A sad man who is experiencing rejection when dating

Reframing Rejection When Dating: A Video Conversation

By Published On: June 5, 2024

Video Summary

Join our team of Certified Dating and Relationship Coaches as they explore how reframing rejection impacts our dating experiences.

Rejection is an inevitable part of dating, but how we handle it can significantly affect our emotional well-being. By learning to reframe rejection, we build a strong foundation that helps us navigate these experiences with resilience and grace. Reframing empowers us to see rejection not as a reflection of our worth but as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.

By changing our perspective, we can understand that rejection is often about compatibility rather than personal inadequacy. This approach allows us to maintain our self-esteem and continue seeking relationships that are truly fulfilling. With a positive mindset, we set healthy boundaries, communicate our needs clearly, and make choices that prioritize our well-being. Instead of seeing rejection as a setback, we view it as a stepping stone toward finding more suitable and supportive connections.

Embracing the practice of reframing transforms rejection from a painful experience into a valuable lesson. It paves the way for authentic relationships based on respect, empathy, and mutual growth.


Heather: Welcome to Love Life Academy’s Conversation Between Coaches. My name is Heather and I am joined by my fellow coach, Jess, and we are here to share with you how to reframe rejection when dating. 

So, Jess, I’d love to start with topic number one with tip number one, which is kind of our favorite phrase in coaching: Rejection is simply redirection”.

It’s very basic. It doesn’t mean redirection to “what”, it’s just a good mindset and a good way to look at things. Now, I would love to hear your perspective. What are your thoughts on this phrase? 

Jess: I love it in its simplicity because it’s so straightforward and to the point. But I think that today we kind of lose what the core of that message is, and we think that it’s just okay, on to the next. But really, when we are having to reject someone or we are feeling that we are being rejected, it’s a great opportunity for us to reassess what didn’t work and where and how we manage moving forward with our dating.

Yes, it is redirection. We’re going to go with a new partner, we’re going to go to a new venue for a date, but it’s also a really good time to look at values and what didn’t align here. Where are we paying attention to all the cues that meant that this person was right or wrong for us? And are those the cues we should be paying attention to, or are there other things that we should be paying attention to?

Because those are also forms of redirection for us, reasserting our values, reasserting our priorities, re-understanding and redirecting our energy into the right people and into the right places. That phrase kind of gets tossed around. But at the core of rejection, when we look at that, I do think that redirection is a really good term for that first step.

And just understanding how rejections play a part in getting us closer to our partners.

Heather: Oh, that’s a good one. So then I think that the thinking cap that we have to have on when we’re experiencing that letdown and experiencing the sadness and frustration, “I’ve got to start all over again”. It causes a lot of that feeling of “I’m not good enough”, or “here we go again”, “dating sucks”, which we know that it can. But ultimately really, truly, if we are rejected, I think that’s really beautiful that we have to move forward and look at it as “it wasn’t meant to be” and redirect it toward our life. 

One thing, if you don’t mind me asking, I really love this self-reflection, this part that you’ve shared, where you’re asking your client or the person to say, “sit down and really think about what didn’t work”.

“Why is this not working out so that you can be stronger with the next experience, partner”. Be hyper aware of things, maybe more in tune with yourself. 

You are a huge advocate for journaling. Jess, what are some really great prompts that you have your clients talk about or share or work through when they’re working on their journaling? Are there any prompts that you love?

Jess: Yes, I like people to actually take a step back from, if not every date, from the culmination of dates with people and look at three main aspects of their interactions. 

First: what is what they liked about the person. And I try to explain to clients that this is honoring everything, not just the positives. Someone can tell you that they have 22 cats and you can be allergic to them, but you might have liked their honesty on that first date. You may not like all the cats. you may not be able to do it in the long run, but you can appreciate and like that that there is honesty there. There is transparency, there is a willingness to share. And although it may not seal the deal for long term romance, it’s something for you to evaluate when you are looking at redirection.

What am I appreciating about someone? I also recommend that from their look at differences. I share with clients the differences yet again, not inherently negative. Sometimes we just realize these little things with someone that to me, we just put a pin in or we can actually brush off that can have effects in the long term of the lifestyle of the relationship.

Differences can be, hey they’re a 5:00 Am workout person. They love camps and you’re more of like a 730, coffee pot goes off on its own, grab a book, slide into your day. Not a huge problem, but it is a difference to maybe have a conversation about in the long run, or even feel out. 

