Loving somebody who doesn’t love you back is a terrible experience, to say the least—it happens to the best of us.
It feels as if nothing else matters; the pain of unrequited love is an intense one.
Whether it’s someone who simply sees us as a friend or a cheating ex, it’s time to move on.
And if moving on is what you’re trying to do, firstly, know that you got this! Secondly, here are some tips to help you along the way:
1. Learn to forgive yourself and the other person.
Before you take any further steps, try not to be so harsh on yourself.
Though neither of you did anything wrong in this aspect, you should forgive yourself and the other person.
Don’t treat this whole situation as something you regret ever getting into—life in itself is an experience, and stuff like this happens.
Don’t beat yourself up over loving someone who can’t reciprocate, instead, learn from the experience and focus on your life.
Also, understand that we can’t control others’ feelings, so we need to be okay with the inevitable conflict of interest.
When we put ourselves in other people’s shoes, we realize that we wouldn’t want to be berated for simply having our thoughts and feelings.
2. This goes without saying, but, respect their (lack of) feelings!
Do respect others’ feelings—it’s the right thing to do.
As I said, feelings cannot be controlled, and any attempt to do so will have the opposite effect.
Whatever your relationship is with this person, know that being persistent about matters like these may make them uncomfortable.
And if you’ve already confessed your feelings (or they’ve made it clear they’re not looking for anything serious), respect their answer!
Don’t push this any further; again, we shouldn’t do something we wouldn’t want to happen to us.
3. In the meantime, focus on yourself!
Don’t ever, even for one second, neglect your needs and life, no matter how hard it is during this time.
Prioritize self-love and self-care, and don’t lose sight of your goals as well as responsibilities. That’ll make you glow and irresistible!
Know that the most important person in your life is you—focus on yourself and don’t give up!
- Don’t fall behind in school and/or work;
- Continue with your self-care regime as usual;
- Do whatever activities you find enjoyable;
- Practice self-positivity;
- Don’t do things you might’ve otherwise never considered doing.
I know that for some of us, the last thing we want to do is go on about our days as per usual, but it doesn’t have to be that.
Don’t intentionally sabotage your life and happiness.
4. Don’t only think of the good memories, think of the bad ones too.
When reminiscing about your person, don’t forget to bring all the bad memories to your attention as well.
When we harbor deep feelings for someone, we usually tend to think of all the good times we’ve had, never pointing out the bad ones.
Just like every other human being, I’m sure your ex/acquaintance has flaws and caused you some pain.
Maybe it’s something they did or something they said—whatever it is, use this method to knock them off the pedestal.
5. Consider trying out new places and making new experiences!
Sometimes, monotony is what makes us miss certain people—and the only remedy is to switch things up.
Go to that café you’ve always wanted to try out or pick a new activity you’ve been thinking of—whatever helps you take your mind off the person.
In essence, change the parts of your routine that remind you of them.
Replace the old, painful memories with entirely new ones; making new experiences might just help you get over them!
Explore the many opportunities life presents you with.
6. Do not spend all your energy avoiding whatever reminds you of them.
I know I’m contradicting what I just said, but for some people, doing all they can to avoid thinking of them may not work.
Know that you will be remembering them occasionally, and trying to avoid certain thoughts will only make forgetting them harder!
Fundamentally, the more importance you give this person, the more of your thoughts they will occupy.
Hence, don’t desperately avoid specific places or activities. Because you’ll still have them in your mind while doing so.
7. Think of the possibility that maybe the two of you weren’t meant to be.
I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear right now, but it’s time to acknowledge the reality of things.
Maybe the two of you weren’t meant to be each other’s, and maybe that’s for the best.
Take a step back and realize that there may be no changing the fact and that you’re going to have to let go of this person.
Despite this, know that you will get over this person and heal.
8. To truly stop loving someone who doesn’t love you back, allow yourself to feel.
We can’t just put our feelings in a chest, lock it, and throw away the key, though that would be quite convenient!
Give yourself time to grieve instead of bottling those feelings—remember, the more you try to suppress them, the more they’ll persist.
A study on mood improvement and crying shows that the majority of the participants reported feeling better after crying, so don’t hold your tears back.
Allow yourself to feel what you’re supposed to, and understand where those feelings are coming from.
Don’t treat them as hush-hush topics; write your feelings down in a journal or discuss them with a friend—whatever you think might help.
9. Stop idolizing them: bring them down a peg.
When we love somebody, we think they’re perfect; to us, they’re the greatest person in the world!
Know that that’s only an illusion your love has created—stop placing them on a pedestal.
Know that, at the end of the day, they’re still human and not some divine entity.
You might be thinking that this person is the smartest, funniest, and most beautiful, however, this kind of thinking will only intensify your love.
Stop looking at them through rose-tinted glasses, instead humble them and know that they too have flaws.
10. Speaking of flaws, point theirs out when you think of them!
I know this may sound a bit too much, but, you need to stop thinking of this person as “perfect”!
Whenever your pain becomes too big, think of all their flaws—the things they did that give you the ick.
Do they chew with their mouth open?
Did they obviously use dating sites in the duration of your relationship, but claimed they didn’t?
Or are they perhaps unreasonably mean to employees?
It’s time to break free of the illusion your feelings have created and see them for what they are—not flawless.
If you have frequent periods when they’re all you can think about, remember all the things that make you think, “Yikes!”.
11. Think about them in unflattering situations.
Though it might not make you instantly lose feelings, it will help you see them in a more realistic light!
Think about this person in really, really unflattering situations.
I’m talking about them being scared of cute, little puppies, or them using the toilet—yeah, I’m serious!
We all know by now that certain feelings give immunity to certain people in our lives, completely making us forget that no one is perfect.
