6 tips to stop the pity party and overcome rejection like a grown woman Hey you! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and rejoin the living!

You just got dumped. Ouch. That looks like it hurt. Now take a deep breath and get over yourself. We’ve all been dumped — and we’ve all dumped someone else — and unless you and your ex count your relationship in decades or adopted a bunch of kids together, it’s probably for the best.

When we date we tend to view our compatibility with others as obviously subjective: do we have similar lifestyles? senses of humor? are our schedules complimentary? But when we get rejected we perceive that rejection, irrationally, as objective. We think: I’m objectively less hot than his ex-girlfriend. I’m dumber. People end up reading rejection as an outright judgment of their worth.

But it’s not. That’s stupid. And you’re not stupid, you’re smart. So don’t write a sonnet or lock yourself away to weep over your Häagen-Dazs. This isn’t Sex and The City. Read this list of things to keep in mind the next time you find yourself rejected. Then get over it.

It really, actually, isn’t about you. Or maybe it is.

I’ve broken it off with many cute, smart, interesting guys for reasons that had little to do with them as individuals. Often, I just didn’t want a relationship. Some people are into serious, monogamous relationships; I never have been. It wasn’t some judgment on their character, and, except for some colorful exceptions, I always thought the men I dated were great people. I just didn’t want them for my boyfriend. So if someone rejects you, it really might not be about you. It really might be about circumstances, timing, etc.

Or, it might be about you. But who cares, really? I personally believe that in a good relationship both partners should feel super-lucky that they’re with the other person. If someone doesn’t want to be with you — doesn’t feel really lucky to have you — then what’s the point? It doesn’t feel great, but there are millions of amazing people in the world. Go find another one.

Holy shit, he cheated? Get over it.

I obviously don’t think it’s a good idea to cheat on someone because, come on, that’s a dick move. But it does happen. And when it does, it’s not something to dwell on in a fit of self-pity. It’s nothing unique.

Also, have you ever cheated on someone? No? Well, that’s impressive. I have. And I didn’t feel great about it. And I haven’t done it again. But it also wasn’t the most terrible, soulless thing I’ve ever done either.

I once had a boyfriend cheat on me. He was a musician and spent most of his time in L.A. and abroad. Eventually, my sneaking suspicions that his friendship with a Los Angeles lady wasn’t entirely platonic were justified. Of course it hurt my feelings, and I felt especially dumb for sitting around waiting for him at home. But in the end it helped me see that our relationship hadn’t been working, and, being honest, I understood why he was looking around. I broke it off, got over it, and we’re friends to this day.

Sometimes our imperfections can be messy and hurtful. But none of us are fucking martyrs or victims because some guy or girl cheated on us. It’s just a commonplace, if unfortunate, relationship issue. Get out of that situation, then get over it.

Stop obsessively replaying that time you did something “wrong.”

Ever been on a date with some banker and dryly asked him if he had a soul, only to discover that he didn’t find that very amusing? (I was only joking!) And then he didn’t exactly ask you on a second date? Yeah. In that situation it’s easy to replay that one moment you think you fucked it up, in a flushed, self-flagellating OCD fit. But!

A. That probably wasn’t it. That guy probably didn’t call me again for a variety of reasons, only one of which was my dry, hilarious sense of humor. So no reason to obsess. Seriously, he probably just didn’t really like my personality in general.

B. Even if that was it, it’s not a bad thing. I actually do have a dry, hilarious sense of humor. It’s not for everyone. If it’s not a good match, it’s not a good match.

Stop the (drunk) texts. Erase his number.

First thing you do when you’ve dumped/are dumping someone? Erase his number. You don’t need to talk to him. You broke up, remember?

But there are those moments. You know the moments of which I speak: late-night loneliness, boozed-up indiscretion, boozed-up late-night lonely indiscretion, wrapped in a booty call. The answer is no. It’s just bad for everyone involved. If you’re the one who got rejected, I’m telling you this straight — you look super-desperate. If you’re the one who did the rejecting, you’re not being very nice, because your recent ex might still be all about it.

