How to Get Rejected
Well, this sucks. This isn't what you wanted, but it has happened. Whether you're in the "why is this so eerily physical?" phase or have moved to the "this hair must GO" phase, you are processing a new reality that you didn't envision. Breakups are uniquely cruel because they are not only a profoundly fracturing event, but you are also suddenly denied a piece of the support system you have put in place over time. Even though the experience isn't new to the human experience, it's such a weirdly isolating situation and hearing everyone else’s breakup stories as consolation is sooo unhelpful. Just as no relationship is the same, no breakup is either. There's no easy way to handle the pain of a breakup, but here are some starting points to guide you through this process:
Level set with yourself:
Acknowledge what is true here: This hurts. You will be okay. But It will take time. This mantra also serves as a ready-to-go answer to the endless stream of well-intentioned "how *are* you?" texts. Repeat: "This hurt. I will be okay. But it will take time."
Rejection can be an incredibly enriching experience once you are further from the initial impact. Every hero's story has a setback. The lost job, the failed experiment, the broken relationship. You've reached that time in your story; now start taking your next steps. Good things are still possible for you, and deciding to move forward is the only way to get closer to them. It's corny but true. This is a time and point in your life—it is a phase, and it eventually will pass.
Reject improving…yes, really:
Just because you are facing rejection does not mean that you need to launch a self-improvement campaign- whether physical or otherwise. You do not need to emerge a slimmer, more groomed, or skilled person. You are more than enough right now in this form. Knowing a new language might be an excellent way to spend your newly freed up time, but it does not make you more worthy of commitment or love in the future. The concept of the revenge body is one of the more grotesque concepts we've allowed to be spoken into existence, and you should avoid it at all costs bc you deserve KINDNESS right now—not scrutiny.
Pick your content wisely:
Keep in mind that you are moving through a deeply impressionable time. Everyone has a handful of songs that feel so visceral and embedded that the second they start, you feel like you've been time machined back to a moment in your past. Lean hard into this and start that series you've been thinking about starting or dive headfirst into a new genre of music that fits the mood. While comfort content might be tempting, there's a lot of value in exploring some newness while making it through this feeling.
Staying in touch:
Some might say that the best way to move on after a breakup is to cut contact. Others might subscribe to some light communication right away. The goal here is to move on and thrive, so whatever you think will give you the best chance of doing so- try to do it. If you have a good friend who can throw you a couple of morning or evening texts, that can help a lot.
Let messiness slide:
Rejections are grief-inducing events, and as a society, we do not talk enough about the messiness that grief brings on. Rejection can also be kind of embarrassing too. Those who have really been through it can attest that the intersection of grief and shame is paved with off brand behavior. You may be inexplicably horny (hello rebound!), eating weird foods (hello cheese board for dinner!), or giving positively zero fucks about things you previously cared for. Give yourself some grace, don't apologize, and ride it out. Trust that you will not be going full-on Miss Havisham- this is just a phase, and more importantly, it's okay because you will be okay.
Like any bad hangover, there is no cure but time will help. Over time, you will find yourself feeling a bit more calibrated. You will see the other side of this because like we said, This hurts. You will be okay. But It will take time. As the great Michael Bolton song goes: time, love, and tenderness.
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