“I Keep Getting Dumped…”

Dealing with too much rejection lately? Heed this wisdom about how to stay positive and find love.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

o you feel as if you know the drill that goes like this? First, the dates aren’t as fun. Then the calls stop getting returned. Next, the relationship ends. The tears fall. Your heart breaks. It’s over. Again.

“Rejection cuts deep because it slices at our core need to be loved,” explains LeslieBeth Wish, a Sarasota-based psychologist. But you can recover and
Develop the most fantastic relationship with yourself and see what happens.
even reduce your chances of rejection. Here’s how.

1. Put it in writing.
Dallas-based dating coach Victorya Michaels Rogers finds value in journaling about your relationship patterns. “What really happened? Was he ‘all that’ or just an addiction? Were you in love with him or the idea of him? Often the pain is about the act of rejection rather than who did the rejecting,” she notes. “It’s important to know what is really behind the pain so you can regain self-esteem and move on. And writing it out reveals to your head — logically — what happened so you can move beyond the illogical grip of emotions. You’ll grow as a person and recover more quickly.”

2. Love yourself.
“Instead of spending tremendous amounts of energy worrying if I’ll ever meet someone new, I work on loving myself,” says Lone Morch, a Bay Area photographer who has been dealing with rejection. “I ask my ‘inner lover’ — the one who is so good to the people I date — what she would do, how she would treat me and show me she cares. I believe that only when we love ourselves and treat ourselves with respect will we attract people who will do the same. So love thyself. Develop the most fantastic relationship with yourself and see what happens.”

3. Get a new attitude.
Wish suggests developing a new mantra that will help you get through the rough patches. “Repeat every morning and night: ‘It’s probably not about me. I have these good qualities...’ Then list them. People choose partners for highly personal — and often wrong — reasons.” You can also use a mantra to get clear on what you need to do to turn the tide. “Try posing
Rejection cuts deep because it slices at our core need to be loved.
yourself challenges like, ‘If I take an educated guess, I would say that I need to improve on…’ or ‘My best guess is that I’m choosing people who are…’ ‘So, I should look for people who are more…’” she suggests.

4. Get by with a little help from your friends.
“I was on a really bad dating streak,” recalls Tom Karl of Kitsap, WA. “I was feeling horrible about myself, but my friends really helped me purge the bad feelings and focus on what I had to offer. They also got me back out there so I was still in the game. It didn’t make the pain of getting rejected any less, of course, but it kept me from spending the rest of my life alone in front of the TV eating bad delivery pizza.”

5. Learn to make better decisions.
You’re less likely to get jilted if you make better decisions about which people to date in the first place. “A wise woman once told me that the sign of a good match or relationship, even very early on, was how you felt about yourself after you were with the other person,” says New York-based drama therapist Jennifer Wilson. “When the glow and immediacy is over and you are alone, how do you feel about yourself? When you honor how being with another makes you feel about yourself, then you may make choices that are better for you.”

“If you’ve been repeatedly rejected, it’s time to say, ‘Enough is enough’,” asserts Rogers, author of The Automatic Second Date. “Ask God to reveal what’s behind all the rejection. Then accept your part — poor choices, low self-esteem, too needy, or too much too soon — and give it over to God. If you’re willing to accept your part, tweak your dating skills and actively live the life you want to live, your ideal mate will finally appear in God’s perfect timing.”

North Carolina-based freelancer Margot Carmichael Lester also pens the Ask Margot advice column. Write her at
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