There are many steps you can take to move on from this kind of situation. Figuring out how to get over someone you never dated is difficult, perhaps more difficult than recovery from traditional heartbreak. But it’s possible.
Thinking of the what-ifs, what could happen, what might have been etc., can turn into a never-ending loop in our head. But thankfully, there are ways you can stop the loop and escape the confusion.
So we’ve come up with a helpful list of tips for getting over someone you never dated. It’s time to move on, and this advice will help get you through to the other side and have you feeling ready to bounce back.
15 tips for moving on from someone you never dated
1. First, make sure they’re not interested
Maybe this person has clearly rejected your feelings, or their friends have done it for them. If you know, you know, and you can ignore this step.
But if they’ve never established how they really feel about you, it’s time to find out.
It’s so easy to convince yourself that someone isn’t interested because you think they’re giving off negative cues and body language. Especially if you suffer from low self-esteem or anxiety, you’re going to tell yourself that’s the case even if it’s not, or without confirming it for certain.
It’s hard, but you need to ask. This way, you can get real closure around your feelings and shut the door on them completely.
If you keep the possibilityof their feelings open in your mind, it will always seem like a good reason to hold on and keep that door open.
As sad as it may be, one of the best ways to get over someone you never dated is by accepting the fact that they don’t feel the same.
And of course, there’s always the chance that maybe they do. But you won’t know if you don’t ask!
2. Stop checking their social media
If you’re constantly checking in on them through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., this is the first thing you have to do.
Keeping tabs on their whereabouts and activity through social media may help you feel closer to them, but in the long run, it is only keeping you tied to the person and your feelings, ultimately making it harder to move on.
It may take a while to wean yourself off the compulsive Facebook stalking, but you can’t get over them otherwise.
If you are close with this person, and they know your feelings for them and don’t reciprocate, consider limiting their ability to contact you as well.
You can do this by temporarily deactivating your profiles, archiving their messages so you don’t see them and feel tempted to respond, or block them temporarily as a last resort (you can always unblock later).
This may seem harsh, but if they know that you’re struggling with feelings, then they should support these decisions, understanding that it can only benefit your friendship in the long run.
3. Keep your distance
Checking out of social media isn’t enough. When you’re in love with someone you aren’t dating, it’s tempting to find any excuse to see them or be around them.
Often that means showing up to parties or social events you know they’ll be attending or even going out of your way to initiate social encounters.
It isn’t the easiest way to get over someone you never dated, but keeping yourself around the person is only going to prolong your feelings and stop you from letting go of them.
Distance is essential. If they’re a friend of yours, you don’t have to cut them off completely, but try not to be in their company regularly for a few weeks, or even better, months. Avoid taking those actions that you know will put you in proximity with them. It’s all part of moving on.
4. Stop reading into it
You know what this means. Stop taking every possible signal, or a bunch of mixed messages, as a sign they want you back. Things like shared eye contact for more than a second or brief and accidental physical contact!
When you love someone, and they don’t make it clear how they feel about you, it’s so easy to find any excuse to believe that they might.
You need to stop finding every tiny excuse to believe that they share your feelings.
When you’re in the process of getting over someone you’ve never dated, it’s easy to feel guilty and embarrassed or to trivialize your feelings.
Hell, the people around you will probably do the same. It can be difficult to understand and empathize if they’ve never experienced it themselves.
But none of that matters. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, dismissing your feelings or belittling yourself for them is only going to make you feel worse.
And it’s very likely to stop you from moving on. Not only that, but it’s actively bad for your health to bottle up emotions.
This study published by the American Psychology Association analyzed the dreams and sleeping patterns of study participants. What they found was that those who regularly repressed their thoughts and emotions experienced more stress, anxiety, depression, and sleeping issues in waking life.
It’s imperative for your physical and mental health that you embrace how you’re feeling.
Processing your emotions is key to moving on from the experience that caused them in the healthiest way possible. As the old saying goes, ‘the only way out is through.’
6. Acknowledge that it isn’t worth it
This is a particularly difficult step because it also means acknowledging that you’ve spent so much time and emotional energy on something that was kind of a waste.
Yes, you can learn a lot from this kind of heartbreak. It isn’t all wasted. But after a while, continuing to mope over someone who you are unlikely to ever end up with is just self-torture.
At some point, you need to realize that it isn’t worth it to focus on something that isn’t going to happen.
7. Be honest with yourself
Face up to the truth of this situation in whatever way you need to in order to get over someone you love but never dated.
Identify the things you are in denial about and are using to keep this person in your life or convince yourself that you still have a chance with them.
Getting over love is impossible if you’re constantly telling yourself lies and half-truths about the situation you’re in.
8. Accept that it isn’t bad timing
If it was, there would be a clear cause, and you would find your way around it, whether it’s because they can’t commit, are emotionally unavailable, or just aren’t interested.
It doesn’t matter why. Stop blaming time.
9. They don’t feel the same
This is the big one if you really wish to get over someone you never dated.
If you tried step one and you’re still reading this article, it’s because you now know that they don’t want you in the same way.
10. Many people feel like this
Whether it’s falling in love with someone unattainable or still pining for your ex, many people are going through the same thing you are.
Many have felt this way in the past, and many will experience it in the future. How many of those people feel this way forever? Exactly.
11. Look at the past objectively
We so often romanticize our memories, particularly when it comes to that special person. In the midst of heartbreak, go over these memories with a harsh and honest eye.
Review your interactions with that person and ask yourself – was there ever a spark? Or any signs that they liked you back?
Are they even as wonderful as you remember? Or wonderful enough to feel this much pain over? The answer is likely ‘No,’ on all counts.
12. Figure out why it wouldn’t work
If being with that person was going to work, it probably would have already. This isn’t always true, but think about it – people know when someone is right for them, especially if it’s someone they’ve spent a lot of time around.
If this person doesn’t want to be with you, it’s probably because they know something that you don’t – i.e., that you’re just not that compatible.
And if you look closely into why that might be, you’ll no doubt find reasons why a relationship with them wouldn’t work.
Maybe you’re too clingy, and they’re too emotionally distant. Maybe they love going out, and you just want to stay home.
That last one was a joke, but you get the idea. Once you pinpoint these kinds of things, you’ll slowly start to feel more positive about the position you’re in.
13. Keep yourself distracted
This is a pretty helpful tip when it comes to virtually every kind of heartbreak one can experience. There are a lot of ways you can distract yourself from your feelings until they eventually (or hopefully) fade into the background.
Here are a few good ways of keeping yourself distracted:
Focus on your hobbies and interests
If you don’t have many hobbies and interests, find more. New passions will divert you from negative passions (i.e., heartbreak over that person)
Spend more time with your friends and family
Do things that make you smile and laugh. Laughter will improve your mood and distract you from negative emotions
Work on yourself: whether that’s exercising more, cleaning the house, organizing your room, or focusing more on work.
Consistent distractions aren’t going to heal your heart completely, and it probably isn’t a long-term or permanent way to get over a guy or girl. But it will definitely help and make the process easier.
14. Be open to other people
Jumping into bed with other people without a second thought may not be the best idea (though some people do this), but you shouldn’t rule out pursuing others entirely.
The truth is that when you are pining for someone who doesn’t return your affections, you’re going to use most of your emotional energy thinking about and feeling for that person.
Not moving on means you block yourself off from others because you’re so consumed with this other person. But exploring other people really can distract you from your feelings, and over time help you heal and forget.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.