Written by Malyka Cardwell, MFT

Originally published on PhiladelphiaMFT

Rejection is one of life’s many constants. Whether we’re passing on an outfit, a dinner option, or an invitation, rejection is a part of our day to day life. Handing out rejection is a natural task for most but accepting it can be difficult, especially when it happens in the world of online dating. Initial messages go unanswered, dates end before they begin, and ghosting becomes a common occurrence. Online dating can be hard to navigate and being turned down doesn’t make things easier. Here are some tips that can help you push through the inevitable rejection you receive when dating online:

1. You are not alone. Rejection is painful. No seriously, research shows that the brain processes physical pain and emotional pain in a similar way. It hurts  and has the tendency to make you feel very isolated. Realize that you’re not the only person to experience this. It is an inevitable part of life. Resist beating yourself up about it. It may feel personal but it’s not. There are many reasons a person may pass on you and a lot of them have nothing to do with something you’ve done.  Remember that everyone isn’t for everybody. I’m sure there are people that you’ve passed on because they just didn’t fit what you were looking for.
2. Avoid retaliation. Rejection isn’t a personal attack against you, but the two page profanity laced/snarky/passive aggressive response you send out is very personal. Telling a person you’ve never met that they’re unworthy of love or stupid for passing you up, typically doesn’t ignite yearning. What does sending out a negative message achieve? Does it make you feel better? Not really. Does it reinforce the person’s decision to reject you? Definitely. Does it increase your chances of seeing a screenshot of your message floating around the internet? Absolutely. Will that screenshot increase your chances of getting rejected? Likely.

3. Stay grounded in reality. If you’ve already dreamt up a scenario that involves marriage and a picket fence, rejection can feel even worse. Come back to reality and remember that this person is still a stranger. A great profile doesn’t necessarily equate to a great person. Remember that the scenario that you created is just a fantasy. Although it may feel like you’ve lost out on something, you actually haven’t.

4. Utilize the website’s features. Many sites have features that allow you to avoid seeing who viewed your profile, hide certain users, or block them all together. If knowing that a person viewed your profile but didn’t respond is something that you can’t get over then consider turning this feature off. If you keep seeing the person that ghosted you online then hide or block them. These tools are there to help you detach. Use them if you need them.

Online dating is not for the faint of heart. Rejection comes with the territory. The pain can be jarring but it will eventually pass. Don’t let this feeling discourage you from taking any more chances. The digital field is vast and you’re bound to encounter someone who fits what you’re looking for and reciprocates your advances.

  • fashion-mommy

    Whenever I see something about online dating, I realise how glad I am that I dated during the 1990s. It seems so hard these days.

  • I have never tried online dating as I have been in a relationship a long while, however I have many friends that do. This advice is perfect for them and I will be sharing your post with them for their own sanity! x

  • I’ve never tried online dating really, so I can’t speak from personal experience, but I can see your tips sound very reasonable.

  • Kira L Curtis

    Great points which I would say most can be put to use for any kind of rejection, whether it’s online or not 😀

  • Baby Isabella

    We try not to have too many expectations when it comes to situations and scenarios. Great advice x

  • Beautyqueenuk

    Some really good hints and tips here and avoiding retaliation is not something I am too good at x

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    Avoiding retaliation would be a hard one for me. I am glad that I met my husband before all this online dating stuff – it is a minefield.

  • I’ve never tried online dating & tbh I’d be scared to! xo

  • Teresa Bowen

    I am so glad I never had to go through this and have a lot of sympathy for people today trying to deal with modern dating.

  • I’ve been married for several years, dating websites didn’t even exist back then!

  • I tried online dating in my single days and it’s really hit and miss. I really do agree that it’s not for the faint of heart.

  • Hannah Latoya Bond

    This is a great post as rejection can be hard. Ghosting is the worst and is actually worse than someone telling you they don’t want to see you x

  • Angela Milnes

    Such a good post, I’m so glad that I’m past on the stage that I’m being grounded due to over time on browsing but I haven’t try Online dating.

  • Part of me hates online dating because so many times I’d send messages and get no responses or I’d go on dates and get ghosted, but then the other part of me doesn’t mind it because it helped me to find my current boyfriend so the pain and time was worth it x

  • I’m so glad I’m married. The rules of the dating game have changed so much since I was single. I have a friend who’s done a bit of online dating and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart!

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I’m so glad I don’t need to worry about dating although I have a few single friends that have been trying to find a partner on various sites. It’s changed so much since I was single and sounds like it has gotten harder which is a shame. Rejection isn’t nice but it’s part of the process.

  • I have never used online dating. But I do know that attraction and relationships are a battlefield territory sometimes. The key is confidence and standing up for yourself at all times. Great post!


  • everinmay

    I learnt a long time ago that you can’t make someone else feel the way you feel about something, that’s why we are all individuals. That being said in my younger years I’m sure I behaved terribly when scorned but it’s always better to just rise above it and learn from it and then find someone who loves every bit of you! great post, I wish i’d seen it when I was a teenager! xx

  • I get rejected all the time and do know what I call it ‘the conveyer belt of men’.At the end of the day apps like Tinder have made it easy to pic and mix and if you are not someones cup of tea then so be it, we can’t all be liked x Fantastic post

  • ive never been an online dater myself but im happy it can be used for the good of someone finding love , x

  • Elodie

    I’ve actually never really dabbed into online dating because I’m not sure I could take it but this definitely made me re-evaluate. I mean, if it works for so many people, why not for me? Ha!

  • Great tips here, rejection can be really painful sometimes but in my opinion it’s better to take the higher ground and forget about them x

  • Donna

    Really interesting look at online dating!!! The things we don’t think about – it’s such a minefield isn’t it!

  • Chloe Griffiths

    nice post I’m so happy I’m past that stage now. xo

  • I think you need to be very strong to online date. But that said it’s a very powerful tool with great successes for many. Rejection sucks, I used to brush myself off get the girls together and head out for drinks

  • Rejection is painful and can feel personal even when it is not. Everyone has to deal with rejection both in online dating and in life itself. You just need to persevere and continue on.

  • Laura

    I’ve been married for years now but if i were single, it definitely seems as though online is the way to go these days, despite the potential rejection xxx

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