How to stop chasing someone who doesn’t want you (complete list)

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So you’re chasing someone who doesn’t want you, and you want to put an end to this behavior?

I’ve been in this position numerous times…

…I can tell you that it all comes down to perspective.  

This complete list will teach you exactly how to find perspective and to stop chasing someone who doesn’t want you.

1) Take them off the imaginary pedestal 

 We like to put people on imaginary pedestals.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking someone is the ‘full package’, and that no one else could possibly compete with them.

In other words:

When it comes to chasing someone, it’s often because we think that no one else will be as funny or attractive as the person we’ve placed on the pedestal.

Simply put, we idealize who someone is…

…And we think that another person wouldn’t be as good as them.

This is rarely the truth, but it causes us to obsess over and chase someone as we think it is.

So what should you do?

Have an honest check-in with yourself about how you frame this person.

If you’ve been acting like they’re the best thing since sliced bread then you need to change this thinking… 

…You need to knock them off of the pedestal!

It’s the first step to freeing yourself from the chase.

2) Cultivate your own sense of fulfillment 

There’s a chance that you’re chasing someone because you believe they offer you something you can’t get yourself.

Let me explain:

Truth is, you might be feeling as though you’re not whole or fulfilled…

…And you believe that this person has what you need because they’ve made you feel good about yourself in the past.

Naturally, this is going to cause you to chase them – even if they act like they don’t want you in their life. 

So what should you do?

In order to stop this pattern, the answer is to cultivate your own sense of fulfillment from within.

Seeing someone as your source of happiness isn’t going to end well, while creating a lasting foundation within yourself will. 

3) Question if you want that sort of person around

It’s not only romantic partners that we find ourselves chasing: it can manifest within friendships too.

People can seemingly drop you out of the blue, and it’s not a nice feeling.

It happened to me recently with a friend I’d known for a few years. 

At first, I didn’t think much of it when the messages stopped. I thought that maybe she was going through a particularly busy patch…

…However, months and months passed without a note from her.

Then she wouldn’t return my text messages, and when she did (weeks later) they would say something along the lines of ‘catch up soon!’… but I knew we probably wouldn’t.

After months of not seeing her and wondering what was up with her behavior, I decided to actually reflect on the sort of people I wanted in my life.

I decided that I deserved more than to chase someone for their friendship.

What does this mean for you? 

Question what sort of people you want around you, and the relationships you deserve. 

Once you do, you’ll realize that you deserve more than to be ghosted by another person!

4) Think about the relationships you do have  

On the flip side, it’s a powerful exercise to think about the relationships you do have and the people that do care about you.

This will free you from chasing others who don’t put the effort in with you. 

Why? Because rather than focusing on someone who doesn’t care, you’ll feel grateful for the healthy relationships in your life.

In other words, shifting your mindset from lack to gratitude will help you to stop chasing someone.

Chances are, you have people in your life who make an effort with you, and make you feel seen and heard…

…So focus on these relationships! 

Simply put, there’s no need to chase someone when you realize you have an abundance of healthy relationships with others.

5) Stop needing the other person in your life

That said, you might be chasing someone because you feel like you need them. 

In my experience, I felt like I needed her friendship of the girl I chased.

We never had a particularly deep friendship, compared to some of my other friendships, but we had a lot of laughs and fun.

What’s more, her friendship became a gateway to a larger group of friends…  

…In all honesty, I felt like I needed her.

So when she stopped responding to my messages and inviting me to events with her, I found myself chasing.

But it was useless!

When I realized my attempts weren’t working, I changed my mindset from thinking that I needed her and I automatically stopped chasing.

If you’re in a similar position: realize that a friendship shouldn’t be built on feeling like you need someone; there should be equal amounts of effort from both parties.

6) Stop justifying their actions

Now, it’s natural to find yourself justifying the actions of someone else… 

…Especially when you want to believe something isn’t the way it is.

What’s more, our brains are solution-oriented, so we’re hardwired to try and find a reason.

But if someone has ghosted you, don’t makeup excuses for them.

Maybe you’ve been telling yourself they’re not bothering because they’re really busy or they’ve just gone through something difficult.

It’s valid that some people do need more space than others at times, yet it still doesn’t mean you should be doing all of the chasing to keep the relationship going.

There comes a point when you need to realize that this person’s actions can’t be justified…

…And that you deserve better than that!  

7) Realize that how they treat you now won’t change

Now, let’s be honest:

People really don’t change that much. 

Sure, people evolve but they don’t change their entire personalities and ways of being.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if someone doesn’t want you now and they’re not giving you the attention you deserve…

…This is never going to change. 

