So He Never Loved You? Here's What You Should Do
He told you he never loved you, or you're convinced that he didn't. Now that your relationship is over, what are you supposed to think, and do now?
Jul 24, 2018
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Feeling Hurt? Feeling Used?
After a breakup, feeling lost, sad, scared and defeated are all emotions you can expect. Anyone who’s ever been through a breakup will tell you that you it’s not uncommon to be feeling one, all, or a combination of these feelings at any time during your waking hours. You may find that sleeping at night is also difficult because you're mind is racing and it's hard for you to fall asleep. What if, after the breakup, on top of everything else, you realize that he never loved you? Maybe he said this to you during your separation or maybe this was your conclusion after you looked at all the evidence. However if you happen to be thinking, “He never loved me,” it will likely be the most stomach-churning realization of them all. You might be feeling used, confused, or just plain sad that it was possible to feel so much for someone who didn’t love you back.
He Never Loved You? Maybe He's Just Trying to Hurt You Again (and Again) by Saying That.
Read on if you’re questioning his love because he told you he never loved you. If this is the case, you need to remember that there’s a very real possibility that he’s lying. Because you have spent so much time together, you two really know each other. With knowing another person comes deep and intimate knowledge of how to hurt the other person, and there’s nothing more hurtful at the end of a relationship (or at any point in the relationship) than hearing him say he doesn’t love you or that he never did. It’s also helpful to remember that the odds of this being a true statement, particularly if you’re in a long-term relationship, are slim. In this case, the length of time together really does count for something. If you’ve only been dating a few months, he said he loved you quickly, and now he says he doesn’t, that’s painful. It’s even more painful, however, if you’ve been together for years and he says that doesn’t love you anymore. It’s also less likely to be true if you have a long history together. Think of it this way, if over the period of time you were together he had never behaved in a loving way towards you, this would have more gravity. However, given that he probably did regularly (or somewhat regularly) demonstrate that he loved you through his actions, then it’s good bet that he’s simply angry, hurt, and lashing out to make you feel as terrible as he does. Clearly it’s working. Does he know you, or what?
Did You Ignore the Signs? Is He a Liar?
What if you’re pretty positive that he wasn’t lying when he said he never loved you? This is going to leave you feeling incredibly hurt and used. Were there signs that he treated women this way in the past? Did he tell you stories about past relationships that didn't add up? There's a good chance that, if he used you, he also used other women this way in the past. Again, if you’ve got a long history with this man, and you think he’s capable of lying to you so artfully, that’s a big problem. You may have seen the signs that he didn’t really love you, or you may have been oblivious. It doesn’t change the fact that now you’re left feeling like you’ve wasted a lot of your time.
He Never Loved You? Don’t Dwell On It.
For those of you who really are convinced that there might be some truth in his statement, then read on. Your first reaction will probably be to go back over everything that’s happened in your relationship. You'll probably review everything you think you could have done differently and this is both natural, as well, as healthy. It’s important to take stock of what you're accountable for, and to look inward and decide if you are acting like the person you want to be. If you treated him the way you want to be treated, you are an evolved human. If you made mistakes as we all do, sit with those mistakes, take ownership, and make a plan to not make those mistakes again. By no means should you take responsibility for his failings in the relationships; those are his to own, whether he ever will acknowledge what he’s done or not. If you drift over into thinking that his love for you was based on you behaving perfectly all the time, that is dangerous thinking. Stop thinking that he would have loved you (and you’d still be living happily ever after) if only you had been thinner, hit it off with his friends, worked harder to keep him, or whatever your fear may be. The truth is, he didn’t base his love for you – or lack thereof – on how you look in a cocktail dress; that’s surface stuff. Focusing on whatever you believe made you “unlovable” is toxic. In addition to being harmful to you and your bruised psyche, it’s simply not true. Yes, people make mistakes. But love doesn’t appear or disappear because of some divine measuring stick. Some people are suited be in your life while others are not, and that's okay. If you believe that he never loved you, and worse, if you find yourself feeling unworthy of love, it’s likely that you are looking at all his good qualities. Do your best to forget his bad qualities, and stop selling yourself short. Basically, if he never loved you, that’s his problem, not yours.
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He Never Loved You? Examine His Behavior.
Take a good, hard look at his behavior and because you’ve been honest with yourself about your flaws and faults, be honest with yourself about his as well. Sure, there was something there that attracted you to him in the first place but since he’s mortal, he’s not perfect. No matter what stage of post-breakup sorrow you’re going through or what went wrong in the relationship, it might not have fixable to begin with. What issues does he need to take ownership over? And since you’re being honest, what didn’t you love about him? Yes, people are the whole packages, you don’t get to pick and choose which parts of people you get to keep and which you get to throw in the trash. It simply doesn't work that way. However, realistically, when you’re in a committed relationship, you’re aware of his flaws sometimes even more than you are of your own and if you’re going to expose your own heart to scrutiny and agonize over whether or not you were loveable, it’s at least fair to give the same scrutiny to him and his behavior.
Look at Your Whole Relationship. Were There Signs?
Whatever you’ve decided about him or his behavior, it’s time to move on and really examine your whole relationship. If you believe he never loved you, it’s important to look back and be honest about what you were like as a couple. Even if you always thought he was the greatest guy, that doesn’t mean you two were great together. There are lots of things that are great on their own (like pizza and cheesecake) that are not necessarily great together (like pizza and cheesecake). Were there signs you ignored? Did you consistently bring out the best in each other, or did you often find yourselves enmeshed in arguments and negativity? Yes, disagreements are part of being in a relationship, but constant disagreement is not part of healthy one. Did you like the person you became around him? Did he make you want to be a better version of yourself, or did he grind you down and make you feel bad? These questions can be difficult to face, but take the time to answer honestly for yourself.
