Rejection is a difficult thing to stomach and new research indicates it can even impact your nervous system.
One arena where rejection is a fact of life is online dating. The reality is that people use online dating for a variety of purposes, and on certain platforms like Tinder, the majority of users view it as a game and not a way to find a serious partner.
With such an unpleasant feeling as rejection bound to impact almost anyone who tries online dating, we thought it a good idea to list the best ways to keep rejection from ruining your day, week or month.
Here are the top three ways we know of to effectively deal with rejection in online dating:
1. Avoid expectations, or at least keep them very low
The best way to limit the disappointment of rejection is to keep your expectations in check in the first place. The odds are you will not meet your future spouse by the first or even tenth person you date.
Think of online dating as a form of social practice, where you have nothing to lose. Be sure to pick a restaurant or event that you have wanted to try regardless of of the date. Learn about the other person, even if you know immediately that he or she will not suit you as a long-term partner. Approaching your date as a learning experience will help quell any feelings of rejection after the fact.
Most of all, assume that the person you are on a first date with likely has other dates lined up after you…and you should follow suit! Avoid attachment after a first, second or even third date. Assume non-exclusivity until it is openly stated and don’t expect to find the perfect partner in a set period of time.
Finally, don’t put other areas of your social life on hold. Remember that you can just as easily meet someone randomly at a coffee shop or bookstore as you can online. In other words, don’t expect online dating to be a cure-all and don’t put all your eggs in the online dating basket. If you do, the feeling of rejection will only be amplified when it inevitably comes to you.
Don’t stew on an unanswered messages or texts. Get some fresh air and exercise. Science has shown the correlation between exercise and strong mental and emotional health. Not getting a date is a poor reason to be inactive and your lack of activity may make you feel even worse!
Push yourself to leave the house, go to the gym and the benefits to your mood, body and state of mind will all be noticeable. Consider adding yoga and meditation to the mix to train your mind which will pay off when dealing with challenging situations. Consistent exercise will help stabilize your mood, immune system and make you more resilient to life’s ups and downs.
3. Don’t quit…unless you really want to
Keep in mind online dating is the ultimate numbers game. While we don’t encourage you to message everyone on the platform nor accept a date with just anyone who messages you without due diligence, flexibility and patience are keys to a successful online dating experience. Many people send hundreds of messages and go on dozens of dates before finding a partner. While the process can be frustrating, the reward, when and if it comes, could make the time investment worth it.
Don’t quit because you feel uniquely unsuccessful with online dating. Nearly everyone finds it frustrating at times. If however, you do feel frustrated, you may decide to take a break from your site for a few months or switch to a dating platform that might suit you better.
Choose to start or stop online dating on your own terms and regardless of whom you find to date, you can consider yourself a success.