And last but not least, pay attention to curiosities. When I first became a coach, I had learned that curiosities are a big part of romantic dynamics. When we are bored with our partners, when we’re not curious about them, we don’t necessarily have an urge to see them again. But that is not an innate ability in all situations. It’s actually something we can curate. It is something we can create

And so by looking at things that you just don’t have answered, why do they like to go to boot camp at 5 a.m.? How did you get 22 cats? Why? When? What? You say your favorite colors are teal, but why? What made you choose that color? 

Creating these questions I find that when you’re looking at rejection, you can start to say, oh, I did fixate a lot on this, or I did pay more attention to this, or I was so enamored with this that I didn’t quite see that this difference was bigger, or I did it, that I didn’t pay enough attention to this yellow flag.

Not everything’s a red flag, right? I didn’t see the glimmers. I didn’t see the green flags as much because I focused on that. So this is maybe where I missed out. This is also the place for the next relationship, the next second date. I can ask more about these dynamics to help better improve my understanding of the person. I find that when clients do that, they build better confidence in themselves and into what they’re looking for and whether or not that rejection is personally valid, or if it’s something else that they are not really seeing as valid, but maybe just a mismatch with that person.

So I think it really helps them at times going through that sort of process, thinking about those three main questions and writing it down.

Heather: I love that so much because we do have control of our dating life and a lot of ways, and when we really ground ourselves and look at things through that lens and ask ourselves challenging questions and ask ourselves to do things a little bit differently the next time and just use this as an opportunity to learn and improve over time.

And keep that going. Even when you find that perfect person, keep that curiosity going. I think that’s just so rich and so knowledgeable and so simple to do, but often overlooked. Now, the second thing, you actually kind of touched on this. So I think the perfect segue is: rejection is sometimes felt a lot more painfully when we don’t know our worth and our confidence is low.

Not to say that if we feel really good, we’re still not going to experience rejection. But when we know our worth, when we feel really good in our own skin, we know what we have to offer. We know who we are and that we are showing up authentically. Rejection can sometimes become something we can see through a little bit clearer and feel a little less like it’s just sucking the wind out of us.

And so how do you navigate through this with your clients? What are your thoughts on how confidence has affected the feeling of rejection with your clients?

Jess: I think it plays a big part and not in, like you said, not in the sense of the false bravado or not. Just because you have the confidence it’s going to take away the pain or anything. but in multiple studies and just I’ve seen this with clients where when they are more self aware, when they are confident, not being perfect, but knowing who they are, where their values lie at that time, yet again, where their priorities are when they are rejected, there is a little bit more resilience that comes.

There’s a little bit more of saying, okay, that didn’t feel good, but that doesn’t define who I am in my dating journey. That person is not going to now create my narrative because I know, hey, I still really like to ski. I really like to go read books, and I just need to work harder at finding that person that enjoys the same things.

So I do find that when we are confident in who we are outside of our relationships, and this can even apply to professional family relationships, when we know who we are as an individual, and we are celebrating that, and we are engaging in that when these hits to our self comes in the forms of rejection, we are able to, like I said, be a little bit more resilient, rebound a little bit better because we can kind of rest on, hey, I’m still me.

This doesn’t detour. This isn’t a detour to a whole different land. This is just a little bit of a hiccup in the road. Instead of getting into that despair. And we see, I think as coaches, that when clients have that little bit more confidence, even if there are no talker, I even if they’re in overshare when they have the confidence saying, hey, that’s just kind of who I am.

Hey, I know I’m really busy when someone rejects them, let’s say for, hey, you’re really busy, not good or bad, but they can say, hey, you know what? I know I’m a really busy person. You’re right. This is probably why this won’t work. Doesn’t mean they may not go to work on that and maybe open up their schedule a little bit more.

I might redirect them with that in coaching. but they are able not to let that make them make this whole countermeasure, bring up a ton of time in their schedule. So I do find that confidence is definitely a little bit easier, to help with clients with that rejection phase. It just helps them really rebound a lot faster and a lot easier. And it really does help ease that pain just a little bit as they go through the motions.

Heather: Yeah. I think the self-awareness and the ability to be resilient when these feelings pop up, you get to bounce back a little faster, you know? And I do find that having a network of people that know your self-worth, that know and understand your value, that support you and are your cheerleader can also in those times when we question ourselves, you can kind of turn to your network and they’re like, no, you’re not.

