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Being in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same can be a devastating experience, especially if you’ve struggled with rejection before. When rejection feels more like the end of the world than a temporary heartache, it causes feelings of loss, betrayal, and a crushing hit to self-worth. For those who grapple with relationship patterns that seem to end in rejection every single time, moving on can seem daunting and, for some, almost impossible.

But it’s not.

The immediate aftermath of a breakup is difficult, and doubly so when you didn’t see it coming or it was not your idea. You’re hurt and maybe angry but so awash in a sea of emotions you’re not sure if there is a way to recover any time soon. There may be someone or something else in your ex partner's life. Perhaps there’s not but just your partner or the person you care for telling you that the relationship isn’t going anywhere. It might be a relationship that failed to turn serious or a friendship that failed to turn into a relationship. Maybe it’s a life event that is out of the control of either of you but it’s threatened your togetherness.

You’re hurt and spend a good chunk of time trying not to believe it’s true. Despite all evidence to the contrary, you try to believe that this is just a temporary state and not something permanent. You vacillate between trying to believe it’s true and not wanting to believe it’s true. You may try to convince your ex that you make a great couple and that breaking up is the worst idea ever. If you’ve just crushed on someone who is now in a relationship or has made it crystal clear there is no hope of a future relationship with you, you may be refusing that reality and still be thinking there is a path to togetherness.

When the feelings become overwhelming, you try to think of something to change what is happening. You may try to convince your partner that you’re worth another try. You may be obsessed with trying to figure out how to make it work or make the person see that this is a mistake. You may be continually touching base with them to see if something has changed. Maybe friends suggest that “No Contact” is the way to go but you’re having incredible trouble staying out of touch. You may be obsessed with trying to right this ship of wrong.

But that is the wrong approach to this whole thing. Yes, you're hurt, maybe even shattered, but it's time to pick up the pieces and move on so you can find someone to share your life.

Right now is the time to stop any contact, to stop the obsessing and stop the "what if I...???"  

Right now is the time to sit back and think about letting go completely. I realize it’s hard but it’s time to change the way you think about partners and potential partners. As I say on several of my videos, it’s important to have a list of “must haves” for future partners. It’s important to commit to that list and to drop and forget about anyone who does not meet your criteria. I lay out how to make that list in my book, Getting Back Out There. It’s called the Standards and Compatibility Inventory. And in the book and my videos I emphasize that the NUMBER ONE requirement for a partner is “wants to be with me.”

That must be number one on your list.

On every list.

Every day.

No matter what. It’s the single most important thing you can have in a person and it’s the one that, without it, nothing else matters.

Does that mean it’s the only requirement? No, of course not. I’m sure there are plenty of people who aren’t fit to shine your shoes that would want to be with you. But along with your other requirements, whatever they might be, you must make sure that “wants to be with me” is at the very top of the list and the minute someone does not meet THAT requirement, they are off the table. For good. Forever.

And that includes “breakup/makeup” people. If someone has been playing games with your heart by breaking up and then later they want to makeup, they’re crossed off the list. It’s not fair to you that they get a second chance. Yes, people do screw up sometimes and leave when they’re confused or mixed up, but you’re not doing anyone favors by allowing that. You have to get right with the fact that “wants to be with me” is a non-negotiable inventory list and once that fails to be true, the person is no longer an option for you. Please understand that people who leave and come back often just leave again. It can become a pattern that is destructive to you and the more it goes on, the less likely a solid relationship is down the road. It's not that it can't happen, but chances are slim. The key RIGHT NOW, is figuring out how to stop attracting people who walk out.

In Getting Past Your Breakup and Getting Back Out There, I discuss the idea of water seeking its own level. This is based on Melanie Klein's object relations theory of psychodynamics that states that we unconsciously pick partners based on how we see ourselves and what we deserve. Klein's theory is similar to the Law of Attraction that like attracts like. If we are not sure we deserve a committed relationship, we will attract those who can't give that to us. We may think we believe that we do but if our relationships say otherwise, it's time to change what we're doing.

Water seeks its own level means that we are attracted to those who make us feel comfortable, who represent what we know. If we’ve been around rejecting, dismissive people, we’re going to attract and be attracted to the same. If we’re been rejected over and over again, we are used to that no matter how many times we tell ourselves that isn’t what we want for our lives. Our subconscious knows rejection, is comfortable with rejection and will gravitate toward rejecting people. In my article on this When the Person You Love Doesn’t Love You, I say that it is time to REJECT THE REJECTER. That is what time it is.

