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I Love Him But He Doesn't Love Me (8 Things You Should Do)

Last updated on June 9, 2022 by Olivia Surtees

Are you suffering from the pain of an unrequited love?

Do you feel like you love him but he doesn't love you?

Are you looking for a way to stop feeling so terrible and move on with your life? 

Or perhaps you’re hoping there’s still a way to make him fall in love with you? 

Either way, you should read on because this article features a step-by-step guide to help you out of this horrible situation.

But first, I want to share an important story that you might find incredibly helpful.

A few years ago, I read an article about a little-known aspect of male psychology called the ‘Hero’s Instinct’. This article turned my love life upside-down.  

It turns out this primal instinct appears to be held by most men - and it can have a huge impact on how they feel about their romantic partners. 

When a woman learns how to trigger it in a man, it’s common for him to experience tremendous feelings of love and affection towards her. 

I decided to test the principles on a man I was interested in - and it turned out that the information was all true. Before long, that guy started chasing me HARD - and many guys after him would also develop feelings for me really quickly (read my personal story to learn more). 

This psychological trigger releases deeply-held feelings that all men want to feel - purpose, power, intense self-love. Naturally, he’ll be strongly drawn to any woman who can make him experience these emotions.  

So, if there’s a man in your life who you wish would give you more affection, I’d highly recommend you learn more about how I discovered the power of the ‘Hero’s Instinct’

Indeed, this may be enough to transform your relationship with this man who doesn’t love you.

This article is hopefully going to help you through the tough time you are facing now and bring you out the other side a stronger person who stands emotionally healed and prepared for whatever will come your way. 

According to social psychologist Roy Baumeister, 98% of us have suffered from unrequited love at one time or another in our lives, and I can certainly say I have been there and felt the pain it causes. Therefore, as it is something the majority of us go through, I think it's important to talk about the pain that comes with rejection or unrequited love. 

Too often, when we hear about the love we hear of the fairy-tale-like process of falling in love and the world of love sounds almost mystical. As much as love is fantastic and joyous, sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, they don't love you back. 

So, I'm here to unearth the sometimes-sad reality of love and share details about how we should act when things don't go to plan.

Deciding whether or not to take action.

Firstly, it is essential to note that unreturned love can happen to anyone, in any situation. It doesn't matter if you're in a relationship or not. It all hurts the same. However, the first action to take when you find yourself in this situation will differ depending on the status of the relationship.

For those in a relationship:

I would suggest that if you are in a full relationship with the person who isn't returning your love, speak to them. Communication is key. Figure out what is going on between you and if what's happening, is for sure, unrequited love. If that is the case, I would suggest not settling for this. 

Before you decide to leave the relationship, it is probably best to get an outsider's opinion on your situation, to see if what is going on is unrequited love or other issues. You can possibly seek the help of a relationship counsellor, or even confide in trusted family and friends.

Everyone deserves a healthy and robust relationship where two people share in love, without constant worry if their partner loves them or not. If you were not to leave the relationship, and continue in a one-sided relationship, you are just allowing yourself to get more hurt further down the line. 

For those dating: 

If you are dating, and feel that they don't love you back, it's not a good idea to go into a relationship with that person. If you do move into a relationship with them, you might be hoping that their love with suddenly gain momentum for you. Being in a formal relationship is not going to change how that person feels about you, and unfortunately, if they're not reciprocating the love, it's probably best to stop the relationship going any further. You deserve the best, from the very start. 

Having to leave a relationship or put a halt to seeing someone because the love you give them isn't being reciprocated hurts. I'm not here to sugar coat anything for you. I know that it hurts like hell. It's almost like an exaggerated breakup. You come away feeling disheartened, rejected and with low self-esteem. But reading onwards, you'll see that you can pick yourself and live an even better life without that person. It will get better, and I'm here to help speed along the process of recovery for you.

1. Distance yourself from the person.

Taking time away from the person who has hurt you is the first step to healing yourself. It might also stop things from blowing up – unnecessary arguments or nasty texts. Ask the person who has hurt you to give you some space. If they respect you and care about you, they will appreciate this and leave you to work through how you feel.

