We have all had the experience of a friend we loved in secret or a long-term relationship that ended abruptly or even a secret crush we have admired from afar for months. Whether these resulted in a flat-out refusal to date, a friend-zone speech, or the agony of a breakup, the result is harsh rejection. This is followed by a period of suffering as we come to terms with this overly harsh reality. Our love has gone unrequited. Some can simply brush this aside and move on, but most of us are left in some void feeling helpless. Why is it so difficult to move on? Hopefully this article can answer that question. Whether you are suffering now or have in the past, we have answers. You may think you should focus on moving on instead of the struggle, but understanding what you feel can be helpful. Take this deep dive with us to understand and address your specific needs. You may identify hidden insecurities, but above all you can forgive yourself and heal. This is the first step on a long journey that will build confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem. read on to learn what may be holding you back.
Still Have hop or Believe in the One
Many times, we cling to love interests because we refuse to believe it can be over. Our minds can create a world that is different from reality and convince us that something is meant to be when it is not. If we learn to take action, we can move on, but this can be tough. There are three scenarios you must consider.
- You Think You Just Need to Make the Other Person See Your Greatness – We can convince ourselves it is this simple. We need to spell out the facts, explain why we are perfect for the other person and they will realize what they have been missing out on for so long. You may confess your feelings with great detail and perform elaborate gestures to demonstrate your desire and expect them to reciprocate. Unfortunately, romantic love is not about logic and you cannot convince someone of compatibility. We do not choose who we fall for, it is all about emotion. Somewhat ironically, this does not stop us from trying and we get trapped in emotional quicksand, but try to use logic to get out. The more we try, the further they are pushed away. Its arrogant to demand someone share your feelings. Similarly, the second someone knows they have you, the game is over and you appear to be a puppy waiting for the return of an owner.
- You Believe It is Destiny – If you believe you only have one true love, both the heart and mind will want you to stay the course. You will believe you are destined to be together, but this is just a fantasy and reality will fall far short. There is no “one” except the one you choose. There are millions of potential matches, but a real relationship requires a team effort. Believing in a plan can help during the toughest times, but surrendering all to the concept of the “one” is crazy. This dilutes our power and we give control to some invisible force. We are only giving ourselves and excuse to feel bad about how tough our life has turned out. There is also a chance you are suffering from limerence which is the cognitive and emotional state of being obsessed with someone else. Limerence is often involuntary and creates a desire for reciprocation. This can lead to obsessive thoughts and refusal to accept no as an answer.
- Mixed Signals from the Other Person – There is a possibility that you are not solely to blame for the struggle. The other person could be sending signals that things could change. This creates cognitive dissonance and is why the hot/cold behavior often works so well. It creates psychological agony as we try to find or reconcile the truth of any feelings. It can become an obsession to decode behavior and read into everything that is said or texted. You will spend too much energy trying to understand intentions and become overly invested in the person. This is a tough feedback loop to break which makes letting go more difficult.
To resolve the tension created by these situations you can either change your beliefs and acknowledge you will never know or simply accept they do not feel the same way. You can also reduce the importance of the situation by focusing on other activities and self-improvement that benefits you mentally, physically, or spiritually. Remember, those who really want you will not make it difficult. If you do not know what they want, walk away because you are worth more than games.
Sacred of What You Will Lose
Many people will think they want to move on when in reality they do not. This is in part due to the unconscious fear of loss. Destructive behaviors are fueled by secondary gain which are the benefits that disappear if we are able to overcome the specific behavior. If we move on, we must consider what we could lose. As an example, think of an alcoholic who knows how unhealthy drinking is, but does not want to lose the freedom found in being drunk. Until the loss of inhibition can be satisfied, it will be almost impossible to drop the harmful habit fully.
When it comes to romance rejection, there are many secondary benefits. Some of these include:
- Avoiding loneliness
- The other person validating some part of you
- The thrill of the chase
- A purpose for your existence
You need to work out what you will lose if you let go in a brutally honest way. This may lead to facing some fears, but once you know the secondary gains, you can work to satisfy them in other ways. Failure to address these makes it challenging and nearly impossible to fully let go.
Operating from Scarcity not Abundance
Scarcity represents the human desire to want something that appears less available with the fear of loss being a potent motivator. Limited time sale overwhelm our senses because we do not want to miss out on something. Many people hold this scarcity mindset when dating. They believe that if they lose what they have, nothing better will come along. This is why rejection is taken so personally. This mindset leaves us obsessed with what one person thinks about us and we hand over control to them to validate us. The truth is there are billions of people in the world and numerous ways to connect. We need to realize this abundance and live in the mindset of abundance. This applies to every area of life. Instead of saving pennies, make more money. Do not let rejection immobilize, but a way to free you to explore more possibilities.
Lack of Support
Some people become so focused on a relationship or even crush, that it is their primary life focus. Every day can revolve around this romance, but it comes at the cost of friends and meaningful activities. The thrill of the chase becomes tied to their self-worth. Rather than obsessing, build a strong support system that does not rely on the validation of others. Focus on creating a recurring system of internal validation that reduces reliance on others. Challenge yourself to find hobbies and activities that make you feel alive and integrate them into your life. These will be the foundation when everything else goes wrong. Having this foundation ensures balance and prevents obsession while building self-esteem and confidence. Whatever you focus on will grow, so focus on positive things, not a person or obsession.
Trying to Be Friends
Though it is tough, the most critical step is cutting your obsession out of your life. Most people cannot be friends with an unrequited love. So, you need to remove them from your life by deleting their number, avoiding places they will be, and deleting their social media from your own. There will be times when total avoidance is impossible, but reduce the interaction to only what is totally unavoidable. Start with a 30 day total avoidance period because this will help you reset. After, you will not feel the need to make contact because you have survived being separate.
Now that you understand what could be holding you back, take responsibility and start taking care of the issues. Take action to change your life for the better. You are in total control of your emotions, so build a better you.