Are you an ostrich? How to deal with rejection in the dating world

On first glance, you might not think you have much in common with an ostrich.

After all, if you’re reading this, it’s unlikely you’re a flightless bird.

But you could be displaying certain traits in your relationships or situationships that make you more similar to our feathered friend than you think.

According to dating app, Tinder, ‘ostriching’ is when a date doesn’t respond to your message, so you block them, as you’d rather bury your head in the sand than deal with rejection.

Sound familiar?

Clinical sexologist and therapist, Ness Cooper, says that while it sound like ghosting – it’s actually quite different.

She says: ‘It’s not the same as ghosting, as the person ostriching isn’t doing it to harm their potential date, and they may even feel shame from doing it.

‘They’re generally just worried and don’t know how to regulate their own emotions. They’ll often vanish even if you don’t get to read their last message, and generally you won’t hear from them again.’

And, there are lots of reasons why a person may ostrich – none of which have anything to do with the person on the receiving end.

She says: ‘If you are an anxious attachment type you may be prone to ostriching as you may need the instant gratification of reassurance that things will progress romantically.

‘You may struggle to self sooth between the wait time and find it hard to put yourself in the other persons shoes.’

And there are other reasons too.

‘The person who blocks may believe that relationships are all about instant gratification and those feel good dopamine highs we find in early stages of romance,’ explains Ness.

‘You may also have been influenced by how you think your peers expect you to date. You may have been told that if a date doesn’t reply instantly then they’re not interested – which is never usually the case.’

Ostriching is also the mark of past relationship trauma.

‘You may feel rushed to find the one, or the right relationship for you,’ says Ness. ‘It could be that they are working through a break up or past rejection and are trying to feel the void before they’re really ready to date again.’

So now you know why you could be ostriching – how do you stop it? You need to push past the anxiety.

‘Rejection can feel like the worst thing ever in the moment,’ says Ness. ‘But sticking it out a bit longer, and allowing your potential date some room can pay off.

‘Getting used to that feeling of discomfort as you move into a new relationship stage can be a good sign for relationship longevity.

‘If you’re ostriching due to a bad break-up, look into your dating boundaries and work out what will make you feel safe and give you the ability to be vulnerable again.

‘It’s also worth assessing where you learned to ostrich. Have you seen peers or even people in relationships you admire such as family member perform a similar dating pattern in the past? Realise that you don’t have to follow dating patterns and scripts that others around you perform’

There are also other coping mechanisms that can help soothe and distract.

‘Hang out with friends, go for a walk and maybe leave your phone at home, play a computer game – and put your phone in another room.’

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