I liked her. The more I got to know her, the more I thought she was amazing. So one day, I called her and asked her out. But once she understood my interest in her, she spoke very honestly. “I’ve never seen you as more than a friend,” she said.
Rejection is always a painful thing to take. Sometimes it’s the disappointing pinch of not getting a date. Sometimes it’s the agony of being rejected by someone you loved and wanted to marry. I recall one college friend whose girlfriend broke up with him right after he bought an engagement ring for her.
Can you think of your own painful experience of being rejected? Have you ever struggled to move past a rejection? None of us want to be rejected. But reality is that rejection is both necessary and inevitable. Unless you’re one of the fortunate few who marry your first love, you’re going to have to face rejection. So when you find yourself facing rejection, remember these three truths that will help you.
Truth #1 – Your Worth And Security Aren’t Lessened By Rejection
Do you know a person who can’t live without a significant other? As soon as he or she goes through a breakup, he or she rushes to find a new love to fill the empty space. This kind of behavior usually occurs when a person (1) feels like he or she isn’t loved unless there’s a significant other around or (2) feels unbearably lonely or insecure without a significant other. Both of these problems come from a lack of a strong relationship with God.
See, the truth is that we’re always loved by God with a love that’s massively indescribable. If a person feels unloved without a significant other, it’s really because he or she doesn’t understand or believe at heart that he or she is loved by God and viewed by God as overwhelmingly precious. If a person feels lonely or insecure without a significant other, the problem comes from the same reason. The person hasn’t learned to look to God as his or her foundational source of comfort, relationship, and security. When God is a person’s most important relationship and source of security, there’s no need to run to another significant other to fill the gap.
If you find that you experience any of these feelings when rejected, it probably means that some areas of your relationship with God need to grow. Don’t be discouraged if that’s the case. Instead, take time to pursue growth in your relationship with God. Ask for help from a pastor or a trustworthy spiritual mentor in how to build your relationship with God. Having this strong, foundational relationship with God is the first thing that’s needed to be able to not be shaken by rejection.
Truth #2 – Rejection (Usually) Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Desirable
Rejection is rarely ever personal. A person usually doesn’t reject you because he or she hates your stinkin’ guts. Rejection usually means the other person simply doesn’t see you as having the characteristics he or she wants in a romantic partner or spouse. In a manner of speaking, it’s just business. While that person may think you’re not what he or she is looking for, it’s possible that you’re exactly what someone else IS looking for. So don’t take a rejection as a sign that you’re undesirable and no one wants you. Rejection may simply mean you just didn’t find the right match.
That being said, I also want to mention that rejection will definitely come if you don’t demonstrate desirable characteristics. Take me for example. When I was a college freshman, I was very poorly dressed, hesitant, unconfident, and…well…just not much fun. I kinda doubt I would have gotten a date if I’d tried. Why? Because, at least on the surface, I didn’t demonstrate many desirable characteristics. But through personal growth (and an improved wardrobe), today is a different story for me.
If you find yourself ALWAYS being rejected, it might be a sign that you have room for growth too. Consider how much of an attractive impression you make on people (outward desirability) and how much you have desirable personal character (inward desirability). Ask some trusted friends or mentors to give you some honest feedback on whether they see areas in which you could improve. If you could use personal development then take steps to pursue growth.
Truth #3 – You’ll Love Again
When my hopes for my first love were dashed, I wondered how I’d ever be able to see another woman the way I saw her. What I learned with time is that God has made us able to become attached to someone, but He’s also made us able to move on. There’s a time to emotionally bond with someone, and there’s a time to break emotional bonds. God has made both possible. It may take time for your feelings to shift. After breaking a strong attachment, even your brain has to literally learn how to live without that special person. But it will happen. In time, you’ll find yourself in a place where you can love again.
Believe also that there’s another person out there that you’ll want to be with. There was a time before you met the person who rejected you. In the same way, the day is coming when you’ll meet that special person who will accept you.
Remember the college friend I mentioned earlier? I heard recently that he’s now happily engaged to another woman. In the days after he lost his girlfriend, he probably couldn’t imagine the coming day when he would happily ask another woman to marry him. Keep sight of the hope that there’s a person out there who will want to be with you as much as you’ll want to be with him or her.
What else have you found to be helpful in overcoming rejection? Please share your tips with us in the comments below!
A version of this post originally appeared on Justin’s blog, That Crazy Christian Romance, on March 16, 2016. Used by permission.
Justin Megna is the creator of That Crazy Christian Romance, a blog dedicated to sharing biblical wisdom for romance with Christian young people. He completed a BA in Pastoral Ministry at University of Valley Forge.
Get Justin’s free Christian Love Life Essentials Checklist by clicking here.