Dating Over 40: If You Faced Rejection Like a Man, How Would Your Love Life Be Different?

How to Handle Rejection

Rejection comes in many forms, and dating rejection can be the most painful for sure. How do you handle being rejected? One thing I’ve learned in life is that men and women handle these things very differently. My eyes were really opened to this contrast after reading a book entitled Games Mother Never Taught You. Its an oldie but goodie at this point.

What left a lasting impression is that boys grow up playing team sports and how well this serves them. When you play on a team, you learn to shake off the bad plays and get back out there. A player who had a bad spill or missed the ball is coached to examine what happened, look at how things can be done better and then sent out to try again. Moping is not an option.

One of my favorite lines comes from the movie A League of Their Own,featuring Tom Hanks, Madonna, Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell. The storyline is about women who played baseball for an all women’s league while the men were away at war – WW2. During one of the games, something happened to one of the players who proceeded to react “like a girl” and cry. Hanks, the team coach, yelled at her, “There’s no crying in baseball!” Good point Tom.

There are loads of life lessons that stem from playing team sports. That’s why its such a good thing that today, our daughters play team sports too. These team spirit lessons also apply to a woman’s work life to manage her career. And, surprisingly, they can also apply to managing your love life.

Typically, when a woman experiences any dating rejection, her world comes to a screeching halt. I’ve seen my dating coaching clients freak after one phone call, before they meet the guy. Sometimes they have a great first date, never hear from the man again and crumble. And if the rejection takes place after 3-4 dates, grab your Kleenex boxes ladies, you’re in for a sob fest.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no saying that dating isn’t HIGHLY EMOTIONAL because it certainly is. Rejection hurts and when a relationship breaks up, its natural to feel raw, tender and in pain. But, I’m not talking about break ups…I’m talking about the initial dating phase when it’s better to keep things in perspective.

I am a sensitive person. My heart goes out to women dating over 40 or dating after divorce, going through terrible trauma from being rejected. But is there another way to process the rejection? That is the question I am asking. That is what we can learn from men who played sports as boys.

Let me explain. In sales or in dating, most men know they are going to be rejected. Most men know its a risk to ask a woman for her number or even to dance. They face rejection several times a night at a singles dance. How do they handle this? They KNOW rejection is A FACT and they dust themselves off and get back out there to ask again. That’s the only way to go. Because if they hide and don’t ask, they won’t have any women to dance with or date.

Ah-ha…I hope this is an ah-ha moment starting to form for you.

What do women do when they are rejected? You wonder why this happens to you? You wonder what you did wrong and why he didn’t like you?

Think about it, what if you didn’t do this to yourself? What if you didn’t drain your self esteem with all this wondering and you chalked it up to expected rejection. Dating and rejection are totally entwined. To date is to face rejection.

What if your inner dialog went like this instead: “Hey, its just one guy. There are plenty of fish in the sea. He’s not the only man for me. Am I going to let one man stand in my way of finding love?” What if you thought about it a while and then concluded it was his loss because you are a great catch and he missed out!

Can you imagine how good you could feel about yourself? How quickly you could turn around your feelings to get back out there and meet more men? Dating is a numbers game. The faster you recover and try again, the faster you can meet more men to find the right one for you.

When you decide to work with me as your dating coach, this is the support you get. You’ll lern how to reframe situations since life is short to waste time. As Gregg Berhandt , author of He’s Just Not That Into You says, “Don’t waste the pretty.”  That is excellent advice! Rather than let yourself:

  • Sink into the misery of rejection
  • Let a black cloud form over your head
  • Take chunks out of your confidence
  • Give your power away
  • Conclude that his rejection actually means anything to your life…


Dust yourself off, do a bit of pampering to regain your inner strength. Remember you are a fabulous, vital woman  and a great catch. Tell yourself its his loss and try again! Love is possible and people fall in love every day, so get back out there.

Photo credit: Timtak

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

4 thoughts on “Dating Over 40: If You Faced Rejection Like a Man, How Would Your Love Life Be Different?”

  1. In dating, men usually make the initial approach and face acceptance or rejection. A man can be rejected for good reasons, bad reasons or no reason at all! He can improve his odds of acceptance making more tries! It is a numbers game! But it’s not quite that simple! Rejections can be very painful! If the man is a very sincere, caring and loving person, repeated rejections will hit him EXTREMELY hard!

    If the man is uncaring and indifferent toward the women he approaches, it’s very easy to face repeated rejections. So the man who approaches 100 woman to get 5 or 10 dates can’t help becoming something like a bunko artist peddling a sucker’s game to unsuspecting pidgeons! A man who does this will NOT be emotionally involved with the pigeons he bags! This process could actually change a caring loving person into an UNCARING, UNLOVING person! And this might explain why so many men have become uncaring jerks who don’t really love at all!

  2. Hi Brain – thanks for sharing the male perspective. And Samantha – I’m glad to help and its so good to know these analogies can help folks make better sense of the dating process.

  3. Ronnie,
    Thanks for such great advice. I never thought of the correlation between team sports, rejection and dating. I must admit that us ladies still have it best. Guys face way more risk of rejection in dating because they do all the initial asking. Though I will admit I sometimes do get caught up in the ‘unknown’…”why didn’t he call?” I still prefer it to having to ask for the number, make the call, make another call, etc!

  4. Hi Ronnie,
    This is very good advice for women as well as men. I’m recently back in the meeting and dating scene and I have to admit I “rejected” a couple of women who were very nice, but just not a good match for me. This was after “date zero”, which I believe people are now calling that initial meeting for coffee or a drink date. But on the other hand, over the last couple of months I have been rejected by at least 6-8 women in the same situation, and I have learned quickly that you just have to not take it personally, don’t waste time and energy trying to analyze the situation or the other person, and move on. Sometimes I find it helps to take a break from the search (or the hunt?), so to speak, and spend some quality time with friends or doing things alone that I enjoy doing. I usually know when the time is right to get back in the game, and then I do my best to put on that “available” light and start looking for that elusive soul mate that I know is out there… somewhere.
    Warm regards,


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