This method will keep reminding us of that very fact.
12. To forget them, get rid of any gifts that they gave you.
Letting go is certainly not easy—the first step is getting rid of any memento that slows the process.
Aka giving back or throwing away the gifts that his person gave you.
Sometimes, we hold onto objects we give sentimental meaning to; whenever we look at gifts, all memories and feelings come rushing back.
And to prevent that from happening, we need to make the very difficult decision of getting rid of gifts with such sentimental value.
In my experience, though not a quick solution, it helped to have my friends throw away the things that kept giving me painful flashbacks.
13. Do not try to change their mind—they’ve already made it up.
Or even worse, beg for a second chance.
Many ways in which people fall in love come to mind, but forcing feelings isn’t one of them.
Doing things for the sole purpose of having the other person fall in love with you will only trouble them, or even push them to cut all contact.
Don’t try to change their mind and get out of your comfort zone just to win brownie points—that’s not fair to you.
Even if you succeed (and you won’t), you’ll have this person fall in love with an illusion of yourself, someone that’s not you.
14. Create some distance between the two of you.
Though I’m aware of the fact that people want to be talking to the one they love at all times, this isn’t the best idea here.
Not only will it stun the process, but it will also make the other person annoyed while your feelings grow—not a great balance.
Take a break from texting and calling as well as hanging out with them; decrease your time together and see how it goes.
Create some distance between the two of you and the opportunity to move one might just come along!
15. Or better yet, cut them out of your life for good.
It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s essential in letting go of someone.
If you’ve tried everything (and nothing works), then this is the only thing that’s left; stop talking to them altogether.
Block their social media accounts, phone numbers, and any other form of communication that might tempt you.
You can also choose to give their friends the same treatment, but not if they’re your friends too.
If you truly want to move on from someone you love, seeing and hearing from them every day will only make things harder.
16. Do what you love as a form of distraction!
Perhaps one of the most effective methods: distract yourself from this person, but in a healthy way.
I’m not talking about suppressing your feelings—I’m talking about not putting your life on hold.
Going out and enjoying yourself is probably not a priority right now, however, it will help distract you, gradually urging you to move on.
Think about what it is that you liked doing before this whole situation!
Was it hanging out with family/friends? Working out? Reading? Or maybe binge-watching your favorite show?
Do whatever activities you enjoy the most and prove to yourself that you can (and will) feel better—but not by doing nothing.
17. Don’t lose the connection you have with friends and family.
Avoid shutting other people out for an unhealthy period.
During this time, nurturing the other relationships in your life will help you feel better and do better.
They are here for you and will be more than happy to help you get through this!
Open up about how you’re feeling and consider accepting the love and help they give you—after all, they have your best interest in mind.
Talk to the close people in your life and don’t hesitate to spend time with them; staying alone while also doing nothing will leave space for negativity to grow.
18. Don’t use blaming as a coping mechanism—avoid blaming the other person or yourself.
In situations like these, we might comfort ourselves by blaming the other person, and though it might sound right at the time, it’s quite toxic.
You might feel the need to somehow excuse their feelings, or even make yourself feel better, however, blame isn’t the way to do it.
Especially not if this person is simply someone who sees you as a friend and never intended to hurt you in the first place.
Also, keep in mind that this person’s feelings don’t take away from your greatness if that’s what you’re worried about!
19. When you feel like it, don’t be shy to get yourself back in the dating game!
Technically, dating other people could help you move on from unrequited love—but only if you’re ready to!
If you meet a person who you’re interested in, don’t shy away from getting to know them more.
When we become so indulged with the one we love, we can’t even begin to see ourselves with another person—this makes us push away potential partners.
Know that there are other people out there, and although it might not seem like that now, there are more fish in the sea.
20. Give it time, a lot of time.
Unfortunately, stuff like this we simply can’t rush, no matter how hard we try.
Do keep in mind that moving on from someone you truly love could take a lot of time and effort.
I can’t exactly put a time stamp on it, but it’s important to remain patient and keep reminding yourself that it’s normal.
Don’t beat yourself up over not being able to immediately let go of them, we truly have no say in it.
In the meantime, focus on your life and never stop your self-love; use whatever method that resonates with you to help achieve your goal!
21. Avoid relying on unhealthy substances as a temporary solution.
Stay as far away from alcohol as possible—trust me, a drunk call or text will not look good for you and it won’t do you any good.
Not only that but using alcohol and other substances to ease your pain will not be good in the long run.
It may work at the moment, but it’s not a long-term solution; as soon as sobriety comes, all those feelings will come rushing back.
I’m sure you already know why I’m trying to turn you away from alcohol, but I mean it: unhealthy ways to cope could send you into a downward spiral.
22. Instead, if needed, consider contacting a therapist.
For a lot of people, learning that the person they love no longer feels the same can be a traumatizing experience.
And such is the case when long-term relationships come to an end.
If your experience is similar and you’re going through tough times, consider giving therapy a chance.
Contact a trustworthy therapist and schedule an appointment with them—they will help you get through this.
Don’t lose hope, you won’t be stuck in the same place!
Remember: We shouldn’t shove our love down other people’s throats.
I think we already know this, but yes. Do not disrespect the other person’s wishes by pushing the matter.
If the person has explained that they feel uncomfortable by one’s constant display of affection, it needs to be stopped.
That means no flirting, no compliments, no physicality, and no other romantically-charged action.
Every step, no matter how small, is huge progress!
Progress is progress, no matter how small it might seem to you—don’t be hard on yourself.
Letting go is extremely difficult, and since there isn’t an on-and-off switch, we can’t exactly stop loving someone on command.
Keep in mind that stopping your love for someone takes time, determination, and most importantly, the right steps.