Dear Hivemind, I'm all in knots and mostly just want to ramble into the ether, but maybe you can once more bring some healthy perspective. Aka, teach me how to adult-date like a sane person!

So, I don't let go easily. Of anything. Ever. This is proving especially difficult with former love interests. I'm now in a place where I can at least go out once or twice with someone and not completely freak out if I or they don't want to continue seeing each other. So there is that, I suppose. But anything even slightly more substantial still rattles my self-esteem and has me fluctuating wildly between sheer narcissism and self-loathing. An example:

Once upon a time, I went out with a guy for a few months. It was pretty good, and I was pretty happy, but even as we were dating, I was quietly wondering whether we'd make it in the long run - indeed, I was wondering if I was all that into him. Three months in, he somewhat unexpectedly but not unkindly broke up with me. I cried for a day, then was okay. Until many months later when I decided to contact him to see if we could be friends. He initially responded, but then stopped. I went to skulk the interwebs, and surely enough, he was not dead in a ditch but had recently started seeing someone and was either distracted or felt awkward communicating with an ex.

Cue obsession, wailing, despair. I should add that the same applies, although to a lesser degree, to friendships as well: I take friends losing touch intensely personally. I've been trying to unpack just why I have such disproportionate reactions to these things. There's definitely petty jealousy, possessiveness, greed. But I think one element I really struggle with is Being a Special Snowflake and self-worth.

See, I think I'm awesome. I think I'm special. I think I'm worth love. But somehow this conviction is not quite strong enough to withstand being faced with the fact that not EVERYONE thinks I'm that awesome, special, or worth love (or at least not worth their love). It's either/or: either everyone thinks I am the bee's knees, or no one does. Either I am all that, or I'm nothing. And when someone chooses to not date me and, worse yet, instead date someone else, I'm left confuddled. I thought what we had was special! I thought I was special! How can you just up-and-leave and take those feelings and apply them to someone else?! Followed by feeling like whatever I had with that person was all a big, fat lie with no value whatsoever.

...Yeah. I'm aware this isn't a recipe for being a good, mature, or well-balanced person. So, I guess I'd be curious to hear about your experiences and viewpoints. Part of the issue is that I just get over people (partners, friends, frickin' acquaintances) really slowly, so seeing others move on more swiftly confuses me. How do you move on from one person to another? How do you accept that not everyone is a Special Snowflake to everyone else, and that's okay? Are you with your Special Snowflake now; if so, how could you tell the difference when you met/got to know each other? Share your experiences and words of wisdom, in hopes that I may see beyond my own limited experiences and hang-ups!