It might seem strange to be hung up over someone you never had. But emotions aren’t rational—least of all love.
However, if you don’t get proactive about getting over that person, you’d be stuck for life. You have to close this door so another one will open, so to speak. Hopefully that “new door” will be someone you’ll actually date!
Help goes a long way, thankfully. And in this article, we will talk about the ways you can get over someone you never dated.
Reasons why you’re stuck
Before I give tips on how to get over someone you never dated, it’s important to identify those reasons because they’re key to you moving forward.
It bears keeping in mind, however, that this list of causes is by no means comprehensive. Rather, use it as a starting point to think about your own reasons.
1) You have put them on a pedestal.
One very likely reason why you just couldn’t get over this person is because you have put them on a pedestal. You’ve seen and are infatuated with their good bits while ignoring or minimizing their bad parts.
This happens often with celebrity crushes, but it also happens in normal relationships.
And when you turn someone within reach into a perfect superstar, you get fixated on the idea of “getting” them.
This is normal and the most likely reason. How can you see the bad parts when you’ve never been together, after all.
2) You’ve been told that you’d be great together.
Peer pressure is also another reason why you might find yourself unable to let go of someone.
You’ve been told that you’d totally be great together, and while you might have dismissed it at first, later on you find yourself thinking that maybe they have a point.
But then that person is no longer easy to approach. Maybe they’re in love with someone else or they have other priorities.
You are left haunted by “what-ifs”, thinking that surely your friends and family saw something great in the making.
3) You’re lonely and seeking to fill a void in your heart.
Perhaps you just got out of a really bad breakup. Or maybe you’ve had to see your friends get married and have kids while you’re there without a single date.
Whether the reason is one of the above or something else, there’s a deep, aching hole in your heart that yearns to be filled.
And so you latch on to the first person to show you affection, or who you felt is within reach. And then they begin to occupy your thoughts, becoming a one of a kind person. They become irreplaceable without much effort.
But as much as you might think your infatuation is about them, the truth is that it’s about you and your need for validation.
4) You have actually given it your all.
There’s the chance that maybe, just maybe, you might have overreacted or have come to conclusions.
Maybe they were hesitant when you tried to ask them out, and you had thought that was a firm no. Or maybe you didn’t even ask them out, and that you simply saw them walking with someone else and assumed that they were already taken.
But what if they’re just nervous and they really like you too?
It might seem scary, but it pays to reevaluate your understanding of events and give them a shot before giving up.
If anything, not exhausting your options will burden you with regrets, with “what-ifs” that will haunt you for a while.
And of course, that means doing everything you can to make sure you succeed. And there’s a lot that you can learn from experienced relationship coaches.
While this article explores the main ways you can get over someone you have never dated, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
Relationships can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes you’ve hit a wall and you really don’t know what to do next.
I’ve always been skeptical about getting outside help, until I actually tried it out.
Relationship Hero is the best resource I’ve found for love coaches who aren’t just talk. They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle difficult situations like getting over someone you’ve never dated.
Personally, I tried them last year while going through the mother of all crises in my own love life. They managed to break through the noise and give me real solutions.
My coach was kind, they took the time to really understand my unique situation, and gave genuinely helpful advice.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
5) You had put in a lot of focus and energy on them.
There’s something called the sunk-cost fallacy, which states that people who have invested a lot of time and energy into something aren’t going to let go of it even when it clearly isn’t going to work out.
This applies to many things in life, from business to art and, yes, relationships.
Maybe you had spent ages worrying about them. Maybe you helped them through some hard times, gave them a lot of gifts. Maybe you got close to dating, too.
Most of all, you’ve spent a lot of time with them…in your head.
But they decided to date someone else, or they had to leave, and you’re left struggling with having all your effort be for naught.
6) You have low self-esteem.
A big reason why you might latch onto someone emotionally (and thus obsess over them) is that you are a bit short on self-esteem.
When you’re someone who simply doesn’t have much confidence in yourself, you’re likely to latch on to the first person who shows the least bit of affection—even if it’s just friendly.
It doesn’t matter if they aren’t actually that good for you in the long run. They made you feel validated, and that’s all that matters to that needy part of you.
And in the end, you’ll focus so much on them that you might just end up convincing yourself that there’s simply no-one else like them—that no one else will ever look your way.
How to get over someone you never dated
So I hope you spent a minute to figure out the reasons why you’re so stuck. Great first step. Now, it’s time for you to act.
1) Cut them off your life.
It’s important for you to put some space between you and them—to put yourself in a place where you aren’t reminded of them at every waking moment.
If they’re someone who isn’t that eager to talk or engage with you, then an obvious solution is to simply cut them out of your life.
And one of the first things you can do to achieve that is to delete their number, and then unfriend, unfollow, and block them on social media.
You don’t want them showing up on your timeline or interacting with your posts. You’ll never be able to get them out of your head that way.
