Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back: How to Get Over Unrequited Love

In light of Baz Luhrmann’s 'The Great Gatsby' premiere, we take a look at the brain in love—and how to move on when love is unrequited.
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Great Gatsby Daisy unrequited love

In fact, any shred of uncertainty only fuels the fire. As a 2011 study showed, we feel most attracted to someone when we’re not sure if they like us or not. We wind up thinking about that person more often, wondering how they feel or how to attract them, and the authors believe that may lead us to think we’re in love.

On top of that, the myth that there is only one person out there for you—a single, magical soul mate—raises the stakes on unrequited love. “People often think they’ve found their soul mate,” says Rachel Sussman, a Manhattan-based relationship therapist and author of The Breakup Bible. “If they’re sold on the idea that there’s only one person for each of us, they really tend to feel that they’ve lost that one opportunity.”

Of course, the fallacy of that is obvious, unless you’re too blinded by what feels like love to see it. “If they really were your soul mate, they would be with you,” Sussman adds. But if believing that was so easy, we would all move on a lot faster.

Letting go is tough. It’s a prolonged battle between your logical brain and your instinctive one. Since love mirrors all of the patterns of addiction—obsessive thinking, cravings, distorted reality, withdrawals, relapse—you literally need to wean yourself. “Create as much distance as you possibly can,” Sussman says. “Discontinue contact, stop talking about [the person] and don’t go on their Facebook page.” Those little check-ins only make it worse and harder to let go.

Read Emotional Vampires: Are You Living With the Undead?

Most of all, stop indulging any stories about the person or what your relationship would be like if you were together. “You’ve got to poke holes in the fantasy,” Sussman says.

To do that, list the person’s negative qualities or catalogue everything you don’t know about them. Imagine bickering over your finances or childcare, and remember that this person would have flaws just like any other person.

Once you convince yourself that the fantasy isn’t real, moving on will take an ego boost. “Constant rejection chips away at self-esteem,” Sussman says. “Especially if it’s already underdeveloped.” Build self-confidence by taking interesting classes such as yoga, cooking or language lessons, traveling, volunteering or focusing more on excelling at your career. Not only will those distractions help you forget the person and feel better about yourself, they’ll also give you opportunities to meet new people.

If you want to find love, you need to let go of a fantasy that is holding you back, and know this truth: There are other people out there, ready to love you back.

This post originally appeared on YouBeauty.com.

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6 thoughts on “Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back: How to Get Over Unrequited Love

  1. I had a very hard time believing in love magic spells so i felt strange even clicking on any spell site. The term love spells seemed silly to me normally but after seeing Priest Ajigar's e-mail on a trusted blog, it made a great deal of sense. I literally thought there was no way I could have my lover back. Well, after contacting Doctor agba he gave me a lot of confidence and told me he would help me bring back the man I thought I had lost forever in just 48 hours. It was very surprising how my lover started calling me to tell me how much he missed and can’t live without me after Priest Ajigar had helped me cast a very powerful spell. I count myself very lucky to have ever found Priest Ajigar's email and to have even had the courage of contacting him for help.Priest Ajigar didn’t tell me exactly what I wanted to hear like 99% of other spell casters will do. He was very sincere with me, this was what really shocked me and made me believe he was real. Thank you so much Priest Ajigar for your marvelous work. His e-mail is(priestajigarspells@live.com) just so maybe you need a good and sincere spell caster.

  2. "The mere possibility that the person we love might one day love us back keeps our attraction alive." – This hoping thing has been a torment. It does make moving on really hard. I am still moving on from unrequited love. I have been successful initially. But when the time comes that you have adjusted without communication with the person, that person just suddenly pings you and lets his presence felt again. He's my friend and it's just hard to ignore him when he's actually trying a conversation. So, I had to communicate and set my limits. My heart just keeps on feeling it back again. It's terribly frustrating.

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