When I first heard SZA sing a line in “Love Galore,” I was shook.

“Why you bother me when you know you don’t want me?” the chanteuse sings through my speakers.

It’s almost as if Sza is like all of us. Most of us have been there – being in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same back. Whether someone’s consciously put you under their spell or not, there comes a time when your unrequited longing becomes too much to bear.

“But I know they love me,” you might say, yet through actions and things said, you start to understand deep in your gut that perhaps this is not the case. And even if they do share those feelings but are too afraid to express it, it’s not your job to pull it out of them. Spending sacred time on figuring out how another person feels about you is a disservice to yourself.

But even still, it’s not as easy as it may seem to make the connection that it is unhealthy. Even once you do, it can be overwhelming if not prepared with the right intentions of freeing yourself from these situations, (especially if you’re in love with a close friend).

Not being desired is never a fun feeling. When you want someone and they’ve rejected your advance, it stings. Here are six things I’ve learned when it happened to me.

Photo courtesy Manulani

1. Focus on what you want

Instead of focusing on why someone doesn’t want you, focus on what YOU really want and you’ll learn it’s probably not them, anyway. We can get stuck on a connection we want to transform and elevate into something higher, which is when we start longing for an intimate romantic relationship. But what if instead of that, it was actually a calling to finding greater love for yourself? When we don’t fully feel love for ourselves, we seek it in other people. We seek others to complete us. So focus on who you are and what you really want, allow these feelings to take you into the direction that’s best for you and you’ll start to attract romantic connections that share that same love.

2. Pay attention to what this connection is trying to show you

Relationships are assignments for growth. When you make a strong connection with someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the person to build a long-term romantic relationship with, it could be because they stir something up inside you that the universe wants you to look at and examine. For me, I was drawn to people who brought up the question inside me of “am I worthy?” I spent so much time wondering why they didn’t want me romantically despite our strong connection instead of appreciating and accepting the relationship for what it was. Each time they chose someone else, I internalized it as a sign that I was not worthy. This has nothing to do with them and everything to do with how I felt about myself. I understood that the universe would keep bringing me the same situation over and over until I grew from the lesson. Once I did that, and began work on healing my desire to be validated by another person, the pattern stopped.

3. Recognize recurring false assumptions

Is your automatic assumption when you’re not receiving hotline blings or catching the eye of someone in math class because you’re ugly and unwanted? It sure was for me! As I began the healing process, I became more and more aware of these types of thoughts. The best thing to do is not just replace them with more positive thoughts, but to truly look within for your own love and empowerment. The reason we are even making these assumptions in the first place is because we are used to looking outside for validation rather than being fully present in your own self-worth. By radiating that, we start to truly feel it and see no point in questioning your worth based on how other people see you. People can sense when your desire for feeling worthy depends on them and their actions. By no needing this, you attract more moments for cute connections.

4. Don’t become a victim or martyr to your story

Sometimes to protect ourselves we play into a victimhood/martyrdom mentality. It’s the view of “They led me on, why would they do this to me?” (victimhood) and “I give and give and give all my love but they can’t do the same for me” (martyrdom). We assign blame to the other person to avoid dealing with ourselves. Both are disempowering perspectives, both are coming from a false storyline you’ve come to believe in your life. As I began to see my patterns in these types of thoughts and heal them, I realized that as long as I had these types of beliefs, I would always attract relationships that played into it. Then I had an exciting moment when I realized the more I believed in the story of “I am loved, I am whole, I am growing” I thought about who I might meet that reflects that back at me, rather than searching for someone to flip the script in my head. Only you can rewrite your story and it starts by changing your thoughts.

5. Don’t villainize the other person

Variations of the phrase, “they missed out on a good thing” or “it’s their loss” is so silly because at the end of the day you should be focusing on how this is YOUR gain. When someone doesn’t want us in the way we do, our ego tells us to denounce the person in order to feel superior and unscathed. Don’t tell yourself that the other person doesn’t know what they’re missing, that’s a disempowering thought. This is actually a beautiful time to realize you’re on your way to find what’s best for you! Holding bitterness to the other person for not wanting you back blocks you from happiness and the story will continue with someone else.

6. Set your intentions

Now you can better set your intentions. Make sure your intention in freeing yourself is set from an empowering and positive place, not from a place of bitterness or victimhood. It can be easy to slip into thoughts like “this proves why I’m not good enough and will never be good enough” or “this person doesn’t know what they’re missing.” It’s nothing to do with your worth nor is it anything to do with the other person. The most empowering thoughts come from within, not depended on how others feel about you. So with that, affirm statements like, “I am loved” and “I am ready and open to allowing in the romance that’s best for me.”

Remind yourself that your self-worth and purpose transcend the validation of any relationship. Think of it this way, the more you vibrate loving frequencies for yourself, the more you’ll attract the love that you want as it’s reflected from inside you.

By setting intentions from a positive place rather than a negative space, you can come out of this tough situation as a new person with a whole new outlook. That’s when change in your patterns truly begins.

Manulani is a writer and speaker based in Brooklyn. They are a publicist and former Editor In Chief of QueerSpinster.com. Follow Manulani on Instagram or Twitter.

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