Confessing is hard enough as it is. You spend weeks, months, maybe even years trying to pluck up the courage, only to be met with a cold and hard ‘no’. Your heart sinks and the shock of it all stops you from feeling anything at all, at least for the first few hours.
When I plucked up the courage to confess the first time, I had planned it all out weeks in advance. I thought that I had made all the necessary preparations. But they soon unraveled when the person I wanted to confess to wasn’t at the group meeting he was supposed to be at.
It was supposed to be a face to face thing, but I eventually had to settle for a phone call.
The phone call itself was difficult and awkward. He was busy munching on something and it didn’t seem that he was interested in the conversation. When I got it all out (finally!), he sort of shrugged it off and said he wasn’t prepared for a relationship right now. Sorry.
I remember being so crushed I couldn’t get up from the carpet for the next 24 hours. I even spent the night there, on the floor of my living room.
I went through some really tough days after that, but it taught me a few things about how to heal up and move on.
1.Take Your Time to Grieve
Take things easy. Don’t force yourself to go back to your routine so fast. Let yourself cry if you have to. I would personally advice you to cancel any appointments with family or friends if you don’t feel like socializing, especially if the wounds are still fresh. Relax at home; get some chocolate, potato chips or any comfort food. Curl up on your couch, binge watch ‘Friends’. Do anything to feel better.
I know some people say that pushing yourself back to your normal routine will help you heal faster. I disagree. You need some space to go through all the emotions that will flow through you, at least for the first few days. I actually slowed down all my activities for like, a week.
It’s great if you have an outlet to express your pain, even if it’s on your Facebook wall. As long as you don’t name names or publicly humiliate anyone, you can go ahead and post poetry, songs, art, a blog post, or just an FB entry.
Just make these as positive as possible, and don’t dwell too much on negative emotions like anger, frustration or embarrassment. You’re still you so focus on that. I actually went into a bit of song writing some time after being rejected. I taught myself how to play the guitar some time before and it was therapeutic.
3.Stay Focused on Positive Feelings
I know this sounds really cliché, like something repeatedly seen in self-help books. But it really does help if you don’t harp on your anger or sadness. When I confessed, the reason he gave me was that that he ‘wasn’t ready for a relationship’. You can imagine how pissed off I was when I found out some time later that he actually had his eye set on another girl at the time and was trying to woo her. I felt he didn’t need to lie to me, and his lie actually hurt me more than the rejection. But I had to actively let it go or else I would have felt even worse.
4.Take Up a New Activity
It won’t take away your hurt and sadness, but learning something new will help distract you. Now’s the chance to join the K-pop dance crew you’ve been eyeing, or learn that new language you’ve always wanted to pick up. It was around the time of my rejection that I started cosplaying. It was a liberating experience. I met so many new friends, most of whom really opened my eyes as to how diverse this world really is. Plus meeting my future husband there was a HUGE bonus.
You see, when you take up a new skill or hobby, you’ll be bound to meet new people. Even if you don’t find love, you’ll meet new friends who will fill in any emotional void you may have and won’t remind you of your rejector.
5.Minimize Hope, Let Him/Her Go
This is actually way harder than it sounds. I held on to hope that he would change, or start to notice me. None of these happened. He got himself a new girlfriend (aforementioned girl he was trying to woo) within a few months of the rejection.
So, no stalking his/her FB, no stalking them in real life, no more trying to attract their attention. This will only drag the pain of rejection on.
Plus, it may creep them out. You don’t have to unfriend them but minimizing contact and silencing them on social media until you’re sure you don’t feel anything anymore is the best.
Everyone heals differently. You should know that although it feels like your self-esteem will never recover and you will forever feel embarrassed, time is actually a great healer. Time will also allow you to be happy, whether with a new partner or even as a swinging single.
For similar articles, read Tired of Being Friend-Zoned? Here’s What You Need to Do to Stay out of It, and also Worst Dates Series: Horror Date in Thailand.