Rejection can be insidious in the way it damages our self-esteem. Things can appear to be going so well in a budding relationship, when all of a sudden you get a text or a phone call saying, “We need to talk.” When the phone call ends and so does the relationship, we can be left broken-hearted and questioning our self-worth. But it’s really not the rejection itself that does the damage; it’s often what we believe about ourselves when we’ve been rejected.
In order to recuperate when you’ve been rejected, you’ve got to re-interpret that message of rejection and replace it with one that more accurately reflects the work of your ongoing personal growth and your hope of a lasting future relationship. Here are four ways to replace the message of rejection with the appropriate message of hope.
Instead Of “I Wasn’t Enough,” Think “We Weren’t A Match”
After a breakup, its normal for at least one person out of the couple to feel like they did not do enough, or that they weren’t enough, to make the relationship work. But so many things go into achieving compatibility: our personality and temperament, our personal faith and the way we express it, our past experiences, our values, our expectations and standards, and our vision for what kind of marriage we eventually want to have. If you didn’t match up well with your ex, now is the time to look at all these important factors having to do with compatibility and prayerfully re-evaluate the type of person you might be better off dating.
Instead Of “I Made Big Mistakes,” Think “I Learned Important Things”
We all make mistakes in relationships. It’s impossible to have a relationship where the two people involved aren’t somehow hurting or failing the other person, in some way, at some point in the relationship. We can grow from these failures and mistakes and develop our strengths in anticipation of loving someone who will better appreciate what we have to offer in a relationship. We can learn from these mistakes and make progress in becoming a spiritually and emotionally healthy person who is ready to love.
Instead Of “I Picked The Wrong Person,” Think “I Have A Better Idea Of What To Look For”
As we learn from our mistakes, we also learn about ourselves and about our vision for what kind of marriage we want to have. Instead of concentrating on the feeling that we somehow picked the wrong person, we can focus instead on meeting and dating people who are better suited for us. In the Garden of Eden, when God created man and saw that he was lonely, He said he would make “a helper suitable for him.” We need to be confident that our future mate will be suitable for our weaknesses and will also allow our strengths to shine.
Instead Of “I Can’t Handle the Rejection,” Think “I Can Do All Things Through Christ”
The Apostle Paul said, “I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation – to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
Paul is talking about the contentment that comes from having perspective. He is saying that whatever the situation, he can handle it. When he says he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him, he meant he can do poverty and he can do wealth; he can handle praise and he can handle criticism; he can walk in love and he can handle rejection. And so can you.
Breakups are painful; there’s nothing wrong with feeling sad or hurt when it happens. But feeling rejected can make us hesitant going forward when it comes to starting a new relationship. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the positive outcomes rather than the negative feelings of rejection. Like the Apostle Paul, you can handle the situations that occur in dating. You can handle rejection, and you can continue to walk in love. Experiencing rejection doesn’t have to be interpreted that all is lost. In fact, you’ll find that you have so much more to gain.
You may also be interested in Learning From Losses In Dating: The Power Of “What”