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How to Deal with Unrequited Love by a Relationship Expert

Written by Lisa Bruchac
Lisa believes in the power of deep inner healing work to transform your life after divorce.
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There are so many books and songs written about love but more about the kind of love that is not reciprocated, unrequited, and painful. The kind of pain that feels like you can die from it.

Unrequited love or better known as rejection is always painful. When you love someone or have expressed your love for someone, and they don’t have the same feelings, you can feel rejected and think that you’re just not good enough. You may even tell yourself that you will never love another like this again.

Unrequited love is usually associated with having the desire to be with someone and getting into a new relationship, usually during the teen years. However, this can occur even in long-term relationships and marriages.

You may experience rejection in a long-term relationship or marriage when one person states they don’t feel the same way anymore and have “fallen” out of love.

If you find yourself dealing with unrequited love, here are simple ways to deal with and cope.

10 Ways to Deal With Unrequited Love

It hurts no matter what scenario you find yourself in when you have feelings for someone and they are not reciprocated.

Learning how to be in relationships is a skill that is learned. Each relationship beginning with your parents and then siblings lay the groundwork for future relationships. If you came from a family where you learned healthy boundaries and how to deal with disappointment, you may fare better than someone who has a poor sense of self when it comes to dealing with rejection.


Rejection is not something you have a lot of control over when in the throes of despair. However, there are ways to deal with the pain to move on graciously. [1]

1. Rejection is God’s Protection

If you think that this rejection may be serving a purpose, you will be able to loosen the need to control the situation. We can’t see the whole picture, but God or whoever you call a Higher Power can.

This person may not feel the same way you do because they are not for your highest and greatest good. In simpler terms, you dodged a bullet. We think we know what is best for us but thinking and knowing are two different things.

If you could silence your mind and drop down into your heart, you will most likely realize what your soul already knew. When you learn to tap into this well of wisdom within, you’ll be able to move on much more quickly. [2]

Even if your marriage ended because your spouse fell out of love, you can remember that you can’t see the whole picture. This ending may be the beginning of the best time of your life. In the wake of rejection, it can be difficult to look ahead in such a positive way.

But take time to grieve and change your perspective. It might be the most beneficial thing for you.

2. Heal Your Limiting Beliefs

You may have beliefs that you are not even conscious of running your life behind the scenes. Do you feel you are worthy of the love you think you’d have with this person? Maybe you believe you don’t deserve to be loved fully and deeply so you focus your attention on someone who mirrors this belief back to you.


There are several beliefs we have that, unless, uncovered can keep us stuck in what feels safe and familiar. To find out what beliefs you have, look at your current life circumstances. Once you uncover and address the beliefs holding you back, you’ll be able to let this person go much easier.[3]

This is true even if you got divorced because your spouse fell out of love. If you didn’t heal your beliefs before getting married, they have a way of showing up to get your attention. Now is the time to focus on your own healing.

3. Self-Care

Focusing on self-care will bring your attention back to yourself, which is where it needs to be. [4]

If you are struggling with feelings of despair and feeling rejected, taking time to care for and nourish your heart and soul will help you detach in a healthy way. It’s easy to pick yourself apart after being rejected by someone you care about or love in a romantic sense.

Take some time to be alone or with friends and family to help lift you up. When you are dealing with unrequited love, taking great care of yourself is the most important thing you can do.

4. Learn to Forgive Yourself

If you’re obsessing and having a hard time getting over unrequited love, you may need additional support. Sometimes when we are in the throes of heavy, dense emotions, we behave in ways we never would otherwise.


You may continue to pursue this person out of desperation. Once you are free and clear of the intensity of your emotions, you may look back and cringe. Learn to forgive yourself for whatever behavior you exhibited during your time of despair.

When you are in pain, it can be difficult to think rationally.

5. Push Through Your Comfort Zone

We can fall into the trap of a false sense of comfort when we believe our lives will be great if only this person loved us back. Life happens outside of our comfort zone. If you can think and dream bigger, you can widen your circle of available romantic partners.

If you’re experiencing heartbreak and rejection from the end of a long-term relationship or marriage, getting out of your comfort zone can be just the thing to get you moving forward.