In other words, how they treat you now is how they’ll always treat you.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow, especially if you’ve built an idea up in your head about what your life could be like with this person. 

I had to swallow this pill when it came to terms with that friend.

Once I realized she wouldn’t change and I came to terms with how she was actually treating me as a person, I drew a line under the friendship for good.

In order for you to stop chasing someone who doesn’t want you, you need to sit with the reality of the situation and realize they won’t change.

8) Drop expectations of them

Expectations can be dangerous

…And they can warp reality.

I had so many expectations with a guy once, and I chased him until I dropped them.

You see, we were always laughing and joking, and very flirty when we were together.

He gave me all of the signs of being interested in me! 

But then he dropped me: he stopped texting me and bothering me for no reason.

However, I still thought that maybe there would be a chance that he’d want to pick up where we left off at some point…

…But this never happened.

I sent a string of messages over a month, which he ignored.

As much as I didn’t want to, I had to drop expectations and realize that it was unlikely that he would respond and want to hang out. 

In other words, I came to terms with the fact there was no reciprocity and I stopped wanting anything in return.

9) Realize that people play different roles in our lives

Now, if you’re chasing someone it’s likely because you believe they are destined to play a certain role in your life. 

Maybe you believe this is the person you’re supposed to marry or have children with… Even if they don’t want you! 

You might be convinced that this is the person for you, despite the fact they’ve not expressed any interest.

But this is unhelpful thinking.

Rather than clinging on to an idea of who someone is supposed to be in your life, just remember that people come into our lives at different points for different reasons.

There’s a quote that says “people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime”… 

…And it’s something that you should reflect on if you find yourself chasing someone. 

Simply put, it might be that the person who you’ve been chasing was only supposed to be around for a season – and it’s passed!

Coming to terms with the fact that people come and go will help you to stop chasing someone who doesn’t want you.

Focus on the fact that more aligned people will be coming into your life down the line!

10) Get clear on your worth

You shouldn’t have to chase someone. Period.

A healthy relationship – be it a friendship or romantic relationship – should have equal amounts of efforts coming from both parties…

…If it’s anything else, you’re selling yourself short.

We are all worthy of being seen and heard, and being loved. 

As if that’s not enough, we shouldn’t be chasing it from other people; it should be something that is a given between two people.

When you think about wanting to chase someone, come back to your sense of worth.

Remind yourself that you deserve more than to be chasing someone! 

11) Accept the situation for what it is

There comes a point where you need to accept situations for what they are.

If someone doesn’t respond to messages and isn’t picking up on the cues, it’s time to forget about them.

This is for your own well-being!

Denial and bargaining are stages that most of us spend a lot of time in…

…And this is especially true when we’re chasing someone.

You see, we chase because we believe that the person will change their minds and want us in their lives.

But this just comes from a place of fantasizing without any truth behind it!

Once you accept the reality of the situation, you’ll realize that you’re wasting your time on someone – so it’ll become clear that it’s time to move on.

What are the signs that you’re chasing someone?

There are a few telltale signs that suggest you’re the one chasing another person.

Answers these questions honestly to get clear on whether you’ve been the chaser:

  • Have you been the one initiating all of the conversations?

Think back to your recent texts, and look at when they last invited you somewhere and suggested that it’s a good idea to meet up. 

Maybe you can see a pattern that it was always you that tried to organize catching up to no avail?

If it’s just been you throwing out invites left, right and center, then it looks like you’ve been doing the chasing! 

As if that’s not enough: 

  • Does it seem like you’re the one who asks questions about their life only to get closed answers?

Look out for how the other person communicates with you. Do they engage in conversations or just give you blunt answers?

You see, closed, one word answers suck… And they send a loud and clear message. 

If you’ve asked someone how their work is going for them to just say ‘good, thanks’, it basically signals that they don’t want to talk.

In other words, it couldn’t be clearer that they don’t want you to message them without actually telling you.

So if you continue to try and have a conversation, it becomes very clear that you’re the one chasing.

What’s more:

  • Are you left waiting for a response for hours, days or weeks, while you respond in a timely manner?

No one likes being left on ‘read’ for ages, without an acknowledgment of their message.

Yes, people are busy… But we can also find a moment out of our days to respond to people if we care about them.

You see, it could even be a response that says: ‘I’m busy now, but I’ll get back to you later’.

So, if you find that you’re not acknowledged by the person and left waiting for chunks of time then, unfortunately, it’s not a balanced relationship… 

…And you’re doing all the chasing!  