You have to come to grips with the fact this person doesn’t want you, doesn’t value you and doesn’t fit into a life where you require a loving, appreciative partner. You have to change your thoughts around that you are somehow expendable or optional. In the “water seeks its own level” vein, it’s time to “level up”!  I just created a series of affirmation videos on YouTube and it’s important to change your self-image and start to engage NOW in a campaign of positive messages about you. 

Five steps to leveling up:

1. Accept the fact that the person you love doesn’t want to be with you, but that is not an indictment of you or your worth. Draft several “even though” statements that recognize this. Statements such as “Even though x doesn’t love me, I’m a valuable person.” “Even though x rejected me, I am special and deserve to be loved.” Create 3-5 statements like that to say every day.  Someone not wanting to be with you is not necessarily about you. It's about them and what they can and cannot handle in their life. Sometimes they are more intuitive that one of us is not in the right place now. Sometimes we're just not picking well because of where we are or what we've experienced. That doesn't mean we're not worthy of love or not valuable. Separate your innate value and worth from this rejection or this breakup.  This breakup is not about your innate goodness. "Even though x is moving on, I am still a good and worthwhile person."

2. Work on your self-image and anything that is lacking. As I instruct in one of the affirmation videos, listen to your self-talk and what messages you need to change about yourself. We all give ourselves negative messages each and every day.  Rejection makes that worse. Listen for your messages and turn them around. If you hear yourself thinking, “I’m not worthwhile and no one loves me…” change it to “I’m worthy of love by a special person.”  If you hear yourself saying, "I screw everything up..." change it to "I'm working hard every day to do better!"  Keep track of your negative statements and turn them into positive ones. Create 3-5 statements like this and say them day in and day out.

3. Use the Standards and Compatibility Inventory in Getting Back Out There to make a list of "must haves" in a potential partner and lead with “wants to be with me.” Study your list and pull out a few that you need to concentrate on every single day in order to attract that into your life. “I want a partner who wants to be with me.” “I am a good and loving person who requires a good and loving person as a partner.” Review the affirmation videos to be sure you are using key phrases and wording.

4. It’s time to look at you and how you arrived at this point. Look at your life and what your relationship patterns are. If you’ve had a string of rejections, where does that come from? What is it in your past that is tripping you up now? Do the Relationship and Life Inventories in the books.  Yes, it's work but it's very revealing. I did this work a long time ago and it changed my life for the better. For 25 years I have been working with people who are coming out of failed relationships and recognizing the patterns is CRUCIAL.   It’s time to level up into a whole other way of looking at relationships and resolving what went on in the past.

5. Reject the rejecter. I go into this at length in this article but it’s very important that you move beyond this relationship or hope of a relationship and let this one go. You need to grieve it, recognize it’s not what and who you want, and move on.You must confirm your commitment to yourself that you want someone who will share your life and all of its joys and sorrows.

Remember, you want someone who cares enough to want you in their life. You want someone who recognizes your intrinsic value and worth as a person. You want someone who realizes the immense goodness you bring to their life.

Stop focusing on what's wrong with you that this person doesn’t want you. Fix what is broken so that someone who is healthy and strong will want you. Decide that today is the day to stop chasing the rejecters and that “wants to be with me” is the number one requirement and will always be the number one requirement. The minute someone “gets confused” about that is the minute they are no longer welcome in your life.

There is only one thing you can do anything about right now and that is you. You need to look at your relationship patterns and who you’re attracted to and why. It’s time to level up by working on your self-image and creating the standards and requirements for your life. You have to believe you deserve good things in your life and that you deserve loving people who appreciate who you are. We all do. It should not be so high a leap for you to make. If you are a decent human being, you deserve someone to love you for you. No one should have to change to make another happy or be untrue to who they are. You should embrace the fact that you are a good person who deserves love fro another good person. Like attracts like. If you hold yourself out as a good and loving person who deserves another good and loving person, it will happen. But if you're beating yourself up and harping on what is wrong with you, you're just going to find someone who is withholding or, worse, abusive. 

But first you must appreciate who you are and that starts by making a commitment to you and what you want. It starts by raising your self-image and insisting on only good things in your life. It starts right now by rejecting the rejecter and moving on expecting, no DEMANDING, only good things.

You can do this!!! You can level up TODAY!


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About the Author

Susan J. Elliott, JD, M.Ed.

Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed., is the author of Getting Past Your Breakup and Getting Back Out There.

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