Saying I love you and not hearing it back from someone who means the entire world to you can be a huge blow to anybody. It can feel like a curse from the universe or as if the entire world around you has just crumbled and fallen apart. When one is in such a situation, the first thing that might come to mind is the situation that Carrie was in when Big left her on their wedding day in the movie Sex and the City. The way that Carrie powered through the pain, is not something that everyone can do. Rejection is a big thing and saying I love you first to a guy and not hearing it back can feel like one of the most heart-breaking circumstances you can go through.
Saying I love you just to hear it back is often a very vulnerable moment for anyone in love, and when it goes all wrong, it’s hard to cope with the effects of it. When Big didn’t show up to his own wedding, it left Carrie traumatized for a long time. She was so heartbroken from the same, that she could not even enjoy her girls’ trip or work for that matter. Feeling like you are in a one-sided love affair can make the whole world come crashing down on you, feeling like you are left with nowhere to go.
But, fret not, because it is not the end of the world. Even if it does feel like it right now, there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel and we are here to guide you toward it. There is a lot to look forward to in life other than love and your growth should not end because you’re sad about saying I love you and not hearing it back from the one you thought was your everything.
So, you said the three words out loud and clear, but didn’t hear them back from the person you loved the most. Saying “I love you” first and not hearing it back is probably anyone’s biggest nightmare. You start to wonder if you read the signs wrong or maybe if you said I love you too soon. You probably thought that they might have some feelings for you too and will reciprocate it. You’re mentally and physically exhausted from all the crying but just can’t stop thinking about this.
What does it mean when you say I love you and they don’t say it back? They could either want more time to process how they feel about you, or they have given you a clear answer. And as hurtful as it may be, that clear answer is nothing but a no. In the latter situation, you’re instantly filled with regret and an acute sense of rejection. In all likelihood, all you want right now is a time machine that you could use to undo this. You wish you’d never confessed your feelings in the first place! You’ve heard all those unrequited love stories but they bring no comfort, do they? Alas, your love story has ended on a one-sided note.
8 Ways To Deal With Saying ‘I Love You’ And Not Hearing It Back
Even though saying I love you and not hearing it back can feel like the most brutal experience which nobody should have to through, now that it has happened, you need to deal with it in the best possible way. Stop being so hard on yourself, for the simple reason that it just won’t do you any good. First of all, you’re human. You are allowed to have emotions and express them in the way you deem fit. It is completely normal to feel shattered when you tell someone you love them and all you receive back is a look of confused emotions or the expression of clear rejection.
When you told them your feelings, know that what you did wasn’t a mistake at all. If you have feelings for someone, they have to come out and you have to know how the other person feels too. If this hadn’t happened, you would be living a false fantasy thinking that the feelings were mutual. Knowing the truth can actually set you free in this case and stop you from diving too deep. So think of it this way — it is good that you know now and you can peacefully try to move on from this person without spending more time and energy trying to woo them.
Unrequited love has many facets to it, and the sooner you accept the reality, the better. But no matter what you do, you are still in a state of devastation right now, as anybody in your position would be. So here are 8 ways that can help you deal with saying I love you and not hearing it back, so you can get back on your feet quickly and say goodbye to the hurt.
Related Reading: How To Respond To Ghosting Without Losing Your Sanity
1. Sink back into your normal schedule
What does it mean when you say I love you and they don’t say it back? It means it might get difficult for you to go out in public and face people. You fear that you will see your love again and won’t be able to hold back your tears or your agitation. But the truth of the matter is the more you isolate yourself, the worse your situation will get.
So then the big question comes up. What to do when you tell someone you love them and they don’t say it back to you? Staying alone and wallowing in your feelings will not allow you to distract yourself or feel better. Saying I love you and not hearing it back is something that can take a huge toll on you, so it all depends on how you handle rejection. When you go back to your normal routine, you will have something to divert your mind with instead of dwelling on that one incident.