Take Emotional Inventory.
When a relationship ends, you might find, when you step back, that it’s been winding down for a long time. For some people, their relationships ends slowly, with both people gradually pulling away from one other. By the time the relationship finally ends, it can feel as if two strangers are breaking up. For others, their whole relationship can feel like a roller coaster ride that eventually derails, and the abrupt ending is shocking, upsetting, and very difficult to process since so much has changed so quickly. Whatever the style of your breakup, you need to take time to really clear your head. Yes, your significant other has said that he never loved you. Yes, it’s painful, even if you don’t really believe him, and worse if you do. Again, you need to take care of yourself now, and you can’t be dependent on him for your sense of self-worth. Take an honest look at your emotional state. This is a time when writing in a journal or on paper or in an e-diary can be very helpful. Not only can you vent your more personal feelings, but you can go back later and see your own progress. Having an outlet for all your thoughts where you can be completely honest is important. Writing in a journal can elicit more personal revelation and deeper thought than talking to your best friends, because you don’t have an audience, and you’re not trying to protect his reputation, and you know all the facts, ugly and otherwise, of your relationship. If writing isn’t your style, or if you need to talk to someone in person, consider seeing a therapist. Having a neutral, trained professional to talk to can really help when you’re trying to sort through complex feelings.
Make a List of All Your Most Loveable Qualities.
In the spirit of self-affirmation, think about what you love about yourself. Whatever your ex may have said (and whatever he may have meant when he said he didn’t love you), you know on an intrinsic level that you are loveable and that you deserve love. If he wasn’t the man to do it, better to know now. Make a list of all the qualities that make you loveable. Are you a loyal friend? Are you a good daughter? Do you tell great stories? Are you athletic? Are you a good cook? It might feel trite, but it can really help you to visualize your own worth if you write down all the things that you do that are lovable, nothing is too small. Can you quote poetry out of thin air? Remember a friend’s birthday like clockwork every year? Do you make the best coffee in town? Do you volunteer? Are you caring? Once you’ve made a list of all the things that make you lovable, build in time every day to do the things that make you special and lovable. Also, take a look at the list for things that maybe you haven’t made time for in a while. Do you get great joy from dancing but maybe you’ve let it slip a bit? Consider this the time to dust off your dancing shoes and take a class. Do you love reading and haven’t made time to discover a new author lately? Look at the calendar at your local bookstore or find a reading at your local university and attend. The idea is to remember what makes you uniquely you and do your best to reconnect with the things that make you lovable. This is especially important if you feel that you were becoming a less than ideal version of yourself with this boyfriend. Revive your most lovable qualities; energize your most loved hobbies; reconnect with the part of yourself that is kind, generous, fun, and not afraid of being hurt.
So He Never Loved You? Turn to Your Friends.
It’s important to note that breakups are painful, soul-shattering events under the best of circumstances. When he tells you he never loved you, you’re bound to be dealing with an especially excruciating breakup. With that said, it’s important to lean on the people who care about you. You don’t need to tell your friends every dirty detail (see above about journaling), although that can help, too. Think about what you really need from your friends. Do you need a listening ear? Do you need a buddy to support you while you sing bad karaoke? Play to your friend’s strengths, and then begin to fill up your calendar. You don’t have to book every night (and it’s better if you don’t since you’ll need some time to process all your pain), but do start to do things that help you process your breakup while also helping to affirm your identity. If you and your boyfriend had mutual friends, think carefully about the ones that you can really trust to support you during the breakup. If you have a doubt about a mutual friend, it’s perfectly okay to let them reach out to you instead of reaching out. And remember that you’re not obligated to be friends with anyone you don’t want in your life. Breakups can be a good time to forge new friendships or rekindle old ones. Perhaps you’ve let some of your relationships lapse. If you’ve neglected a friend because you were so busy spending time with your ex, now’s a good time to reach out and make amends. If you find that you don’t have as many close friends as you’d like, think about your interests and consider joining a meet-up group.
Take Care of Yourself.
Have you been taking care of yourself? If your ex said he doesn’t love you, chances are that you’re so hurt that you’ve wanted to hide from the world. Remember that you need to nourish your body, your mind, and your soul in order to get through this breakup. That means that you need eat well, get plenty of sleep, and make time for exercise and relaxation. In time, these things will help you feel better. Consider adding fresh food to your diet. If you’re a busy person, trying adding in pre-cut veggies or subbing your dessert for a piece of fresh fruit. And if you’ve been more sedentary with your ex, now’s a good time to get out there and move without him. Walk around your neighborhood, or take a spin class during your lunch break at the office. Take a yoga class but if that’s not your style, you might try self-guided meditation; there are lots of apps you can download that will help you master meditation on your own. You don’t have to overhaul your whole lifestyle, but you’ll feel better if you make sure you’re drinking enough water, eating healthier, and moving your body every day. Remember that you show yourself love by caring for yourself on a daily basis.
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Build a New Beginning.
Whether or not you intended for your relationship to end, you are now the author of a new chapter in your life. Your life and its contents are controlled by you and if you see things in your life that you don’t like, now’s a good time to get rid of them. The same goes for any personal behavior in yourself that you don’t like. Now is the time to embrace your new beginning. Now that you know the signs that you're being used, you don't have to be hurt again. Whether or not you wanted it, it’s here. You may as well make it as good as you possibly can. Remember, you were a whole person before you ever met your ex. You don’t need him to be a whole person, either. You are lovable, and you can demonstrate that by loving yourself. Start here, now. This is your new beginning.