Kathryn's Blog: Handling Rejection...and acceptance!

SAQ #7 Why is getting rejected a good thing?

Fear of rejection is right at the top of the list for most singles contemplating a search for love. It’s easy to understand, because looking for love feels very personal and a “No, thanks,” whether spoken, written, or inferred seems like a rejection of one’s vulnerable essence. 

However, in modern Internet-aided dating, “no’s” can actually be good news. One of the biggest problems on dating sites is sorting through the multitudes of potential candidates. While lots of profiles increase your chances of getting just what you are looking for, it takes a tremendous amount of time studying what is being offered, writing that critical first email, then, if accepted, building an email relationship, then to the phone or Skype, and onto that first coffee date…which could easily be a big disappointment. And time is something singles do not want to waste. All you get is older, which is not a good thing in the dating market.

So this is where the advantage of rejection comes in: if who you could be interested in is not interested in you (for whatever reason, you likely never will know), you want to know, and you want to know soon. You do not want to waste time. Anyone who does not have the guts to say no to you when they are really not interested and knows it are wasting your precious time. The sooner you know, the sooner you can go on to the next most likely candidate.

As well, rejections help you refine your search. You’ll be presented with so many profiles, all of which will look equally likely to say “yes” to you. But that is not true. Most will NOT say yes to you. Most will say “No.” Either they will not want what you have to offer, they are already occupied, or they are taking a break and are asleep at their computer.  You’ll never know. You may be overestimating what you have to offer and contacting people out of your league. Those “no’s,” if you pay attention, will help you refine and adjust your searching until you start getting “yes’s.”

But you do have to pay attention. One guy I was working with kept contacting women 20 years younger than he was, all gorgeous. And he got no replies, at all. But he kept up the same kind of search, with the same results. Plus he had me telling him of the need to change, to go older with the ages and start looking at women in the mid ranges of looks. His results (nothing) indicated that he would rather keep his fantasy of a young, beautiful woman rather than to adjust to the reality of what was actually possible for him to attract (he did have some very attractive qualities) and have some real women to date.

Here’s a graphic that Illustrates what I am saying:
All the white area inside the blue box represents all the singles on your dating site. It really should be bigger, because those who you will be interested in are only a small percentage of the total number. Anyway: the white area represents those who you are not interested in and who are not interested in you. You’ll never have to deal with them, because you won’t contact them, and they won’t contact you.

The blue circle is everyone you are interested in enough to contact. The pink circle is everyone who is interested enough in you to get in touch or respond to your emails. The overlapping part is the treasure chest, the part that is really important. You like them, they like you. Notice the largest part of each of the big circles do not match up: those are rejections waiting to happen. You need to know if the people you are interested in are interested in you or not.  And you need to tell those who contact you if you are not interested. Then both of you can invest your time where you will have the most chance of success: those who interest you who are interested back.

Learn to welcome those rejections. Each one means that you did something, took a risk and made a contact. Yea! Several or more rejections of a similar type (like my guy who kept after those young babes) are valuable information that will help you refine your search. If you pay attention, learn the lessons, and make changes in your search, you’ll get better results. And at some point, the win of your life!


What to do when a really interested prospect scares the beejesus out of you

Hey Kathryn—I have had some stuff going on….... A few weeks ago, after a particularly large drought, I took down my match profile for about a week. When I put it back up, all I did was change my profile pic and modify my story about myself. Next thing I knew I had so many emails it was like I was new on there again! So I got some dates out of that, but nothing really worked out. I have found that I have a bit of a problem when I start dating someone. If the guy seems really interested and starts frequently contacting me, I completely freak out! I can go from being really excited, to being absolutely terrified in the matter of days. Obviously I want to date someone who likes me, but I’m not sure if they are just too ready to get serious, or if I’m too scared too??  Carolyn

Hi Carolyn— Oooh.  Now that is a problem!  Good for you for figuring out that you get scared.  It’s like “Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it,” right?

Looking for love can be quite attractive and enticing while in the fantasy stage.  It can also be extremely anxiety provoking.  People often set up conditions that are so unlikely to be fulfilled that they are protected from the fear.  But when you actually get some real interest from a guy and he energetically pursues you, then YIKES!  Now you have to deal with all the issues of allowing intimacy, both emotional and sexual.  Staying single can then feel more appealing.

A very good book for explaining relationship stages is “A Fine Romance” by Judith Sills.  She explains that any move towards more intimacy is likely to scare one or both of the potential couple, how that plays out in feelings and behavior, and how to handle the “crisis.”  I highly recommend it to all my clients.  I hear back how reassuring it is, often comparing it to the Bible.  Quite a statement.

Anyway, let’s stick with what you know: You get scared when a potential partner shows strong interest. What do you think you are afraid of?  It may be hard to pin down.  You may find yourself being critical of them, rather than focusing on you.  But just mull it over: what are you afraid of?  Let the question float at the back of your mind and see what comes up.  Once you have figured out likely culprits, then we will have an idea of what to do next.

