Why Loving Someone You Can’t Have Hurts So Much

Maybe they’re already spoken for, they’re avoiding commitment, or they’ve shown you through their body language that they’re not interested in you romantically. Whatever the case, it’s not always easy to move on and forget about them. Here’s why loving someone you can’t have hurts so damn much.

  1. You don’t get to release your feelings. When you build up a ton of feelings for someone and then later date them, you experience that release of all your pent-up desires and feelings. When you love someone you can’t have, you never get that release. It all stays stuck inside your heart.
  2. You don’t get to go through dating milestones. Part of the heartache of not being able to date someone you love is that you will never get to progress through different dating milestones. You’re always stuck behind the starting line, knowing that you’ll never get to cross it and start the race. This is worsened by having friends who are dating and racing through those milestones.
  3. You might not get to express yourself. You might not be in a position to tell the person that you love them. This in itself can be painful because self-expression can help you to deal with your feelings and move on if they reject you.
  4. You torture yourself. Maybe you spend time with this person or you see them all the time at work, which can torture you because you have to see the person all the time and can’t date them. It’s like being on a diet when someone’s always dangling your favorite chocolate in front of you.
  5. You’re consumed with “what if?” questions. This is another part of self-torture that could occur. You might wonder things like, “What if we had dated and had an amazing time?” or “What if we found out we were soulmates? Now that will never happen!” This can snowball quickly and make you feel like you’ll never find reciprocated love.
  6. You build them up in your head. Seeing as though you can’t date them in reality, your mind might turn the person into an illusion. You think about who you imagine they’d be if you got the chance to date them, but this isn’t necessarily realistic. You might also put them up on a pedestal. This can hurt you by holding you back from dating other people, with whom you could be happier but you just don’t think they’re as good enough as this person.
  7. You get the rejection without any closure. Ouch. This one is really sore. You might have been told by the person that they don’t want you, or you might have gathered that they’re not right for you because of their situation. Whatever the case, it’s difficult to move on from this because you don’t get the closure you need, the closure you’re more likely to get from a relationship breakup.
  8. You end up being hard on yourself. You think that there’s something wrong with you because the person doesn’t choose you, or you beat yourself up because you feel crazy for not getting over them.

How To Get Over Loving Someone You Can’t Have

  1. Try to talk yourself through it. Face what’s happened in reality instead of what you wish had happened. It’s easy to get stuck on how amazing you felt when you first met them or thought there was some flirting going on between you. But move through that in your mind to what happened next – you didn’t get them, for whatever reason. That’s what you should focus on as it will be easier to deal with facts instead of fantasies.
  2. Keep a clear head. You don’t know what this person would have been like as a RL boyfriend. Be realistic about them. This guy might not be the perfect guy for you, after all – hey, if he was, he’d be dating you. Think about that.
  3. Focus on the rest of your life. You’re more than your feelings for this person. Seriously. They are an amazing person, but they’re one person. Try to pay attention to other things and other people that matter to you and make life worth living. Try to do this especially when you get caught up in a toxic thought cycle about your unrequited feelings.
  4. Remember that it might be a blessing. This person wasn’t meant for you, but maybe they’re meant to be a better friend or acquaintance. They could be doing you a favor by not dating you.
  5. Find other things to fulfill you. Don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t love you. One day you’ll look back and regret all the hours you wasted pining over someone who wasn’t meant to be yours. Meanwhile, they’re out there living their lives and dating up a storm. Why should you be putting your life on ice? It’s too precious for that.
  6. Break away. If it hurts too much to be around the person, consider putting some distance between you if possible. Or go cold turkey. Delete their number and delete them from social media. If you need this peace to heal, then honor that. You don’t deserve to suffer.
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.