How to Overcome Feeling Unloved or Unwanted

Learn How to Overcome Feeling Unloved or Unwanted

How to Overcome Feeling Unloved or Unwanted

**Please read the companion posts too: How to Recognize Love and Feel Loved by Others, and subsequent posts on What If God’s Love Isn’t Enough? and Recognizing God’s Love by Building Your Relationship with Him–Part 1 and Part 2

Feeling unloved or unwanted is one of the 9 Common Causes of Insecurity that we previously discussed.  When we feel loved, we tend to feel good about ourselves.  The opposite is true too, and that’s why we can become insecure (click here to read more posts on overcoming insecurity and poor self-esteem and how to realize your true value/worth).  There might be several reasons for someone feeling unloved.  Below are some examples of the types of people who might sometimes feel unloved or unwanted.

People who might feel unloved–You might see yourself in one or more of these examples.

  • Those from a family of divorce
  • Those who have gone through a divorce themselves
  • Those on the receiving end of infidelity
  • Those who have lost a job
  • Adopted children
  • Those on the receiving end of a breakup
  • Those living in a dysfunctional family
  • Those from a family of absentee parents
  • Those from an abusive home or situation
  • Victims of sexual abuse
  • Those who have made a lot of mistakes (or feel like they’ve messed up so bad they don’t deserve to be loved)
  • Those who have difficulty finding a significant other
  • Those who have experienced rejection in any form

An unloved girl in the bible

In the bible, Leah was married to Jacob, but she was not his first choice as a wife.  Her father actually deceived Jacob into thinking that he was marrying Leah’s sister, Rachel.  Jacob eventually did marry Rachel too, and he favored her above Leah.  Leah felt unloved by her husband (and rightly so) which made her insecure and believe that if she gave her husband children then he might finally love her.

“So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”” Genesis 29:32 (NLT)

Come to the understanding that you are loved and wanted by God

People often try to overcome feeling unloved the same way Leah did—by trying to earn it.  This didn’t work for Leah, and most likely it won’t work for us either.  The best way I know to overcome feeling unloved and unwanted is to come to the understanding and realization that we are loved and wanted by God.  No one could ever love or want us more.

When we truly realize that we are loved by God, it will make us love ourselves more.  We will feel more secure.  

 Others should love us too.  If they don’t, it doesn’t matter because God loves us!  Back to Leah’s story—even though she wasn’t loved or preferred by Jacob, Leah (not Rachel) was chosen by God for the bloodline of Jesus Christ, our Savior.  God loved and wanted Leah, and that was a greater love than Jacob could EVER give her.

Learn how to overcome feeling unloved or unwanted

I have felt unloved and unwanted too

There have been periods of time in my life when I was feeling unloved and unwanted.  I didn’t “feel” or understand being loved by God.  Fortunately, I grew up in a wonderful, Christian home and was in church all of my life.  However, I still couldn’t tangibly FEEL or comprehend God’s love for me.  I mean, it’s one thing to say or sing “Jesus loves me”.  It’s a completely different story to recognize it.  Maybe that was my problem.  I KNEW I was loved. I just didn’t recognize it in my life.  This happens even in our human relationships.  (More on this here…)

Here’s what helped…

I think what helped me was the actual process of spending time with God. The more time I spent reading the bible, listening to podcasts, reading godly literature, the more I began to feel loved.  It was a process over time.  “Feeling unloved” gradually disappeared.  I didn’t just magically wake up one morning and feel loved.  Little by little I was recognizing that God really does love me, and He was showing me all the time if I just paid attention.

God will show His love for you in your environment

I see it now in nature.  I’m a huge nature lover so this one is big for me.  I can walk outside, lay in my hammock look up into the trees and listen to the soft sounds of leaves rustling in the wind, bird songs in the background, squirrels chasing each other and a breeze blowing gently.  It’s perfect peace.  It’s almost as if God created those moments just for me because I love them so much.  I tend to have lots of “nature” moments like this.  I feel like He’s showing me that He loves me in those moments.  It’s like God knows what I love, and He’s giving me those things as a gift.

