How Do You Get Over Someone When You Weren’t Even Dating?

The guy who was your almost-but-not-quite boyfriend can be a bitch to get over. You were never an actual couple so you don’t get much closure when you realize you have to move on, and you’re left with all those unexpressed feelings and hopes that he’d become yours. WTF? It’s hard to get over him, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what to do:

  1. Turn off the “what if” thoughts. You’re probably making yourself sick with thoughts, wondering what would have happened if you’d managed to make it work and what could have been if you’d had a real romantic shot. These sadly don’t have answers and they’re just keeping you trapped in a loop. Stop torturing yourself for the mistake he made of not dating you exclusively.
  2. Realize he could have made a lousy boyfriend. The truth is, you have no idea what this guy would have been like as a BF. He could have been disrespectful, a cheat or total jackass. You’re holding onto the illusion of what you think he’d be like as a boyfriend based on the side of himself he’s shown you, but it’s a completely different ballgame when you get into an exclusive relationship with someone, so maintain some perspective.
  3. Realize that you’ve already wasted enough time already. Yes, it’s scary to think that you spent so much time yearning for this guy that it feels like to let it all go is giving up, but it’s not. It’s really about saving yourself and saving the time you have now! Plus, if you’re being brutally honest with yourself, there’s nothing to let go of since your relationship never actually went anywhere. sometimes the truth really will set you free.
  4. Forget your ego. It’s tempting to attach your ego to this guy, thinking that “winning” him like you’re on The Bachelor somehow makes you more special or worthy, but screw that. You know you’re worthy, which is why you’re trying to move on. No guy will ever have anything to do with your worth, and the sooner you refuse to let him, the better off you’ll be.
  5. Cut all contact. It’s the only way to stop obsessing over this guy and to prevent yourself from getting swept back into the situation. Almost boyfriends are skilled at boosting their efforts to woo you the minute they sense you’re detaching, but never enough to make an actual commitment. The only way out is to cut him out.
  6. But don’t unfriend him on Facebook. There are two reasons for this. First, if you unfriend/block him, you’re going to look like you really had your heart set on him (which you did, but he doesn’t need to know!). Second, what you don’t see on his social media will just make you more obsessed. Sometimes it’s just easier to see what they guy is up to and then let it go. The minute you censor yourself from seeing his profiles, you increase the mystery and torture.
  7. Think about all the reasons you’re holding on — none are good enough. Maybe you’ve been holding on for this guy because he is such a funny, sweet guy or because he makes you feel special. Write these reasons down. Now write down explanations why each of these reasons are just not strong enough to keep you stuck on him. For instance, if he makes you feel special, you have to realize that he didn’t make you feel that special — he could have done that by committing to you.
  8. Stop denying yourself the full relationship experience. Settling for an almost boyfriend is like settling for a knockoff version of your favorite brand or using a free app that doesn’t unlock all the cool features that are in the paid version. You’re cheating yourself, so focus on what you need from a real grown boyfriend and don’t settle for less.
  9. Be real about what he brought to your life. Chances are you spent so much time hoping that he was going to wake up and ask if you’d like to date him exclusively that you weren’t really having fun during times with him. Even the good times probably weren’t all that great because you knew that they could be even better.
  10. Understand he could’ve been cheatingIt wouldn’t even be called cheating because he wasn’t your boyfriend. Nevertheless, it’s gross to think that he was probably dating you and sleeping with you while getting it on with other women and getting away with it all because he owed you no commitments. That’s just shady AF. If he was that mad about you, he would’ve had no issues with committing.
  11. Wake up to this newsflash: he’s not mourning you. If he was really sad about the possibility of no longer having you in his life, he’d be snapping you up. In fact, he wouldn’t have let things get to this stage to begin with because he would have made you his girlfriend ages ago. So why the hell should you be grieving him?
  12. You deserve a real relationship. Another cold, hard truth that will propel you forward in life: this guy didn’t treat you like the goddess you are. He didn’t show you that you mattered so much to him, he just had to be with you and no one else. That’s what a real relationship is about, not this weird, diluted attempt at coupledom that never goes anywhere. That’s just messed up and a waste of your time.
Jessica Blake is a writer who loves good books and good men, and realizes how difficult it is to find both.