‘The Good Doctor’: Lea Brutally Rejects Shaun. How Can You Recover from Unrequited Romantic Interest?

The Good Doctor fans are still reeling from Lea’s brutal rejection of Shaun. Unfortunately, he will now have to see Lea at work every day. It will be difficult for him to stay focused on his surgeries while nursing a broken heart and dealing with his breakup with Carly.

If you’re in the same boat as Shaun, how can you move on after confessing romantic feelings to someone you really like and want to date? Here’s some advice the experts shared with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about recovering from a painful rejection. They also gave some advice to Shaun on how he can move forward.

If someone doesn’t share your romantic interest, back off

Freddie Highmore and Paige Spara | Jack Rowand via Getty Images
Freddie Highmore and Paige Spara | Jack Rowand via Getty Images

It can be difficult to accept rejection from someone you’re interested in dating, but it’s important to consider the other person’s feelings. Trying to force a relationship won’t get you very far. This is one mistake Shaun made with Lea, and she responded by being very harsh with him.

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (also known as “Dr. Romance”), psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today, recommends, backing off as soon as it’s clear the other person isn’t interested. “Back off, be friendly, keep in mind you can’t force someone to like you,” Tessina told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “Focus on being friends, make sure your behavior is appropriate to friends, and give the person a chance to know you better. They might change their mind if they get to know you, but you’ll push them away if you try to force it. Focus on other people.”

Remember the big picture

Nicholas Gonzalez and Freddie Highmore | Jack Rowand/ABC via Getty Images
Nicholas Gonzalez and Freddie Highmore | Jack Rowand/ABC via Getty Images

Don’t make the person who rejected you the center of your world. It’s important to move forward and get on with your life. This person most likely got on with their life, and you should do the same.Tanya Peterson, a counselor and writer for Choosing Therapy, recommends taking a step back and looking at the big picture. “Remember your big picture,” Peterson told us. “What is important to you? How do you want your life to be, and what type of person do you want to be? It’s natural to be disappointed, but you don’t have to make the person and their rejection a star player in your life story.”

Consider this a learning experience

Freddie Highmore on The Good Doctor | Darko Sikman/ABC via Getty Images
Freddie Highmore on The Good Doctor | Darko Sikman/ABC via Getty Images

Although it’s tough to have someone rebuff your romantic interest, it’s helpful to use this as a learning experience. Tessina advises accepting what has happened while also reframing the situation and seeing it as a moment you can learn from:

Accept your disappointment, turn it into a learning experience. Consider whether you focused on the wrong type of person, someone who’s just not a good match for you. If so, start re-evaluating what you think is a good match for you. Put your energy into work, hobbies, friends, family and projects. Back off from dating for a little while, until you get over your disappointment.

How Shaun can recover from getting rejected by Lea

Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore | Kailey Schwerman/ABC via Getty Images
Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore | Kailey Schwerman/ABC via Getty Images

How can Shaun heal from being so brutally rejected by Lea? Peterson says Shaun should focus on staying present, instead of replaying the disappointment he experienced with Lea. “Stay in the present moment, Shaun!” advises Peterson. “While your mind will naturally speed back to the harsh rejection every time you see Lea, pull yourself back to the present and concentrate on the unemotional interaction in ‘this’ moment. It’s the best way to keep the emotions from the past from ruining your life with Lea in the present.”

Tessina says it’s important for Shaun to work on letting go of Lea and come to terms with the situation. “He needs to understand he made a mistake and let go of his feelings for her,” says Tessina. “It isn’t love if both people haven’t signed on. Shaun needs to treat Lea like a colleague, and forget that he’s in love with her, because he isn’t really. He’s just fantasizing.”

Read more: ‘The Good Doctor’: The Meanest Things Lea Has Said to Shaun So Far

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