on coping with romantic rejection

Gentle reader, as you may know it’s tough to be unemployed. It’s also tough to be rejected in your romantic advances. It’s tough to be both unemployed and rejected. Given my surplus of time and present condition I have decided to write about the whole thing.

Here’s what I learned about coping with rejection.

1. It’s good to be out of the friendzone. While guy-girl platonic friendships are fine (if a little hard to maintain) it is extremely undesirable to be in a state where the guy is infatuated with the girl yet she (wilfully or otherwise) doesn’t know and so treats him like a close but non-romantic friend – a status quo which rarely changes so long as this relationship exists. When this happens, guys, you must get out of the situation, which is torture for you, and just not very good for the girl either. In my case I quite accidentally got out of the friendzone when I asked the girl out, and though the rejection hurt it was ultimately good to be honest and to change the situation.

2. Don’t get bitter and villify the girl. She has a right to say no.

3. If the previous point doesn’t apply to you then you might do one or both of the following: spiral into self doubt, and/or cling to the girl despite the rejection. Neither is good. The self doubt we will address below, but for now let us look at the clinging. Here’s why it’s not a good idea: (a) it is most likely that the girl won’t change her mind so please move on, and (b) even if she will that’s not going to happen as long as you cling on and make things awkward. Man up, swallow your pride and treat her with the normalcy and respect she still deserves; holding her emotional hostage is not going to make you more attractive. (c) Even if you start thinking that she’s the one that God has prepared for you but things might just have hit a temporary snag, you should still move on. If indeed it’s in the cards as far as God is concerned, he’ll make it happen, trust him. In the meantime exercise that trust by moving on, it’ll be healthier for both you and the girl.

Now that the mechanics are out of the way, what do you do after all this?

1. Engage in creative activities. It’s a great way of combating self doubt, because by making stuff you are reminding yourself that your worth lies outside of how willing a girl is to say yes to you. (Realistically our worth lies in Jesus but often that all goes out the window when these situations come) Cook a fancy meal, write (as I am now doing), draw, make things, play an instrument. Really push the envelope. I can create cool things like God does.

2. Occupy yourself. Watch lots of TV/movies, read your favourite book or read books you don’t normally go for, level up your characters, conquer the world, shoot lots of digital bad guys. Dull your brain really. But not with drink. That’s a slippery slope.

3. Meet up with people. Resist the urge to tell everybody about what you’re going through though (oh the irony), that will probably stop you from getting over it. Ask them about what they’ve been up to.

4. If you’re unemployed at the same time, look for a job. Seriously.

5. Don’t resist the urge to be sad either, because it’ll pass and it’s good to get it out of the way. Don’t be afraid to explore your feelings about the whole thing, pray about it, and trust that God will bring you to the right verdict about what’s happened. Bottle up those feelings and your recovery is going to be a lot slower.

6. And don’t indulge in porn (touched on here). Leaving aside how grievously sinful it is against God (and your future wife) it will also seriously retard your recovery. In the worst case it will prevent you from learning anything at all from this whole thing: recovering from rejection is about bearing with humiliation, but porn will simply make you sidestep that humiliation through its empty promises of empowerment. Man up and take the hit!

Gentle reader, if rejection ever comes your way, I hope this will help you even if only a little.

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