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Want love? Get great at rejection

Cheating LoversDear Harlan, Lately, I’ve been feeling discouraged with dating, and I need help. I’m 19 and have struggled with depression. It started after a guy I really liked during my senior year of high school rejected me. I went to therapy and did my work. After I overcame my depression, I made an online dating profile for the heck of it. For the first time, I met a guy who seemed really wonderful, caring and genuine. Then I found out he was seeing his ex-girlfriend behind my back. He chose to be with her. Since that happened back in October, I went on a really awful/awkward date with a guy, and that is about it! I feel frustrated with dating. All of my friends are in relationships. I know I need to feel content being single, but I can’t help wanting a relationship too! Everything else in my life has fallen into place. I do well in school, I have a good job, I have wonderful friends and family, and I have dreams and goals for the future. But this one aspect of my life is a real struggle for me. Please help. I need your honest advice!  – Discouraged

Dear Discouraged,  Welcome to my world. One girl told me I was too fat to date. Another dumped me because she fell out of love with me. Even as a married man, my wife doesn’t always give me what I want when I want it (need to work on that). I’ve learned to tolerate rejection.  Rejection is an unavoidable part of life.  Here’s the secret — between the rejection is joy, passion and love.  My wife rejected on an online dating site before we accidentally met at the UPS store in Chicago (she never remembers rejecting me online).  Your problem is that you’re just new to this dating thing — it gets better.  Focus on the experiences awaiting you, NOT the possible pain and rejection. Date more. Do things you love to do with men who love to do the same things.  If the depression continues, talk to a therapist.  As for these friends in relationships, being in a relationship doesn’t mean it’s a good, happy or loving relationship.  They might be hiding from being single.

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