It’s okay, you’ll be fine. And oftentimes I will say, though, what’s difficult is not a lot of people have that neutral territory where we can decompress and process through. And so I love that we’ve created a space with clients that we get to boost people back up and say, okay, this feels yucky, but let’s stay grounded here. What are we trying to accomplish?

What already know your self-worth. Let’s repeat that mantra and really send you back out there. So it’s really important to have a network of people, whether it’s your personal life and if you don’t have that, a coach to help you just get bounce back and be resilient. I love that word so much. Resiliency. Now, the last thing I wanted to touch on and just I’m going to give you the floor at this one because this is yours.

This is the coolest way to look at dating in general. And a very different way to keep yourself grounded when meeting new people and feeling the forms of rejection. So do you mind? I want you to share your tip for people and break it down for us.

Jess: Yes. My number one tip that I try to really educate clients on is how they evaluate the rejection. It’s going to be hard. Laughing is going to take the EQ out of it. it’s going to be something to be resilient about. But most importantly, it’s good to see it for what it is, to see it in an objective way, which is that often times, and I will say most if not all, rejection is not rejecting the person itself.

Rejection is actually just the rejection of the idea of having a relationship with the other person as a matchmaker and a coach, I saw this happen so often where one client would come and give us feedback, and the feedback would be so great. They were engaging, they were kind, they picked a great venue, and they could totally see themselves going out bowling with them or going out to the opera, but they wouldn’t see them on another date and it wasn’t that the other person wasn’t a good person.

They just didn’t see for their own personal reasons, a relationship they just couldn’t imagine kissing that person. They couldn’t imagine, you know, sharing finances with that person and for whatever their personal reasons, they just didn’t see the relationship, didn’t negate that person was a really good person. But often times what is sad is, you know, the age old adage, it’s not you, it’s me.

And we’ve taken that kind of sarcastically, I think, in dating of being, oh, but it is me. You’re just trying to be nice. But in reality, rejection is perception. It’s how we perceive someone. I may perceive someone to not be as intelligent as me. I may perceive someone not to be as cultural as me. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t.

That’s just my perception and the limited viewing that I’ve had for them and with them. So I try to tell clients when they are rejected, ask the wife, see what their perception was. Yet again, when we talk about confidence building, when we talk about the redirection, understanding that, and then putting yourself in a position to say you felt this way about me, I don’t feel that way about me.

So I’m going to honor that. That’s how you feel. And I’m going to learn that, hey, people can have this perception of me. Maybe they’re going to do something with it, and I’m going to redirect on some levels, or I’m going to let this build more confidence. And I need this alignment. I need someone who is going to perceive me in this way.

I need someone is going to be more of what I am looking for so I can have a happy and healthy relationship with them, separating ourselves from that rejection and just understand it. Is it you? It is them. It’s how they’re perceiving you. And that’s okay. We all come from different backgrounds. We’ve all had a myriad of different relationships and experiences within those, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

It’s just understand that that just not may not be your person. And walking away with that from that, with a healthy mindset, I can grow from this. I can be confident in spite of this can lead us to just getting closer to someone who mirrors more of what we’re looking for in our ideal partner. I just find that it’s just we get so bogged down thinking that it’s us, and we did something so horribly wrong that needs to be corrected.

I didn’t talk about this. I over shared this, and it’s a me me me thing. And sometimes it’s a them them them thing, and it’s an okay them. It’s a perfectly okay them. And I find that when we are able and it’s a slow thing, it is not something that I even explain to clients that it will happen overnight.

So I think that you’re going to be able to just change that mindset in one day. It’s something you actively have to work at and it’s in all aspects of your life. Actively work at the rejection. And when someone doesn’t want to spend time with you over the weekend to best friend, or when you know your grown kids are like, mom, I want to spend the time at your house this year I’ve got a new boyfriend taking it that it’s not.

They don’t not love mom. They don’t still want to be your best friend. What it is that their priorities have changed. Their perception has changed a little bit, that they’re going to navigate a little bit differently. And therefore you can as well.

Heather: I think that that puts a different roadmap in my brain when you first said that to me and really experiencing rejection, as we all have, whether it’s in the career or whether it’s in our personal lives, even with the friendships. I love that you touched base on on on friendships. You know, so much has to do with our situation that it has nothing to do with you.

