Lamont White is a certified dating coach and matchmaker for gay and bisexual men in the United States.

If you’re genuinely looking for love and companionship, it requires really putting yourself out there, and getting comfortable with making the first move. I get it, it’s not easy! And I can’t lie, doing so means at some point you will inevitably experience dating rejection—yes, even you, you stud. For some guys, rejection sends them back into hiding and they stop showing their most authentic selves. Don’t let that be you!  Below are some helpful insights and tips on managing dating rejection within the gay community—because everyone who’s currently in a successful relationship ran into rejection at one point or another.

Tip 1: If a guy rejects you, he’s able to see incompatible qualities between the two of you that you might not be able to see.  

Some guys see rejection as a personal deficiency, but it’s really that you have incompatible qualities—and the other person may have just seen them sooner. Do you really want to be with a guy who isn’t a good fit for you? So much better not to waste any more dates with someone you won’t end up with. And who knows, you may find that while you’re not compatible romantically, there is opportunity as friends—which brings us to the next point.

Tip 2: Rejection means you two might be better suited as friends.  

Most gay men have initially thought a guy was their type and later find out that they are better suited as ‘Good Judies.’ Archer is more than making romantic and casual connections, so you can make great friendships as well. Or even better, ask your new friend to introduce you to one of his cute friends. 

Tip 3: On your road to finding Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, expect rejection.

It’s one of the pieces of dating, and please don’t laugh—experiencing rejection (every now and then) is a good thing. Seriously! It’s part of the journey, and it helps ground you in what you’re really looking for. Plus, it’s a good reminder on how you want to be treated in a rejection that you can keep in mind in the future when you’ll inevitably have to be the one to break the news to someone else.

Tip 4: Allow rejection to help you learn more about yourself and the types of qualities you truly want in a guy.

By allowing rejection to be your dating teacher, you will be a better dater. After being rejected, ask yourself a few questions. How did I feel about myself with him? What did I like or not like about him? Could I see myself building a life together? Did he want you to be someone else?   

Tip 5: Don’t let fear of rejection make you doubt yourself and lead you to modify or hide your personal characteristics, because that will give future guys a false sense of you. 

Don’t doubt yourself! You have amazing qualities and you never want to dim your light because you think it might shine too bright. If you need to call a friend before your next date to hype you up, do it. Let guys get a chance to meet your authentic self.  

Tip 6: Continue to be vulnerable, and feel confident about approaching guys.

Being vulnerable is a good thing because it allows you to share your authentic self. And guys who are looking for a genuine connection value that, and want to meet you. In Authentic Dating Profiles: Who You Really Are, dating app users hope their more attractive qualities will attract and secure the relationship before those they consider less attractive emerge. But if you take this approach and hide certain parts of you, guys will be disappointed later down the road. Practicing being your authentic self and actually approaching guys that you find interesting will increase your odds of finding true compatibility.   

Tip 7: Don’t allow rejection to make you give up on dating.

Rejection can make guys give up on finding love too easily. Some guys will throw themselves into their careers, go back to school, cut down on their social life, or any combination of those things, just so they don’t feel rejection or heartbreak anymore. It’s fine to take a little break, refocus, chat with a coach, etc—that’s encouraged if you need it. But give yourself a 30-day timeline, and then get back in the dating game.  I know rejection can be hard to accept, but the reward on the other side of rejection (acceptance, romance, and love) is worth all of the disappointments, and sometimes tears.