Why do people continue to pursue or obsess over someone who has rejected them? I’ve seen people get caught in situations like this for years. There seems to be a number of reasons why.
- They just can’t believe that the other person doesn’t want the,. They think they are a great person. They’ve just got to get their target to agree with them.
- Some are in denial. They simply refuse to allow a rejection to register in their psyche.
- Some like the pain. They like feeling of writhing around over and ex, more than they like the feelings they’d have if they accepted the rejection and moved on.
People who get caught like this wind up living in a vacuum. They have to, because if they leave their sphere, people will confront them on this issue. Being isolated and wanting someone who does not want you goes hand in hand.
How can I solve this?
You can solve this by identifying what is driving you and being honest with yourself around where you’re actually headed if you continue to hang on and maintain your obsession.
Can you tell me step by step how to move on?
1. Resolve to think about yourself and not the other.
2. Identify the core issue. For example, it may be you want to control others and outcomes. These things are outside your control. It may be that you were rejected by a parent and this is a your comfort zone.
3. Identify what you want in life (that does not include the person who does not want you) . Recognize that you’ve no choice but to change tracks if you want to achieve this. You’re choosing to stay stuck!
4. Ask yourself what you are getting out of staying involved and also what you’re avoiding by refusing to give up the ghost.
4. Focus on healing your problem and/or altering your MO, while you continue to not focus on your ex who has already left the building.
5. Try to come up with some faith or belief that supports your efforts. Example, if you were meant to be with the person you’d be with them. There are no accidents. The universe is conspiring in your best interest, etc.
It’s definitely possible and preferable to let go of your interest in someone who is not interested in you. If you’ve been successful at doing this, tell us how you managed. Add the astrology if you can.
You have nailed here, Elsa, my life’s work and my main hurdle to overcome. I am on the other side now, but my problems started with my parents’ rejection of my potential and who I am, from the very beginning. The astrology is Libra sun exactly square my Cancer saturn, plus my Pisces moon exactly inconjunct my Libra neptune. My MC is Libra and IC is Aries. I’m in my 60’s now and it’s been a very long road to finally understanding the dynamics of why I chose my two husbands and why we were toxic to each other. I am very grateful to you and this blog for the invaluable insight I have gained here on this matter.
I had two thoughts about this post.
1. There is a complicating factor sometimes wherein the object keeps pretending it wants to be with you when in fact it doesn’t. This would be the sort of endless stringtugging where when they are lonely and need someone to jump for them, there you are even though they would never actually consider you as anywhere near good enough for them.
This can really screw you up for years and you have to let it slowly dawn on you that you are getting fucked with so seriously that it might kill you or at least waste your precious time at such a high cost that the damage would one day be irreversible.
Getting over an unrequited love is easy when the other is just clueless, and you pine for what could be, and then sort of…give up because you’re just not getting that much out of it and you have to go to work in the morning.
However it’s much, much harder when the love is unrequited because you love someone who doesn’t love you back, but who still demands all your stuff — your best stuff — love, sex, devotion, tears, creativity, beauty, humor, ideas, dreams, tender care; without any intention of ever returning any of it.
That’s a multi-year project, to get out of and over that.
There was a day about six months ago when I read these words in a book about getting over a narcissistic abuser. It said something like: ” He would love it if you killed yourself. Men like this would be privately thrilled if you committed suicide on their behalf. They would not consider it a tragedy. They would consider it a well-deserved compliment. All your death would do would be to validate him as the center of the universe. ”
Whack. It was the truth. He would totally want me dead, erased from the world. That was when I realized I was going to have to do two things, stay alive, and get better. In love with someone who wants me dead? I’m not *that* crazy.
I agree with the complicating factor. Because I admit I am prone to unrequited love, but also I have dropped people like flies once I realize they don’t truly want me especially if I haven’t known them for very long. It’s the relationships that I have invested a long time in whether they be friendships or whatever that just feel confusing. The factor of confusion comes from, well they once seemed to like me and chose to spend time with me and now they don’t with no notification of change of terms and service. It can feel like your reality is being eroded so I hold on to keep my “reality” together. The idea being that maybe this person is just in a mood and they will snap out of it. And eventually when they don’t snap out of it, I realize this person doesn’t have the same depth of emotion as me and I move on. It’s hard to assign someone that label of “shallower than me” (because it implies I misjudged their character) but that’s how I move on eventually. Because I rarely see people hold on to unrequited love for years if they only just met the person and that person turned them down….pretty much almost never happens.
