If you’re feeling unwanted in a relationship, or in life, it will not last forever. Here’s how to get over feeling unwanted and draw the world towards you.
Feeling unwanted can be one of the most lonely feelings in the world. It goes hand and hand with feeling unloved and is something that isn’t easy to break away from.
Feeling unwanted can spring from childhood, a dating pattern, or even someone intentionally making you feel that way.
You can feel unwanted in a marriage. Maybe you’re together but have lost the intimacy you once had. You can feel unwanted when casually dating. Perhaps you keep meeting people but it never goes any way more serious. You could also feel unwanted due to trauma from the past like being abandoned by a parent.
Why we feel unwanted by the ones we desire
All these things can lead to you feeling unwanted as an adult and that really makes you struggle in all your relationships from romantic ones to friendships and even your family.
Although these feelings are often triggered by outer influences, they usually become internalized as well. People go from feeling unwanted by others to feeling unwanted by themselves, and that is where an even deeper problem lies.
Figuring out not only why you feel unwanted but how to move on from it and know your worth takes a lot of introspection as well as discussion and thoughts on your past.
If you’re willing to dig up your past and focus on escaping these negative feelings, you can and will know how it feels to be wanted.
The pain of feeling unwanted
The pain of feeling unwanted is excruciatingly lonely. Whether it is due to your past, your present, or something else, feeling unwanted is nothing I’d wish on my worst enemy.
When I had a long pattern of being ghosted by people that seemed to be interested in me, I fell into a place where I felt unwanted. I had talked to so many people and tried so hard to date and find someone to connect with but they never wanted me or even to get to know me.
That led to me feeling not just unwanted but also like I wasn’t worthy of being wanted. That pattern affected me in such a way that I took it to mean there was something wrong with me.
From there, I exhibited self-destructive behavior and regularly self-sabotaged my dating and even professional life. Feeling unwanted even by people you barely know gets to you and affects your life in more ways than one.
Feeling unwanted and the questions it forces you to ask yourself
Feeling unwanted makes you question your worth, your abilities, and your confidence in all aspects of life. That pain, no matter what caused it, often feels hopeless.
For you, feeling unwanted could be caused by a dysfunctional or even abusive relationship in the past or present. It could be caused by something in your childhood.
Feeling unwanted always stems from someone else’s actions affecting our feelings. We are not born feeling unwanted. That is a feeling that eats away at your confidence and self-worth like a parasite. And it can’t be stopped without a substantial amount of effort.
How I stopped feeling unwanted
Feeling unwanted for me was a tough time. I struggled with my confidence and was in a rut when it came to most parts of my life.
I had never had such low confidence, even during the awkward middle school years. I was beaten down by my circumstances and stayed down.
Now, feeling unwanted can come with crippling anxiety and depression. If that is the case for you, even if you’re unsure, there is no shame in seeking help from a mental health professional.
Asking for help from friends, family members or a therapist only shows your desire to overcome your situation and that you have the strength to work hard to learn your worth.
That’s exactly what I did. With the help of a therapist, my friends, and patience with myself I was able to get over feeling unwanted.
What I learnt when I made the effort to love myself again
I had to relearn how I reacted to things. I had to think about how I see myself not how I think others see me.
I had to learn my self-worth from the inside so that when I was rejected, I didn’t take it personally. Most of the time, I was ghosted or broken up with by a person who barely knew me anyway. I reminded myself that not everyone will like me and that’s okay.
I realized that I am only looking for one right person so I don’t need to be wanted by every person I meet. Plus, if they didn’t want me, why would I want them? Those things worked out for the best.
Along with that, I tried not to put all my self-worth on others or how they saw me. The people that were making me feel unwanted were practically strangers. But, I had plenty of friends and family members that wanted me around.
Just as your partner shouldn’t fulfil your every need, I didn’t need a partner to feel fulfilled or wanted. I had to take stock of what I did have in my life and appreciate that.
I had to realize that I deserved to find someone that wants me and that should be the right person, not just any person.
I had to let go of the idea that I was unwanted by others and therefore unwanted by all, including myself.
It took time to practice acknowledging those things. It took time to learn how my worth is not based on others but on how I view myself. And without the impact of someone ghosting me or leading me on, I actually liked who I was.
I had to realize that I wasn’t unwanted, I just didn’t want the same things as those people.
I’m not telling you this to gloat but to offer you hope. It takes time and effort but it is possible to stop feeling unwanted.
How to get over feeling unwanted
I shared with you how I got over feeling unwanted, but overcoming these feelings isn’t the same for everyone.
Depending on where these feelings came from, your process will differ from mine. You may need to work through your past and learn to face things that have happened. You may need to work on self-love projects to regain confidence. Or you may need to take a break from dating if it is intensifying your negative feelings.
All these things can help, depending on where your feelings of unwantedness stemmed from. But, there are some things you can do no matter your unique situation to get over feeling unwanted.
#1 Talk about it. Feeling unwanted is a particularly lonely feeling. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, it can be isolating. And not sharing that only enhances those feelings. I know it can seem embarrassing to admit feeling unwanted but that is how you cope. If you don’t admit it to someone, you won’t realize how untrue it is.
