It’s that simple—not everybody we love will love us back. There are times when people will outrightly tell a woman or a man that they do not want them.Whereas others might easily get over it, some live with the wound for years, as Albert Sharrah explores.
Twenty seven year-old Francis Gondwe (not real name) of Chirimba Township says he has experienced love rejection six times.
“I was in primary school when I faced my first love rejection. I proposed to a classmate and instead of rejecting me privately, she took the letter I wrote to friends. The friends then brought the story in class and started mocking me indirectly. I was hurt,” said Gondwe.
According to Gondwe, the incident became the talk of the school to a point he had to change schools.
“You see, when you are proposing, you have hope of succeeding, especially if the other person was giving you green lights and if it turns out negative, it can be devastating and that was how I felt,” he said.
Gondwe further notes that men can propose for fun or for real, such that when the real ones’ proposal bounces back, people are forced to seek traditional remedies.
Margaret Namasina sells love herbs at Blantyre Market. She claims she knows herbs that help one to get positive responses when proposing for love, adding that she understands how painful it is to be rejected.
“I don’t know how men feel after being rejected, but from stories I have heard, it is devastating, especially when the one who was proposing was serious. For a woman, it is painful when a man we love most shows no interest in us. It is very painful because you feel you are ugly and not suitable for love,” she said.
Another herbalist Dr Kholowa at the same market shares the Namasina’s sentiments.
“In the past, to propose to a girl meant a lot. You could not just meet a woman on the road and start proposing. It was a process and even the woman understood that the man proposing to her really loved her. This meant that if you are rebuffed, most people would look down on you,” he said.
Kholowa further said his wife rejected him six times and he was forced to seek love herbs.
Counsellor and psychotherapist Dominic Nsona said love rejection has a psychological impact, but says it varies from one person to another.
“It depends on how the person feeling rejection looks at it. For some, it can really be bad, so to say, because they feel they are nothing. It builds to the sense of feeling rejected and unsuitable. However, it is not much of an issue to others. They easily adapt and move on,” said Nsona.
He added that the effect of being rejected has forced some men never to propose again thinking they will face the same thing. He said this can be the reason some men are still single to this day.
Nsona says if not tamed—such as through counseling to deal with irrational thoughts—rejection has adverse effects on human life.
“It can lead to suicide as people feel unwanted. It can also lead to aggressive behaviour because you feel that everyone is against you. This is harmful not only to those rejected individuals, but to the community at large. The experience of rejection can lead to a number of adverse psychological consequences such as loneliness, low self-esteem and depression,” he says.
The psychotherapist said while it is normal to feel bad after being rejected, people should not allow such circumstances to affect them psychologically as it can ruin one’s overall future.