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7 Ways To Handle Romantic Rejection Like An Adult

Asking someone you like out and being turned down can be tough.

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1. Don't take it personally.

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On one hand, there's nothing more personal than someone saying they don't want to date you. On the other hand, there are so many other factors in play that may truly have nothing to do with you. The main thing to remember is: No one enjoys rejecting someone unless they're a narcissistic sociopath (in which case, you dodged a bullet). It's not going to work because it's not going to work, and overanalyzing it will only drive you crazy.

2. Really listen to what the other person is saying.

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When you like someone a lot and really hope you can end up together, it can be hard to hear what they're saying to you without injecting your own meaning. Phrases like "I just want to stay friends" can seem like there's hope for love to grow in the future; hearing something like "It's not the right time" can make you feel like waiting around is the key. Of course the other person will sugarcoat a bit to spare your feelings, but the best you can do is realize that, no, they don't want to date you, and that there isn't some code you're supposed to break.

3. Be nice.

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This one's obvious, but be cordial. Don't accuse them of leading you on, don't lash out at them in any way, and for the love of god don't use the word "friend zone" and diminish the friendship that you had until this point. You don't have to be overly friendly, but be polite when you seem them. If they rejected you kindly, you owe it to them to be kind back. And if you truly believe they led you on on purpose or derived some kind of twisted joy from shutting you down, then staying calm will ultimately keep them from knowing that they got to you. It's a win-win, really.

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4. But also give yourself space if you need it.

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You are in no way obligated to keep hanging out with someone 24/7 if the main emotion you're feeling is crippling agony. If seeing their name pop up on your phone causes your heart to race until the point of nausea, consider distancing yourself. There's nothing wrong with openly stating that you want space, either. Sure, it might upset the other person to hear this, but your mental and emotional health is most important, so do what you gotta do and don't apologize.

5. Talk about it with only people you trust.

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You'll want to vent. You totally should — rejection sucks! But try to avoid mutual friends with the crush and only talk about it to one or two people you trust with your life (note: Moms can be good for this sort of thing). At the end of the day, while people will listen and be nice to your face, people also love gossip, and the last thing you need is everyone talking about your private life or observing your future interactions with your crush to see how awkward it is.

6. Don't visibly mope or try to guilt the other person.

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You can't control what you feel, but you can certainly choose how you display your emotions. Talking badly about the other person, constantly complaining, or continually telling your crush that you're sad you can't be together are all objectively pretty gross. Hypothetically, if they dated you purely out of guilt or pity, you'd both be signing up for one hell of a dysfunctional relationship, so...yeah, really, there's no upside to trying to emotionally manipulate the person into being with you, regardless if you're conscious of it being manipulation.

7. Busy yourself.

Julia Pugachevsky / BuzzFeed

See them at a party with a new boo? Strike up a conversation with someone else, be it a friend or a stranger. Keep hearing about how great their life is via Facebook and Instagram? Put your phone away, find something you love doing, and do it for a while instead. Sign yourself up at the gym, or for special classes. Make plans with your closest pals. Force yourself to get through a good book or movie, even when you feel like you can't think of anything but your crush. And, pretty soon, it won't be that much an effort at all.

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