What to do when you make the first move on a friend and get rejected

Dealing with rejection is tough, especially when you've been rejected by someone you have to continue seeing quite often.

A reader asks:

A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with some friends, one of them being a really cute guy I’ve been crushing on for a few weeks. We have the same friends, but have only only spoken one or two times very quickly. Well, a few weeks ago when we were all hanging out, he caught my eye.

I decided to make the first move and do the “drop and roll,” which is basically when you give a guy your number and then leave. I decided to let one of my friends do it for me since I’m a wimp.

She gave him my number, told him it was from me, and he took it. I waited and waited for him to text or call me and he never did. I feel like such a desperate fool right now and whenever I see him, I get terribly embarrassed. How do I get over this rejection and move on?

Well, first I want to say that I think it’s awesome that you made the first move, even if you had a friend help you out. A lot of people out there don’t have the guts to even do that, so please don’t call yourself a wimp!

I know that things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to, but I still think you did the right thing. You saw someone you were interested in, and you decided to do something about it rather than sit around and wait for them to do it. Now you know what the deal is, and even though it hurts, you’re better off knowing!

That said, dealing with rejection is tough, especially when you’ve been rejected by someone you have to continue seeing quite often. Feeling embarrassed and stupid comes with the territory, but in this case, you shouldn’t feel either of those things, and that’s something you just need to convince yourself.

You shouldn’t feel like a “desperate fool” because you aren’t one! You made a move and it didn’t work out – that’s okay, and it happens every single day. You didn’t beg them for a date or confess your undying love – you made a small gesture that wasn’t returned. You don’t look desperate or foolish, I promise you. In fact, to me, you look confident and sure of yourself, because you tried, and that’s really saying something.

The advice of “stop feeling that way” is easier said than done. This is something you just need to tell yourself over and over again until you believe it. Every time you start to feel stupid for your actions, remind yourself of how much courage it takes to make the first move, and then remind yourself that you did that when so many other people wouldn’t. Just repeat it like a mantra until you start to feel better.

Rejection is, unfortunately, a natural part of the dating world, and while the first sting is the worst, it will help you get through more issues like these in the future.

I can’t say I blame you for not wanting to be around him. So, just avoid him until you start to feel better about the whole thing. Since he couldn’t be bothered to respond to you in any way (to be clear, he didn’t have to respond, but it would have been respectful for him to politely decline your advance), don’t feel bothered to be nice to him.

You shouldn’t be mean – staying cordial is unfortunately the more mature move – but don’t go out of your way to say hi or anything like that. If you hate being around him, don’t go near him. But also, don’t let his presence mess with your social life. You have to learn how to ignore him. Showing that you don’t care and that you can still have fun with your mutual friends shows him that you don’t need him at all – that speaks volumes.

To be honest, getting through this awkward feeling will take some time. You just need to get past the discomfort and I promise you’ll start to feel better again.

Don’t let yourself focus on the incident, set your sights on better things, and remind yourself every day that you’re a confident badass. You’ll feel much better soon!