I have Neptune, Jupiter and Moon in Scorp in the 7th, plus Pluto conjunct Venus in Virgo, and Mars in Taurus. I stubbornly hold on for years, living a relationship in my mind. If it manifests on the physical plane, I’m scared spitless. I finally realized it came down to wanting to WIN… I wouldn’t give up my obsessions because somehow my ego attachment was so strong. Usually the object of my affection liked me, but didn’t “love” me, and that tidbit was what kept me going. I kept my obsession to myself and worshipped from afar, but my friends knew and were extremely worried about me. Isolation is a major factor. It’s very hard to change this hard-wiring; instead, I’ve chosen a life of solitude instead of finding someone healthy. Healthy opportunities rarely arise now at my age (54) and I hope for at least one more opportunity to do it differently. I think this article relates a lot to Plutonian people who don’t realize how unhealthy the obsession is; it’s simply “how they are”, and the misery that everyone sees is not necessarily something we enjoy, it’s simply all we KNOW. I used to say “if it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t love”. Of course now I know that’s crazy, but when I was younger, if it didn’t hurt, I just couldn’t feel it. Joy wasn’t something I’d ever experienced in relationships, it wasn’t on my radar. The “joy” I’d feel had more to do with a refreshing of the obsession, say – your “object of obsession” notices you, or talks to you, or you spend some time with them – thus the obsession gets more deeply entrenched. Any anger I felt over being treated unkindly was quickly forgotten on the surface, but often lingered underneath. It’s a sad, sad way to live but many people don’t know any other way of life.
Great post. Anyone who follows this advice will be better off. I hope people listen and liberate themselves. It is better on the other side of this!
I was in this situation once and was able to move on only after really confronting reality — if he wanted to be with me, he would be. He was not a bad man, but he didn’t want me. The End. I had help from friends, which I was initially not at all open to. I felt like I was supposed to pine and suffer (Venus house 12).
Having Venus/Neptune, confronting reality wasn’t exactly my first order of biz when I was in my early 20s. It really was friends who helped me out of this. When everyone, EVERYONE is telling you that this is not the thing for you, eventually it’s at least worth your time to consider their opinions. If you respect your friends at all, at least.
When I understood that it was not respectful for me to ignore people who DID love me in favor of some guy who didn’t (I have sun and Saturn in house 11, so this level of importance might be particular to me) I was able to move out of this. Not that it wasn’t painful, but at least it was real pain and not a world of my imagination.
i was the first bullet for the longest period with the neptune in aquarius transit first squaring my moon, then my venus, and both at once for a time
i’ve got a dsc in pisces and a mercury there to boot, (and NN)
but I’ve also got good friends that tell me that something is wrong, and I can also start to swim now.
I know someone like this but it was friendship not romance.
Not everyone likes you. So what?
lol i loved your comment. Simple and to the point 🙂
excellent post btw!
Love it. I like how you recommend focusing on oneself and ones needs. I think that’s good advice for a lot of situations.
I have another theory as to why someone would chase a person that doesn’t love them back. I guess it kind of goes hand in hand with number 3. They might not feel they deserve love so they reach for the unnattainable, knowing they won’t get it. Thus satisfying that thought process with tangible results.
It’s selling yourself short really.
Yup, happened twice. The first time was the worst because I took it so personally. I felt worthless and cheated that the other person didn’t reciprocate. The second time around I realized that I had to find happiness within myself, not in another. Being liked used to be so important to me. One day I realized that even if the whole world loved me it wouldn’t be enough. I had to like myself first. After that, it didn’t matter if anyone liked me or not. I knew who I was and where I stood. Having that self-confidence marks the subtle yet profound difference between needing someone to be complete and enjoying friendships as an equal partner.
This has happened to me but its unrequited as in never comes to completion…not as in mutual love does not exist. I know that just a another way of saying the same thing. My Venus scorp on his scorp moon equaled deep intense palpable feelings for one another that would be denied by one and then the other over and over until I broke the cycle.
I have a less intense version of this right now with someone else. Its a fear of expressing love. It’s almost like attraction to repression. Venus just barely in the 12th conjunct ascendent. Mars in Pisces too boot. idk. To say it was annoying would be an understatement.
