Reposted from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/getting-back-out-there/201506/when-the-person-you-love-doesnt-love-you
Written by: Susan J Elliott JD, M.Ed.
It’s hard but it happens.
And it hurts.
You love someone who may have loved you once upon a time.
You love someone who acted like there was a possibility of love in return, but now there’s not.
You love someone who simply doesn’t feel the same way and isn’t going to feel the same way.
You loved someone deeply who loved you deeply and then this person just switched off and hurt you in ways that were unimaginable at the height of your mutual love.
This person loved you and you loved them and then someone new came along and they left. Friends tell you that you are better than this new person in every way. But your ex is still with Mr. or Ms. New Thing.
Whatever the situation, you’re left with excruciating pain.
As you walk through life, zombie-like, all you can do is review the exchanges over and over in your mind. Where did it go wrong or fail to go right? What should you have done that you didn’t? What did you do that you shouldn’t have? The perseveration drives you crazy. You’re not eating, you’re not sleeping. You’re a weepy mess. You feel rejected and less than. You feel as if there is something really wrong with you. You wonder what you could do to MAKE this person want you.
If your love is with a new person who doesn’t come close to being what you are, you cannot understand it. You can see this new person clearly and your ex is blind to the flaws and foibles of the new love. In fact, your ex is completely enthralled by someone whom you can see is clearly not a good match. Whenever you think about them together, your mind shuts off or you crumble completely.
When there is nothing or no one else, it is even harder to fathom. Your mate just fell out of love one day or failed to fall in love on the day you did. They have stumbled and stuttered through explanations but nothing is going to make you feel better except for, “I love you and want to come back.”
Even more baffling is possibility that the person just wants to be left alone. There isn’t someone else; there’s no real reason. Your lover simply said, “I just want out.” Your mind reels with astonishment, “Wait. You’re choosing NOTHING over me? What?”
Perhaps you promised each other if this ever happened, you will seek counseling but now that idea is refused. Perhaps your love said it was impossible to “just” fall out of love with someone but now that has happened. What happened to those promises of solidarity? What happened to the disbelief that someone could do what is now being done? What planet have you stumbled onto? Where is life as you know it?
Perhaps your ex has spiraled into some other unexpected mindset. They’ve taken up excessive partying or drugs and alcohol or gambling. Perhaps they’re depressed or upset or self-absorbed in some way. They have cheated or abused you or acted abominably and now, instead wanting forgiveness, they want out. The bad actor is now stomping on your forgiving heart. How can that be?
Sometimes someone experiences a major life event and has trouble bouncing back from it. It can be an accident, a death in the family or the loss of a job. No matter what, it’s clear that something terrible has happened. You offer to help; you beg to help. You ask, “Don’t you want someone to help carry the burden?”
The answer is,” Please leave me alone.” Again. . . . WHAT?
You come up with a million reasons why. It’s a mid-life crisis (no matter the age), it’s a flirtation from work that will peter out soon. It’s a misstep on the way to a happy life with you. It will all be over soon. You just need to wait it out. You’ve heard stories of this sort of thing and everything works out in the end. There are movies where it works out, and books where it works out. Certainly it can work out in real life. Can’t it?
In almost all these rejection scenarios, the first reaction is disbelief.
How can this be? How did I get here? How am I hurting over this person who made me so happy? All you can think about is how you are meant to be and how you have both been happy either as lovers or friends. It could have been yesterday or last week, last year or ten years ago. Still, your mind takes you back there every single moment of every single day.
The first throes of rejection are really difficult to get through. You’re angry, you’re hurt, your personality is draining away along with your sense of humor. You are boring all your friends and family with sad stories of unrequited love. You trudge instead of walk; you sob instead of cry; you bellow instead of talk. You have deep, dark circles under your eyes. Time is slipping away. Your life is rushing by. You are sure you’ll never be happy again.
You go back and forth between trying to accept it and denying that it’s true. You float in the in-between world of denial. Part of you refuses to believe it. It CAN’T be so. Something will change. This is a phase. This is temporary. I’ll just sit here and wait for my love to smarten up and see the light. That is what I will do.
Another part of you feels the need to do something. You’re not sure what, but you know you can’t just sit there and do nothing. Your mind refuses to shut off. The many options play out in your head.
I will change things. I will call or text. We will get into a big emotional conversation and I will be very persuasive as to how this is all wrong. We belong together!
