4 simple ways to reframe dating disappointment
Dating can be disheartening. I know because I’ve been there. But dating when we’re disheartened is a recipe for failure. So how can we remain positive and hopeful, even when faced with dating disappointment?
Here are four things to consider doing when facing dating disappointment:
Embrace this valuable opportunity for healing
Are you struggling to find anyone you want to date online or in real life? Have you been ignored or rejected by someone you really liked? Whether you’re feeling down, sad, hopeless, angry, hurt or something else, the key is to feel the feelings and embrace this opportunity for healing. Present-day feelings of hurt, loss, anger, disappointment and so forth will trigger similar feelings from our past so every time we feel this way, we have the chance to heal our early wounds a little bit more. This is a gift. By resolving unfinished business from our past, we will be better equipped to have a healthy relationship in the present.
We first take our disappointments and our sadness to God in prayer and ask for His support and encouragement. We also pray for help in discerning God’s will for our lives and for willingness to accept how things have turned out. It’s important to make time and space to feel our feelings, in partnership with God, as this is where the growth happens. We can also write about them, share them with other people and cry through them. It’s important to make time and space for this because this is where the growth occurs. Is there anything you need to feel right now? Is there anything that deserves to be felt today so that in can be healed?
Understand that you are building emotional resilience
Have you ever felt so hurt that you thought you’d never get over it? When we’re in the grip of heartache or when everything seems dark and hopeless, it’s easy to think that this is how life’s going to be from now on. But then the hurt eases, the light returns and we emerge stronger and more resilient. When I think back to my past heartaches, I can see how they taught me valuable lessons, helped me to mature emotionally and made me stronger. Think back to a season of heartache or a time when everything seemed dark. Can you see how you came through it and how you grew from it? You will come through this period stronger too.
Know that you are moving closer to your dreams
I didn’t know this at the time but I see now that every time a previous relationship ended, I moved closer to my dream, to my now marriage. Every relationship failure marks a step towards a relationship success. For some of us, the process will be faster. Perhaps you look at friends and wonder how they managed to meet their life partner after just one or two unsuccessful relationships. Yours is a different story. Your upbringing was different, your life experience was different, your path is different. You will have your own unique struggles and hurdles to overcome. God has a different plan for your life and once you are able to discern that plan and align yourself with it, things will flow. It may take you longer than others to find your dream relationship, but it will be a rich and rewarding journey and your relationship, when it does come, will be one of real depth. Can you celebrate the fact that you are edging closer to your dreams and moving towards God’s plan for your life?
See this season of your life as a gift
You may feel like you’ve been tested enough. Your prayers may go something like this: “Hey, God, enough already. I’m ready to meet my person now.” You may feel frustrated with how slowly your romantic life is progressing. Believe me, I’ve been there. But as hard as it is to accept this truth, I believe there is always a gift available to us if we are willing to look for it. Maybe we’re being shown that we need to do some more healing before we are ready for a relationship. Maybe we’re being shown that we need to develop patience and let go of any panic or sense of urgency. Maybe we’re being shown that we need to focus on our own happiness before we share our lives with someone else. Maybe God is using this opportunity to reveal His true plan for our romantic lives.