Movies, television, music, poems and plays have forever romanticized the concept of unrequited love. While the notion of a broken heart might have been amusing during Shakespeare’s time, today the idea of chasing after someone, that doesn’t want you, should be outlandish.

Being a fool for love, jumping through hoops and sacrificing your morals and dignity to get someone to change their mind about you, is not just foolhardy, it’s insane and it’s a mindset that’s in serious need of revision.

When someone has made it very clear to you that they are not interested, that means it’s time to leave the table. It doesn’t mean try harder. It doesn’t mean try to change their mind. It doesn’t mean they aren’t really serious, it doesn’t mean try to fix them and change their mind. It doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing things properly. What it means is they are not interested. Period. And that should be all you need.

There is nothing romantic or thrilling about hanging on to a painful and hopeless situation. It’s sadistic and incredibly detrimental to your wellbeing. This is not an activity that healthy people engage in. In the 21st century it really is time for reforms on the concept of love. When someone shows that they are not interested in you – your mind should instantly switch to – ‘then I’m not interested in you.’

What does it look like when someone doesn’t want you? This should be pretty easy to spot right? I mean it should be obvious, but sometimes when you’re in it and caught up in all the smoke and mirrors, it can be hard to spot. If you’re in need of a refresher check out the list below:

They tell you they don’t want to be in a relationship with you: If someone has that conversation with you – believe them. Like I said above don’t try to change their minds accept what they say and move on. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve invested. You can’t force someone to love you.

They’re involved with other people: If your partner is cheating on you, you don’t need any further qualification. Some people believe you can get past infidelity I’m just not one of them. Once the trust is gone and they’ve crossed that line there should be no going back. Often times too, an emotional manipulator is too cowardly to tell you they don’t want to be with you and instead will get caught on purpose, hoping that you will find out and do the leaving. Don’t be that guy or girl that sticks around and doesn’t get the hint.

They don’t put any effort into the relationship: If they don’t initiate anything, they don’t call you, text you, make plans with you…. if you’re doing most or all the work – they just aren’t interested. This is a key indicator of their level of intent – pay attention and notice that when you stop doing, the relationship is pretty much over, even if they do rev it up a tad once they notice you’re not doing everything you used to do – it won’t last. If they’re not putting in the same amount of effort that you are putting in, it’s time to pack it in.

They aren’t there for you when you need them: If you can count on your friends and family more that your significant other – you are not in a relationship. When the person you are intimate with can’t be bothered to offer aid or assistance or emotional support then you are in a relationship all by yourself, because your loved one most certainly isn’t in it.

They don’t acknowledge or celebrate special events or occasions with you: If your birthday goes by and you haven’t heard nary a word from the person you’re sleeping with, it’s pretty clear what you mean to them, which incidentally is not much. If you’re sitting home alone on Valentine’s Day or wondering if they’ll show up for Christmas, you are not in a relationship. When they don’t go to family events with you, weddings, or anything to do with your family and friends, then all you’ve got going on there is a conjugal visit.

They belittle, disrespect, insult and humiliate you: If your partner tries to make you feel bad about yourself you don’t have a partner, you have an abuser. Relationships work best when you don’t feel the need to change or fix anything about your partner and you can accept them for who they are. When the person you love is making you feel small and insignificant, that’s not love that’s an attempt at control. Don’t put up with it. Get out.

They give you mixed messages: Relationships aren’t guess work. Too often we only pay attention to what we want to see and ignore all the bad. If you don’t know where you stand in your relationship, then you’re not in one. Relationships aren’t guess work. When you’re in one it’s obvious.

You only see them when they want something like sex or money: If your guy or girl only show up when they need something from you, this tells you that they would rather be somewhere else but circumstances have forced them to come back to you. Either they are out of money, they need sex, food, shelter…whatever the case may be, If someone is popping in and out of your life whenever they please don’t mistake this for love – they are using you. You are not desperate enough to accept that kind of treatment and if the alternative is being alone than pick the alternative because getting boned once every couple of months is not worth your dignity.

There is nothing romantic about begging and pleading and making a fool out of yourself to try to keep or win someone’s affection. When you abandon yourself to run after someone that has so glaringly disrespected you, you look desperate and in the history of time, no one has ever belittled themselves so egregiously that they’ve won the heart of the person they were chasing. If you disrespect yourself by falling all over someone that doesn’t want you, it shows them just how much you don’t love and respect yourself. Pay attention to how you’re being treated and if it isn’t the way you want then walk away and don’t fall for cheap words and promises. People don’t always speak the truth, but their actions never lie.

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