And unless you have a really tangible understanding of why this did not work, then don’t let it be consuming that it was something you did. You can do that reflection. You can look at this and say, how can I improve? Of course, but the rejection that you’re experiencing, the other thing that you caused me to think about was when you’re dating, when you’re actively going out there and dating.

And again, you and I both have worked as matchmakers. So we hear both parties, we put two people together and then we get the after the date feedback. Right. So you’re hearing this thing from Mary and then you’re saying something completely different from Bob. But what happens to when I know that, you know, this is that Bob might actually say Mary sparked something in me that I didn’t realize that I wasn’t over yet.

I need to kind of hold off on dating because I need to resolve this thing that I didn’t really I thought I was over, I thought I was over my ex or I thought I was over blah, blah, blah. So exactly right. He’s going to say to Mary, it’s not you, it’s me. And he’s genuinely being nice and saying, it’s not you, and she’s like, yes it is, it’s him.

And so we just don’t know people’s circumstances. So again, we’re not taking away the fact that rejection should cause and stimulate growth and curiosity and see how we can better improve ourselves. But it’s not at the cost of having to look at what that person didn’t like about you, or that you did wrong to end the growth in relationship.

Because again, situations change. And here’s the other thing that you said to me. They’re not rejecting you, they’re rejecting the relationship. So then, Jess, you had said something about this that I’d love for you to say again, is that the idea of the relationship with you? I think you said something like, I go out with this person, they’re amazing, but I can’t get past the friend vibe.

I can’t be in a relationship with this person. I can’t imagine kissing them. I can’t imagine being intimate with them because I need them as my best friend, or I need them as my social partner. And so they might not even just be rejecting you. They might be rejecting the relationship opportunity with you. So literally, we just talked about 14 different reasons why it’s nothing to do with you.

So that is so powerful. And it really does just allow yourself any of you were out there that’s experiencing rejection or just wants to be prepared for the dating journey and the soon to come rejection that will happen. It will. Make another pathway in your brain, make another, you know, valley in there that says there’s another way to look at this.

And how do I look at this through the lens of growth? How do I reframe this so that I learn, I remain curious, and how do I also forgive those that might, you know, make me feel like rejected because maybe they’re on a different path and it really isn’t me. It’s them.

Jess: Definitely. There are so many different paths to see rejection, and I think we tend to fall more in the negative. The more that we can shift that mindset to being positive. That learning lesson, of “it’s not a meat issue in the sense of I’m a horrible person”. There’s something that’s not compatible there.

They’re rejecting the idea of a long term relationship with me. Maybe they don’t want the 22 cats long term. I’m not going to give up my 22 cat. but they may not be ready for that. And we have to honor that instead of forcing that, instead of trying to push something because maybe they’re very attractive, or maybe they live a lifestyle that’s similar or compatible to us, honoring those things that someone else just says, “hey, yeah, not for me” is okay.

And honoring that you can still be friends with them, you can still have a legitimate relationship with them, just may not be the one that you initially foresaw with them. You know your best friend, you know, you have a different relationship with them. And in that, in their own way, they’ve rejected the idea of a romantic relationship with you. And guess what? You’re not mad at.

You have a best friend out of it. And I think the more that we can look at it and those types of positive rooted ways, the more that we can navigate rejection in a way that is just benefiting us. And it’s not tearing us down. I think far too many of us let rejection tear us down instead of build us up and help us lead ourselves to our right partner.

Heather: That’s beautiful. Exactly. So this should not be a negative thing as much as you possibly can out there. Everybody: think about that. Allow this video, allow these tips to reframe rejection to give you the confidence you need to enter the world of dating. It can be difficult. It can be frustrating, but the payoff is incredible. A beautiful, healthy relationship with the right partner is worth the weight in gold.

So if you need any help with rejection or you need to reframe rejection, or you want to ready yourself for the dating journey, let us help you contact us. We’re here to help you every step of the way. Jess, I so value this conversation. I love the way that you help your clients through this. I love how much you’ve learned and really prepared clients to look at this through a different lens.

It’s been so incredibly helpful. And for anybody out there, like and follow our videos for more because we just love sharing so much advice for you, and we’ll be back next time for another episode of A Conversation Between Coaches. Thanks!

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Written by : Heather Drury

I love writing to share helpful tips on dating and relationships. I believe everyone deserves a chance at meaningful connections. Through my blogs, I break down important topics into practical lessons, aiming to empower people with essential dating and relationship skills for a thriving personal life.

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