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How do I stop rejections being so painful?

(39 Posts)
Jollyphonics Sat 27-Feb-16 20:35:13

I apologise for this being a trivial problem compared to some of the tragic stories I see here, but I'm hoping someone can offer advice or empathise with me.

I'm late 40s, single parent, been on my own and very happy for years, with my 2 kids. My life is good, I have a good job, lots of friends, and I love spending time with my kids. I haven't felt the need for a relationship since splitting with my ex years ago.

In the last few weeks I've got to know a man who helps at a club my kids attend. We've become friendly, been out on a few dates, talked and texted a lot, and a couple of days ago we had sex. OK I know that was a bit hasty, but I'm a big grown up now and I thought there was no reason to be coy and "make him wait" like I used to in my younger days! All lovely - wanted to go out again etc etc.

Anyway, I saw him at the club today and got an obvious brush-off. I've sent one light-hearted text since, and he hasn't replied. I'm old enough to know a brush off when I see one, and that's what this is. I don't want to demean myself by asking for explanations. Time to move on.

My problem is that I am disproportionately upset by this. I'm not smitten with him at all. In fact I have to admit i wasn't overly bothered about him, but I've enjoyed the attention and flattery. Now that it's been taken away I feel pathetic, old and worthless. Why is this? This time last week I was exactly the same person I am now, with the same life, but somehow now my happy life seems sad and lacking.

I always used to be like is pre-kids - allowing my self esteem to be dictated by whatever boyfriend I had at the time. But I honestly thought that now I had kids I'd got all this into perspective. Is anyone else like this? Any handy hints on how to make myself see sense? Realistically I know this man has only been in my life a very short time, he's nothing special himself, he's just a normal person - so why am I allowing his rejection to affect how I see myself?

Sorry it's so me me me.

Lovetruelove Sat 27-Feb-16 21:12:51

I think it's becuase you are human and normal - despite what complicated answers you might get from other posters - keep busy and he will gradually fade.

slimochuda Sat 27-Feb-16 21:49:52

I would agree with lovetruelove. A well constructed life does not fall apart over one fling. Like a nice bottle of wine which makes your head ache the next day, the sense of being desired this man gave you has added to your quality of life then taken away from it. I really hope you can move on from this and quickly. You sound like a lovely person with a nice life.

PrincessBooBoo Sat 27-Feb-16 22:16:40

Just to prove the point that men will say or do anything to get a legover. You are well rid of him. Hold your head up high.

Justaboy Sat 27-Feb-16 23:00:26

PrincessBooBoo Humm.. your theory isnt quite right it should be once he's got his wicked way then he by most male standards will want to come back for more;!

One question for the OP, do you know for certain if he's single or not?.

Jollyphonics Sun 28-Feb-16 04:31:09

Actually that's a good point. He's always been pretty cagey about his home life. I'm beginning to wonder if he may be married, which would explain a lot.
This is such a minefield. I wish I could get back to my previous indifference to men that I had a few weeks ago!

TheNaze73 Sun 28-Feb-16 10:23:10

PrincessBooBoo That's offensive judgemental Just like all women are gold diggers....

Really don't see how sweeping statements like that help

SchnooSchnoo Sun 28-Feb-16 10:38:53

I had a very similar experience a few years ago, before I met my current partner. I was not even sure I particularly liked the guy, but I felt the rejection so intensely, it was awful!

Were you abandoned by a parent? I was by my father, and I'm convinced my over the top reaction to rejection is linked. I feel like going through that process and recognising that it was actually nothing to do with the person rejecting me, and everything to do with my past that helped separate myself from the feeling. I think recognising it half the battle. Does that make any sense?

springydaffs Sun 28-Feb-16 10:58:16

Joy oh joy at Lovetruelove's response.

Rejection HURTS. You've been out of the game and got lovely and soft like a human. Along comes this shit and wacks you one. You go OWWWWWWWW.

So far so normal. .yy it may knock on old hurts but that's normal life imo. We all have old hurts.

springydaffs Sun 28-Feb-16 11:02:41

That's not to dismiss your experience Schnoo flowers

VeronicaDinner Sun 28-Feb-16 11:06:11

I agree that the way you are feeling is totally normal. It's ok to feel hurt about this.

But it's also normal to be feeling better in a week or so, since it wasn't a huge part of your life. I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm sure you'll be back to your normal self soon.

SchnooSchnoo Sun 28-Feb-16 11:54:27

No worries, springy. Maybe I'm normal after all!

Jollyphonics Sun 28-Feb-16 13:04:46

schnoo that's interesting, because my father also abandoned me when I was 2, and although I've continued to see him it's always been on his terms, and required a fair amount of effort from me. Not an easy relationship. I can see that you could have a point - that the rejection I feel is related to my past, and has little to do with the person rejecting me.

