There’s a reason people say, “love hurts.” Because it does. Even when you are at your happiest in a relationship, the thought of losing someone can cause a sting of agony in your life.

Love certainly has its ups and downs, but one of the cruelest forms of love is when you express your love to someone and they don’t say it back.

It happens all the time. In fact, it’s the plotline of may romantic comedies where women pick themselves up and make drastic changes in their lives after falling flat on their faces.

But that’s Hollywood. So hat can you do, as a real person with real feelings, to get over a guy?

Here are 20 things you can do when you need to get over a guy who doesn’t love you back and you need to move on.

1) Recognize that this relationship is over, or it is not going to happen.

Before you do anything else, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that this thing is not happening.

The relationship is over, or if you weren’t in a relationship, then it’s not going to start anytime soon.

We’re not saying it won’t ever happen, but you want to put yourself in a position where if it ever did come to fruition, you are already with someone else and happy to leave bygones be bygones.

2) Give yourself time.

Even if you weren’t in a relationship with this person, it can hurt as much when someone doesn’t return your love and affection.

Often, we don’t get the answers we need to provide closure to our feelings and it can go on for a long time.

Being rejected is everyone’s worst fear. It stops us from doing all kinds of things in life.

But if you’ve been rejected in love, even after you mustered up the courage to say something, it can have a lasting effect on your life, and your love life later on.

Allow yourself some time to process what happened and don’t beat yourself up. You’ll need to be kind to yourself for a while if you want to get over this guy.

3) Feel the pain.

While it might seem counterintuitive to say “feel the pain,” it can actually help you make meaning of the situation faster and come to terms with it.

There’s no doubt that people hate feeling shitty, but sometimes, we need to feel that way to allow our brains and bodies to process what is happening.

At first, you’ll want to blame yourself and say it’s all your fault, but you really have no control over how others act and feel and so you can’t take that approach. Instead, focus on your feelings and sit with them a while.

You might find that they are just thoughts in your head that are upsetting you. Maybe you can replace those thoughts overtime and find a new focus in your life to get over this guy.

4) Get the girls together

Another great way to get over a guy who wasn’t really yours to begin with is to blow it all off and go out with the girls.

Your friends are your rock and your support network, even when you are facing lost love you never had. Let them do their job and take care of you.

Let them buy you a drink and tell you how awesome you are and let them remind you that it’s “his loss” if he doesn’t want to be with a rockstar like you.

Seriously, call the girls and have some fun with your friends. It won’t be long before you start feeling better.

5) Find the bigger picture.

Sometimes it’s helpful to sit down and make a list of all the things you liked about a person.

While it might seem like you could just set yourself into a tailspin of depression, you might actually find that they didn’t have as many good things going on as you might have originally thought.

And if they do, consider that if one person on the planet has all of those amazing qualities, maybe other people do too! And you can certainly find someone else who is warm, caring, funny, smart, and owns a boat… right?

6) Look at the downside.

The easiest way to get over a guy who didn’t love you back is to look at their flaws. Instead of focusing on all that you are losing out on by not being with this guy, look at all you don’t have to put up with!

It’s easier to point out the flaws in someone because nobody is perfect, and you might just make yourself feel better in the process.

7) Do something for yourself.

If you feel like you need to hide away for awhile, do it. But book yourself a room at the boutique hotel down the street, order room service, and relax. Do something just for you.

You are your own best friend after all, and you need to be there for your broken heart just as much as anyone else. Consider a road trip, shopping trip, or just a walk in the woods to clear your head and focus on what you have that’s good in your life: you!

8) Try again.

If you really want to move on, consider going out with someone else to get over this guy.

Lots of people date around and there’s nothing wrong with getting back in the saddle as soon as possible.

There’s no rule about how long you need to grieve or nurse a broken heart.

If you feel like seeing another guy might make you feel better, then by all means, make it happen.

And you never know what you might find. He might show up being warm, kind, funny, smart…and have a boat.

