Is your college student suffering from anxiety about romantic relationships? Have they been rejected too many times and are unsure how to cope? Are you concerned about your ability, or the ability of your young adult children, to build healthy relationships?
Students and early-stage professionals often experience problems building healthy relationships
The world of dating can be stressful in the best of times. Throw in the transition of being at college, often far away from home and without a family support system, and things can get quite rough. Campus life has parties and numerous other social opportunities to meet new people; however, it can also be quite lonely and isolating. Many students withdraw and choose to avoid dating or social events due to social anxiety.
Early career professionals can find themselves unexpectedly isolated. When a social network at work does not develop, emerging adults can find themselves struggling with loneliness. During social distancing, the challenge becomes even more problematic.
Rejection is painful and can lead to low self-esteem
Rejection stimulates the same part of the brain that processes physical pain. Continual rejection may cause low self-esteem, feelings of depression, and anxiety. The effect tends to be especially pronounced among young adults who may already be feeling lonely.
For some people, the pain felt when rejected can be paralyzing. Instead of picking up and moving on, we start to analyze what we must have done wrong, lament our shortcomings, and become self-critical. In other words, just when we are hurting the most, we go and make it worse. This pattern of self-destructive behavior is not uncommon among emerging adults.
Why would we expect young adults NOT to struggle when it comes to relationships
Social skills are typically not taught in high school. There are many young men and women taking their first steps out alone into the big world who aren’t equipped with the tools to navigate dating and building a social network. All relationships, especially romantic ones, require a lot of work. Many young adults just don’t have the skills or experience to communicate effectively, to share their feelings with another.
Relationship skills can be acquired – seek out help
If you think your college student is showing signs of anxiety or depression because of rejection and dating disasters, encourage them to speak to a professional. We can equip them with coping strategies and social skills in dealing with the ins and outs of the dating world, helping them to feel calm and in control. Therapy can help your college student or young professional gain skills and tools for building a healthy relationship. Recovery from romantic rejection can be a springboard for discovering your inner strength.