How do you move on when you still love someone?
How do you let go when you are hoping that, by some miracle, things could be different?
When the person we are in love with no longer loves us back, we feel such a deep hollowness that it’s hard to imagine the prospect of happiness.
Following my experiences of being the rejected party, I was left desperately wondering how to get out of this unbearable feeling of loss.
One evening during my divorce, while watching the Sex And The City movie, I heard a line which has always stuck with me. As she was ending a relationship, Samantha Jones says:
“I’m just going to say the thing you’re not supposed to say: I love you, but I love me more.”
Talk about a bold statement of putting yourself first!
In the context of breakup rejection, I honestly think that quote sums up the bottom line in healing: In order to get through the heartbreak, you must love yourself more than you love the other person.
Grief doesn’t tell the whole truth
Your grief feelings are absolutely normal and valid, but if you step back and observe them objectively, what are they actually telling you? That you are not enough without the other person. That your life is not valuable without your partner. That they completed you, and you are not whole without them.
Does that sound extreme? You might not want to accept that you believe these things, but what are your actions saying?
As the weeks and months go by, and you find yourself still immersed in painful emotions, check your daily behaviour and observe what you are giving away to your ex-partner. Do you ever get to the end of the day and realise that an unsettling amount of time has been spent giving them your:
Do you notice that you are giving away all of the potential for your happiness to a person who may no longer be giving you a passing thought?
What do you need?
Meanwhile, there is a little voice inside you, shouting to be heard: “What about me? Where is my attention, love, time and energy?”
If you can’t hear that voice, try not to judge yourself. It’s entirely normal to be consumed by thoughts of the person you love and have lost. But that voice is there; it’s the truth of who you are.
So, I invite you to turn inwards for a moment and recognise where you are neglecting yourself.
Grab a pen and journal or paper, get quiet and whisper to yourself “what to I need to give myself right now”. Listen to the answer that comes up and keep writing. Honour what it is telling you, even if it is difficult to hear, or you don’t know how to achieve it.
Then begin to make a plan going forward to prioritise yourself. If you need help and support with this, I have created exactly what you need.
Put yourself first
Breakup rejection is devastating. But the affirmation “I love you but I love me more” is your formula for moving on.
💗 It’s OK to still love that person – don’t try to pretend you don’t. But you will only heal if you love yourself more than them.
💗 You can still cherish the good times, but you will only move on if you believe you can still be happy without your ex.
💗 Don’t feel guilty if you hoped to stay friends, but you need to keep them at arm’s length. Sometimes that boundary is essential for your healing.
💗 Wanting them back is normal, but recognise that this is a part of the grief process. What you REALLY need is to come back to yourself.
Self-love is at the core of moving on from your breakup or divorce. You are the leading role in your life, not the support act. You did not come into this world to feel second-rate because another human couldn’t love you. When you learn to make yourself the priority, everything changes.
What if there is still some longing?
Knowing that you should love yourself more doesn’t immediately erase the feelings you have, so what can you do when the longing for your ex pops up?
Firstly, let yourself feel the emotions because they are normal and want to be expressed. Then check in with yourself to discover what is at the root of the longing. Is it loneliness? Fear that you will never meet someone new? Are there some self-worth wounds that need healing? Explore how you can get that need met, or at least soothed.
In my experience, it also helps to fuel that longing into hope and desire for the next relationship you want to have. The love you have to offer shouldn’t be reserved for this one person. Matthew Hussey put it beautifully when he said: “Someone who doesn’t want me cannot, by definition, be right for me.“
The one who is right for you will want you too – that’s a comforting place to take your unrequited love.
While you tend to yourself, keep the expectation alive that one day you will give that love to a person who truly wants you in return.
But until then, what are you going to do right now to bring the focus back to yourself?
With love and support,