My neighbor said something like “he who cares least owns the relationship”. I hate it but it is true. I think a person’s neediness shows and it is a turn-off.
So it’s a “whoever-cares-less” contest? lol I definitely know people who operate by this principle. It’s sad. But knowing love means dropping the power struggle and risking the pain. We’re all so afraid of getting hurt. How will you ever know for certain if you don’t jump in the blender and find out?
I have been told for over 3 years that I was the most important person in his life, but his actions speak louder and I know I am not. I have been told I was the love of his life, and while I believe this, all of the reasons he can’t get it together tell me that while I may be loved, I am not THE most important. THANK YOU ALL… this is the most timely post of my life. I am printing it out, highlighting it and will read it every day until the pain and grief go away. Like dog8818, I am 54 and cannot afford to waste anymore time.
was this written specifically for me? i think it was… even if it wasn’t i’m going to believe that it was.
i don’t know how to do it. i seem to be the only scorpio on the planet who can’t amputate. my mind is stuck.. i wallow in the pain, as if i deserve it for some reason. but i still don’t know what that reason is.
too much libra needs to be partnered. so i think about the last one until the next comes along… and i continue thinking about the last one until the current hurts me…… then i’m just doubly obsessed.
and it’s never helped when someone tells me one thing and does another….. hello early childhood parental trauma. damn
sun, venus, mars, mercury in 12th, moon conjunct neptune. i am trying not to be the person who is waiting and longing because i know it is not a healthy thing to do, but i actually love the feeling of longing. it’s like a drug that i’m trying to avoid really hard.
@ GTO: Brilliant comment. Neediness, being clingy– ugh.
People, please come to terms with rejection. It hurts sometimes but you’ll be all the better and stronger for recognizing the truth.
it can be easier than taking the risk of getting rejected again. with me it was recognizing/accepting that risk as the price of finding out whether or not something actually had a chance of working out…
Elsa, this is a great post. Just to share my experience, I realized that sometimes an unrequited love is actually not love, but obsession. So I tried true love as an antidote, and as I was moving into this feeling/vibration, things suddenly changed. True love brings unconditional acceptance of the other person, including the fact that they don’t want to be with us (at whatever level it may be the case). If we really love them, we will never want them to be with someone they don’t want to be, as we wouldn’t want to be in this situation either. So, true love is a great way out of obsession, and from what I can see astrologically, it is related to Neptune in the chart.
Excellent post and so many thoughtful comments. Something KR said really resonated with me — it finally hit me that in being obsessed with someone who treated me badly, I was devaluing a person who had wanted to do nothing but good for me. Sadly, I understood this all years too late, there was no chance of fixing any of it — and of course everything came out of childhood conditioning — I have figured that out pretty well, but some tragic mistakes were made in the meantime.
@Dawn – Yes, very much in the spirit of compassion. I have felt the wrenching pain like rantares113 describes in nearly every relationship which ended in my life and there were many. I was able to walk away from the relationship but I was always dying inside and the feelings of desire wouldn’t go away.
i’m just like that. i’m forever missing someone or something. it’s bad.
Venus and Mars in Aquarius in the 8th, easy to get in and out of relationships. Just go with the flow. Seek newness and you forget the old and past soon.
Thanks for the instructions, Elsa!
Unfortunately, I’m a headless Ketu yearning for my “Rahu.”
When Saturn first went into Libra, I dated someone with Venus/Uranus going on (plus Venus in Aqua). During the relationship (and for months after he disappeared), I kept beating myself up over what went wrong–why we couldn’t make it work.
I blamed myself. Should have chalked it up to a full-moon fling, but noooo. I had to dissect my approach and my expectations, and did I move too fast? or too slow? Maybe he was right and I just…wasn’t giving him enough. I wasn’t letting go and letting things happen. He kept making me feel like I was confusing him, and that I was holding back too much physically. This was TWO days into a two-week-long relationship!! I kept wondering what was wrong with me. (If I’d realized that he was just trying to guilt me into sleeping with him so he could get a release, that would have made moving on much easier. The minute he took my hand and tried to force it south–that should have been my first clue. Get out of there!)
I think some people need to wallow in pain because it’s an unconscious way to relive, channel and try to fix the parents who weren’t capable of loving them. I’ve done my share of it. It’s a misguided attempt to resolve the past and often has very little to do with the rejecting party who’s the seeming focus of the angst.
