How To Love Someone From A Distance And Protect Your Heart

You can’t always love someone in the way you want to love them. This isn’t about playing hard to get or punishing someone, it’s about backing off a bit so you don’t get hurt. If the object of your affection has major issues, already has a partner at home, or there’s some other reason you can’t be serious with them, you have to protect yourself and your heart. Here’s how to love from a distance instead.

  1. Let your head take charge. It’s easy for your heart to run away with you, but that’s why you have to take time for yourself to think about what you really think and feel about this person and if there are any red flags in the situation. Your head will help you to remember the logical reasons why you need to back off a bit.
  2. Don’t do something you’ll regret. While it’s tempting for you to share your feelings with this person, if you know it’s a bad time or it’s not going to work, then you shouldn’t put yourself out there. You’ll just regret it later.
  3. Don’t see them too much. Again, it’s tempting to want to see the person all the time, but if they’re dragging you down with their negative energy or you don’t want to get your heart broken by a commitment-phobe, you need to ensure that you keep your distance from them. If you’re always spending time with them, you’re going to get swept up in your feelings.
  4. Leave him at the door. After you’ve seen or chatted to the person, it’s important not to keep him in your head for hours afterward. Try to distract yourself when they’re not around so that you don’t give them too much of your headspace. Out of sight, out of mind – and back to your amazing life.
  5. Put limits on how much you give. You want to give them all your time? You want to give them money so they can make rent again this month? You want to give them all your effort because they always expect you to call them? Hold up. If they’re not meeting you halfway and putting in as much as you are, then you need to limit what you give them. Otherwise, you’re the one who’s going to lose out.
  6. Don’t take on their drama. If they’re going through a rough patch, which is why you’re holding yourself back, then you need to ensure you have boundaries in place otherwise they could end up taking advantage of your kindness and support. Their drama is theirs, not yours. Be there for them but don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to help them carry it around.
  7. Life a full life, and an amazing one. Don’t let your life fall by the wayside because you’re putting all your attention on this guy. You need to ensure that you put most of your energy into your life. If he’s worth being in it, he’ll show you that. You don’t need to give your energy and attention to try to make him right for you. You can’t change him, so rather put that effort into changing yourself!
  8. Put barriers up in your life. Boundaries should be set in every relationship. They are so important to help you ensure that you look out for yourself. Another way in which you should enforce them is when it comes to how much you allow this person to know about, or have access to, your life. If they’re not good for you right now for whatever reason, you need to ensure that you keep the most sacred parts of your life out of their reach. Love from a distance. It’s the only way here.
  9. Go slow. You know the drill: take things slowly! Don’t rush through relationship milestones because you’ll just end up getting hurt. Take your time so that you can figure out their intentions and know what you’re getting into, and if this person is right for you. You want to find that out sooner rather than later, so now’s not the time to be blinded by your feelings.
  10. Drop and run. If your crush isn’t doing what they need to do to show you that they’re worth your time and energy, cut your losses and move on. Head for the door instead of hanging around and hoping that things will change. Guess what? They will change, but only in that they will get worse. It’s one thing to maintain a bit of distance when getting to know someone to be sure you’re giving your heart to the right person, but it’s another thing altogether if you’re hanging around at the edges of his life in the hope that they’ll change and be what you want them to be. You know the answer to that: they won’t.


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.