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 what 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’re trying to get over a guy you never dated, 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’re getting over a guy you never dated, 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 a while, 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!
(To learn how to believe in yourself when the world is telling you different, check out our ultimate guide on how to love yourself here)
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!
(If you’re looking for dating tips to improve your love life, check out our eBook full of practical advice on how to go from flirting, to having fun, to making future plans with the man of your dreams here).
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 at the moment can lead to a great deal of embarrassment and despair for everyone involved.
You need to ask yourself if you 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.
(To learn how to deal with negative emotions, check out Master Buddhist’s Thich Nhat Hanh’s brilliant advice here).
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.
21) Separate yourself.
One of the most important things you can do when a relationship falls apart is giving yourself some space.
This might be physical space, but also, mental space.
You need to give your brain time to process what has happened and avoid trying to make a great deal of meaning out of things until the dust has settled.
All too often, people try to dig deep into what’s wrong with them or how could they have saved the relationship, but that kind of thinking doesn’t help anyone.
At least, not yet.
Perhaps when you’ve resigned to the fact that this relationship is over, you can spend some time reconciling your feelings, but right now, it’s just going to be tough to do that.
Instead, give yourself the time and space you need and don’t put yourself in situations where you are going to run into your ex.
If you live together, opt to move out for a while until you both decide what will happen to the home you shared.
It’s best for everyone to create and save that space.
22) Stop dreaming about what might have been
One of the hardest things to do is stop yourself from wondering what you could have done differently. The answer is nothing.
Now, whether you believe that or not, you can’t ever go back and change what happened to the truth is that it happened exactly as it was supposed to happen.
When you accept that and see how you are just holding yourself back from moving on, it might become easier to let go.
When you spend your days and nights feeling sorry for yourself because your relationship fell apart, it’s easy to get caught up in made up drama in your own mind.
Rather than focus on what might have been, focus on what is going on right now and turn your eyes and mind to the future for some solace.
You might have dropped the ball in this relationship, but you can learn something from it and move on in a better way.
23) Forgive yourself
Before healing can really begin, you need to forgive yourself for all the things you didn’t do, didn’t say, didn’t have, didn’t trust, didn’t want.
Relationships are complicated and break-ups can make things seem unclear, especially when you look back at what happened and try to pick it apart.
If you can forgive yourself for what has gone down, you can have a better shot at moving on in the future.
Getting over someone is difficult and can take a lot longer than you might think. If this is your first heartbreak, you might be feeling like this for a while.
So rather than feel bad about how the relationship ended AND feel bad about yourself, cut yourself some slack and don’t feel bad about yourself. It doesn’t help anyone.
On the other hand, if you don’t feel bad at all and are glad to be rid of your ex, don’t allow other people to tell you how you should feel.
If you are fine with it and ready to move on, then roll with that.
Sometimes we overemphasize how much relationships mean and then come to find that they weren’t that great to begin with.
24) Love them if you must
Everyone around you is going to be yelling from the rooftops to just forget him or her, but we know that’s easier said than done.
And those people know it too, but that is the commonplace advice most people give.
Instead of helping you move on by letting you talk through things, they will brush it under the rug so that they don’t have to deal with your break-up either.
They’ll encourage you to find someone else right away or to bury yourself in your work, but if loving them is what you do, it’s going to be hard to let that go.
Rather than try to ignore your feelings, let yourself love them.
Even if your romantic love has ended and there’s no chance of it being rekindled, you can love them for who they are, what they meant to you, and wish them well in life.
25) Love yourself enough to move on
Having just advised you to allow love to continue on even after the relationship has ended, give yourself a deadline for that.
Don’t pine after someone who doesn’t want you for the rest of your life. Instead, feel what you feel for as long as you need to feel it, and then turn your attention to yourself.
Love yourself enough to let go of your ex. It’s the best thing for you and them. Holding on to what might have been, what you had, and the relationship doesn’t help anybody.
So you can love them, and you can love yourself, but eventually, you’ll see that you are strong enough to love yourself out of that feeling and move on for good.
Are you mentally tough?
Resilience and mental toughness are key attributes to living your best life. They determine how high we rise above what threatens to wear us down, from battling an illness, to dealing with challenging emotions, to carrying on after a relationship has ended.
In The Art of Resilience: A Practical Guide to Developing Mental Toughness, we outline exactly what it means to be mentally tough and equip you with 10 resilience-building tools that you can start using today.
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