This could also apply to one who lost a loving parent to death early in life — may have experienced self-blame over it, may unconsciously repeat the loss story in self-punishment — may relive loss story in vain attempt to revise the ending, and in failing to do so eventually learn to accept. The grief could become familiar/conditioned as earliest intense emotion, may have formed a melancholy or tragic romantic nature. Also Saturn/Venus, Neptune.
I never thought about it from that angle, but it definitely makes sense.
I lost my older brother at 12 years old and from there on out my family has suffered immensely, especially my parents. Being isolated kept me safe from having to carry emotional weight for my family (I’m the sensitive one/empath). It’s classic BPD stuff. It’s also why suffering for love feels so normal for me.
Libra sun 12th house, Taurus moon 7th house, Scorpio rising conjunct mercury/venus/pluto, mars in Aquarius 3rd house, Jupiter in Pisces 4th house.. I feels like the scary jumbled path in the forest next to the sunny, happy one. I’m always getting stuck!
In some cases the person you can’t seem to get over is just a ghost and placeholder for the unloving parent and that’s the real source of the agony, not the often really generic jackass who bounced.
Ghost is a good word for it. In love with a ghost. As in someone not really there. Fades in an out. Keeps ya hangin on. I explained it to him and asked him have you ever had this kind of attachment? He snapped back, yes, but I don’t talk about it!!!! All I could say is well, now you know where I’ve been and you know why I’m done with you. It’s not real.
It’s a matter of pride I think. I would have zero desire to pursue someone who did not want me. I would find it humiliating to possibly be someone they ridiculed as clueless and desperate.
You give it one whirl then drop it if it’s not well-received. But I also think you make a superficial and just friendly overture to gauge interest before you totally embarrass yourself. That’s just normal awareness of social interaction.
One more reason might be they feel responsible for screwing things up and believe they can somehow change and then prove to the other person they’re different than they were. So they hang on, hoping to prove themselves someday.
I have to avoid the Gemini’s. They’re my weak spot. They’re in my 5th house and I simply have a soft spot for then. Vut they always end up screwing me (or somebody else) over, while we’re still in the relationship.
I’m a 7xScorpio, and Gemini’s are just so different. After I had my harshest lesson with a cheating Gemini/Sag I think (hope!!) I have overcome my penchant for geminis though – the leopard’s black spots has been revealed now, aka my weakness 😉 At least I’m aware of it now!
Good article!! I was rejected by a parent when I was very young so I was prone to this.
I had this happen to me and it lingered for years. It didn’t help that they intentionally fed my fantasy at times either but I was the main culprit, I accept that. I think the biggest thing is I thought we had a deeper-than-thou stars in the sky, romantic love forever soulmate connection (thanks to my Venus opposed his Mars-Neptune!!) and I didn’t understand why he didn’t recognize that (My Ascendant fell in his 12th) In the meanwhile, he only viewed me as a friend to dish all his love life problems to and that hurt tremendously bc he knew how I felt about him. Anyways, I finally drew a line in the sand and vowed to respect myself more than I cared to continue our so-called “friendship”. With that, the Venus-Neptune bubble has finally popped and the clouds have dissipated. The world is more beautiful now with all the clarity and knowledge I’ve gained, even with the rough edges and harsh realities I can’t gloss over. ?
I think it was a Full Moon in Gemini along with an eclipse in my 7th House) I drove out to the beach with a photo of them and found a special spot amongst the dunes and buried it. Once I did that, I said a little something, a sort of intention, that this would help heal my heart. Then I walked to the shore as the Sun rose up higher and wrote in the sand “Good Bye So and So!” I started to feel better almost immediately. I got home and received a call they we’re going to kill themselves (ooops! That was NOT my intention!). He wanted to get out of the other person’s friend zone. He had stopped talking to her for a year and had picked up with me. It was a long time before he even told me about her. They did end up getting back together a few days before Valentine’s Day. I went on just fine, though it took a bit to heal. Letting go freed up a lot of time and anguish.
I had a lover before I met my current husband. I’ve read your article Elsa and the comments and I’ve been thinking about why I couldn’t let one man go (emotionally). I’ve had a lot of lovers and lived with men (I didn’t want to marry them). This one man…after 2 years in our (serious) relationship he had to go back to his country and I couldn’t go with him. We planned to get together again but borders and laws made it impossible.
