Knowing you’re not alone may not make the pain go away, but it may be easier to bear knowing that you’re not the only person to go through this. Rejection can also cause depression. Allow yourself time to grieve. There’s nothing wrong with having to grieve, as long as you don’t get stuck there.
In fact, it’s healthier to let yourself be sad than it is to try to suppress those emotions. If you can, take some time out of your life to process your sadness. This will help create a healing space for you to deal with your grief. Avoid wallowing in despair, however. If you haven’t left your house in weeks, you aren’t showering, and you’re wearing that ratty old sweatshirt that should really just be burnt, you’ve gone overboard. It’s natural to feel sad, but if you don’t try to get focused on your life again, you’ll just keep thinking about and loving that other person. Recognize that you cannot control the other person.
This type of thinking is very natural, but it’s also incorrect and unhelpful. The only thing you can control in life is your own actions and responses. You can work to control your responses to those feelings, though. Take some time away from the other person. Part of creating space for yourself to grieve and to move on is not having this person as part of your life. You don’t have to cut this person out of your life completely, but you do need to take a break from him or her.
You don’t have to be unkind or cruel. Just ask the other person to give you a little time to get past the feelings you’re working through. If the person you’re trying to stop loving is someone that you’ve relied heavily on in the past for emotional support, find a different friend to help fill that role. Ask a friend if you can reach out to him or her when you get the urge to talk to the person you’re trying to avoid. Delete the person from your phone so you aren’t tempted to re-initiate contact. It will make it harder to keep your distance.
Express your feelings to yourself. Expressing your emotions, rather than bottling them up and waiting for them to explode, can help you accept that you’re going through a painful experience. When we experience loss or disappointment, it’s natural to have trouble dealing with it, at least at first. Don’t belittle yourself for feeling this way or try to ignore the feelings in the hopes they’ll go away. Express them openly and honestly. Cry if you want to. Crying can actually be therapeutic.
It may reduce feelings of anxiety and anger, and can even reduce your body’s feelings of stress. If you want to grab a box of tissues and cry your eyes out, go for it. Avoid violent actions such as screaming, shouting, punching things, or breaking stuff. Expressing your emotions through creative pursuits, like music, art, or a favorite hobby, can be very helpful. However, it’s a good idea to stay away from things that are very sad or angry, such as death metal music. These may actually make you feel worse when you’re feeling down. Realize that you are better off.
It’s very easy to idealize someone, especially if you have invested a lot of energy in falling in love with him or her. Stepping back to examine the reality — without being cruel or judgmental — can help you get some distance from that feeling of unrequited tragic love. It may also help you to think about the aspects of this person that would have created a difficult relationship between the two of you. For example: maybe their extreme social anxiety would make it nearly impossible for them to give you the validation you need in a relationship. Studies have even suggested that acknowledging negative things about the other person can help you get past romantic rejection more quickly. Don’t fall into the trap of saying mean things about the other person to make yourself feel better, though. Ultimately, this type of thinking can make you feel even more bitter and angry, rather than helping you heal. Rejection temporarily lowers your IQ, believe it or not. This emphasis on bitterness will also hold you back from healing. You can feel upset about the person not loving you without blaming that person. Don’t let your friends play it either. Your friends may try to villainize the other person for not loving you. You can cry over giving up the mementos, but it’s an important step in the healing process. Having those mementos around will only make it harder to move on and that’s not what you’re after! As you go through each item, think of the memory associated with it, then imagine putting that memory in a balloon.