others to get close to you emotionally.
- Pushing them to break up with you, either by shutting down your feelings or distancing yourself physically and emotionally.
- Constantly trying to change your physical appearance because you always feel like you’re not good enough.
- Not setting clear boundaries in your relationship and freaking out when those invisible lines are crossed.
- Setting the bar low, such as dating people you know aren’t right for you.
- Feeling like you are incapable of finding long-lasting love.
- Looking at every relationship as temporary.
Overcoming The Fear
Remember, not everything in life is going to turn out the way you want it to, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it never will! When you understand that rejection can and will happen and that it’s a normal part of everyday life, perhaps you can let go of the fear.
Telling yourself that it doesn’t matter isn’t the answer, either. Ignoring your feelings only pushes them deeper, robbing you of the opportunity to confront your fears and manage them productively. Only then can you learn and grow from the experience.
So when rejection happens, whether it’s coming from a partner, a friend, a colleague, or a complete stranger, don’t discard it, even if it stings. See it as a meaningful experience that helps you learn more about yourself.
Rejection is often a simple matter of two people’s needs not matching up. It’s usually based on honesty, and though it might hurt initially, you shouldn’t allow it to erode your sense of self-worth. Remember that you are worthy. Don’t close yourself off to love. Your match is out there, but you need to be open to it.