How To Stop Chasing Someone Who Doesn’t Want You

How To Stop Chasing Someone Who Doesn’t Want You

It’s a situation many have faced: the object of your affection doesn’t feel the same way, and yet, it’s hard to let go. Chasing someone who doesn’t want you can be an emotional roller coaster, often leading nowhere but to more heartache. It’s important for your own well-being to recognize when it’s time to stop the pursuit.

1. Acknowledge that it just isn’t going to happen.

The first step to stop chasing someone is to honestly acknowledge the situation. Admit to yourself that the person you’re interested in does not share your feelings. This isn’t about blaming them or yourself; it’s simply recognizing the reality of the circumstances. Ignoring the signs or making excuses prolongs the inevitable and can cause more pain. Acceptance is painful but necessary.

2. Cement your sense of self-worth.

It’s crucial to remind yourself of your own value. Your worth is not determined by someone else’s inability to see it. Just because one person doesn’t reciprocate your feelings doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of love. Spend time reflecting on your positive qualities and the love you deserve. This can help shift your focus from what you’re missing to what you have to offer.

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4. Set Boundaries for Yourself.

Setting clear boundaries is an important step in stopping the chase. Decide what kind of interaction, if any, you can have with the person without fueling your feelings for them. This might mean no longer initiating contact, limiting the amount of time you spend together, or even unfollowing them on social media. Boundaries aren’t just physical; they’re emotional too, and they’re about protecting your heart.

5. Focus on Self-Care.

Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Engage in activities that make you happy and help you relax. Exercise, read, take up a new hobby, or spend time with friends and family. Self-care is about reinforcing the relationship with yourself and strengthening your emotional resilience. It’s a way to reaffirm that you are your top priority.

6. Redirect Your Energy.

The energy you’ve been spending on chasing someone can be redirected into something productive. Whether it’s a personal project, professional goals, or a new activity, focusing your energy elsewhere can be empowering. It’s about channeling your passion and time into something that returns your investment with interest. When you’re busy growing and achieving, you have less time to dwell on unrequited feelings.

7. Reflect on Past Patterns.

Sometimes the tendency to chase those who don’t want us is rooted in past patterns. Take some time to reflect on previous relationships and see if there’s a habit of pursuing unavailable partners. Understanding these patterns can be the key to breaking them. You might find that addressing these deeper issues opens the door to healthier relationships in the future.

8. Seek Support.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for support from friends, family, or a professional. Talking about your feelings can help you process them and gain perspective. The people who care about you can offer support and remind you of your worth when you’re struggling to see it yourself. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

9. Embrace Being Single.

There’s a lot to be said for embracing the single life. Being single is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow independently. It’s a time when you can make decisions based solely on your own desires and needs. Celebrate the freedom and possibilities that come with being unattached. There’s joy to be found in independence.

10. Be Open to New Connections.

While you shouldn’t rush into a new romantic interest to fill a void, be open to making new connections. Interacting with new people can remind you that there are many individuals out there with whom you can form meaningful relationships. Being open doesn’t mean you’re looking for a replacement; it means you’re willing to continue growing your social circle and enriching your life with new experiences.

11. Stop Idealizing the Person.

Let go of the idea that this person is perfect or the only one for you. They might have great qualities, but it’s essential to remember that they have flaws, just like everyone else. No single person should be the key to your happiness. When you stop seeing them through rose-colored glasses, you can start to see the situation more clearly and move on to someone who is a better fit for you.

12. Give Yourself Time to Grieve.

It’s okay to feel sad about what could have been. Allow yourself time to grieve the loss of this potential relationship. Just like any loss, it’s important to go through the emotions rather than suppress them. However, don’t let this period of grief become indefinite. Set a timeline after which you’ll start actively moving on.

13. Stop Rehashing What Went Wrong.

Going over conversations and scenarios repeatedly won’t change the outcome. Constantly thinking about what you could have done differently keeps you tethered to the past and to the person you’re trying to move on from. Accept that some things just won’t work out, regardless of how much you analyze them. Instead, use that energy to focus on the future and on healing.

Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.