No, no. . . . I will go out and take a bunch of selfies of me doing fun things and post on social media. “Look! It’s me having a great time without you! Don’t you miss the FUN me?” That will win them back! Wait! I’ll hint that there is someone else. I’ll make up a Facebook person and have that person make flirty comments on my page! No, hold on. I may be losing my mind because….texting is better. I’ll “accidentally” text my ex and make it seem like I was texting a new love interest. . . . then I’ll apologize. . . yeah, that’s it. Wait. . . no. . . yes. . . !
In the beginning it’s hard to NOT do anything. Your mind races with the crazy such as making up social media personas and also the practical such as sitting them down and explaining how it’s supposed to be. You strive to think of something—crazy, sane and in-between—that will cause a massive reboot of your ex’s mind and put the relationship back together.
Before you do anything at all, please take a step back. Breathe and take a seat.
As to all the questions you have, the answer is, “It doesn’t matter…” Why did this happen? It doesn’t matter! Why did you love me one day and not the next? It doesn’t matter!
As it says in Getting Past Your Breakup (and on GPYB YouTube videos) you don’t want to have to babysit someone’s brain. If they can’t figure it out on their own, coming up with the most clever phrases and persuasive arguments isn’t going to help. It doesn’t matter! What matters is that you are hurt and you have to heal.
You might pin them down for a while, but who wants to chance that they are going to drift back to breakup mindset? When you’re wrapped up in espionage mode or creative ways to convince your ex of something they don’t really want to be convinced of, you forget that “winning” the battle for the ex’s common sense is a temporary state and you shouldn’t have to babysit the neurons inside someone’s head lest they get caught up in wacky world of breaking up with you. No. Let them go and let all the grandstanding scenarios disappear from your life. You don’t need someone who isn’t smart enough to see how valuable you are. Let it go. It doesn’t matter!
It’s time to REJECT THE REJECTER. Yes, that’s right. It’s time to let it go completely. Stop right now. Stop in your tracks. Stop doing whatever you’ve been doing and take a deep breath. It’s time to do something completely new. It’s time to think about it differently. It’s time to renew, reverse and REJECT THE REJECTER.
It’s hard to let it go. Hard but do-able. It’s hard to do nothing, but that is the best thing to be doing. Save face, save your dignity and your sanity and do nothing. First, it’s important to believe the breakup has happened. It’s happened. You’ve been rejected. Accept it for what it is. Let it slowly sink in and try to do the hardest thing there is to do: Nothing. Doing nothing in a situation like this takes energy. It takes a lot of energy. You will think you spend all your time NOT doing something, because that is exactly what you’re doing.
Now that you’ve accepted it and have committed to doing nothing, here comes the feelings. You feel hurt, anger, betrayal and rejection. You might feel like a loser and start to drift back to the idea of doing something. This time, instead of trying to do something to them, you’ll do something to you. Your mind races with ideas:
I’ll be quieter, thinner, happier. I won’t complain so much. I won’t rock the boat. I’ll like the insufferable family and friends that I couldn’t stand. I’ll go back to school. I’ll stop going to school. I’ll wear different clothes. I’ll buy a new car. I’ll get those allergy shots so I can be around that cat. I’ll work in a different industry. I’ll muzzle my kids. I’ll clean more. I’ll clean less. I’ll cook gourmet meals. I’ll listen when spoken to. I’ll go to bed earlier. I’ll go to bed later. I’ll go to church. I’ll stop going to church. I’ll pray. I’ll bargain with God. I’ll help the poor. I’ll devote myself to the eradication of world hunger. I’ll give my next paycheck to the church. I’ll join the Peace Corps. I’ll do anything, ANYTHING, if only You make this person come back. I’ll be everything You want me to be or everything this person wants me to be. I’ll do it all. I’ll do nothing. I’ll be more. I’ll be less. I’ll be everything and anything other than what I’m being right now. I’ll turn myself inside out to be the person he or she will love. I can do it. I will do it.
Stop right there. No more thoughts like that! Purge yourself of all thoughts like this. It’s time to go back to acceptance and doing nothing. Right now, it’s time to REJECT THE REJECTER.
Forget about changing for someone else. Forget about bargaining for what you should have without bribing whatever deity you believe in. Forget about changing your whole life just so someone who doesn’t appreciate you and your worth will love you. FORGET IT.
Every relationship is a learning experience. We learn what parts of us could use improvement. But not because this person found them unattractive or irritating but because YOU found them unattractive or irritating.
What did you do in this relationship or around this person (if you weren’t in a relationship) that could improve? Think about it. Journal about it. Think about ways to change it. But DON’T change things in yourself just because this person didn’t like it. Maybe this person has no taste or doesn’t know a thing. Don’t think of changing for another person. Only change for you. It’s OKAY to accept someone’s constructive criticism if it’s spot on and will help you in the end, but if not, just REJECT IT.