Is it like pulling teeth getting him to spend time with you?
The key to solving is understanding men on a much deeper emotional level. The number #1 factor that causes men to behave this way is actually relatively easy to change with a few subtle things you can say to him.

Take this quick quiz to see if he actually likes you!

Nowadays, social media is hazardous when it comes to trying to move on from someone and get away from your feelings. The easiest thing to do is to block them or defriend them. This will stop yourself from continually clicking on their profile and essentially stalking what they're doing and who they're with. If you think you will call or negatively text them, it may also be useful to delete their phone number. All these things make it easier for you, as you're not constantly reminded of them. If you think they're going to take offence to you unfollowing/deleting them, it might be a good idea to send a civil message to them, explaining its just best if you create some distance between them and you, for now.

2. Check in with your pain and accept it 

Ask yourself - How do you feel? Emotional pain not only causes your mind pain but can cause physical pain too. Edward Smith, a Psychologist at Columbia University, researched emotional pain with his team and found out that it activates along the same neural pathways as physical pain.

Therefore, being in the situation of unrequited love can hurt physically - as if you've been punched in the gut. If you think about it, we are all familiar with the physical feeling of pain –think back to a negative emotional event that occurred in the past, you can still feel the pain lying in your stomach.

If you can recognise that the pain as normal when it comes up, you are already on your way to moving on. What you are feeling is normal – it's horrible, but it is normal. Countless people before you have felt the way you are feeling right now, and they are now living happy lives. I promise you, the pain will start to get better.

However, it is crucial to keep track of how you feel as rejection can cause or trigger mental health problems. If you start to notice you are thinking very negative thoughts, feeling helpless or thinking about harming yourself – you need to know that this is not normal. It could indicate that you are falling into depression. If you are feeling like this, please see a mental health practitioner or speak to someone you can trust.

Now you have accepted your pain is normal, is time to embrace the sadness - for a while.

This might be an unusual thing to recommend, but you need to allow yourself time to get upset. You need to get it all out of your system. If you brush the feelings off and fake that you're okay, the emotions are just going to bubble up inside you, and they will come out at some point. Most likely, when you aren't expecting it. It is better to address the sadness you are feeling as soon as possible, so then you can get on with your life as a healed individual, who isn't going to burst into an unexpected breakdown anytime soon.

Now, it is important to note I am not telling you to go into a grieving state and put off real-life for weeks on end, but initially, it is vital to get all your negative emotions out. Some things you can do initially are as follows:

- Crying can be very therapeutic. Admittedly, we are all aware of the almost cleansed state you feel after having a good cry. So, if you feel like crying, cry. 

- Get immersed in art. Do something that soothes you, whether that be painting, playing music or writing. Art is an excellent way to express your emotions.

- Do exercise. This is a really overlooked point, but exercise can be fantastic if you are feeling upset or angry. Scientifically, endorphins are released after working out, which is guaranteed to make you feel better. But also, if you're feeling angry or frustrated, maybe take a class of kickboxing – it will help to release all the pent-up energy, in a safe way.

After you have been able to release most of this sad energy out from within you, you will definitely begin to feel better. Hopefully, you will feel like you're almost cleansed from the sadness.

3. Clean out all the things that remind you of this person

Now you've cleared your head, it is just as important to clean your space physically. Gather together all the items that remind you of your love. This can be anything from small gifts from him to pictures on your phone of the two of you. Get rid of it. Get free of it all. Otherwise, every time you see that little cuddly teddy-bear in your bedroom, you will think of him. 

The clearing out process can also be very therapeutic. You are absolutely entitled to cry as you throw things away. I would recommend saying goodbye to him in your mind, as you say goodbye to the things that are associated with him.

After throwing all the objects out, why not indulge a little in filling your space with things that can bring you a new sense of happiness now? You have wanted a small plant in your room for a while, but maybe there hadn't been enough space? Well, now there is.