You can be friends! Later, I promise. But not now. Now you need to delete their number and fill your phone with new numbers from new eligible singles.

You said you wanted non-monogamy. Now you’ve got it.

We’ve all been there. You say we don’t want a committed relationship, but then, suddenly, he’s dating other people and you’re like, “Whoa, didn’t really want you to do that.” Good news: you and I both get to create the kind of relationship that we want. And a non-monogamous one is possible, but you have to mean it.

Non-monogamy can be difficult — but for me, it’s always been caring for another person more than you care about owning him. If someone other than you makes your partner happy, why should you begrudge him that happiness? Maybe you do, and I don’t think that’s wrong. Everyone has the right to set the boundaries that make them comfortable. But if you’re not down with non-monogamy, then don’t do it. And don’t feel all rejected and upset when you said you wanted it, and then you got it.

You don’t need “closure.”

Ugh. This one is the worst. Why do people always feel that they need some sort of deep, explanatory conversation before they can get “closure” and “move on?” Sure, sometimes things are broken off suddenly and you’re confused or hurt, but you just have to get on with it anyway.

Have you ever rejected someone and had them say, “Why? Tell me why.” What do you do? You kind of lie, right? I’m not saying you should lie to someone when telling the truth would benefit them, but the truth doesn’t always benefit someone. I’ve blamed breaking things off on my personality, on my career, and on a thousand other semi-excuses. None of these things have been flat-out lies, but the real truth was usually that we just weren’t a match. That’s it. Nothing to talk about there.

Maybe if you’ve been dating since high school or co-own a large mammal, you should feel entitled to a “closure talk.” I understand that. But if your ex is ducking the conversation/generally avoiding you, then fuck it. You don’t need this chat to move forward. And if he doesn’t have the courage to even talk to you, he’s definitely not going to have the balls to tell you the truth anyway. Go out there and find someone who’s courageous enough to be direct. You will probably like it.

P.S. Protect yourself from the coming data-powered panopticon by getting a VPN.

I write. Science and tech and health.

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lucilew
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lucilew

this was a useful article in terms of understanding why people cheat/reject others and how we shouldn’t take it personally.
but to all the people saying just ‘get over it’ – well i hope you never go through a bad episode of cheating but trust me, if you do or if you have, you’ll have to be a really strong person to not let it knock you. someone you loved and would do anything for and think is wonderful doesn’t want to be with you, and what’s more, was a dick about it and made you suffer so much in the process and question whether you were stupid/idealistic/naive etc…that’s not easy. it makes you question anything you ever believed in.
also if you are someone who would never cheat, it’s incredibly hard to understand the POV of a cheater.
I know it is important to get over these things and move on with life but we are human! and unfortunately sometimes things fuck up massively and its hard to get out…

wow
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wow

haha, a billion people are literally starving to death, war murder and rape are commonplace, and you commenty folks are talking-up how truly devastating a break-up can be. BULL. SHIT.

if somebody cheating on you or a shitty breakup is the worst thing that you’re dealing with, your life is awesome

Mitz
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Mitz

The article was interesting and in some respects very true however, when heartache strikes it’s a b* to get over. As human beings we have a difficult time controlling our emotions.

Love isn’t a switch.

Bartok
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Bartok

I have to say, this is one of the least insightful articles I’ve ever read. It’s basically six bullet points that all say “Who cares? Get over it” several different ways. Much better advice would be to focus on how to be (as in become or demonstrate yourself as) a more desirable partner, or how to focus on finding someone whose romantic ambitions line up with yours.

ashtray
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ashtray

sometimes people cheat because every time they try to break up with a long-term partner, the person talks them out of it or cries and begs like a stabbed baby, and so the next day, you’re still together because you don’t want to hurt them. it’s cowardly, but also compassionate. Cheating is ugly and hurts people, but sometimes you don’t plan to do it and you can’t deal with how the other person is going to react. Shit is complicated. Also: “Straightened out”?!! i know lots of people who are non-monogamous and in happy, functioning, open-relationships. nobody has to be be “by themselves” if everyone involved is ok with the arrangement. jeez. narrow-minded much?

