By Marina Agafonov, registered provisional psychologist
Ah, fall, a cozy night in with your sweetheart would be lovely. BUT, here’s the thing – you are single and maybe, yet again experienced a rejection. So let me share a personal story and a sure-fire way to help you cope and nurse yourself back to emotional health.
Oftentimes, people think that because I’m a psychologist that my life must be perfect. The truth is, my life is just like yours and the only thing I have is coping tools to help me cope better. As a single girl, trust me when I tell you I have had my share of rejections. Getting excited for a date and then having that date cancelled, can be so disheartening and can lead to some negative beliefs about yourself. You’ll have your friends react in two ways, #1 they will say that the guy is a jerk for cancelling, or, #2 they will say that you should not dwell on it and cheer up. Remember, our society is not so comfortable with sadness.
First things first, it is okay to feel sad and maybe even a tiny bit sorry for yourself. So go on and sleep in an extra half an hour, or have that coffee treat! Now, with that out of the way let’s look at it this way. You already blocked that extra time in your day off for this date that is now cancelled, why not make the best of that time and go on a date with yourself!? I am a big believer in taking that time you would have been on a date with someone, and go to a restaurant and have a nice dinner by yourself. When we really take the time to get to know ourselves, we actually improve our search for “the right guy” because we become so clear on what it is that we seek in a partner. Having a date with yourself is a sure-fire way to give yourself rest and to learn to be comfortable with yourself, with your alone time.
As you’re reading this, you might be thinking … “but Marina, won’t it look weird if I sit in a restaurant all by myself?”. NO! It won’t look weird here is why – people are so busy thinking about themselves and their own stuff that they do not have the time to sit there and ponder why you have come to dinner alone. However, if you do not feel comfortable with that, why not order in and have a lovely dinner at home. But be sure to set the table, light those candles, treat yourself right! After al this gives you time to also reflect on how you’d like to be treated in the future.
A little more about self-care, maybe instead of going to dinner you might want to book a massage or a pedicure. Take care of yourself, give your body the much needed rest. All the while thinking about the unique qualities you have to offer to a partner. When we experience rejection we start to nit-pick on all the things we lack, and we forget to look at the awesome qualities that make us unique and interesting. Go ahead, make a list of all the unique things about you that are simply fascinating or awesome, or both! Write them down, and put them up where you can see them. Reminder yourself often of the wonderful beauty that is you!
Lastly, be careful about the advice you take on from your friends. Friends are a lovely community of supporters, but friends come in different shapes and sizes. Pick the friend that you think is going to be most understanding. I always say, you don’t go to the bakery and ask for a steak. Same with your friends, pick the friend that will be most suited to lend you support in this situation.
At the end of the day, pick your favourite jammies and as you tuck yourself into bed, remember that although today didn’t go as planned it was also a gift of time to get to know yourself and treat yourself!
If you find yourself struggling with rejections (romantic, work, or family) Marina Agafonov is a registered provisional psychologist who is always glad to help! She has endless tips and tricks to help you lead a happy and emotionally healthy life.
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