 While I am definitely encouraging treating yourself, I do not recommend recklessly spending money. Any reckless behaviour while going through a rejection can be a cause of concern.

4. Surround yourself by people who love you and support you

After being a victim of unrequited love, you will most likely feel like your self-esteem has been knocked. So, it is vital that make a conscious effort to be surrounded by those who love you and want the best for you. These people will most likely include your closest friends and family. They are your support network – when things go wrong, they always have your back. They will build your confidence up, even if you don't feel self-confident. They will show you affection. Your heart needs to be reminded that it is worthy of love– of course, it is, but I understand that right now you might not be thinking that. They will be there when you need a shoulder to cry on, and they will be there to take your phone off you if possibly you've had one too many glasses of wine and the last thing you need to be doing is calling him.

Surrounding yourself and spending time with family and friends can make you feel so much better. It might also help to speak with them about the situation because I'm sure a lot of them have been through the very same thing before. Spending time with loved ones can also open you up to new opportunities in life that you wouldn't have been able to take advantage of or fully enjoy if you had stayed in the loveless relationship.

5. Start to say yes to everything.

If your friends ask you to dinner, go. If your family invite you to go on holiday with them, go. If an opportunity comes up at your work to go for a promotion, do it. Once you start to be more open to life, life will offer you more. As they say, when one door closes, another one opens. This doesn't have to be taken in the sense of losing a romantic partner and straight away getting a new one, (In fact, at this point I would steer clear of trying to make any romantic connections. You need to work through how you feel and start to love yourself again first before you can try to love anyone else). But this can simply mean that something good will be coming its way because you have closed a chapter of your life that no longer serves you. 

Another really beneficial thing you should do is to try new things. If you've ever wanted to try new hobbies or to meet new people, now is a great time to start doing that. Get involved with your local charity, join an art class or arrange weekly friend meetups. Things like this can also be beneficial if you used to spend lots of time with him and you're feeling a little lost on how to fill that time now.

Once your social life and work-life are on the up, you might realise how much you accomplish now that you're not uncontrollably sad over someone who can't give you what you deserve anyway. Being busy will not only take your mind away from anxious thoughts if they creep in, but it is also necessary. It sounds brutal, but you can actually use this to your motivation - the world doesn't stop because you feel upset. 

6. Try to get to know yourself better & love yourself again

After pouring love towards someone for so long, you might have forgotten to focus on yourself. You need to really appreciate yourself, now more than ever. So why not spend some time pouring love towards yourself for a change?

You might feel like you're not 'good enough' or that it was your fault that the love was unrequited. This is absolutely not the case, but I know that it can feel like that. So, make sure you give yourself some good self-care and self-love. When you are alone, it is a really fantastic time to really get to know yourself and what you want going forward. Work towards personal development, look deep inside, ask yourself some of life's big questions like what truly makes you happy or think about where you want to see yourself in five years.

Moving forward romantically, if you know yourself, you are not only going to be a more attractive partner, but you will most likely not go for someone who is wrong for you. So, start now. Get to know yourself and show yourself some love. You really deserve it.

7. Know that you deserve someone who loves you.

Finally, you should realise that you are deserving of love – real, mutual love. This man was clearly no good for you if he didn't love you in the way that you loved him. Once you have conquered your way through feeling emotional and in pain, you can start to think about the relationship from a purely non-biased, level headed view. I am confident that when you look back over it, you will be able to see that even before the point of acknowledging the unrequited love, he wasn't the right one for you. 

You can look back on the relationship you shared as an experience — a learning curve.

You have learnt from the experience and will have grown as a person in so many ways. It is also essential to add that in the process of letting go of him and the relationship you shared, you have opened yourself up to the prospect that real love will come your way. 

8. Credit yourself for stepping forward and taking control of leaving the relationship

Well done. Instead of choosing to stay in a one-sided relationship, you decided to break free and suffer the pain that comes with that. You clearly had high regard for your self-worth and knew what you truly deserved the whole time, even if it didn't feel like it. Now that you have torn down the barrier that was stopping you from finding true love, a whole world of pure romance is opened up to you.