Keep me posted!  Best, Kathryn


Rejection: Better than you could possibly imagine

Just about everybody worries about rejection, particularly in dating situations.  None of us like hearing “no” when it comes to something we want.  Yet, we hear “no” all the time in our everyday lives and manage to live through it.  Why does hearing “no” from someone we are attracted to hurt so much?  And can we change that?

The hurt we feel from “no’s” stems from our very beginnings.  As infants, we felt perfect and powerful.  Only with time and the civilizing attempts from our parents did we realize that we do not always get what we want.  But our infant selves retain that feeling of total power, and understand (faultily) that if we don’t get what we want, there must be something wrong – with us.  So when we hear a “no,” we get a double insult to our egos: we don’t get what we want, and it is our fault.  It’s not true, but that’s the way our childlike selves understand the rejection.

What is true is that we are busy rejection people all the time.  It’s all a matter of taste and preference. We reject 99.99% of possible mates without even thinking about it: they are too tall, too short, to fat or too skinny, the wrong color, religion, or political party, too poor or too rich, not well educated enough or too smart for their own good.  And everyone else is busy rejecting 99.99% of others, too.  Then we get overly focused on the .01% that do interest us, then devastated if the interest is not returned. 

But when you think about it, it is pretty arrogant to think that the .01% of folks we do honor with our attention will, of course, be equally interested in us.  Some probably will, maybe 10% of the .01%, but by no mean will all.  The sweet spot is the overlap: those you like who also happen to like you.

Since so very few people fall into the “Sweet Spot” of mutual attraction, it is to your distinct advantage to know as soon as possible whether anyone you are interested in is also interested in you.  You do not want to waste your time, nor do you want to waste theirs.  Rejection needs to be WELCOMED, because it is information you need so that you will not waste time and energy – and money – on a lost cause.  Better that you use your resources to find someone whose feelings of attraction are mutual.

Here’s what to do to minimize the pain:

1. Do not let yourself “fall in love” with anyone profile or person before you establish that they are equally interested in you.
2. Develop a long favorites list and send out first emails of introduction in bunches of 5 or so, again, to protect yourself from getting to focused on any one at this point.
3. When you get a “no” or a non answered email, welcome the quick answer and move on to the next person on your list. 
4. Learn to essentially ignore those who are not interested in you, just as you ignore all whom you are not interested in either. 
5. Remember, that as personal as this process feels, it is NOT PERSONAL.


Dating Advice Tidbits

Here’s a collection of little bits and pieces that have been collecting on my desk and are not long enough for full article treatment:

“Guilt coffee”—what you agree to when you can’t say “no,” even when you know this is not a match.

“Don’t ask for anything that you can’t bring to the table, and beware of those who do.”  Like good finances, youth and vigor, good health, basic truthfulness.

Especially on the first date, turn off your cell phone, pager or Blackberry and do not talk about you ex.  Do not make or take phone calls, answer a page,  or check or send emails during a date.

Act and dress your age, in other words, like an adult, and one who is on a date.  Spare the flip flops and cutoffs.

Ask questions.  You want to find out as much as you can about the other person.  And people like it if you ask about them.

Be honest so that you can back up what you say later if you have to.  While you shouldn’t be afraid to mention accomplishments, do not brag.

Be attentive and listen for clues about your date.  You may need or be able to use them later.

Do not use a date as a confessional. 

Not everyone is going to like you.  In fact, at least 95% of people won’t.  You don’t like everyone, do you?  So why do you expect everyone to like you, or get upset when they don’t?  Get real.  And if everyone DID like you, you would be completely overwhelmed.  Thank the universe for doing much of the sorting for you.

Know the expression “No pain, no gain”?  In dating, it’s more like “No risk, no gain.”  Falling in love means taking risks.  Sometimes you get brusied.  It’s part of the game.  And then you are back to the pain part. 

Dare to make the first contact.  If you don’t, you will be limited to those few weho contact you first.  You are much more likely to get what you want if you do the picking.

Try to get some distance on the whole “Looking-for-Love” business and not get too attached to the outcome.  Particularly with specific individuals.  Always send out multiple first contacts and do not allow yourself to get focused on one potential candidate.  You have no idea if they will respond to you at all until they do, and even then, take your time.

You can’t win if you don’t play the game.  And your chances are much better than winning the lottery.

Singles often lie or distort in an attempt to get an edge over others, to “get their foot in the door,” with someone who might otherwise not contact them.  It’s a waste of time, because they are much more likely to get the opposite reaction: anger.  People who discover they have been lied to feel tricked.

Have an exit strategy.

