Can romantic rejection cause depression?

This article will discuss how romantic rejection can impact people, and how it can lead to depression. For that, the article will explain what depression is, and how rejection sensitivity can cause people to have trouble in their relationships.

Aside from that, the article will explain how people can deal better with rejection.

Can romantic rejection lead to depression?

Going through a romantic rejection can cause depression. When a person goes through it, they can experience many feelings, the first thing to know is that when you are rejected you are letting go of only the person, you are also leaving behind the fantasy you had about how you two would be together. 

Nowadays, people have been having a harder time dealing with frustration, the word NO, and consequently with rejection. Everyone is so used to instant gratification, that when they are faced with a rejection the core of their identity can be shaken.

Rejection can feel so bad at times because it is connected to a person’s sense of acceptance and belonging, when they are rejected it seems as if they lost their self-worth. When that is the case, and the person seems unable to cope with rejection, it can cause them to get depressed. 

They can start to have a more negative view of themselves and the world, start to isolate themselves as a way to protect themselves, and sometimes even protect others from their contact. All of those are signs a person might be getting depressed. 

But it is important to make it clear that not everyone will handle rejection in this way. Some people have a better ability to hear no and deal with frustration. Those will not connect their self-worth and self-esteem to what others might think of them. And can find ways to take something out of the rejection. 

In cases when a person has trouble dealing with this to a point it brings troubles to their well-being, it is possible to say they have rejection sensitivity. Let’s explain what this is.

What is rejection sensitivity?

People hardly take rejection easily but some people are more sensitive to it than others. It is a level of fear of rejection that can cause trouble in their everyday life. When people have rejection sensitivity, they are scared of being rejected all the time. 

A person shows they have rejection sensitivity by the way they behave. They can be constantly looking for signs of rejection, to the point a person can change their facial expressions. They are also always assuming they will be rejected and can exhibit fight or flight behavior.

They can also pay excessive attention to negative things, which can make it hard for them to have a good relationship with people. Rejection sensitivity can be caused by childhood experiences, for example, children that had emotionally unavailable or highly critical parents have a higher risk of developing it.

It can also be related to some personality trait or a genetic predisposition. It can also be connected to low self-esteem, social anxiety, and an insecure attachment style. And in romantic relationships, when they are rejected, people may feel unacceptable, and lose their value as a person. 

How can I cope with romantic rejection?

Dealing with a romantic rejection is never easy. But there are some ways a person can recover from it, and not take it so hard to the point that it is prejudicial to their self-worth.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Accept rejection 

Although it might be hard, it is important to understand that rejection is something everyone will go through in life. And it will come with it a share of pain and sometimes even anger. Try to work through understanding that no one will please everyone.

You have done your share of rejection

Remember you have also done your share of rejection. Understanding romantic attraction is fickle can help you go through this. You might be a perfect match to some people, but not to others. And the same way you realized someone wasn’t the match for you, you will not be the match to other people.

Don’t get desperate 

Some people have such a hard time dealing with rejection that they can start to act desperate. And even though this can be a boost to the person’s ego, it doesn’t convince them that you are the perfect match, because there is no way you can convince someone to like you.

Try to act mature, don’t cause a scene, and understand that even though you can’t control your feelings, you can control your actions. Don’t do anything that will cause you to feel guilty.

Understand if there is a pattern

If you are going through a long line of rejection it might be interesting to learn why this is happening. Maybe take a look at how people might be perceiving you, and what you are showing them when you interact. For that, it might be a good idea to ask your friends, they can be a great judges of character from a distance.

Use this for your growth

Use rejections as a way to grow. Try to analyze if those people would be the ones you would like to have a relationship with, what you are looking for in a relationship. This doesn’t mean you won’t feel the rejection, but it is a good way to take something out of it to get you closer to what you want. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):  Can romantic rejection lead to depression?

How long after the contact can I say I was ghosted? 

While it might be hard to have a pattern for this, since every relationship is different, if the person hasn’t gotten in touch with you for more than 3 days you can say you were ghosted. 

It can also be that they are dealing with emergencies or other things to do, but if you sent them a message, and they haven’t answered in 3 days, there is a high chance that they will never do. Dealing with ghosting is a terrible thing, it can leave you wondering what went wrong and what you could have done differently.

But try to not take this personally, understand that you are not a match for everyone. In the same way, not everyone is a match for you. Don’t write them again, and learn from this experience. 

How long does it take to feel better after a romantic rejection? 

It is hard to put a timetable in dealing with romantic rejection. It can vary from one person to the next, according to their emotional ability to process it! And how resilient they are. 

But it seems that 11 weeks after the event people can usually turn this bad experience into a growth experience. The same is said when talking about divorce, people usually feel better after months, not years. 

It is important to say, when establishing a timetable, that some things can affect how people will handle rejection. The length of the relationship is something that can affect it, as well as the person’s attachment style, how intimate and committed they were.

Another thing to impact it is if they had acknowledged the problems and we’re seeing with it, which could cause the breakup to be something they could foresee or not. Their experiences with past losses and their self-worth can also impact how they will handle rejection.

What are the signs of a one-sided relationship?

A one-sided relationship is what happens when only one person is investing time and energy in making the relationship work. It might be hard to realize you are in one, but it can show if you realize you are constantly exhausted because of the relationship.

 Along with that if you are the one that is always apologizing, and feel like you don’t have a real meaningful connection, it might be that you are in a one-sided relationship. Another tell-tale sign of it is you realize your partner never sacrifices what is important to them to make you a priority.

If that is what is going on in your relationship, it might be time to think over how much you want to keep things they are.

Why do men take rejection personally? 

Men are born and raised to be the provider and needed. But when they experience rejection, their masculinity is often hit hard. They can become aggressive, feel unimportant, and unappreciated.

It all starts to be personal for them because they believe they were rejected due to some form of inadequacy. Rejection is also hard for them because they can feel like they were strung along. It is hard for them to understand that feelings are not black and white, and they can feel used by the people they are pursuing.

How do I reject love?

Some people, although they say they want a loving relationship, usually push the possibility of love away. There are some reasons people might do that. The first one is that they can start to withhold, they will hide the better parts of themselves as a way to protect themselves or punish a partner.

This is often an unconscious process, but you might stop todo things to take care of yourself or the relationship. This is connected to the second reason why people reject love. 

They can start to shut down, you will push the person away because you seem to think this relationship is not giving you what you need. If that is going on, it might be a good time to talk to your partner or have a deep thought with yourself to see if it is possible to reconnect and maybe you can open yourself up again.

Another way to not allow love to happen is to be overly critical. This can turn the relationship into a battlefield. You will pick on everything your partner does and might think they only have negative things to say about you.

This can cause the relationship to grow cold, and people start to feel rejected. If this is not talked over, it might be hard for people to overcome this. Another thing that can make people reject love is picking fights. When you start to nag or only bring conflicts in the relationship it may start to lose its appeal.


This article explained how romantic rejection can make people depressed. Along with it, the article explained what rejection sensitivity is, and what causes people to have it. Along with that, the article showed what are ways one can cope with romantic rejection.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!