You should be exceptionally proud that you have survived the emotional distress and healed yourself through it. Although it is a heart-breaking situation, you will have learnt so many lessons throughout this whole process, and you will be ready for real love when it comes around, and it will. It will be the type of love you don't even need to question; you will just be able to feel it.

"Someday you're going to look back on this moment of life as such a sweet time of grieving. You will see that you were in mourning, and your heart was broken, but your life was changing”. – Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love.

If you're still a little curious, please see this Youtube video by Psych2Go about dealing with unrequited love


I really hope I was able to help some of you through the horrific pain that is being a victim of unrequited love. I'm included in the 98% of people who have been in this situation at some point in their life, and it is really tough. When I went through it, I couldn't find articles on what I should be doing or how I could have helped myself, sp I was inspired to write this. 

I think it is vital not only to be open about the positive aspects of falling in love, but also the bits that aren't so great, and how to overcome the pain when it happens. 

Did this article help you to overcome the situation of someone not loving you back?

If it did and you liked what you read, please let us know in the comments and share it with anyone you feel needs to see this. 

If you have any questions about what's written, it would be great to hear from you. 

And of course, if you want to share any personal stories about your experiences with unrequited love, or you have any tips that helped you overcome the pain, please let us know. 

Do you feel like all you think about is him, but he only thinks about himself?
This doesn't mean he doesn't like you. You have to understand how he is wired. Once you do, you'll find there is a subtle thing you can say that to him that will drastically change how he shows his emotions towards you.

Take this quick quiz that looks at whether he actually likes you or not!

Olivia Surtees
After realizing I was the person that everyone around me always came to for dating advice, I decided to merge this skill with my profession – writing. So, I came about to be a relationship advice writer! Being able to show not only my passion for writing, but also my passion to help others in their relationships, means the absolute world to me and I hope to continue doing so. Studying the vast and complicated world of relationships entices me, and I am constantly striving to learn more, so I can then help others with more knowledge and experience.

10 comments on “I Love Him But He Doesn't Love Me (8 Things You Should Do)”

  1. Hi , thankyou for this advice
    I've just split from a man i loved , that didn't love me .
    He said he has tried to love me and he cant
    Im really struggling, feel ill can't eat and shaking inside
    Im going to read this article every day until i feel better and ready to conquer the world again

  2. I feel like dying inside. I thought he loved me. I have no family or friends just him. My dad recently died or I would have just asked him. He says he loves me but he could not marry me because it’s not in his future. I lost my home, he took me in. I have lived here for 1 year. We have known each other for over 20yrs. When he said he loved me and asked me to stay, I cried happy tears. Things have fallen apart when he said I love you and you can stay but marriage ughh I don’t see that yet. But we use to talk about it. The more I’m with him, the more I’m realizing ‘he’s all talk-no action’ kind of relationship. Now I have another person that failed me in my life. I feel unloved by him too now. No family, no friends, no boyfriend, and no love now. I feel all alone and betrayed. I moved states away for him just to find out “he don’t love me like that anymore” I feel nauseous. I don’t care anymore and moved into the Spare room. I’m unlovable. I want to just give up on being happy and being in love. There is NO such thing, it doesn’t last. Now I’m trying to find a new job, new place to live.

    1. Hi Laura, I just recently found myself alone after being with my guy for 9 years and engaged for 7. He decided he hadn't felt the same about me for awhile and I had no idea. I know your pain. I know exactly how you feel. I know the loneliness. I wish i had the answers for you but I don't because I'm just as heartbroken as you. I just wanted to let you know that I understand and if you ever need to talk you could email me. Stay strong.

