I was surprised that our friendship had meant so much -- that she must have sensed early on that I was no candidate for marriage -- that our romance was temporary and chaste, and it would be no more than a nice interlude until she met the guy who was a candidate for marriage. With many intervening decades and changes in her life, I thought those days as undergraduates were mostly erased. It was wonderful to find the friendship not forgotten.
The bottom line is that rejections are a fact of life -- we all experience them and we all hurt when we do. The best thing we can do is to soothe our emotional pain, take steps to revive our self-esteem, and to connect to our core groups and by doing so remind ourselves that others value and love us even if our date does not.