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How To Keep Your Cool (And Your Friendship) After A Rejection

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Colonoscopies. Stepping on a Lego. Accidentally drinking spoiled orange juice.

A lot of things are more fun than being rejected. When you muster up the courage to ask someone on a date and they turn you down, it hurts. You laid it all on the line, got told no, and at least for a second wanted to swear off dating forever.

Take a deep breath. Rejection will never be a cakewalk, but there are healthy ways to react when you hear “no” that keep your dignity, and your friendship, intact.

  • Keep calm and carry on. Don't get angry or lash out, in the moment or afterwards, no matter how much you want to. It's not someone's fault if they're not interested in you, and it's not your fault if you have feelings for them. In both cases, it's just the way it is and no one owes anyone anything. Take time to yourself if need be, then come back to the friendship when you're ready to accept the situation.
  • Avoid “over it” overkill. Friendship is a shaky thing after rejection. You don't want to act like you're still into them, but you also don't want to go out of your way to show how “over it” you are. Acting like you're better off is childish, potentially hurtful, and may come off as intentionally trying to provoke jealousy. Take the high road.
  • Address the awkwardness. There's no way to avoid it – being around someone when you both know how you feel is uncomfortable. The best way to make that awkwardness disappear is to acknowledge it. It's ok to say things are still a little weird. You'll probably both agree, have a giggle about it, and release some of the tension. Remember: we mostly take cues from each other, so if you act awkward around someone, they're more likely to act awkward around you.
  • Actually be a friend. Yes, the best way to keep a friendship intact is to keep being a friend. That means no holding onto false hope, no rudeness when they start seeing someone new, no constant reminders of your feelings, and no schemes to get them to fall in love with you. You are just friends – act accordingly.

One of the best ways to handle rejection is to go into it with the right mindset. Before asking someone on a date, set appropriate expectations. Keep your hopes and emotions to a reasonable level. Remember that rejection is almost never a reflection on who you are. And at the end of the day, you still have a friendship worth cherishing.

Are You Dating an Introvert?

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Introverts are a complex mix of emotions – and usually “still waters run deep” is an apt way to describe their reluctance to engaging fully in social situations. It’s not that they are boring, or that they don’t care – but social situations give many introverts some anxiety. Most prefer quiet evenings, just the two of you, or maybe a small dinner with a couple of friends.

But what if you like to be social – to say yes to all the parties in your circle of friends, even those where you only know one or two people? Or what if you hate being the center of attention and rely on others to carry the conversation – including your equally introverted date? It could make for a lot of indecision and some long, uncomfortable pauses in conversation.

If you’re dating an introvert, it can be a difficult process to get to know him, but it can also be rewarding. Introverts might need some extra down time after a party, or they might need a few days by themselves instead of going on dates or dinners with friends. It is part of how they recharge. If you are an extrovert, you often recharge by being around other people – it is what energizes you. With introverts, they need solitude, quiet, and contemplation to recharge. Success with dating an introvert depends entirely on what each of you can balance to make sure you meet each other’s needs.

Here are a few tips:

Don’t feel bad about going out by yourself. Introverts don’t want to hold anyone back – they simply like time on their own to recharge. If you feel the need to socialize a few times a week, let your date know that she doesn’t have to feel obligated to join you. It will give both of you more energy when you reconnect.

Let your date know how you feel. Sometimes extroverts (and introverts) have difficulty sharing their feelings in a relationship. It’s good to remind yourself to acknowledge how you feel to your date – that she makes you happy, that she is smart, funny, or kind, that she is beautiful. This will help your date to open up more to you, as many introverts have a guard up when it comes to love.

Check in with her. You might think things are going so well when you have fun at a party or dinner with friends, but perhaps he spent most of the evening in a corner feeling awkward or depressed about how it’s more difficult for him. Or maybe he thinks you weren’t paying any attention to him. Instead of getting defensive, check in along the way at parties or when you’re in a group of people. You might think things are fine, but an introvert likes to know that you are paying attention.

How To Turn Down A Date Without Breaking A Heart

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Rejection isn't easy to take, but dishing it out isn't a walk in the park either. Most of us aren't out to hurt feelings or break hearts, so when it comes time to let someone down gently, we really do want it to be gentle.