God shows His love when meeting your needs

I also see it when my needs are met at exactly the right time.  I hardly believe in coincidences anymore.  Additionally, I see it when things are going well and when I have favor.  Some might call it “luck”. 🙂  I see it in the bad times too.  Even when I’m in the midst of trials or sadness or just in a funk, I see God loving me and comforting me through scriptures that give me hope and peace and remind me of His promises.  A lot of times He sends someone across my path at just the right time—a phone call, a text, a card.  This should serve as a lesson in obedience too.  You never know when that random thought about a person is God prompting you to call them or send them a message so that He can show His love to them through you

God shows His love when He talks to you

The biggest way I feel loved by God though is when I hear Him.  It sounds a little strange.  I know God’s voice now.  Now when I know that God has talked to me, it feels so amazing.  Most of the time I feel like a measly peon, but when God takes the time to talk to me and show me things, I feel so significant, important and loved.  I often wonder, why would God, the creator, want to talk to me?!  It’s because He loves me.  David must have had similar feelings…

“I look at your heavens, which you made with your fingers.  I see the moon and stars, which you created.  But why are people even important to you?  Why do you take care of human beings? You made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” Psalms 8:3-5 (NCV)

Take Some Practical Steps to Overcome Feeling Unloved or Unwanted:

  • Start to recognize the little things. God orchestrates little things throughout your day—just for you (like my “nature” moments).  The little things will grow bigger and bigger.  You will feel more and more loved.  Eventually, you will feel invincible (okay, maybe not all the time, but it happens—I promise).
  • Ask God to show you that He loves you. The bible says “you have not because you ask not” (James 4:2).  I asked God to help me recognize it.  I think my first prayer might have actually gone something like this:

“Okay God, You know me—I’m a little slow sometimes.  I know the Bible says you love me, but for some reason that’s just kind of hard for me to grasp.  Can you like throw me a bone or something?  I need a little help with this concept here, because I’m totally not getting it.  I know you SAY it, but I think I’m going to need you to actually SHOW it to me in a more tangible way.  Have you ever heard that song “More Than Words”?  That’s an awesome song!  That’s what I’m talking about…I think I need something more than words for my pea brain to actually get it.  I just need help “getting it”.  Can you do that? OK great! Thanks.”

  • Pray Ephesians 3:16-21 for yourself. I actually learned about this prayer after my silly prayer above.  Here’s what this prayer might look like:

“God, I pray that from your glorious, unlimited resources you would empower me with inner strength through your Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in my heart as I trust in him.  I pray that my roots would grow down deep into YOUR LOVE and keep me strong.  I pray that I would have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high and how deep YOUR LOVE is.  May I know and practically and tangibly experience the LOVE OF CHRIST and be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from you.  Now I say Glory to God who is able, through his mighty power at work within me to accomplish infinitely more than I might ask or imagine!” To overcome feeling unloved or unwanted, say this prayer

  • Keep reading your bible, having your quiet times, and listening for God’s voice. The more you’re in God’s Word and spend time with God, the more you will actually comprehend and recognize that you are loved more than you could ever know.  Feeling unloved and unwanted will eventually become a distant memory.
  • Lastly, try reading some godly literature to get an understanding of God’s love for you. You might start with this book by Joyce Meyer: Tell Them I Love Them: Receiving a Revelation of God’s Love for You

**Next, we’ll discuss feeling unloved in our relationships. Please read the companion post too: How to Recognize Love and Feel Loved by Others. I’ve also written a subsequent posts on What If God’s Love Isn’t Enough? and Recognizing God’s Love by Building Your Relationship with Him–Part 1 and Part 2

What makes you feel loved by God?  Share your experiences by leaving a comment below. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, disrespectful, sarcastic, offensive, or off-topic.  By posting on this site you agree to my Comment Policy.

