One of the reasons people decide to try online dating is the ‘anonymity’ factor. It’s the same reason people feel emboldened to leave comments online, the content of which they would never utter in person.
It would be wonderful if online dating sites gave people a third option when responding to a wink/heart/smile/rightswipe. Obviously not responding is a rejection. The person who initiated the invitation to engage put him/herself out there. They made themselves vulnerable. They most definitely realized this when pushing ‘send,’ but found the courage to do it anyways.
Rejection hurts. How great would life be if we could all just keep that in mind when interacting online or off? If everybody remembered how hurt they were when they were rejected, perhaps they’d be gentler when doing the rejecting.
If you receive a message through an online dating site, the first thing you do is click over to the sender’s profile. If you feel you have absolutely nothing in common, and that it would be a waste of time to ‘encourage,’ your only option to communicate this is by not responding. The message the sender gets is ‘not interested!’ Depending on their life experiences and level of self esteem, they may read it as ‘you’re not good enough for me.’ Or ‘you’re not good looking enough.’ Or ‘stay away from me, loser!’ That may or may not be what you meant, but you cannot control how it will be perceived.
Being on the receiving end of rejection is a very lonely place to be. Self-esteem plummets just a little bit more, courage dissipates, the will to try it again is almost non-existent. So what do you do?
Here are a few things to remember when dealing with rejection in the online dating world:
6) Realize your profile contains limited information about you only. When filtering messages the recipient has their ideal date in mind. Maybe you’ve emphasized an interest that doesn’t interest them? Maybe you dodged a bullet.
7) You will be tempted to believe that it’s your photo that turned them off. Most of us would. That’s the price of living in this world at this time – everybody thinks the models in magazines woke up looking like that. They didn’t.
8) Always remember you are not in their head. Look at the messages you’ve received. Which ones did you ‘reject?’ Why did you reject them? Put yourself in their shoes.
9) Reread your profile. Does it reflect who you really are or how you want to be perceived? If it’s not who you really are, who was really rejected?
10) Realize that their profile contains limited information about them. Perhaps what they listed as preferences or interests does not reflect their reality, so they may be making their actual choices on a whole different set of criteria, unbeknownst to anyone.
There are a million reasons why someone might reject your online dating approach. You can speculate until the cows come home, you will never actually know why. You only have your own life experiences upon which to base your assumptions, and your self-esteem is usually the judge and jury.
If you can’t handle being ‘rejected’ by someone you approached on an online dating site, then online dating is probably not for you. Ask yourself; would you want to date you? If the answer is no, maybe you should put the breaks on dating altogether for a while. Take some time to figure out what being rejected triggers in you. Maybe you have some deep issues that need to be addressed and healed before you put yourself out there?
When you’re healthy in body, mind and spirit you attract a person with those traits. Better still, you become attracted to YOU – and THAT is just plain irresistible!