Teenage boy with dark hair and a slight beard props head in hand, looking dejected.

I’ve asked a few girls out and they all said no. The rejection feels awful. I don’t understand why girls won’t go out with me. What should I do?

Great question. Dealing with rejection, as you already know, can be really hard. You should be proud though—putting yourself out there takes a lot of courage! It’s great that you’re thinking about how to handle what you’re feeling.

It seems like there are two parts to your question: Why girls won’t go out with you, and how you can deal with rejection.

First, let’s talk about rejection in general.

Being rejected means that you put yourself out there. And that’s really brave. Lots of people are scared of even trying because they don’t want to experience rejection. So the fact that you didn’t let getting turned down discourage you from asking someone else out is pretty awesome!

It’s easy to feel alone, but everyone experiences rejection. Like you said, rejection can feel awful—whether it’s romantic rejection, not getting into your top choice college, not making the sports team or school play, or just having a friend blow off plans you made together. You may feel like you aren’t “good enough,” embarrassed that you tried and “failed,” or frustrated or angry that you didn’t get what you wanted. That’s all completely normal and ok.

Let yourself feel those feelings, instead of trying to ignore them. Try journaling, listening to music, or doing a deep breathing exercise. Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. Do a physical activity, like playing a sport or going for a walk.

Don’t let rejection define who you are.

Thinking, “She said no because no one could ever be interested in me,” or “She said no because I’m ugly,” will only make you feel worse. If you catch yourself making big generalizations (“I’ll never find someone”), take a moment to re-evaluate. Remind yourself that all this means is that those specific girls didn’t want to go on a date with you—and that’s ok! Think of your experience as good practice for the future.

Instead of focusing only on your romantic life, keep doing other things you enjoy, like hobbies, sports and hanging out with your friends. This isn’t only good self-care, but it’ll build your confidence.

It can be hard to acknowledge, sit with, and take responsibility for what you’re feeling. But the more you do it, the better at it you’ll be.

It seems like you also want to understand why girls won’t go out with you.

When you’re rejected, it can be frustrating to not understand why. It’s normal to want an explanation. That being said, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

  • No one owes anyone dates or romantic feelings, just like no one owes anyone sex.
  • Just like it’s good and healthy for you to set boundaries and say no when you don’t want to go out with someone, it’s always ok for someone else to say no when you ask them out.
  • It’s healthy to acknowledge and work through your feelings. It’s NOT ok to put those feelings on other people, like the person who rejected you. If you find yourself getting angry or upset at not just the situation but the person, it’s time to talk to someone about what you’re going through. Never get angry at or make someone else feel bad about saying no.
  • We talked about how it’s unhealthy to internalize rejection. But it’s also unhealthy to blame others: “She said no because she’s mean/dumb/doesn’t know what’s best for her.”

Not sure if you’re handling rejection in a healthy way? Take this quiz from KidsHealth.

If you’re 10-22 years old in NYC and want to talk to someone about what you’re going through, you can make a free, confidential appointment with a counselor at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. No immigration restrictions, no insurance needed.