How to Accept Rejection When You Tell a Friend You Love Them
When two people develop a close relationship, there’s bound to be a moment when the attraction goes deeper. At some point, you’ll probably feel the need to air your feelings out, which may leave you wondering how to accept rejection when you tell a friend you love them.
Regardless of how much you want your feelings to be returned, sometimes it just isn’t on the cards.
What you do from the moment you hear them turn you down will determine if you are able to continue your friendship or not, so keep these four steps in mind if things don’t work out the way you’d like:
- Respect Their Answer
Having a strong emotional attachment to someone makes it tough to deal with a negative response, but that doesn’t mean you should set about making a case for why you are the perfect choice.
Regardless of whether you really are or not, you will do well to acknowledge their opinion and leave it at that. When it comes to affairs of the heart, logical arguments are almost a moot point – without the spark of romance, you aren’t going anywhere.
Your best reply is to say, “I’m glad to know where you stand” instead of begging for a list of ways you can change. (Someone should love you for who you are already, right?)
- Create Some Space
After finding out your love is a one-way street, you will naturally feel a bit heartbroken. This puts your friendship in a precarious position, as your wounded heart cannot just pretend nothing happened – and it shouldn’t have to.
Make some breathing room for yourself and step away from the relationship for a while. If your friend asks why things can’t just immediately go back to the way they were, be honest about your need for time to heal.
Let them know it doesn’t mean you’ll never talk again, just that it will be a while before you can get back to laughing and joking like you did before. If they try to pressure you to change your mind, stand firm. You must look out for yourself.
- Reconnect When You’re Ready
Everyone knows that time heals all wounds, even if you do have some scars afterwards. At some point, you will feel sufficiently recovered to attempt to resume your friendship.
Then – and only then – should you reach out to see how your old friend is doing. Though you might be tempted to get your old connection back in one fell swoop, don’t be surprised if it takes some time to restore the bond you forged before. Both of you will have been changed by the experience.
- Move On to Someone New
The best thing to do, once you are in a good spot emotionally, is find another person to build a romance with. Sometimes, when we find ourselves fixated on a friend, we hold out hope that they’ll “come to their senses” eventually and breathlessly wait in the wings for that day.
Instead of passing months or years for a moment that may never arrive, go on and pursue other people. This will allow you to be with someone who values you and develop a mutually-appreciative connection – and a pairing like that can last a very long time.
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