What Does It Mean to Feel Unwanted?

Feeling unwanted in a relationship can be one of the emptiest feelings in the world. When someone does not return a partner's actions of affection or friendship or reciprocate a hello, this can make a person question their value. To feel unwanted is to feel unloved—a feeling no one wants to feel.

How Do You Feel When You Are Unwanted?

People describe feeling unwanted as depressing, empty, emotional pain, and self-loathing. Humans experience rejection differently. Being stressed is one person's experience. For another, it's anxiety. To feel unwanted is a complex emotion, a constant ache in the heart. A person should never experience such emotional abuse, but it's quite common to feel unloved. What do you experience when you feel unwanted?

Why Do People Make You Feel Unwanted in a Relationship?

There are many reason's a person makes another feel unwanted in a relationship. It could be they are feeling undesirable or feeling insecure. Many people are self-absorbed, which can cause relationship problems. Such behavior is the root cause of many toxic relationships. Losing a connection with your significant other can lead to other issues in a partner's life.

Some people think a friendship or their love life is no longer worth the time or effort. They go to great lengths to show they are no longer interested. They won't call, may avoid a social event, and deny physical touch. This behavior could be just a misunderstanding or result from unresolved issues from past relationships.

An honest conversation could be all the relationship need to stop feeling unwanted.

Red Flags When You Are Feeling Unwanted in a Relationship

depressed in relationship

There are many signs of feeling unwanted in a relationship. Lack of sexual intimacy or sex life is a glaring sign. Other behaviors become so commonplace that people do not realize the eroding dynamics of the relationship.

Here are 13 red flags of feeling unwanted.

Love Bombing

Love bombing is when your partner overwhelms you with attention and affection. Love bombing is the language of a narcissist. Such a destructive person idealizes their partner and overcompensates them with love to receive the same respect back. The behavior comes from a place of low self-worth. It's a manipulative act that can create a sense of emotional, physical, and even financial dependence on a person.

Lack of Appreciation

Being with someone who does not appreciate who you are is draining. Feeling unappreciated or unloved can be hurtful and is part of making you feel like you need your partner. Such harmful acts can lower your self-esteem. Over time, you doubt your competence and ability to enjoy nurturing relationships.

Boundary Crossing

We all have boundaries that we do not allow people to cross. But some people in relationships push those boundaries until their partners relent. The aggressor will repeat their negative behavior, making people feel they are not in control of their lives.

Lack of Communication

Communication is the foundation of any relationship. Suppose someone is unwilling to communicate or becomes emotionally unavailable; a person could feel neglected entirely. Any concern they raise is invalidated, and the frustration can be maddening.

If your partner is unwilling to speak with you, it's a red flag.

Unwillingness to Compromise

Some people are willing to communicate about issues in the relationship. But if they are unwilling to compromise, become stubborn, and selfishly put their needs above the other person, they are signaling to the other person has no value.


Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the manipulator tries to plant insecurity and uncertainty in their partner's mind. If your partner negates your thoughts and feelings, it can lead to feelings of self-doubt and make you question your sanity.


If your partner is inconsistent in their words and actions toward you, they are trying to keep you off balance, controlling you to please them constantly. Such behavior can keep a person on edge and trick them into always wanting to satisfy the manipulator. 

Controlling Behavior

Controlling behavior can start as gradual coercive control. Limiting where you go without the person, always asking where you are when you're not together, and asking for your passwords for social media are common tactics of a controller. They act as if they are doing this out of love, but this behavior comes from fear and insecurity.


Being alienated is being isolated from a friend group or harmless activity the person enjoys. It's a specific and dangerous form of control, which means a person is likely trying to keep you to themselves for underlying motives.

Controlling words to listen for are "no," "you can't," "I won't let you," and "you have to do this."

Excessive Lying

Catching your partner in lies—big or small—can be challenging. Lying makes it hard to build a solid foundation of trust for a healthy relationship.


Jealousy comes in two forms: a feeling of a lack in the relationship or insecurity.

If someone needs more of you, they might be jealous of your job or the time you spend with friends, becoming resentful. If jealousy comes from a feeling of insecurity within themselves, this can lead to controlling behavior.