Why couldn’t I let go? We had a deeply spiritual relationship as well as sexual. We had a psychic experience at the same time. I felt very maternal towards him even though he was masculine. It was like he was me (very Cathy/Heathcliff – not a good role model I know!). I had endless compassion for him (unusual for me). I wish I could decipher our bond (I’ve had all the red flags – abandonment, abusive parents, etc) but I never felt about any other of my men who were also disfunctional the way I felt about him. I’m really not the type of person to chase after a guy who doesn’t want me. Me and this guy still message occasionally but it’s impersonal but we continue to stay connected… it will never amount to anything but it’s important to me to keep a thread with him across the globe. I truly believe he’ll never love someone like he loved me (and vice versa) but it’s ok, it’s part of our life journey.
Why is no one talking about Limerence in these types of posts?! Is the condition limerence so unknown amongst people? I have never seen anyone mention limerence in astrology forums. It really should be discussed on these communities!
These types of obsessiona mentioned in the post has a name: Limerence. Its a condition. Do you feel this type of obsession? Its limerence. Have you ever felt an amazing connection and called it “my twin flame” etc? Its limerence.
Please people read up on it! There are blogs, forums.. Communities, support. This blog helped me the most “Living with limerence”. The community on the blog “Living with limerence” is so so supportive. No one ever judges you. Everyone there understands exactly what you feel…
You are not alone.
Is this in the astrology right now? I think for many the thought of being completely on their own or with others that don’t have all the qualities that make the person who rejected them so attractive…and, therefore, hard to replace…is why obsession lasts longer than it should. It’s been in my personal experience that most people can’t stand being by themselves. They would rather hook up with someone random or settle for something less than really process the notion of being on their own or holding out for someone who plays their heart strings. Being alone is poison for some people. It’s easier to hold on to a hope that even they know is likely dead already than to face the void of dissolution. The void can be frightening. Like Rainer Maria Rilke said in his Letters to a Young Poet book…“What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours—that is what you must be able to attain.” “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.” “Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life, in understanding and in creating. There is no measuring in time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without fear that after them may come no summer.”
Neptune on the MC- Saturn on my Pluto-Neptune crossing over Mercury then sitting on my Venus – these transits slowly turned a hero worship crush into full blown obsession. The person objectified by myself was out of my league(CEO and the cleaning lady) but casual conversation was deep and meaningful. Instant rapport. I’m sure he could have Weinsteined me… but the obsession was not very sexual on my end- I couldn’t understand it- but I lived in another world in my head that I would escape to. After finally looking at the astrology his Venus was smack on my North Node….I got out by grounding myself . Would only think about it while pulling dandelions out of the front lawn by hand. Yes- shifted the obsession to something I could see results from doing. Dude was a Superman so I became friends with his Lois Lane and that was a better deal ball around.
Chiron swept over my natal 7th house Venus, highlighing the square to a Saturn/Mars conjunction a few years ago. Neptune was also pushing over my Venus at this time. I developed an infatuation with a co-worker that quickly consumed my life to a frightening degree. He was really Not Someone Special but focusing on this lack of reciprocal feelings allowed me to ignore the fact that I was crashing and burning in all other areas. Someone at last, finally! Had said they wanted me! I couldn’t just let it go but the irony is, I only ended up repelling the object of my affection further. I truly believe unrequited love is among the worst human emotions because you do it all by yourself to yourself. Agony. The only way out was complete amputation and removal from the situation and that person. It’s crazy to me now I spent every waking moment for a YEAR thinking about this person who only thought of me as a passing masturbatory fancy. Geeze louise. I also think because of all my Pisces, a big part of me absolutely craved that sweet pining agony. An unreal lover, an absent lover, can’t l eave skidmarks in his tighty-whities, or make an annoying whistling noise with his nose. An unreal lover is perfect.
I have a lot of Virgo, so while i Was going through this, I read about it. Research research. The person who mentioned limerence is correct, no one really talks about it though something like 90% of people say they have experienced it in their lives. It can be very distressing and totally isolating. Unrequited by Lisa Phillips is a book which helped me gain some perspective, if anyone is interested in this topic. Time and space were the only things that kicked me out of that torturous loop.