Nobody likes rejection. When it happens, the feeling that comes stings like a jellyfish (although I’ve never been stung by a jellyfish to know). I was recently interested in a guy who I was spending a lot of one-on-one time with. I felt the need to let him know that I was interested in him, even though I knew that I could quite possibly get rejected. What had happened after that was quite comical, in my opinion. He told me that he had no attraction to me whatsoever. My response, “Tell me how you really feel.” I was humbled, for sure. And I may have lost a friend, – for now.
I was recently at a talk by Mary Beth Bonnacci who is a chastity speaker from Denver, Colorado. She said that in the pursuit of finding ‘the one’ to not let the, “I don’t want to ruin our friendship mentality” hold you back from seeking your vocation. I took her advice and I must say that it is solid. I may have lost a friend for now, but I’ve gained so much. Think about it. What if I held my attractions for this guy and continued to spend one on one time with him for months not knowing if he was interested. Now that I know his thoughts on me, I have moved on with my life. That time that I would normally be spending with him, I am spending cultivating great friendships with awesome women that I admire.
However, the sting of rejection can still sting like a bee so I’ve put together 3 tips on how to deal with rejection:
- Laugh – Laughing may or may not be my love language. I must say though, that when we have things in life that come up like rejection or other disappointments, it makes it a lot easier to get though when we can find humor in the situation.
- Pray Hard – St. Thomas Aquinas says that love desires the greatest good for the beloved. That definition of love can be tested in the face of rejection. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, use rejection as an invitation to love in the truest sense. Pray for the person who rejected you, that they would find their vocation, etc…
- Move on with your life – Now that you have a clear answer that that person is not interested, use this as an opportunity to move on. God has closed that door for a reason and you won’t do any good on your part to try and re-open it.
This year, Valentine’s Day begins on Ash Wednesday. There could be a temptation to look at Valentine’s day this year as a crucifixion for single people. If you are single, maybe look into completing the “Dating Detox” by Lisa and Kevin Cotter. The Dating Detox is a 40 day devotional set aside to allow you to be single and recharge from the dating scene. I would say that if you do not have any devotionals set aside for lent and have found yourself struggling with dating or maybe just broke up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, this devotional may be right for you.
As an almost-30-year old single woman, I would say, enjoy the single years! I spent most of high school and early 20’s constantly in a relationship. Now that I am single, God has really used this time to form me for my future vocation. Do things that you love. Travel, write a blog, learn an instrument, and build virtuous friendships. Live now and the guy or girl will come when God is ready to give him or her to you. Finally, in your pursuit to find your vocation, do not let rejection hold you back from continuing to seek authentic love.
Jacinta Florence hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a graduate of St. Gregory’s University. As a young adult, she had a profound experience of leaving a lifestyle of being immersed in the culture to embracing her Catholic Faith. Her experience of working with Generation Life as a missionary, lead her to the Augustine Institute where she is getting her master’s in Theology. Jacinta now resides in Denver, Colorado and when she’s not studying in a coffee shop enjoys road trips and traveling to new states.