If you're unprepared to be asked out, your response can be awkward or unintentionally hurtful. If it's already happened, well, these tips won't help much. But keep them in mind so you can handle things like a pro next time.

  • Obey the golden rule. Treat others how you would want to be treated. A “no” that sounds offended or disgusted is a harsh response. Unless the person is intentionally being offensive or disgusting, try to remember that it takes courage to approach someone and that they did so because they think highly of you. Keep your tone polite and calm, while still sounding assured.
  • Don't drag it out. Although you do want to handle someone's feelings with care, honesty is the best policy. If you know you're not interested, say so swiftly and directly. Agreeing to a date out of pity, being unclear about your intentions, or remaining silent to avoid confrontation only lead to more hurt down the road. Give a definitive answer so both of you can move on with your lives.
  • Make it about you. Yes, turning down a date really is an “It's not you, it's me” situation. If you choose to offer an explanation for your “no,” keep it focused on yourself. No one wants to hear a list of reasons why they don't measure up. Use "I" statements instead. Think “I don't feel that connection between us” or “I'm not looking to date someone right now.”
  • Don't keep them on the hook. When you turn someone down, make sure they know it's final. It's important to be kind, but being overly sympathetic or friendly can backfire. Don't give hope when there's none there. It should be clear that your “no” isn't a “not right now” or “let's see where things go” or “keep trying until I say yes.”

When the conversation is happening online, the rules are a little different. Although kindness and clearness are both still encouraged, online dating offers more wiggle room. Most people reach out to as many possible dates as they can, so they're unlikely to be strongly invested in any single one.

If all they do is send you a “Hey or a “What's up?” a response probably isn't warranted at all. If they've written a more detailed message, a polite-but-firm sentence or two is all you need. Wish them good luck and call it a day.

Are You Dating an Extrovert?

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Extroverts – those people who thrive in social situations – are really fun to be around. Many of us enjoy their company and find a sense of relief that someone else can steer the conversation and be entertaining at parties, but when it comes to dating an extrovert one-on-one it can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re an introvert or somewhat shy.

If you are attracted to people with high energy who typically seem “on” – who love to be the center of attention and make others laugh – it can be challenging. After all, you are attracted to their energy and enthusiasm, and the way an extrovert can draw people in. But you might also find yourself feeling isolated or overwhelmed when you are dating him/ her. Maybe you find yourself retreating into solitude at parties or wanting to spend less time socializing and more time just staying in for the night.

So how do you approach dating an extrovert in a more balanced way when you don’t want to be social all the time, and your extrovert is not so happy to stay in and cook dinner as much as you are?

There can be a happy medium – it just takes some effort and understanding from both of you. Here are some tips:

Decide your level of comfort in social settings. Do you feel pressured to be social by your date, or are you attracted to a man who can coax you out of the house on fun excursions or adventures? Most of us lie somewhere in between the introvert/ extrovert spectrum – so know how much you are willing to go beyond your comfort zone, and when you need to take a step back and regroup. Everyone will be different, so don’t feel pressured to do things that lead to feeling resentful. State your boundaries.

Pay attention to communication. Don’t ignore your feelings if you think he’s not paying enough attention to you or if he thinks you don’t understand him. Acknowledge your differences instead of trying to prove the value of your own point of view to each other. You can both get your needs met, as long as you both know what they are.

Go your own ways. Sometimes he might feel like going to a party when you don’t. Instead of dragging yourself to it and feeling resentful, allow him to go on his own while you enjoy a nice quiet night on your own. Then you will both feel more connected when you see each other again.

Check in with each other. Sometimes extroverts need more down time, and perhaps she gets quiet when she’s alone with you. There’s no need to feel anxious that you’re not entertaining enough or that she’s bored by your relationship. Everyone needs time to recharge – and she feels safe doing that around you.

 

Bethenny Frankel's Dating Advice Will Either Make You Nod Or Rage

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Maybe you love her. Maybe you hate her. Maybe you don't even know who she is.

I, with an appropriate amount of embarrassment, must admit that I do know. Bethenny Frankel is a “Real Housewife” with a famously volatile love life and a famously ineffective filter. Let's just say “frank” is in her name for a reason.