Routine will help your brain automatically switch to a sense of normalcy as well. Remember, the best way to deal with rejection is to face it. Confessing your feelings to someone and being honest with yourself actually makes you strong and not weak. So eat that ice cream for two days tops, but then you need to face your life and the truth. You need to go to work, meet friends, call your mom, walk your dog and do everything else that you normally did.
2. Be honest with yourself
So here’s what happened. You ended up saying I love you first over text to this girl you had been seeing for a few months. And she replied to you with a, “I’m so sorry. I’ve loved hanging out with you but I just don’t feel that way yet,” leaving your heart completely broken. You didn’t expect this and frankly, her reaction came as a bit of a shocker.
The truth is that you love this person immensely. This is a fact that is not going to change, at least not any time soon. Right now, you’re thinking about how you love this person and could have been a great partner to them. You could have given them all the happiness in the world. But, the truth is that they don’t feel the same way about you, and you have to take their words at face value instead of making assumptions to believe what you want to think.
When you tell someone you love them and they don’t say it back, you find yourself in a vulnerable situation. Recovering from it can be hard but you have to accept their decision as well. No matter what you feel about them, they don’t feel the same about you, so you must move on instead of telling yourself things like, “Maybe in a few months she will change her mind” or “She doesn’t know what she’s saying right now.”
Don’t suppress your feelings. Instead, embrace them because that is the only way you will ever make peace with the rejection and yourself. This is the only way you can get over this person and move on with your life. If you really want to forget the sadness and recover from saying I love you and not hearing it back, it all starts with being honest with yourself. Once you face the situation as it is, without exaggerating or overthinking, only then can the process of healing begin.
Related Reading: 9 Important Tips When Moving On After Divorce
3. Don’t chase them
Saying I love you just to hear it back is a tempting sentiment, probably why you put yourself in that situation in the first place. But they have already told you they don’t feel the same way about you. Hurts like a bullet, we know. Although it may seem tempting, there is no use going after this person and expecting them to change their mind. If there were any feelings of love on their end, you would have got your answer.
Going after that person after saying I love you first and not hearing it back from them, will only drive them further away from you and ruin the friendship/bond that you two shared before. Don’t get blinded by your emotions and lose an important person in your life. And definitely don’t fool yourself with fantasies that they love you. Our hearts like to play with our minds, creating alternative explanations that have no connection with reality.
You have to take things at face value no matter how badly you want things to go differently. Stop texting and calling them for a while. Focus on your own sanity. Prioritize yourself and try to put the past in the past.
4. What to do when you tell someone you love them and they don’t say it? backStop obsessing over the incident
Agreed, saying I love you and not hearing it back can be devastating, but dwelling on it is not a great idea either. Obsessing over it is a big waste of time and you are going to regret it once you get over this phase. Non-reciprocation of feelings can be someone’s worst nightmare, but there is indeed another way that you can approach this whole thing. Try to think of it as a reality check.
You tried to show them you care but now you know that it is in your best interest to walk away – try to think of it in that way. It can feel humiliating when you think about it in retrospect. But there is nothing embarrassing about wearing your heart on your sleeve. On the contrary, you should be proud of it. Despite all the risks, at least you tried!
Now you know you will not spend your time beating on a dead horse. Don’t dwell on those feelings and accept the fact that it is over and there’s nothing between the two of you other than friendship. This is better than obsessing over the possibilities of having an alternative ending.
Related Reading: 11 Ways To Stop Obsessing Over Someone
5. Acknowledge that they are still a big part of your life
That person may not have feelings for you but that doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t care for you. They could still be a big part of your life. Don’t spoil your present equation with them just because you ended up saying I love you and not hearing it back from them. Feelings come and go, but your constants still stay in your life. If you do have a solid relationship with this person, do not let them go just because they’re not romantically interested in you. You do not want one heartbreak to make you lose a friend for life.
Think about what is more important, your feelings of unrequited love or the kind person that you admire so dearly? If feelings have to come (or go), then they will, but till then, stay the way you are with that person. Perhaps not as lovers, but as good friends. Would you rather lose touch with them altogether just because they don’t look at you the same way?
