Few things are as painful as loving someone who can’t or won’t love you back. Thankfully, it is possible to stop pining over someone you have strong feelings for—it just takes time. Plus, there are a few things you can do along the way to make the process easier for yourself. Here are 9 tips to help you stop loving someone who will never be yours.
- Stop contacting them. The old proverb “out of sight, out of mind” rings true when you’re trying to stop loving someone who will never be yours. The more you see of them, the more you’ll think of them, and the harder it will be to get over them. Cut them out of your life wherever you can. That might mean unfollowing them on social media or deleting their number out of your phone. In order to move on, you’ll have to stop contacting them and keeping up with their life. And it’s okay to be brutal about it. Think about your needs, not theirs.
- Remind yourself why they’ll never be yours. It can sometimes help to battle emotions with logic. No matter how strongly you feel about them, there’s a good reason why you’re not with them (or else you would be with them). So remind yourself of that reason. If you have to, write a list of reasons why they’ll never be yours and refer back to it every time you’re tempted to try and make it work.
- Focus on what you don’t love about them. When you love someone, you tend to see them through rose-colored lenses. You might feel that everything they do is perfect. But nobody is perfect, not even the person you’re in love with. Instead of dwelling over the fact that they don’t love you, seek out the positive in the situation by focusing on the things that you don’t love about them. Write a list of their biggest flaws and think about it whenever you feel a strong desire for that person.
- Build up your self-esteem. Self-love should be a priority for everyone. But when you’re dealing with unrequited love, you need a little more TLC. Rather than pining for that person, focus on loving yourself and building up your self-esteem. Remind yourself of why you’re great and treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend. Even try repeating some positive affirmations! By constantly engaging in self-care, you’ll teach yourself that you are worth loving. Just because that person will never be yours, doesn’t mean you won’t get your happily ever after. It doesn’t mean that you can’t find happiness right now.
- Surround yourself with love. Our society tends to fixate on romantic love as though it’s the only kind of love that exists. But contrary to popular belief, other kinds of love count for a lot too. Don’t assume that if you’re single you must be lonely or leading a life void of love because it’s just not true. There are all kinds of love out there and you can absolutely surround yourself with them, regardless of if you’re in a happy relationship or not. Spend time with your family and friends who care about you. Make sure you feel the love so you have no need to continue looking for it at a dead end.
- Find other things to fulfill you. Love can be a very fulfilling part of life, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. There are plenty of things out there that will give you a sense of purpose and fill the void inside you. Think hobbies that light you up, passion projects, charity work, travel, careers, and anything else that’s important to you. Focus on those areas of life rather than your love life. The more attention you give to them, the less you’ll have to put towards the person you’re trying to forget about.
- Don’t fantasize about them. Fantasy is a form of escape that can help us to cope when life isn’t going so well. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with daydreaming about the way you wish things were, fantasizing about the person you’re trying to stop loving is counter-productive. It will just increase your feelings for them and prevent you from moving on. Find other things to fantasize about or other ways to cope with stress.
- Talk about it with a professional. It’s really tricky to stop loving someone who will never be yours, and the process is likely to cause a lot of pain. You don’t have to go through it alone. Talking to a professional therapist or counselor might be a good idea because it will allow you to get some heavy feelings off your chest. A professional might also have some insider tips on how to stop loving someone and how to make the journey easier for you.
- Give it time. Time might not heal all wounds but it certainly helps with a lot of them. Over time, the sting of having to let go of someone you love will begin to fade away. The more time that passes and the more you live life in that time, the more you’ll change as a person. Different things will be important to you and different people will come into your life. You’ll get some distance from all the emotions and, hopefully, arrive at a place where you feel detached from the person you once loved.