In keeping with her outspoken ways, she's vocal about dating advice and has what I'll call “polarizing” opinions on the subject. In her recent dating manual, I Suck at Relationships So You Don't Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever After, she writes "Here’s my confession: I suck at relationships. I find relationships to be just about the most impossible thing in the world and I’ve done so many things the wrong way that I’ve become, strangely, a sort of expert at what not to do."

With that in-your-face intro, Frankel proceeds to dole out advice and opinions that will either have you nodding in agreement or turning red with rage. There's no in between.

For example, she believes “playing games” can be beneficial to a relationship. "A little cat-and-mouse is really necessary,” she told Refinery29, “because the bottom line is, the least interested party always wins — in business and relationships and life.”

When it comes to gender roles, she has brazenly traditional ideals. "I'm okay with the money gap, but men need to feel in control," she told PEOPLE. "There's nothing more emasculating than a woman pulling out her credit card. I don't care how women's lib we are."

Frankel makes her feelings about the sexes clear with chapter titles like “Understand the Man” and “Master the Catch and Release.” Men and women are from two different worlds in her mind. She even refers to men as “the other species” to Refinery29. Unless you accept those differences and learn to understand them, Frankel says “you’re never going to be happy.”

She's also a serious critic of online dating. The only way to meet romantic prospects according to Frankel is to look around and stay open to experiences. It's not the wrong way to find love, but surely it's not the only way, right? Right?

If you think her advice sounds like something out of The Rules or Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, you're not far off. There's a definite old-school vibe to it, but Frankel is confident that her advice is just as applicable now as it was two decades ago.

The subject is ripe for debate. Is she onto something, or are her opinions painfully outdated? Right now you're nodding or raging. Which one is it?

Thinking of Dating your Friend’s Ex? Ask Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner if it’s a Good Idea.

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The ongoing feud between Kendall Jenner and Taylor Swift has emerged recently in the press. Apparently the singer still feels betrayed by her one-time friend, and Kendall isn’t acknowledging she did anything wrong by dating Swift’s ex-boyfriend Harry Styles.

“Harry’s always been the biggest issue between them,” according to a report by OK! Magazine. “Taylor thinks it was completely disrespectful for Kendall to be hooking up with Harry after he broke Taylor’s heart.”

Dating a friend’s ex has always been a thorny subject. Does your loyalty to your friend mean that you never cross that particular boundary, even long after they have split? Or should you cast aside your grievances with your ex so that it’s not an issue if your friend ends up dating him?

When two people have split, they are free to make their own decisions, including who they decide to date. Some people are more reluctant to risk friendships than others. Some are more motivated by their passion, so they end up choosing risk because the feeling of love will outweigh the bonds of friendship.

If you are considering dating your friend’s ex, there are several things to consider first – because remember, once you start down that road, you can’t really turn back:

How strong is your friendship? Have you known each other for years, seen each other through break-ups and hard times, or are you relatively recent buddies, or hang out with the same group of friends on the weekend? The level of friendship matters – you’ll feel more loyalty towards someone you have known a while, so you might not want to risk the friendship. On the other hand, if she’s more of an acquaintance, you might not feel bad letting the friendship go.

Are you motivated only by passion or chemistry, or something deeper? Is this just a flirtatious chemistry between the two of you, or are you just curious to see what he’d be like? If so, you might want to reconsider dating your friend’s ex. Think about the pain you might cause her just because you want to act on your impulses. There are plenty of other guys out there.

Have you discussed your feelings with your friend? Maybe you are drawing conclusions that are false. Maybe she wouldn’t mind you dating her ex, or maybe she would and you are giving her the opportunity to vent. Admitting your feelings to your friend is an act of courage and respect for the friendship – don’t hide and sneak around until she finds out. Own your feelings, and be open about what you want.

Are you willing to let go of the friendship? This is the tough question, because we want to have our friendships and love. But if your friend is hurt by your actions, you must allow her that space to grieve so she can heal. That means not demanding her friendship or understanding. Let her process her pain. Maybe she will want the friendship in the end, or maybe she won’t – ultimately, when you make that type of choice, it’s up to her to decide what to do.