Rejection of Romantic Feelings


I recently rejected someone who had romantic feelings for me. I feel really badly about it and I feel responsible for their feelings. They’ve taken on the attitude that,”life is rough and nobody loves me”. How do I comfort them or help them? What do I say to them when they feel like life will never go right for them or they will never find love?

—Natalie, USA


Dear Natalie,

I am sad to hear this for their sake. Unfortunately, however, any serious attempt to offer comfort will just make that person feel worse and confused about their own feelings — and even wonder if you are having feelings in return! Is there a mutual friend who could step in? Offer comforting thoughts and prayers in silence (but don’t overdo this lest a psychic channel be established that will confuse the boundary).

If this person is a co-worker or someone who is in your life on a regular basis, you will want to be careful not to give the wrong signals by virtue of your own sympathy and friendliness. It’s probably not a good idea to take on the role of confidante or best friend. But if behind the scenes you can direct others to befriend this person that would be helpful. I am not suggesting that you take on the role of a matchmaker, however!

If this person is part of your ongoing life, then be upbeat and friendly but also slightly distant, avoiding long drawn out conversations or “How are you” type of inquiries. Stick with news, weather, sports, work, etc, etc, but don’t linger. A person in such circumstances is readily inclined to mistake your friendliness for a hidden desire on your part to return their affection You can safely depend upon their having an over-active imagination.

Be friendly but “business-like,” or at least like an elder, but slightly preoccupied, sibling!

I cannot tell if your description suggests a little bit of learning on your part, too, inasmuch as you “feel responsible.” If your own behavior transmitted the wrong signals, then this might also be an opportunity to be more sensitive to how you impact others. Sometimes a person who is more naturally magnetic is surprised how others respond. Sincerity, self-awareness and consideration for the realities of others are wonderful virtues which have a magnetism that benefits everyone.

Blessings to you in all that you do!
Nayaswami Hriman