If you lie, you can’t complain that others do.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



Letting Go

Dear Kathryn,

I am 42 years old. Fell in love with a man a year ago. We dated for nine months. I gave him an ultimatum for exclusivity. I haven’t spoken with him since January. I can’t get him out of my mind and my heart. I want to move on, but can’t. Do you have any suggestions for moving on?  Jenna

Dear Jenna—

How about some emotional house cleaning?  You could get together everything that reminds you of him and burn them in a ceremony.  Or completely clean your bedroom top to bottom and buy all new sheets and bedding, new nightgowns and lingerie for you.  Start making changes in your daily routine—any time you find yourself obsession (like driving to work), make a change.  Change your route, the radio station, or get yourself some books on tape to listen to.  Do not allow yourself obsessing time.  It’s like picking a scab—deliciously painful and sure to bleed.  Notice your patterns and then make plans to do that time differently.

How does that sound?

BTW, did you know that I offer a free first romance coaching session?  Getting back in the dating race will help too.

Best, Kathryn

Kathryn Lord, Romance Coach / Helping Singles Find A Sweetheart!
eBk: “Find A Sweetheart Soon! Your Love Trip Planner for Women” Purchase ebook at: http://www.YourLoveTripPlanner.com
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No, No, and More No’s

I stumbled on an article the other day that wasn’t about singles or dating at all, but you wouldn’t know it by the headline: “Know the reasons behind no.” The “Ask an Expert” column by Steve Strauss speaks to people in sales, but the points Strauss made apply well to singles too.

As Strauss points out, anyone in sales is going to get a lot more “no’s” than “yes’s.” All singles need to get is one “Yes” from the right candidate. EXPECT that looking for mate is all about collecting those “no’s” in search of the one “yes” you crave. And the more “no’s” you collect, the closer you will be to the “yes.”  “No’s” mean you are actually doing something right, because you are taking the necessary risks to get the no’s AND the yes’s.

Then Strauss points out two corrective actions you can take:

First, learn from the “no.” No can mean lots of things. First figure out if it comes FROM them or BECAUSE of you. The “no” may be all about them and not have a thing to do with you at all.

I met one guy who had the misfortune of walking just like my ex-husband. That was by no means his fault, but reminded me so much of my ex that I know right off it was a no-go.

Then again, it just might have something to do with you. If so, you’d better find out what that is. You can’t do anything about it if you don’t know what the turn-off is. Take a risk and ASK what was behind the “no.” You can email the question. Then be ready to hear what the person says.

Then, turn the “no” around. You could ask, “What could I do that would make being with me a 10?” Maybe you can do it, maybe you can’t. But at least you’d know what their “10” is.

You can use the “no” to energize you. There’s lots of folks out there who will say yes to you, but where are they? Where are you not looking? How can you expand or refine your search?

A “no” is feedback. Use it that way. What can you do to improve your package? Do you need to change direction?

How you define the “no” is up to you. It can mean that this person is not right for you and they know it. Thank goodness they were able to tell and to tell you. No wasted time. Do you really want to be with someone who isn’t certain they want to be with you?

A “no” is just a “no.” Do not make a “no” more than that. It is not the end of the world or a comment on your right to exist. It’s no big deal.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


The Single Biggest Reason They Don’t Answer Your Emails

Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, I talk to who has spent any time on an Internet dating site asks me “Why don’t they answer my emails?” The nastiest littlest-known secret is because the guy or gal you wrote to probably is too cheap to join the site: Most sites require that you pay before you communicate.

Think about it: It’s to the dating site’s advantage to encourage you to post your profile, and they make it free to do so. Every dating site needs lots of people’s profiles and pics to draw other new members. But dating sites, like any business, need money to continue offering and improving their services, and they get people to pay up by making communication a paid-only privilege.

In 2003, 37% of American singles browsed online personals. 23% of those posted their profiles, and 10% actually paid for a subscription.

Match.com has roughly 30 million visitors a month, but only about a million are paid customers (974,000 as of May 2004). So if you, in good faith, pay your membership fees, then email a cutie or two or three, you can see how the odds are really against you. It’s a very high probability that the object of your interest has not paid up. And you have no way of knowing, because there’s not indication of payment status on profiles. So from the cutie’s point of view, with each contact the receive, they need to decide if the privilege to respond to adorable you is worth the $25 or so it will take them to join up.

The second biggest reason that they don’t answer your emails is that they are rude. Even if you are not interested, a short, polite note saying something like “Thanks for your interest, but I don’t see a match here” takes only seconds. You can even have it boilerplated and just paste and copy your message into an email.

So here you have it: Non-answered introductory emails likely mean he/she is cheap or rude. And you don’t want either, do you? And by the way, you don’t want to be seen as cheap or rude either, so pay up and say “Thanks but no thanks” to all who think you are a hunk.

P.S. If you post a profile, play fair: Pay the fee! Most sites offer great deals for multiple months (less that 50 cents a day!). You’ll be financially supporting the site you are using and sharing the costs with the other fair-playing members. The dating sites will be able to improve their services with the money you send. And your posted profile, which implies that you are available for communication, will actually be telling the truth!



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