Now, of course, this isn’t easy. It’s like quitting any kind of addiction. To be gentler to yourself, set a date to quit them cold turkey. Days before that, spend all the time you want going crazy over them! Then quit 100%.
2) If quitting them isn’t possible, distance yourself.
Sometimes, cutting them off simply isn’t an option—maybe the two of you are good friends, and you just want to get rid of your feelings without losing their friendship.
In fact, maybe the reason why you want to get over your feelings is because it’s getting in the way of your friendship.
You don’t just disappear into nothing or block them out of nowhere here.
Instead, you should go and talk to them.
Tell them about your feelings, and how you need to stay away from them until you have your feelings under control.
After which you can delete their number and mute their social media accounts until you’re ready to meet again.
3) Remind yourself that they’re still human.
If part of the issue is that you have idealized them and put them on a pedestal, an answer is to remind yourself that they’re human, too. After all, nobody is without flaws.
They aren’t going to be the perfect person you think they’d be, and being with them isn’t going to be the bliss you imagine it to be.
They have their imperfections, and those imperfections will smack you in the face when you have to confront them. This leads to frustration.
People say “never meet your heroes” for this same reason.
Think of the times they actually did something wrong, be it as small as forgetting their car keys something as big as accidentally buying an entire truckload of rice.
Sure, this might seem cute in theory, but if you have to put up with it for several years they’ll grate on you.
And if your infatuated brain still can’t see their flaws, just imagine them doing evil deeds like being rude to their parents or unflattering human activities like not wiping their poop well. I know it might seem childish but it’s a psychological trick that works for some.
4) Keep yourself busy with work.
An idle mind is bound to get lost in obsessive thoughts. You’ll find yourself thinking about them over and over again simply because you have the time to.
So what you should do is keep yourself busy.
And what else better to dedicate your time and energy than into your career? Dedicate yourself to your work, without distractions, and see yourself excel.
You can even think of it as a little touch of spite. Think about it—when you’re successful and at the top of your craft, then people are missing out! You go from being the one denied dates to being the one who chooses to deny dates.
5) Indulge in your hobbies.
Another thing that would be a good idea is to indulge in your hobbies. Like throwing yourself into work, you get to keep your mind busy. But hobbies have another dimension to them.
They are what you find fun and fulfilling. Your hobbies help you channel your passion into something that satisfies you as a person.
And they make you more interesting, too. You simply have more things to talk about than people without any hobbies whatsoever.
Go back to painting, to reading, to playing the guitar, to crossword puzzles, even.
When your thoughts start to wander towards your object of affection, go straight to your hobbies.
6) Get rid of your memorabilia.
Chances are that you have a few things to remember them by—maybe a weighted blanket they bought for you, a book that they had recommended, or maybe even pictures of you together.
Get rid of these cute things!
Get these reminders out of sight and out of mind…at least for some time.
Things such as pictures are easy enough to get rid of. You can just delete them. Physical belongings such as books, blankets and cups are trickier.
Destroying them wouldn’t make much sense, but you can give them to one of your friends to keep until those things mean nothing to you anymore.
7) Open yourself up to new people.
The best way to get over people is to simply find new people to be interested in. Emotions can be fickle like that, as un-romantic as it may seem to think of love in that way.
Thankfully, it’s easier to let go of someone you’ve never had, as opposed to letting go of someone who you actually did date for a while.
Get a dating app or hang out in a club. Do whatever it takes!
Browse through profiles and try to get to know them. You’d be surprised to know that your object of desire isn’t the only interesting person in the world.
If you just want a quick tussle in the hay, then there’s enough people looking for that out there. Likewise for those looking for more serious relationships.
Even if you don’t get yourself a new date straightaway, it will at the very least remind you that there are more fish in the sea.
8) Avoid places that remind you of them.
Perhaps this might seem like a no-brainer, but maybe you need some reminding: don’t go to places that remind you of them.
Maybe these would be bars the two of you often hung out in, the park where you met, or the local diner that she often goes to.
You run the risk of bumping into them in these places, and that’s the last thing you want if you want to get over them!
In a way, that’s the subconscious motivation for visiting places such as these. Deep down inside, you wish to bump into them. You’ll just ruin your progress.
And of course, even if they aren’t there, the association of these places with them will get you thinking about them.
So for now it would be good for you to look for other haunts. Another stretch of park to hang around in, another restaurant to frequent.
9) Stop yourself from fantasizing.
It’s easy to catch yourself thinking “If only I didn’t do that”, or “If only I told them my feelings then”, and that’s perfectly normal.
Regrets will always be a part of life.
However, that doesn’t mean you should just let them occupy your head. Thinking about who or what is to blame, or all the things that could have been doesn’t help.
The past is already set, and no amount of daydreaming will put time in reverse.
But thinking about it all the time will slow your healing process, and where you could have gotten over them in weeks, you might end up obsessing over them for years instead.
Some people even think about someone they never had for DECADES. Don’t be one of those people.