9) Try being happy for the guy instead of wishing his fiance or girlfriend would fall in front of a bus. ‘

Sure, it’s easy to wish that he was suddenly single or interested in you, but you don’t want to sit around wasting your own life while he is out there living his; the best way to get on with it already is to realize that he is happy and that while you can’t be happy with him, you can be happy for him.

Pretend if you have to, and eventually, you will be glad that the two of you didn’t get together after all.

These things don’t happen for a reason. Be patient and you’ll discover what it is.

10) Recognize how you let this happen.

Maybe you’ve let yourself fall for a married guy or someone who is already in a relationship before.

Maybe you’ve fallen for a guy that wasn’t suitable for you.

Maybe you’ve made the mistake of thinking you could “change” him, but that never works out how you hope it will.

It might be time to take a hard look at how you are approaching relationships.

If you are always trying to put yourself between a couple so you can get the guy, there might be a reason for it, and it’s certainly worth exploring.

11) Use this turn of fate as inspiration for your next move.

There are countless Hollywood movies about girl meets boy, discovers boy has something, someone or is going somewhere and then things seem like they aren’t going to work out.

They always get together in the end, but that’s not real life.

Instead of waiting around for things to work themselves out, take yourself on a road trip, hop a plane to somewhere hot and enjoy a few days on the beach.

Give yourself the gift of yourself – you don’t need anyone else.

12) Find things you hate about him.

We know, it’s going to be hard to look through his handsome facade and find something so wrong with him that you don’t want to be with him, but you can do it.

Maybe he has mother issues, or maybe he picks his nose. Even if you have to make it up in your mind, find some way to turn yourself off.

13) It’s not you. It’s him. 

Recognize that him not wanting to be with you, or his inability to be with you because he’s leaving the country, he’s gay, or whatever, has nothing to do with you.

Maybe he’s married. Maybe he wants to be a good husband and not cheat on his wife. How can you get mad at that?

14) Grab your pals and hit the town.

If all else fails, ask your friends to take you out on the town to distract you from yourself.

There’s no point sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself when you can be out with the people you love and who love you, having a great time!

15) Restrain yourself from being mean to his other half in public.

You might know that she’s no good for him, but it’s not your job to declare it to the world.

He gets to decide who he should be with, and you need to understand that and respect it.

That means that you don’t get to treat her like crap because you disagree with his life choices.

16) Don’t put yourself – or him – in an awkward situation by acting on your feelings.

You might have overwhelming urges to tell him you love him or to corner him in a dark bar, but don’t put yourself in that situation.

What feels right in the moment can lead to a great deal of embarrassment and despair for everyone involved.

You need to ask yourself if you really want to be the reason his other relationship ends and what he might think of you as a result of those actions.

17) Get the thoughts and feelings out and then leave it be.

Grab a friend and some grande lattes and pour your heart out, but then move on from it.

Take the time you need to allow yourself to feel all the things you are going to feel and then say goodbye to the pity party. It doesn’t serve anyone, especially you.

18) Let yourself have fun with other guys.

You don’t need to sleep around to make yourself feel better, but you can certainly flirt with anyone who walks by.

Getting attention from other people will remind you that it’s not that you weren’t good enough, but that he has someone who is good enough for him.

You need to find someone who is good enough for you.

19) Don’t spend every minute of the day refreshing his social media feed.

Stop stalking him. It’s unhealthy and you have way more exciting things to be doing with your time and hitting refresh on his Instagram page.

20) Don’t hold other guys to this standard. Everyone has something to offer you.

Okay, we’ll agree, he was probably pretty great. But so are lots of other guys.

If you hold everyone to that standard, which is probably not even really that great when you think about it, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.

And nobody wants to feel like a failure. Give other guys a chance to see what they are all about and you’ll find someone who is worthy of you in no time

A quick message from Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit

In 2018, the third year of Hack Spirit, I poured thousands of hours and considerable resources into creating these articles. It's a labor of love and remains free thanks to your patronage. If you found any value in these articles, please consider supporting what I do with a donation. Your support is what helps me to continue creating more Hack Spirits articles. To make a donation, click the "donate" button below and choose between a single donation or monthly.

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