Obsession: Loving Someone Who Doesn't Love You
Did the great love of your life stop caring? Did you think you had a romance that would last forever? Or did you always have a little nagging feeling that he or she never cared as much as you did? If you’ve ever been obsessed with still loving someone who doesn’t love you, then you know that these can be the worst moments of your life.
The pain of wanting someone who doesn’t feel the same way can be excruciating. It can make you feel like the world has slipped out from under your feet. The loss of your relationship may leave you feeling insignificant, unlovable, and unattractive.
When I am working with singles, I often ask, “Who was the first person who broke your heart?” Invariably, that question leads us back to when the client was in school (junior high, high school, or college) and the one they loved did not feel the same way. What we discover is that from that one perceived rejection, the client has made decisions and choices that affect his or her whole life.
Some people never want to feel that pain or humiliation again, and choose partners who are “safe” and won’t leave them. Others develop an attitude that there is no such thing as true love, and have a kernel of cynicism in their heart. And yet others will continue to choose people who are not relationship material. When the relationship breaks up, the person who has been left feels rejected all over again. This information is to let you know you no longer have to be tortured by your obsessive thoughts.
There is a Polish proverb that goes:
The man who can’t dance thinks the band is no good.
You may think that all of the opposite sex is no good, or that you are no good, or that love is a cruel joke. If you are obsessing about someone who does not feel the way you do, it may be time to learn to dance.
Your life is not over. Your life is just beginning. If you can take a big breath, step back, and get some distance from the situation, you might find relief from your misery by thinking about the following:
1. There is nothing wrong with you other than your misinterpretation of the facts.
If the one you love doesn’t want you, this is your wake-up call. You don’t want him or her. You don’t want to invest any more time or thought or energy in this person. That may seem impossible to let go of, but you can consciously choose to change your focus. However, don’t change it to another person yet. Give yourself time to get over this and learn from it. Change your attention to what you love to do. If you don’t know what that is, that is your search — not another boyfriend or girlfriend.
2. Ask yourself when you felt this way in your life in the past.
Dig deep. Ultimately, you will find some old feelings of unworthiness. Work to heal those past unkind thoughts and feelings and you will be on your way to getting over the one you are no longer with. This incident has simply pricked an old scab and you are bleeding again — but you are attributing all the pain to the current situation, unaware that it has old roots.
3. Take a look at when he or she revealed to you that your relationship was not ever going to be romantically serious or committed.
There were statements or actions early on that you did not want to pay attention to. Most people usually have enough information in three dates to know if the relationship is going to go anywhere. And if someone tells you they aren’t ready for love — believe them. Our egos can get in the way of hearing what is said and what is not said.
4. When the feelings are not mutual between you and another, examine how you put yourself in this unequal place.
1. Do you think that you’ll never find anyone else?
2. Do you fantasise that if only he or she would love you, you would be happy the rest of your life?
3. Do you feel that this person is so great, and you are so insignificant by comparison?
If you are longing for someone who seems to have more going for them than you do, perhaps you need to look at what you should be doing to have a better, more interesting, more fulfilling life. It could be that the loss you feel is the life you wanted to have by vicariously living beside and through someone else.
The saddest and most amazing part to these one-way love obsessions is how willing people are to accept so little in return. It isn’t the beloved who is treating you badly — it is YOU who is treating you badly by hanging around and moping after someone who isn’t available. When the one you want doesn’t love you, the work you have to do is immediate and clear. It is time to put loving attention on your life. You can do it and you deserve it.