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If you have benefited from this post or if you know anyone that could benefit from this, please pay it forward and share this post with them via the sharing links below! “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 1 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) 

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12 thoughts on “How to Overcome Feeling Unloved or Unwanted

    1. Tracy Robbins Post author

      Unloved, I’d like to respectfully disagree with you. I think this article is EXACTLY for them. You (and anyone else) were brought to this article for a reason. This article IS God talking to you. He just used me and my experiences to do it. He wants you to know that He loves you–more than you’ll ever know or understand. I would like to encourage you to pray the prayer I mentioned here from Ephesians 3. I can’t even count the number of times I have prayed it for myself. It helps. I also encourage you to check out this article on learning to recognize God’s voice…because I do believe He’s talking to you. He talks to all of us. He does it all the time. We just sometimes don’t recognize it or don’t hear it because it’s drowned out by our own noise and distractions. I, myself, didn’t even know that God was talking to me or recognize his voice until within the last 5-6 years or so. Now it’s easier for me to know His voice because I’ve practiced listening. I also now recognize where He was speaking to me all along (I just didn’t know it). I hope you take my advice to heart, and please know that you truly are loved.

      Please also know that I have prayed for you and will continue to do so. May the God from his glorious, unlimited resources empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. May Christ make his home in your heart as you learn to trust in him. May your roots grow down deep into his love and keep you strong. May you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high and how deep God’s love is. May you know and practically and tangibly experience the love of Christ and be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Glory to God who is able, through his mighty power at work within you to accomplish infinitely more than you could ever ask or imagine! May God bless you and may you know that YOU ARE LOVED.

      Reply
  1. Kameron Brown

    Ms. Robbins, with all due respect, what you say sounds excellent on paper. Unfortunately, here in the real world, no matter how much love God may have for me, it’s not keeping me warm at night. It’s not filling this empty spot in my bed.

    In other words, God’s love is no substitute for a warm body nor the touch of a woman who wants and desires me.

    Reply
    1. Tracy Robbins Post author

      Kameron,
      I apologize for the delay in my reply. I didn’t want to just reply on a whim–especially since you made some very good, heartfelt points. I can honestly say that I, too, have felt the same way before. I’ve formed my reply to you in a separate post: “What if God’s Love Isn’t Enough?“. I didn’t feel that I could reply adequately here at the bottom of the post. I hope you and other readers will take the time to visit and read it. I pray/hope that it gives you some peace and answers. God Bless, and I truly hope that God gives you the desires of your heart.

      Reply
  2. Need answers

    Im 59 and to this day still feel unloved. I believe what you say about Gods love for us. I cant seem to sit and really spend time with him. I do talk to Him all day here and there. I know in my mind He loves me but the rest of me doesn’t. Im so insure from lack of feeling love I push people away. I hate it. I have five kids whom I love so much along with 9 grandkids. At this point I prefer to be dead but I don’t want to give up. I want to know true love (not from a man at this point divorced twice) and happiness here on earth before I die. Are there places to go for a week or 2 for adults to get away and have bible studies or spiritual help?

    Reply
    1. Tracy Robbins Post author

      Need Answers,
      My heart broke when I read your comment, and I actually spent a lot of time in prayer before deciding what to reply. I want you to know that I’ve prayed for you and will continue to do so. As a quick answer to the question asked about getaways for bible studies and spiritual help…No, unfortunately I do not, personally, know of a Christian one-two week getaway off the top of my head. However, sometimes you can find a local getaway for spiritual help by just doing a basic search on the internet. For instance google search “Christian women’s retreats in Oklahoma” (or fill in your own state/location), and then browse through the results to find something that appeals to you and fits within your budget. I will also tell you that I truly believe that this will be a process for you that won’t happen overnight or even in a week. I’ve written a more in-depth response that I’ve posted as “Recognizing God’s Love By Building Your Relationship With Him–Part 1”. I hope you will take a few moments and visit that post to give you some hope and guidance. I also hope that you will come back (or subscribe) to read Part 2 in next week’s post. May God bless you and may you come to truly know and to experience God’s love (true love and happiness).
      “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)

      Reply
  3. Wendy

    Your article reminded me what is most important. I needed to read this today. I’ve been feeling unwanted and unloved with my fiancee because he has depression and we’ve been dealing with it together…but it takes a toll on me sometimes. Reading what you wrote made me feel something I haven’t felt in a long time. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  4. Dina