Lack of Trust

lack of trust in relationship

Lack of trust can lead to many problems in a relationship. Suppose your partner does not trust your behavior and your decision-making. In that case, it can lead to irrational actions making a person feel trapped. An essential aspect of lack of trust is "controlling versus helpful." From that standpoint, you can determine whether the behavior can be addressed and worked on or if you should leave the relationship.

Hot and Cold Behavior

When a partner is "hot and cold," it means they've made it a habit to act poorly or hurt your feelings and follow up with lots of apologizing. It gives you false hope the relationship will change, and you may only remember good moments and forget about the bad ones.

What to Do When You Start Feeling Unwanted in a Relationship

Knowing you have relationship problems is one of the hardest things to face. But there are some things in your control that you can do to feel loved.

Seek professional help. Incorporating a relationship therapist is an excellent step to mending a connection with your partner. The professional can help address past trauma, physical abuse, prompt talking points, and settle differences.

Coping With Mental Health Issues

Relationships can have a dramatic effect on our mental health. We must always take care of ourselves, especially when dealing with issues with our partners. Let's look at ways to ease our minds and lift our souls.

Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance is completely accepting a situation with your heart, mind, and soul. Such approval allows you to see the situation for what it truly is. In seeing your problem clearly, you formulate ways to address it constructively.

Any time you spend trying to "get rid of a bad situation" or pretend it doesn't exist, it only drains you of valuable energy.

Deep Breathing

Practicing deep breathing can help to alleviate stress from the mind. Try this; breathe in for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 3 seconds, and breathe out for 7 seconds.

The gentle repetition of this exercise sends a message to the brain that everything is okay (or it will be soon). Your heart will slow, and you will begin to relax—sometimes without even realizing it.

Opposite-To-Emotion Thinking

Opposite-to-emotion thinking is when you act the opposite way your emotions tell you to act. When you feel anxious, address the uneasy feeling with something calming like meditation.

The 5 Senses

Here is a technique to keep you grounded. It's called "The 5 Senses." It's when you run through what each of your senses is experiencing at that moment.

Running through your senses will take only a few seconds and help keep you present and focused on what is real, on what is happening right now.

Mental Reframing

Mental reframing is taking an emotion or stressor and thinking of it differently.

For example, instead of getting irritated in horrible traffic, reframe the negative thought to, "This traffic is bad, but I'll still get to where I'm going. There's nothing I can do about it, so I'll listen to music audiobooks to pass the time."

Emotion Awareness

Fully accept the emotions you feel. If you live in denial of your emotions, addressing the feelings will take far longer. Once you recognize what we're feeling, you can deal with it or whatever is causing it.

Accept that you are feeling a certain way, let yourself feel that way, and then take action to diminish unhealthy feelings.

Mental health is essential; knowing how to respond to mental issues will help you for years.

Spending Quality Time With Yourself

care for yourself

Discover Who You Are

Many people are afraid to be alone for a short time. But taking some alone time can be the best thing for you. With quiet reflection, you can uncover buried problems in hiding due to the busyness of your life.

Care for Your Physical and Mental Wellbeing

Walking in a lovely park is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. We are beings of nature. Connecting with the outdoors or just exercising can brighten your outlook and health.

Increase Your Productivity and Creativity

When you're alone, there are no distractions. When you designate time and space for work, your creativity flows without interruption.

Reduce Your Stress

You don't have to worry about anything but yourself when alone. You don't have to worry about other people's actions or thoughts. You don't have to worry about maintaining social relations.

Improve Relationships

Through self-reflection, you'll realize which relationships add meaning to your life and harm you. You'll recognize the value in your positive relationships and become more invested in them.


No one wants to experience feeling unwanted in a relationship. It takes much effort to address feeling undesired, and it may not be worth the effort of saving the relationship if the negative behavior has become habitual. 

Remember that past childhood experiences, low self-esteem or self-worth, and personal demons can cause people to make their partners feel unwanted. Seek professional help, spend time with yourself, and evaluate your feelings and do not overthink things. Your life and emotions are important.

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