When you are leaving a relationship where someone doesn’t love you anymore or failing to move further in a relationship because someone won’t or can’t love you or not getting into a relationship because someone isn’t attracted to you, there is a HIT to the self-esteem. It’s a rejection no matter how you slice it. And it’s a rejection that stings.
The first thing you need to do is to take it in stride. Easier said that done? Yes. Everything is easier said than done so that phrase is meaningless.
Taking it in stride means telling yourself that you are okay no matter what. Yes, there might be things that need improvement but it is a lovable, worthwhile person who is willing to look at those things and change them. And if this person does not value all that you are and all that you can be there is only one sentiment to go in that direction: REJECT THEM.
It is time to REJECT THE REJECTER and the rejecter’s ridiculous standards of measure. Those standards show that this person has NO IDEA how worthwhile you are and what value you can add to their life.
That is not your problem. You want someone who believes you are the be-all, end-all, not someone who finds you spendable. You don’t want someone so stuck in some goopy substance to move off their position and see how great you are. That is not your problem or loss.
The rejecter should be rejected. You want someone with vision who will appreciate all that you are and all that you can be. You want someone who will love you and think you are the best thing ever. You don’t want to waste time with anyone who doesn’t see how great you are or has to be convinced of it.
Perhaps your ex does know how great you are but is not in a place to be in the relationship. It’s not about you, but about the inability to handle stressors and pay attention to you. That isn’t a reason to give them a break. This is someone who hurt you for whatever reason and can’t deal with stressors and you at the same time. A wonderful partner can love you no matter what happens. That is the person you want to be with. Let your ex be. It’s not the right time for the two of you and there is nothing you can do about it. Gently let it go. It’s hard and it hurts but gently let it go.
The bottom line is that you do not want someone who does not want you for any reason. That hurts and that stings. And that is not what love is all about. Don’t sit around waiting for this person to want you. Reject anyone who doesn’t want you. Anyone who rejects you is not worth it. The first requirement for true love is that it’s mutual. If it’s not, it’s time to reject the rejecter.
Stephen Levine once said,” The road is hard. Love softens it.”
Requited love, mutual love, real love softens it.
Until that love comes from a romantic partner who values you and sees how wonderful you are, get that love from family, friends and YOURSELF. You MUST be good to yourself as you move on from someone who does not value you enough to want an exclusive, romantic relationship with you. Get on with your life and become the person you always wanted to be.
GET READY for true love, real love, lasting love. Get ready to look at your issues and figure out how you arrived in this mess in the first place. Look for unresolved issues with early caregivers and unresolved relationships. As you do that, create a relationship with yourself and then a relationship with a loving and appreciative person who WILL come into your life once you learn to value YOU. And you start valuing you by rejecting the rejection and the rejecter.
Getting Past Your Breakup and Getting Back Out There stresses the importance of affirmations and positive self-talk and teaches you how to do them RIGHT (if you’ve not been successful with affirmations in the past, it’s probably becasue you haven’t been taught how to do them right). If you are not doing that, you need to start NOW. Read the books and learn how to do them right. Do your affirmations, check the negative self-talk at the door and get on with life.
We all want someone to share life’s sorrows and joys. We want someone who is there day in and day out. If this person can’t handle us without a big problem in our lives, why would we think they could handle it? They can’t.
Let them go and hold on and hold out for someone who loves you for you. There IS that person out there. Mr. or Ms. Right will never question your value and will always love you unconditionally. A person who walks out or puts you on hold or wants you in “just friends” status is not that person. Anyone who has rejected you in any way, for any reason, is not for you.
The person who is perfect for you wants you. The perfect person for you loves and appreciates you and the value you bring to a relationship. That is not a little thing. It’s a big thing and it’s a “must have.” If someone doesn’t love you, doesn’t want you and doesn’t appreciate your value, that is a fatal flaw and you need to reject the rejecter..
Stop re-injuring yourself with questions about what is wrong with you that they don’t want you. It’s time to work on you, but not for them, for you and the possibility of real love down the line. Stop focusing on what was and think about what is and what will be. Reject this rejecter and every rejecter that came before. Do your affirmations. Know that you are worth it.
Even if you love this person, this person does not love you. . . . and the person for you will love you. Deeply and Completely.
It is possible.
In the meantime you must take time out to explore your issues, be good to you, know your value and understand your value and get your value from inside you and not outside.
Be good to you.
Move on from rejection. Feel your feelings. Reject the rejecter.
Celebrate the you that is you.
And know that the right person for you is out there.
Reject the Rejecter and embrace all that is you. . . the good is waiting for you. Believe it.