also, i thought this was awesome advice. maybe a little hard-to-hear, tough-love kind of advice, but totally brilliant. and although i am not 45, going through a divorce with a cheating spouse who i have loved my whole life, i think i have experienced enough rejection and rejecting to justify seeing some merit in this article.

michellezaffino
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michellezaffino

This article has such a low moral value it makes me cringe. Cheating is only commonplace among insecure people, as is the practice of non-monogamy. Why can’t people just be by themselves until they get straightened out? The one thing you should’ve covered but didn’t is when a person forgets to tell you they don’t want to see you any longer and just stops calling. Would’ve fit in perfectly with the rest of the shite.

Imn
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Imn

I thought the article was humorous and helpful actually. Too many of my girlfriends can’t get over their ex-boyfriends or not-even-ex-boyfriends because they always think “what if I did…”
As for myself, I’m not very good at rejection so I don’t put myself out there as often. I think that if I keep these tips in mind (even if they appear trite to other people) I may remember that I’m a strong, intelligent, and confident woman rather than a self-conscious teenager.

deeznuts
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deeznuts

Nah I think you gusy are just being bitches. The author isnt saying getting over it should be easy, she is saying stop making it harder than it needs to be by feeling sorry for yourself. Some of you commenters are essentially saying “no but I WANT to and DESERVE to feel sorry for myself” Trust me, your friends woudl love it if you stopped complaining about “your world being turned upside down”. You keep picking at the wound and then pointing at it like “Look, its still bleeding!”

MAD
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MAD

This article just seems trite. Because when you’re really legitimately heartbroken, when the person who told you he or she would always be there and goes out of their way for years to make you believe it all of a sudden renegs with no warning, it turns your world upside down. And flippantly saying “get over it!” doesn’t actually help a person to get over it. Everyone wants to get over it. And if it were as easy as just deciding to, then there wouldn’t be so many sad people in the world.

Jeffers
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Jeffers

I don’t think you should be looking for puff articles on the Internet to un-break your heart. It’s a decent piece of writing.

grownup
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grownup

This seems like it was written by a very young and inexperienced person. Also, perhaps the process of getting over a break up shouldn’t be written by someone who doesn’t believe in committed long-term relationships. I don’t think the writer has a clue to the disruption of life it can cause when you have been with someone even a couple of years, nor does the writer have a real clue to how painful it is to discover that the person you trusted lied and cheated on you.

anothergrownup
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anothergrownup

True- those things are painful and can feel like someone kicked you in the teeth with hobnail boots covered in shit. But the goal of the piece was to help people get over themselves- and considering the positive wave of non monogamy and the divorce rate- no matter how old you are, you may still be dating. So the same rules apply- get over it, recognize that it may just be a bad match and don’t take yourself so seriously. You are no special snowflake that was the only one who ever got hurt.

Ann
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Ann

perhaps she’s young, but I wouldn’t say she’s inexperienced, at least in the department of regaining self-worth after a “disruption of life”. We have all been there: dumped, cheated on or lied to, but the writer is not telling you to nurture your resentment towards the person who does all those horrible things to you. Her best point is that you should respect that person’s choice, since there’s no way we can pop into their head to see/change what is going on that pushes them to break up with you. This is always a painful experience, but since you all are reading her article (and comment on it), I assume to be reminded of how painful it is is the last thing you want, so there’s no point for the writer to lament on about it. Everyone wants a committed relationship, that is why we blindly hand out our heart like leaflets to people who, unfortunately, are not able to take it. We should not blame them, nevertheless. I think the article is spot-on here because it tells you how to come out as best as you can of an unworking relationship, not why it doesn’t work, and how you can make it work.

3monthslater
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3monthslater

This is funny three months post breakup. But a month ago, I’d probably be kind of mad!