10) Keep calm and nurture the relationship you have with yourself.
It can’t be said enough—calm is important for healing. If your mind is turbulent, there’s no way for you to go but downwards in a never-ending spiral.
When I felt the most lost in life, I was introduced to an unusual free breathwork video created by the shaman, Rudá Iandê, which focuses on dissolving stress and boosting inner peace.
My relationship was failing, I felt tense all the time. My self-esteem and confidence hit rock bottom. I’m sure you can relate – heartbreak does little to nourish the heart and soul.
My medication was helping me manage some of it, but it had begun to get a little expensive, and I don’t want to be hooked on pills.
I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I tried this free breathwork video, and the results were incredible.
But before we go any further, why am I telling you about this?
I’m a big believer in sharing – I want others to feel as empowered as I do. And, if it worked for me, it could help you too.
Rudá hasn’t just created a bog-standard breathing exercise – he’s cleverly combined his many years of breathwork practice and shamanism to create this incredible flow – and it’s free to take part in.
11) Make a list of the traits you want in a partner.
Try to center yourself. Get a piece of paper, take deep breaths, and try to write down the things you want in an ideal partner.
Be honest. If you find yourself writing things that are too similar to what you think you’ve seen in them, then take a moment to breathe.
Ask yourself if you’re simply describing them because you’re obsessed over them, or if they’re actually as described and that you’re not simply projecting your ideal onto them.
More often than not, it’s a bit of both. The person you’ve wanted so much exists only in your head, and that they aren’t as perfect a fit to your ideals as you may have first thought.
12) Hang around people who make you laugh.
Try to look for a crowd you can get lost in. People with whom you can laugh together without a care in the world.
It would be especially helpful if they don’t know the person you’re trying to get over. That way you cut out the chances that you might get reminded of their absence in your life.
Laughter is the best medicine, and humor has done wonders in defusing tension in the atmosphere all the time.
But of course, the kind of humor being told is also important. Humor that comes at the cost of someone’s dignity—which is sadly common in our society—is the last thing you need.
It might be good when it’s others who are being made fun of, but it won’t help when it’s you being laughed at.
13) Tell yourself that you matter.
As was noted earlier, self-esteem can be a big reason why you might find yourself latching on to someone.
The answer to that, of course, is trying to improve your own self-image.
And not only does it help you get over the people you missed out and lost, but also makes it easier for you to find another chance in the future.
People do like confident, self-assured partners after all.
You can try talking to yourself in the mirror, reminding yourself of just how good you actually are. That you matter.
Another thing you can also do is write down all the compliments that other people have told you, and to look at it every time you’re feeling down.
You have to remind yourself that you have your whole life—including your love life—ahead of you. Because it’s true.
14) Take care of your body.
Mental health and physical health are tied to each other. Bad mental health can make you lose the motivation to maintain your physical health. Bad physical health will crush your mental health.
And when it comes to getting over someone, whether you’ve dated them or not, it’s important to keep your overall health high. As tempting as it might be to neglect your body, it’ll only make it harder for you to get over them.
So go look up what kinds of foods are locally available and healthy. Spend time every day working out, even if it’s just jogging up and down the stairs or doing push-ups.
But also take care not to overdo it. It’s easy to take too much comfort in food and end up with an obesity problem, or finding comfort in the wrong food and wrecking your kidneys, your wallet, or both.
15) Forgive yourself.
You might be tempted to blame yourself for being such a “fool” for falling in love with someone that you were obviously never going to get. Maybe they were out of your league, or maybe you had seen the signs early on that they’re just not into you.
But, truth be told, it’s fine. You hoped, and nobody can begrudge you for hoping and dreaming. So many people don’t dare to do that, and end up losing their chances for something greater.
You can think of it like this: you miss some of the shots you take, and you miss all of the shots you don’t take.
16) Let time do its thing for you.
Ultimately, you simply can’t rush the healing process.
You can do everything to make it easier for you, but how long it’ll actually take you to heal is out of your control.
Some people are just wired to be a bit more obsessive than others, for example. And then it’s simply easier for someone who had several breakups or rejections to heal than someone going through their first or second heartbreak.
It might take a while for you to heal, and you might find yourself frustrated if you think your progress is especially slow, but you can at least take solace in the fact that it’ll be faster for you next time.
What you feel, in short, is heartbreak. And it’s equally valid whether or not you actually dated someone.
It can be hard to get over someone you have strong feelings for, but there are a lot of things you can do to help yourself heal.
What is most important is that you keep yourself busy, and that you take care of your mind and body.
Thankfully, it’s still easier to get over someone you never had than it is to get over someone you had actually dated.
You didn’t lose anything—you can’t lose something you never had. Your emotional investment in them might be there, but it’s not as strong as it could have been.
And ultimately, it’s worth it to keep in mind that while it might hurt now, you will eventually heal and one day you’ll just look back to this version of yourself and say “Dang, what a lovestruck fool I was!”
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