And if you’re feeling unwanted in a relationship, tell your partner. Let them know when you feel unwanted and how they can help. If they love you, they should want to work with you to help you feel loved. If they become defensive or gaslight you, it is time to walk away and learn to want yourself apart from them.
#2 Write it down. Whether you have someone to talk to or not, writing out your feelings can be very cathartic. Just getting everything out in a messy or organized manner, releases a bit of those negative thoughts about yourself. It lets you vent freely.
But, as you release all these vulnerabilities, each time write something you like about yourself. It can be a personality trait, a talent, or anything else. This lets you feel all your feelings so you aren’t denying feeling unwanted but you’re also giving yourself a reminder that there are things about you that you would want in someone.
#3 Rebuild your relationships. Work on the relationships that don’t make you feel unwanted. When you feel unwanted, you can pull away from everyone close to you in your life because you don’t want to be a burden, or don’t feel you’re worthy to be wanted.
Reach out to your loved ones. Trust me, they want you to realize how loved and wanted you are. Focus your energy on the relationships that bring you joy and make you feel like you matter because you do.
#4 Enjoy time alone. This was one of the hardest things for me to learn when getting over feeling unwanted but it was also the most beneficial. I face loneliness, in relationships and when I was single too. I always dreaded spending time by myself, and ended up thinking about how I wasn’t with someone.
Instead, learning how to enjoy time alone makes you realize your own company is awesome. Doing things you wouldn’t do when others are around or just being lazy can be self-care. Loving on yourself with a hot bath, a single dance party in the mirror, or a good cry, lets you become your own best friend.
When you enjoy your own company, you don’t need to be validated by someone else.
#5 Acknowledge what you have to offer. Feeling unwanted can bring us down so low we feel hopeless. We think we’ll be like this forever and that we did something wrong to be unwanted. In reality, when someone doesn’t want you for any reason, it says a lot more about them than you.
Even if someone doesn’t like something about you, someone else may like what they didn’t. And you still have plenty to offer to someone lucky enough to want you. Write down those things. Why would you want to date you?
If you’re struggling, ask a friend what they love about you. It isn’t needy. It will help you appreciate yourself.
#6 Don’t offer yourself to someone that doesn’t want what you have to offer. When we feel unwanted, it is often an ongoing struggle. It is something we face daily in a relationship, or while dating, or in some other aspect of our personal lives. And when we feel that way, we look outside ourselves for fulfillment and validation.
That only makes feeling unwanted worse. If you measure your self-worth through the validation you gain from someone in your life, when they don’t offer that attention feeling unwanted will be worse.
If someone makes you feel unwanted because they reject what you have to offer, you don’t have to offer them anything. It is up to you to walk away. There is nothing wrong with you because someone makes you feel that way.
You have a lot to offer, just not to them and that is alright.
#7 You control how you feel to a point. Remember that feeling unwanted stems from external sources. It is someone else’s behavior that has ingrained itself in your mind. This person’s actions insinuate that you’re not worthy of being wanted when that is not true.
If you can learn to feel your feelings apart from someone else’s actions, you can let go of feeling unwanted. Now, this only works to a point.
It could work in a crappy relationship or with a friend that takes advantage of you. But when these feelings are deep and lead to anxiety and depression, you can’t just learn your way out of feeling bad. It takes therapy and help to battle that level of feeling unwanted and that is okay too.
#8 Feeling unloved is a lot about ego. I know this sucks to hear but it’s true. When we are rejected in any way, it hurts our egos more than anything else. If your feelings of unwantedness stem from childhood, this won’t be true for you, but in terms of dating, it is.
Feeling unwanted bruises your ego. It stings to be rejected and it is hard to admit that someone simply doesn’t like you.
Even though you may know that you don’t want to be with someone that doesn’t treat you right rationally, your ego still doesn’t want to take the hit. That is why feeling unwanted is so intense. We almost glorify or romanticize it because our egos need that attention.
Remember that feeling unwanted isn’t always something deep down inside you, but it is simply on the surface and fooling you.
#9 Feeling unwanted is nothing to be ashamed of. Feeling unwanted can seem so cringy. It is why people lie to their friends or parents and say they dumped someone when really they were dumped. Telling people you weren’t wanted by someone can feel like putting salt in the wound.
The thing is, someone not wanting you doesn’t reflect badly on you. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Feeling unwanted, as I said, stems from other people’s actions and feelings that affect yours.
Everyone, even people you think must be wanted by everyone, have been unwanted in their lives and it is okay.
#10 It is okay to be unwanted. As long as you aren’t unwanted by yourself, it is okay to be unwanted by others. Not everyone will want you. Just as you don’t want everyone. There are people you don’t want in your life for any number of reasons and vice versa.
You don’t always have to be wanted by everyone, even by a specific person. It hurts when someone you want doesn’t want you, or someone who used to want you no longer does, but it is okay. When that happens, it doesn’t mean you’re unwanted or unlovable to everyone or to yourself.
Feeling unwanted is not the end of your life, it is a pit stop in all the experiences you’ll share with yourself and those who do want you. Start with these steps, and learn to love yourself whole-heartedly. That’s the first step towards letting others see your shine.