Online dating websites and mobile apps have made meeting people both easier and more difficult. Now you can browse through local singles anytime without having to deal with hanging out at bars, hitting up nightclubs or lingering in public places when you are trying to work up the guts to approach that nice looking gentleman in aisle 6 of your local grocery store.
At the same time, it’s introduced a whole new kind of rejection – one that’s harder to deal with than most people realize. For the most part, people understand the hurt and frustration that comes with traditional face-to-face rejection. But since online meetings lack that personal touch, there’s a belief that it’s not as big a deal. But anyone who has tried online dating can tell you that’s simply not true.
When someone online decides there’s just no spark, a lot can get lost via email and text. As a result, you’re missing out on non-verbal cues such as their facial expression and the tone of their voice. For example, the message “This just isn’t working for me. Sorry!” can be read in a variety of different voices ranging from flippant and cruel to sincere and even apologetic.
Then there’s the problem of never – or seemingly never – getting any sort of response at all. When people send out many different messages to potential matches online, they kind of expect some sort of response from most, if not all, of them. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes when the other person isn’t interested, they simply don’t respond. Shooting out a series of emails and texts and getting only the sound of digital crickets in response can be just as hurtful as a rude rejection.
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So how can people deal with the unique challenges on online rejection? There are a few different ways, many of which have been used for years. These techniques worked back in the days on face-to-face pick-up line failure and they continue to work today. Others have evolved over the years as more and more of us found ourselves coping with these issues in the digital world.
Take the pressure off – First and foremost, don’t assume every potential connection is going to be The Connection. Go into each initial interaction without expecting a whole lot. Maybe you’ll get a response, maybe you won’t. Keep your initial email, message or text light and don’t get bogged down in tracking how many people respond.
Know the facts – Many online experts agree that if you get responses from 10-25% of the people you contact you’re doing really well. So expecting a response from everyone you contact simply isn’t the way it works now. This is sometimes a difficult fact to accept but it’s the reality of online dating.
Wallow for a moment, then move on – There’s nothing wrong with feeling the sting of rejection, but focusing on it won’t improve things. So whine about it for a moment to your friends but then move on. Focusing on your rejections will only make you angry and bitter – emotions that come through when meeting other people and could easily turn them off.
Focus on success – This seems pretty obvious, but many people overlook it completely. When you feel like all you get is rejection, remind yourself about past successes. Whether it’s looking back at people who have reached out to you but that you rejected or simply getting in some quality time with friends – reminding yourself that you are liked and loved can go a long way in soothing your ego.
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These strategies can help take the sting out of rejection and they go a long way in keeping online dating fun. After all, it’s supposed to be a way for us to meet MORE people, not focus on negativity. So relax, have fun and take it easy – that way you’ll always be putting your best foot forward no matter how you meet people.
By: Laura Varnishe
When Laura Varnishe isn’t dealing with romantic digital rejection herself she can be found teaching guys and girls how to be more naughty at School Of Squirt.