This doesn’t only apply to dating new people. Do things for yourself that challenge you and open your world to new and exciting opportunities. Try out new things that have always given you interest. Or simply reconnect to your old friends.

6. Choose to Leave

Knowing you have a choice gives you power. You don’t have to accept pining after another person or staying in a relationship where you aren’t receiving the love you deserve. You can choose to leave.

The one thing you have to keep in mind before you decide to leave a long-term relationship or marriage is that if you haven’t healed the beliefs you have about yourself that created the situation you are now in, you may wind up re-creating the same circumstances in a future relationship.


No matter what, choosing to limit contact with this person is a healthy first step on your healing journey. Being around someone who does not reciprocate your feelings can be excruciating.

7. Take Time to Fully Grieve Your Loss

Many people don’t realize that even if you weren’t in a relationship with someone but had feelings for someone who didn’t feel the same way, you still need to grieve. It’s a loss. And you will fare better moving forward if you fully grieve the loss of unrequited love.

If you had a relationship that ended, taking time to grieve the loss will help you in the long run. It’s difficult to move forward if you haven’t completely let go of the past.

8. Focus on All the People Who Love You

Don’t hesitate to reach out to family and friends who love you. It can feel like you are all alone in the world after experiencing rejection by someone you love. But realizing you have people in this world who love you can bring much-needed reassurance that you are, in fact, loveable.

There will always be someone by your side, and before you know it, you’re already moved on.

9. Surrender to What Is

Once you grieve your loss, it will be easier to get to a state of full surrender. Surrendering and accepting what is, will help you move forward with much more ease. It’s in the place of surrender that miracles can happen.

Your life can change instantly once you reach this internal place of surrender. The serenity prayer might help you get to a place of surrender and let go. [5]


Repeat it often,

“God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

10. Learn to Attract the Relationship You Most Desire

Taking time to get crystal clear on what kind of partner and relationship you desire will help you let go of what doesn’t fit your ideal picture.

Everyone has a perception of the ideal partner. You can either expect too much or have expected too low. Either way, once you realize the perfect balance and your self-value, this becomes easier to look for.

Find the right person that gives the same vibe as you do.

What if You’re the One Not Reciprocating

Now that you know how to deal with unrequited love, what if the roles are reversed?

Knowing how painful it can be, try telling them with kindness and let them know exactly what you would want to hear if you were on the receiving end. Be clear and say that you do not feel the same way.

This is a kind thing to do so you don’t accidentally lead on or give a sense of false hope. Try not to dismiss their feelings by telling them how great they are or that they will find someone else.

How to Deal with Unrequited Love by a Relationship Expert

How to Deal with Unrequited Love

5 Actions
How to Deal with Unrequited Love by a Relationship Expert
Accept Rejection and Release Limiting Beliefs: Rejection is a form of redirection. Start healing by releasing your limiting beliefs. This could be self-doubt, worth, or simply some omen. 
How to Deal with Unrequited Love by a Relationship Expert
Self-Care: Focus on yourself and learn that you are valuable. Find the right company and enjoy the little things.
How to Deal with Unrequited Love by a Relationship Expert
Choose to Leave: If you think it’s time to leave, you can leave. You don’t have to force yourself or your partner to reciprocate the love you are giving.
How to Deal with Unrequited Love by a Relationship Expert
Focus on All the People Who Love You: You may have been rejected, but there are others out there ready to accept you at any time. Spend more time with family and friends and surround yourself with their support and love.
How to Deal with Unrequited Love by a Relationship Expert
Learn to Attract the Relationship You Most Desire: Learning from your experience, try finding the right person who gives the same energy as you do. It may be true that someone out there is really just waiting for you.


Whether you are on the receiving end of being rejected or you’re the one not reciprocating love, unrequited love can be a painful and difficult time. Learning how to navigate your feelings and accepting reality can be key to your self-healing.

If you feel like you are not handling the rejection well, you can even reach out to a licensed mental health professional or a coach who can help you navigate this time of uncertainty.


Just remember that you’re not alone and that there are a lot of people out there that would always accept you.

Featured photo credit: Marcos Paulo Prado via unsplash.com


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