A Dating Expert Explains How Loving Yourself Really Helps You Get Over Someone

Selena Gomez was onto something when she said "I needed to lose you to love me" in her new single, which is suspected to be about her toxic relationship with Justin Bieber.

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When we're consumed by someone else—whether they be an S.O. or crush—and they break-up with us, or never reciprocated feelings for us in the first place, hundreds of thoughts go through our minds, including: What's wrong with me? Why doesn't this person want me? Am I not worthy of love? Am I not enough for a partner? But, ultimately, what drew us to this person is the void they fill in our lives—until that void no longer needs filling.

We chatted with Dr. Terri Orbuch (aka The Love Doctor®), a professor at Oakland University in Michigan, who explains, "You think there's something wrong with you, and that's not the case. You picked wrong, and you simply don't know who is right for you yet. Finding the right person isn't about the right outfit, it's about looking inside of yourself and knowing and liking you—liking you for who you are and then finding someone who is compatible and right for you."

When we're connected with ourselves and truly value who we are, our unreciprocated feelings for that other person will dissipate because they're no longer a match for who we've become.

"You can't see if someone is right for you until you first know who you are and identify what type of partner is best for you," Dr. Terri says. "What parts of life are most important to you? Are you the person you want to be? Once you know who you are, and feel okay about that perception, you will then be looking for who is right for you, rather than thinking, Am I enough for someone else

Once you've figured yourself out and deeply value who you are, what you want (and will accept) in a partner is likely to change. When you look back on this failed romance or crush that got you nowhere, you should, hopefully, cringe because you recognize they'd never fit your current qualifications in a suitable partner.

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"In your past relationship, you may have been very aware of what your ex wanted or needed, but you may have lost sight of something very important: yourself," Dr. Terri says. "You must now focus on your own needs and desires, and on liking yourself. Put the focus on you. Identify what you like to do (activities, events and interests); identify your own values; figure out what type of personality you have; who are your best friends?; if you had all the money in the world, what are your goals and dreams? Focusing back on yourself is important to get over someone. Truly loving and finding yourself 'worthy,' 'confident' and 'good' is how you become whole again."

If you just can't seem to let go of unreciprocated romantic feelings, Dr. Terri recommends the following steps:

1. Focus on you
2. Write a letter to the person and get it all out on paper. But don't send the letter. This is for you.
3. Identify your own needs and interests
4. Exercise
5. Volunteer in the community
6. Instead of blaming the person (which keeps anger) or blaming yourself (which keeps sadness and desiring that person), blame the relationship (using "we" statements). We weren't right for one another. We were incompatible. We were opposites.
7. Surround yourself with friends who love you.


If you're having trouble getting over someone, HERE's what one of our writers has to say about getting over her exes.