The Science Behind Craving Them More When You Feel Ignored

Remember that time you text-blasted your date, because you never got a call—against your better judgment? There’s an explanation for that.


Your girlfriends say you’re crazy, and they’re probably right. That’s the only plausible reason for you deciding to try your hand at stalking and harassing a date that didn’t call you back.
Your friends told you to keep your pride and dignity, but nooooooo. You went ahead and proved that you were certifiably insane. Does this mean that you need professional help? Not exactly.
Before you went crazy…
You probably had a good time with your date and even wondered if you were going to end up in a relationship with that person. It’s good that you’re thinking positively, but sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want them to.
People can lose their interest, and you might be left hanging. Most people would just let it go and move on. But that begs the question: why are thousands of people Googling features like this?
You weren’t one of those people to let it go and move forward. No—you couldn’t sit on your ass and let your date get away with what they did. You called them out and went so far as to flood their phone with your opinions and rants.
You may have gone even further than that. So much for being civil, right? [Read: 20 real reasons why a guy could be ignoring you]
Why you feel that way
Here’s why you probably felt that way: you had a great date. You had a great conversation, but this guy just dropped you like a sack of hot potatoes.
There might be a pretty good reason on his end, but you don’t understand why it had to happen. Maybe things could have been different, if he’d given you a chance. Maybe you could have worked things out.
Or maybe you’re just transferring your own problems onto an innocent Tinder user. No matter what the reason is, it’s not a sensible way to approach the problem.
Most people who develop a fixation on a recent date are those who are more focused on how other people perceive them. This usually means that you’re not in a good place, internally. [Read: 11 honest reasons why a guy didn’t call you back after the date]
There are many reasons why this happens, but it’s mostly related to self-esteem issues. It’s possible that you’re looking for validation from your prospect, but it can also mean that you don’t tolerate people treating your poorly.
Wanting a reply when one is not forthcoming is a sign of something else. It’s not necessarily bad, but it does have its origins. [Read: 10 clear signs of low self esteem and ways to increase it]
The scientific reason behind why you reacted that way
Before we explain what happened, here’s a simplification of what’s going on with you and your ex-date.
When you first started talking, you experienced a flurry of positive emotions that were akin to receiving money, eating chocolate, or getting high on cocaine.
That’s how good it feels to be wanted, liked, and appreciated. In the time it took for you to go out on your first date, you basically turned into an affection addict.
When your date refused to continue giving you “love drugs,” you experienced withdrawal; withdrawal symptoms include discomfort, pain, and longing.
When you stopped receiving cute messages and getting asked on dates, you reverted to what addicts do and started begging for attention… hence the unsolicited texts and rants. [Read: What most girls do to make a guy jealous and get his attention]
Basically, what happened to you was the extinction procedure. The gist of it is this: a certain behavior *your date’s attention* gives you a reward *validation and appreciation*, but stops occurring *when they stop responding to you*, because it no longer has a purpose or function *they got the booty somewhere else or something more admirable, like joining Doctors Beyond Borders*.
The target behavior is your date’s attention, while your target response is to feel good about it. When the extinction principle is enacted, you experience rejection and withdrawal—leading to potentially bizarre behavior. [Read: 29 things women do that’ll make you think she’s crazy]

When the poo hit the fan…
The purpose of the extinction principle is to deny the receiver any access to a behavior that is not useful. If your date continued to see you, they wouldn’t be getting anything out of it, because it’s not what they want, anymore.
When your date forced the extinction principle on you, instead of letting the process run its course, you reverted to the extinction burst principle.
The extinction burst occurs when, instead of allowing the extinction principle to happen, you increase the frequency of your target response—i.e. behaving like you’re still in a relationship.
Your mind gathered enough data to form a conclusion about what you were supposed to do, in case your date stopped seeing you. [Read: The right way to stop obsessing over a guy you’re still interested in]
When you first started seeing each other, you developed certain theories about why they liked you. This happened without you realizing it. When your date stopped giving you attention, your body, programmed to defend itself from bad feelings, developed a plan of action to try to get that feeling back.
Some people resort to aggressive behavior, accompanied by attention-seeking acts such as texting over and over, reasoning why you should be together, or even trying to manipulate your partner to return to you, using your physical appearance, personality, or sex.
The idea that they left you never registers, because your mind is telling you that you need to get your fix and do everything that you can to get it. That’s how this shit-storm happened in the first place—you couldn’t accept that your relationship was extinct. [Read: I miss him but I don’t think he misses me – what now?]
How to counteract the feeling
Let’s face it: the moment you started begging for their return, all sense of dignity and pride went out the window.
Fortunately, you can get that back—but not in the eyes of the person you harassed. You can get back on your feet and learn from this experience.
The first thing that you need to do is nip this extinction burst in the bud. When you do not acknowledge the crazy, it will fester and prevent you from having a productive relationship in the future.
That’s why you need to do your best to let go of the past and accept that nothing else will come out of that relationship. Here’s what you do. [Read: 10 signs you’re lovesick and 10 ways to get out of it]
#1 Accept the situation. Your date no longer likes you. After what happened, he probably pities you and is trying his damned hardest to avoid you. Allow him to feel that way, and allow yourself to move on.
#2 Don’t dwell on it. Not liking you is your date’s opinion. There’s no point in thinking about how they see you. It happened. Now, it’s time to focus on other things.
#3 Be more mindful. This whole thing happened because you refused to focus on anything other than your date. Now, it’s time to focus on what’s really important: you. [Read: 15 feel-good secrets to feel a lot better about yourself instantly]
#4 Do a hard reset. Start with a clean slate. You are now a different person, because you have separated your identity from the one you clung to while you were experiencing your extinction burst.
#5 Love yourself. You’re susceptible to extinction bursts because you don’t appreciate yourself as much as you think others should. You should take steps to ensure that you know who you are and why you deserve to be loved.
[Read: How to stop feeling ignored by the one you love *they don’t care, you should do the same*]
Letting go of a would-be partner is never easy. Armed with the research and suggestions listed above, however, you can heal, let go of old habits, and move on to better things.

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Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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