You can’t always get what you want — and when all you want is that one guy who’s never going to be yours, it’s a particularly hard lesson to learn. You know your affection for him has turned into an obsession and you want to stop it, but it’s easier said than done. Here’s how to start letting go and moving on:
- Focus on his flaws. Yeah, he’s got amazing biceps, but he also has a gym selfie as the wallpaper on his own phone. He might send you cute texts, but he doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Your infatuation with this dude has come about because you’re focusing on all the amazing parts about him, and if you want to nip it in the bud, you’re going to have to focus on all the negative stuff about him instead. Once you begin to realize all the dealbreakers he has that you were ignoring, it’s going to be a lot easier to tell him buh-bye.
- Go no-contact. I know, I know — you love talking to him, so how on earth are you going to just STOP? Unfortunately, cutting off contact with the object of your affection is often the only way to curb your obsession for them. Absence sometimes makes the heart grow fonder, but most of the time, it makes you realize that this person wasn’t contributing that much to your life after all.
- Eliminate all evidence of him from your life. Yep, even that hoodie he loaned you that you keep “forgetting” to give back to him. You don’t have to burn it, but at least bury it in your closet for a while instead of wearing it around the house or sleeping in it. If you have pictures together on social media, take them down. Do your best to get rid of everything that reminds you of him. It’s going to hurt at first, but you’ll thank yourself when you’re no longer spending hours re-reading all the texts he’s ever sent you.
- Find a new crush. Easier said than done, right? But just the effort of looking for someone else to occupy your mind can be the distraction you need. Sometimes all we need is to spread our infatuation out a little bit so it’s not all concentrated on one person. With any luck, your new crush will work out a lot better than the one before, and soon, you’ll wonder how you ever thought That Guy could possibly be the one for you.
- Masturbate. They say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else, but we’re looking for a safe, quick fix here. Jilling off can help release some of that pent-up sexual energy that can be contributing to your obsession with this guy. The key, though, is to not think about the man in question when you’re having your “you” time. Instead, try thinking about someone who looks completely different. It’s kind of like training your brain to be sexually attracted to someone else.
- Go out and have fun. When we’re down about being rejected or missing someone we care about, going out in public can be one of the last things we want to do. But it’s often the perfect thing to get your mind off the object of your obsession. Wallowing in your own sorrow at home while constantly checking your phone to see if he messaged you isn’t doing you any favors, and getting out of the house and spending time with friends can help dig you out of that self-destructive rut.
- Stay away from things that remind you of him. That means NOT listening to that song on the radio and NOT going into that restaurant he used to work at. It doesn’t have to be a forever thing — just long enough to allow your mind to break the connection between him and the places and things you associate with him. Maybe you won’t be able to avoid everything that reminds you of him, but making a reasonable effort to not surround your life with memories of him will help you get over him way faster.
- Focus on your own happiness. It sounds so cliche, I know, but when you develop a fixation on another person, you tend to invest all your happiness in him. You good mood depends on whether or not he “liked” your latest selfie on Instagram, and you drive yourself crazy wondering if the reason he hasn’t responded to your text is because he’s hooking up with another girl right at that very moment. It’s hard to work your way out of that web of stress, but you’ll make it easier on yourself if you make an effort to make your happiness independent of him. Go do things you enjoy, and focus on loving yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it will be to get over him once you start making yourself the priority instead of him.
- Be honest with yourself. The reason he hasn’t asked you to hang out isn’t because he’s busy; it’s because he doesn’t want to hang out with you. He’s not spending time with that new girl just to make you jealous; he’s doing it because he actually likes her. We all lie to ourselves and come up with ridiculous explanations as to why things just aren’t working out with the guy of our dreams, but if you ever want to move on from him, you need to stop. You know in your heart when the excuses you’re making up for him aren’t true, so the second you start convincing yourself that they are, give yourself a (metaphorical) slap in the face and start speaking the truth. Sometimes, even though it hurts, our hearts need to be reminded that our brains are in charge.