  3. Thank you so much for this awesome post. It has really helped me.
    The man I was dating, decided he wanted to light the apartment suite on fire I was staying in with him. We were engaged.
    I met him when I was 16, and I believe an age I was younger, but I am the only person who believes that.
    I dreamt about my husband when I was 8-9 years old and I’ve wanted to be with him ever since. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices in my life to find my husband but it seems like it has all led to me not having a husband; ironic hey?
    I was engaged 3 times throughout my life. And when I met Ian again, I thought he really was the one. Like I said, I met him when I was 16, in my earlier 20’s and then over 2 years ago. So for 10 years he has been asking me out. But with every girlfriend he has been dating, he hasn’t left them and has continued asking me out or has asked me out as “in-betweens” after he was done with a relationship. When I got together with him I was in a disastrous place in life and I never would have gotten together with him if I had an ounce of self esteem more than what I had because I wasn’t ready and neither was he. Our relationship was abusive and psychotic. We were engaged and still made it through, and I thought we were going to conquer everything because we already had conquered so much throughout so much time of meeting eachother. It seemed like a fairytale dream come true that was going to work out after we came out of the fires of the castle dungeon. But it didn’t. I went away and moved back to my parents place because he encouraged me to do so for a while so I took his advice. As soon as I was gone, he started sleeping with other women. From the details of my neighbour in my apartment suite which I am no longer living in, his ex’s who he asked me out with while he was dating them. And other women most likely. While he was doing this, he was messaging and calling me constantly saying he missed me and we needed to get back together and get married. He also said that he wasn’t seeing anyone and didn’t have any women over so if I hear any rumours about it they’re wrong. He accused me of sleeping with people and said he wasn’t and put me through a huge manipulative psychological abuse session that led me to figure he was sleeping with people and using drugs. I was right. He later decided he wanted to light out apartment suite on fire with himself and our cats in it to “kill himself and everyone in the building in their sleep”- which he told people before he did it. I’m assuming he’s in jail for premeditated murder but I’m not sure. The police found a pipe bomb in his old suite so I’m not sure what he’d be charged for with that. I haven’t talked to him after this time, Thanksgiving weekend, when he decided to do this. His parents didn’t even give me the curtesy to tell me his was in a fire which he started and that our cats were and one of them had to be given oxygen. I feel completely blackmailed, blacklisted, and cut off from everything I built my life around for the past 2.5 years. Not only has this been my 3rd time getting engaged and failing at it. But this time, I actually thought he was the one, and I felt those fuzzy feelings I felt when I was a child.
    I don’t think I can get over these things fast though. Especially since he just tried to kill himself, our cats, and a whole bunch of people. He got over me really fast with women and made a show out of it by introducing them to our neighbour and kissing/holding hands/cuddling with them in front of him. And his family blacklisted me to the point where they won’t even tell me when an intensely traumatic situation goes on like this where I am legally involved. So I don’t know how to handle this or the emotions that I’m feeling but it’s feel lost in translation. And I feel scared that if I attract people who do that stuff, what’s inside of me that attracts them.

  4. thank you so much for this artical,I felt like i was alone like im unlovable.. I meet a man a wonderful man , he was kind and smart and i love him, 10 yrs passed and he tells me he has always talked to other women and that he didnt want a relationship not even for me... I have after that been there for him for what ever he wants just to have him for a moment to feel his touch to hear his voice... But he doesnt love me and i cant continue this I deserve to be loved, but for some reason he doesnt love me back...

  5. Hi all, I was with a man for almost 10 yrs. engaged but he didn’t love me. I left because he said .. he would marry me when both my children ( from my ex husband’s) already move out from the house . I felt ill after he said that and left him. He didn’t even call or looked for me. And just about a month after I left him, my son told me that he was with another woman already ( he saw him on his Instagram ). I was struggling to move on for few years but then I met this charming mister opus quite guy . I was so happy and we did a lot of things together. He cared for me so much but 1 year passed, he said to me... i ll be here for you but I can’t marry you. I married before and I lost everything and i even became a homeless .I don’t want a marriage anymore. It’s not my thing he said.I felt ill once again. I was struggling to accept and I talked and asked advices from internet , people etc. I stayed with him for another year but I just couldn’t , I started feeling used by him so I left him. Soon after he blocked my contact number . He didn’t love me. He too didn’t reach out or looked for me . I handled this situation more wisely and moved on bit easier but not easy . I never give up to find love so I met a guy from dating site, I thought he would be different .. no kid, no family and he seemed very matured man . I dated him for few months and this time I really wanted to get to know him first before giving my heart to him and after so many dates ( no sex involved ) and bingo.. once again he won’t marry me eventho he really likes me . He said divorce costed him a lot and he won’t marry anymore. I said ‘ I understand ‘ then I decided he’s not the guy for me. I didn’t feel hurt because I haven’t given my heart yet. I saw the early signs . I believe if a man loves me , he would not be scared with commitments or married thing . I deserve someone who loves me who has same values with me. I won’t give up . The journey gets easier and I learnt so much from them. I m single now but not giving up meeting people , I just haven’t met the guy who has same value with me yet. Don’t give up ! That’s my advice to you all. Life is a journey .. X