Why do we chase people who don’t want us?

Playing games in love is a waste of energy. 

No one wants to spend their time guessing whether they’re in or out (read: if they’ve been ghosted or if another date is on the cards)…

…Most people don’t want to beat around the bush and they want to know what the deal is with another person.

For example, they want to know:

  • If they’re looking for a short or committed relationship
  • Whether they like them 
  • The time they’re able to invest into each other

Yet many people do go through the chase in modern dating, and they spend time pursuing people who act like they don’t want them.

But why?

Psychologists have a lot to say about why it is that we chase people who don’t seem to want us. 

It’s said that dopamine is what keeps us hooked to the chase. A Medium author explains:

“The dopamine-driven reward loop triggers a rush of euphoric drug-like highs when chasing a crush and the desire to experience them repeatedly. Dopamine allows us to see rewards, take action towards them, and generate pleasurable feelings in response. While it positively motivates us to take action, it simultaneously exposes us to excessive pleasure-seeking and addictive behaviors.”

For Psychology Today, an expert confirms that rejection actually stimulates a part of the brain that is linked to addiction and reward.

What’s more, we place a certain value on not being able to attain something or someone. 

They explain: 

“If the other person doesn’t want us or is not available for a relationship, their perceived value goes up. They become so “expensive” that we cannot “afford” them. Evolutionarily speaking, it would have been an advantage to mate with the most valuable mate. So it makes sense that we become more romantically interested when a person’s perceived value increases.”

In other words, it’s in our evolution to want what we can’t attain… If it seems shiny! 

What happens when the chase is over?

You could expect a series of actions to happen after you stop chasing someone.

1) They pursue you 

In an expected turn of events, don’t be surprised if they start chasing you!

Yep, in some cases, the person who was being chased becomes the chaser… 

You might find:

  • They text you to check-in
  • They phone you out of the blue
  • They show up at your place
  • They tell a mutual friend that they’re interested in you

…You can thank dopamine for being the driving force behind this.

After all: 

It’s likely the person you were chasing now misses you! 

Chances are, the attention you gave them made them feel good. 

They may well have felt as though someone cared about them, which you likely did!

What’s more, it could be that it’s only now that you’ve gone quiet that they’ve realized they liked you trying to get their attention.

Now, this isn’t a healthy loop… But it’s one that happens often between people.

The best thing you can do is to have an open, honest conversation with them about how you’re feeling and try to hash things out once and for all.

Let them know that you don’t want to be in the position of chasing them again, and lay out your intentions.

Be bold and tell them: 

No more games!

2) You have more time

The best thing about calling the chase a day is the time you get back.

Pouring your energy into pursuing another person takes valuable time away from you.

It’s often the case that 24 hours never feels like enough in a day… 

…Who has the time to lose to chasing someone that doesn’t want to know?

You see, it’s likely that you would have spent a good chunk of your time talking to others about this person and thinking about it in your free time. 

So, after you decide to stop burning your precious energy on the possibility of this person, you’ll get to pour your time into other things you care about. 

For example, you could: 

  • Spend time with other people you care about
  • Start a new book
  • Up your self-care regime
  • Pick up a new hobby

In other words: 

You have time back for yourself, which was being sunk into someone who wasn’t deserving of it!

3) You can meet other people

After you draw a line under the chase, you’ll likely want to let out a big sigh…

…And to not think about anyone else for a while.

This is natural.

What’s more, it’s a good idea to have some space by yourself to think about the emotional slog – even if that person didn’t want you!

But once you fully process the situation and accept what happened, you can think about meeting other people.

In other words, the world is your oyster! 

You see, everything happens for a reason… 

…And when you come across someone else, you’ll realize why it didn’t work out with the last person!

When you’re ready, why not connect with like-minded people?

You could: 

  • Take a class in a subject you’re super interested in
  • Book to go on a singles holiday 
  • Join a dating app 

Simply put: there are so many ways to meet people these days who are into the same things as you, and at the same place as you in life.  

4) You grow as a person 

I won’t sugar-coat it: unrequited love is tough.

It’s not a nice feeling wanting someone and hoping that they’ll want you – only to be rejected!

But there are lessons everywhere in life… And there are certainly lessons everywhere in relationships of any kind.

If you can go through all of the motions of chasing someone who doesn’t want you, and subsequently put an end to it, you’ll grow massively as a person!

Simply put: you’ll learn your strength and how capable you are.

You’ll realize that you weren’t only able to survive the situation, but that you’re better off without them… and thriving as a result! 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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