Over the years I've looked back in amazement at the people I've been desperately hurt by, when a few weeks later I realised they really meant very little to me.

If only I could find some of that clarity of thought now, when I need it most!

SchnooSchnoo Sun 28-Feb-16 13:18:41

That is interesting. Exactly the same as my relationship with my father. Sporadic contact through childhood and then largely only initiated by me since adulthood (he is now dead, though).

I don't know how much my 'awareness' of my rejection issues has helped me get over it, as I hVdnt experienced that kind of rejection since, but I super I'm still pretty sensitive!

Do you feel similar about rejection in other areas of your life, or just romantic?

Jollyphonics Sun 28-Feb-16 13:25:51

Just romantic I think, although I've been fortunate enough to not experience much other rejection. I've got the jobs I've applied for, and always had no difficulty making friends, so I can't complain really. But the success in the rest of my life makes my total patheticness in this area seem all the more inexplicable. It's so ridiculous - why would a grown woman with good friends, caring family, good job, life experience - no real problems at all - why be floored but such an inconsequential rejection?? I'm annoyed with myself!

Jollyphonics Sun 28-Feb-16 13:26:48

Floored by, not but

SchnooSchnoo Sun 28-Feb-16 14:34:06

I know what you mean! I think that's why I had a bit of a revelation about it it the last time, because the absilutely excruciating pain of rejection I felt was so disproportionate to the situation and how girly about myself in general, that I knew it wasn't really about that particular rejection.

My plan for the future, if it comes up again, is to try and distance myself from the feeling and recognise it as an old wound. I have thought about counselling, but I've had too many current problems going on to find the headspace. Don't be annoyed with yourself. Just accept that it's a tender spot for you and try to move towards being working through it better next time!

Jollyphonics Sun 28-Feb-16 14:54:30

Thank you, that's good advice.

VeronicaDinner Sun 28-Feb-16 15:20:05

You wouldn't be a normal person if you weren't hurt by rejection!

It might hurt to be human, but you shouldn't feel ashamed of it.

And if it helps, I would be just the same. I still agonise over romantic flings/relationships, and I am well into my thirties.

Justaboy Mon 29-Feb-16 00:09:09

Jollyphonics Doesn't seem to me that there's anything wrong with you at all. You thought that someone showed an interest in you which is very flattering and pleasant, and then you gave him yourself at its most intimate and then he's said "wham bamm thanks now sod off mamm"!.

Course that damn well hurts, It'd hurt anyone.

I bet you a tenner that there's some other female in his life somewhere. He's done the deed with you and he shouldn't have done and he's scared that now he'll get found out hence he's decided to pull back from further contact hoping that it will all blow over etc.

Perhaps next time make sure before you tangle with anyone that they are free and single. I've just met someone and she asked to see my decree absolute when we had our first date!. Hows that for being checked out!

I also took the legal bills it was a bit of a joke in the end but it seems shes been wronged by someone who was involved with someone else and it didn't end too well.

Try to forget this jerk there are decent people out there they just take a bit of finding!.

Jollyphonics Wed 02-Mar-16 06:03:32

After doing some digging I've discovered that he is married, which explains it all. I'm stunned, and I feel awful that I was so stupid. Why would someone do this? Go to all that effort and seduction build-up, just for a one-off adulterous shag? It makes no sense. I feel unbelievably used, as if I was just a tool to scratch an itch, and now I've been discarded with no explanation. And I've been duped into getting "involved" with a married man, which I would never knowingly do.

I'm now curious to know what will happen next. He doesn't know I know he's married, so maybe he'll try coming back for more in a couple of weeks! Obviously I haven't contacted him myself.

God this is a messed up world isn't it.

Justaboy Wed 02-Mar-16 13:50:22

Ah! well you became involved with him in good faith and took him on trust and he turned out to be anything but. I think the best thing to do is realise that you weren't at fault or to blame. He deceived you and you won't be the only lady that's happened to. There is another woman being deceived to and that's his wife. Perhaps she knows, perhaps not. I think as others might conclude best left and forgotten.

There are decent men out there. I hope you find one who makes your life happier.

Jollyphonics Fri 18-Mar-16 07:36:10

Aarrrggghhhh 3 weeks on and I'm still gutted about this! Why why why?? I'm so frustrated with my stupid mind for not being over this by now. Never before in my pre-kids dating days was I ever so pathetic about such a short-lived "relationship". I just don't get it.

Anyone got any good tips for making this go away!?

donajimena Fri 18-Mar-16 07:44:04

No tips but it will go! I promise. You got stitched up (been there got the tshirt) I guess if it had been a normal dating scenario youd probably feel better by now.
I'm projecting here but is a lot of your angst because you think 'cheeky fecker' ? Rather than being upset romantically?

Boohaha Fri 18-Mar-16 07:53:06

You are well rid of this adulterous shit. Hope you meet someone nice.

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