  6. Everything you mentioned resonated in my relationship...and I couldn’t help but cry. But what you went through what I’m going through and never went through before, so I thank you for the advice, experience and knowledge you have gone thru to be able to express your deepest emotions and experiences. I thank you and appreciate it greatly! Your article was on point with all of the suggestions and advices, it helped me cope a great deal and helped me overcome my feelings!

  7. Thank you for your article.

    After my past two exes, especially the one I am suffering over now, I feel like I will never find love... that there's just something about me that makes me too unique to connect with any guy, and I just can't date "for the sake of dating." I have no interest in casually going out or in sex with randoms.

    I wanted a soulmate connection with someone who would understand me, listen to me and show me affection, and who would have eyes only for me, and vice versa with me for them.

    I'll turn 30 this year and haven't had anything close to that... nor have I even had a real relationship, since I only attracted commitment-phobic types. Maybe it is because I wasn't ready to commit either.

    So I am working on myself, but yet still feel like it's too late, I spent too long on my last ex and really loved him yet he never loved me back or "saw" me for me. He used to be into me but it just felt like I was yet another girl to him. He didn't care that it was "me." He didn't think of me as special or unique to him. I was just some female that "happened" to stay in his life for a long time. He couldn't even remember when we had first met or how long we knew one another.

    A month ago, he said he got tired of me and stopped talking to me. Refused to tell me if he was seeing anyone else. Probably was. I think he's a terrible person overall, but I really wanted him to be "the one." I kept hoping he would change but he only got worse.

    Now I think my capacity to love is gone, and that no guy would be interested in me anyway because of how "different," I am - and also that *I* wouldn't be able to be attracted to someone again. My mind will just fast forward to the part where they reject me, where after months or years of taking up my time, they tell me "you're not right for me," or "I'm tired of you, you're annoying, go away."

    I just don't see why I should allow ANYONE the chance to get to know me again... or why I should give my body to anyone again.

    So yeah, as I enter the third decade of my existence, it feels like I will be alone for life. It's so difficult and lonely but no one is worth the pain they cause me.

    I'll try to be happy as a single and celibate person. (No dating apps or meetups for me.)

  8. Hi, thank you so much for your advice. Right now I feel stuck, hurt, angered and sad. I had been with a man that I loved for over 10 years, we have two amazing children. Unfortunately I was in love with a man that didn't love me. He cheated on me, made me feel like I was trash. I hoped he would change and realize how amazing I am before its too late. We separated last year, because I was tired and paranoid. I was unhappy. I went back to school and tried to move on. He came back and we tried to start all over. Its been now 6 months and at this point I asked him what it is he really wants. He didn't want to talk about it and I finally decided to end it. I am not waiting for him to change or to choose me. It hurts. I feel this pressure in my chest and I just want to cry and scream. Why am I not good enough for him? I was his number one supporter, I was always there for him. More than his own mother and siblings or friends have ever been but yet he discards me like I am nothing. I am angry with myself for ever meeting him and regret him being the father to my kids. Time and time again he chooses his friends, mom, or anyone else but me. I know that he's not good for me, that he is the problem and that I need to completely move on. But there's a part me that aches for him. I don't know if its because he was the first man I ever loved or because my family is falling apart. I know I have so much to heal and finding myself and loving myself is what I need.

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