6. Ask yourself why hearing it back was so important
Saying I love you first to a guy only for him to say, “I’m so sorry I gave you the wrong idea, I don’t see you that way at all,” can be soul-crushing and we don’t want to undermine it. Especially if you think that this person was the love of your life, it can feel like there is no band-aid in the world or nothing that anybody could say which would soften the blow.
To recover from saying I love you and not hearing it back from the one you love, you have to introspect deeply to get out of this whirlwind of sappy emotions. Maybe you thought that the person feels the same way and you couldn’t wait to get it out of your system. Or maybe you wanted a reality check or a confirmation from that person. You could have wanted to hear it back to get validation too.
There can be many reasons that you confessed your feelings. Take some time to introspect and identify the reasons you wanted to hear those words back. If you already knew that they don’t feel the same way and just wanted confirmation, this is it. But ask yourself, will your life stop because of this ‘no’? Know your self-worth. When you tell someone you love them and they don’t say it back, it’s not the end of the world even though right now it may feel like it is. There are endless opportunities that lie ahead, no matter how dark it seems right now.
Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself After Breakup
7. Think about the other person’s situation
Do you think it was easy for that person to say no to you? They had their own reasons and you owe it to them, as their friend, to understand their perspective. What if that person said “I love you too”, despite not feeling the same way about you? Things would have been worse and more complicated, leaving you unsettled and empty at some point or the other.
Your bond with that person would never be the same and maybe you would stop talking to them too because one-sided love in a relationship can torment you. You need to respect the other person’s decision and try to get over unrequited love. You have to understand that they are an individual with unique preferences and thought processes.
There is always a concrete reason behind such decisions and you need to realize that. Yes, saying I love you and not hearing it back hurts, but you can’t blame the other person for not feeling the same way since they can’t help their feelings. If you can’t respect their decision, perhaps you should ask yourself if you really loved them in the first place.
8. Indulge in self-love and spend time with friends
In situations like these where you spill the beans and end up saying I love you first over text to your crush, only for them to reply with a boring emoji, it can be very easy to start disliking yourself and what you have done. In that case, we have to tell you that you should not lose your self-respect over someone, no matter what happened and what you did. Indulge in self-love and stop overthinking it. Yes, it was embarrassing but this does not mean you are meant to be unhappy or that you are not lovable.
Don’t be alone. Saying I love you first and not hearing it back can be a harrowing experience, but remind yourself that there are other people who love you so dearly. It’s always easy to lose sight of all that you have for the sake of all that you don’t. Go out and hang out with your best friends and enjoy every bit of your life. Go on that solo trip you always wanted to take. Your life doesn’t stop here all because of one moment where you ended up saying I love you and not hearing it back from someone you liked. There are so many more people to meet and who knows, someone could turn out to be your perfect match. You can’t expect someone else to love you if you don’t get over unrequited love and love yourself first.
Love yourself and the world will love you. Saying I love you and not hearing it back breaks your heart. Getting over such a situation can feel like nothing less than a breakup sometimes. You feel betrayed and mad at the person, even though you know that it wasn’t their fault.
This could be because you expected too much and when your hopes came crumbling down, you didn’t know where to go. Such situations bring a lot of hurt and devastation, but also show you how strong you are. Your road to recovery can make you a brighter, better person.
You can get over this. Just know your worth and appreciate all the positives in your life. Things were great before this person was in the picture, then why can’t they be great again? Take your time to deal with these emotions and cry them out if you have to, nobody’s judging. But once you’re through, don’t look back. Try and understand that even though it may feel like it, saying I love you first and not hearing it back is not the end of the world or your life.
You are your own person with dignity and self-respect. So, learn to acknowledge the reality and move on. You deserve to be loved and cherished, and if not from them, well then remember this. Hearing “I love you” from someone else who truly cares for you will feel so much better.