    Thanks for writing this. I came from a dysfunctional family. My dad died when I was young and mom sacrificed us time and time again for multiple dysfunctional marriages die to her codependency. I never heard i love you i never received hugs or was cheered on in school activities. No one showed up at my school plays. I am now married with a child of my own. A happy marriage a son i adore and never goes to bed questioning if hes loved or not. I have been blessed and I know God gave me this because he loves me. I wanted to end my life many times the first time when I was to young to even understand what suicide meant. But to this day I still question if I’m worthy of love and if anyone loves me. When you grow up feeling lived feeling worthy it’s easy to overcome self doubt and insecurity. When you grow up polar opposite it’s much more difficult and I have to get those negative thoughts out of my head. Thank you for the reminder.

    Reply
    1. Tracy Robbins Post author

      You’re very welcome! It breaks my heart to hear stories like yours, but it sounds like it’s turned into a story of redemption. What a testimony you now have and what an inspiration you can now be to others. You are an overcomer. Many hugs to you!

      Reply
  5. Tina

    As great as this article is, I still can’t grasp the concept that “God” loves me…I know partly this is due to me not spending enough time in his word, but for me I never really got much of a true understanding of the Bible and his Word
    1. How do I know what to read? 2. What is enough time to spend with God…I find comfort in being around others… amongst other things, but I want to find comfort in God. 2016 was a very very hard year for me. For the past 4 or 5 months I have felt so UNLOVED, lonely, and rejected…I have prayed countless times for God to just take me away, because the pain I feel on most days has become the norm. It hurts the most when the one person you love, says one thing but acts different….the same person that I once was all he ever wanted and because I have felt so unloved my entire life, once the triggers started happening it made me become clingy and probably push him away (although he never said it)…My point is not to get advice on the above, but instead I feel the most unloved when things like this happen. I wish I had the belief, peace, joy, and faith, but honestly it is hard for me to fathom that there is a God…I am very skeptical, logical, and need to be in control and those 3 things are disasterous to truly believing. I get so discouraged about this. I have prayed endless prayers to stop my unbelief and doubt, to prayers about understanding, etc
    I can’t take anymore on my own the stress, sadness, and heartache is making me sick. It is so hard to see and understand God when you feel like everything is against you. I truly wish I was stronger, more confidence, and self esteem. I wish someone (outside of God) would love me like I love. I am so genuine and all thats brought me is heartache. I sit in my room or in my car with just with tears flowing wondering what I could have done in my life to feel like this. I am hurting and can only hope that I can find happiness and joy inside of me.

    Reply
    1. Tracy Robbins Post author

      Hi Tina,
      I’m so sorry that you are feeling the way that you do, but I am truly honored that you were led to my post and are reaching out to me. I’m afraid that there isn’t a quick fix for the way that you are feeling. Most likely, with some intentional action on your part, you will probably experience a relief from these feelings a little at a time.

      Unfortunately I don’t have the space here at the bottom of the post in the comments to give you the comprehensive answer that you deserve. So in the meantime, I’ll give you a short quick answer and then I’ll spend more time on your comment and post a separate, more in-depth and complete answer to your questions that will hopefully help and encourage you.

      In short, the easiest way to know what to read it to just follow a pre-made reading plan that already has that decided for you. I love the Bible app (YouVersion.com) because it’s free and has hundreds of plans from which to choose. It removes the stress of deciding what to read. I just pick a plan that sounds good at the time or deals with what I’m going through at the moment.

      As far as how much time, I would start with 10-15 minutes a day for a regular quiet time (bible reading time). The consistent daily part is the key. After a while I think you’ll find that you spend more and more time and actually look forward to it. Eventually, you might feel like 15 minutes isn’t near enough.

      Spending a daily quiet time with God will build your relationship with Him (as would spending time with anyone) and in doing so, you’ll get to know Him and His heart better. When you do this, you will realize how very dearly that He loves you and how He’s given up everything for you. The bible contains the greatest romance story of all time (including your hero riding in on a white horse at the end!). I pray that you will truly grasp that God LITERALLY thinks you are to die for! 😉 He loves you Tina. My prayers will continue to be with you. Please go read my full reply to you here in Tips for Spending Time With God. God Bless!

      Reply

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