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girl being sad about breakup over someone they didn't date
Relationships

How to Get Over Someone You Never Dated?

Learning how to get over someone you never dated can be a tough one.

Oh, what it’s like to love and to love alone! One-sided love is pure and selfless, yet it engulfs you into a turmoil— a state where you stay hung, where you hope for a romantic future that stands without foundation, where your heart breaks and you are asked to collect the pieces alone, silently. 

“I’m efficiently distanced,

Neither falling

Nor rising in love

As if stuck in a futile catastrophe.”

—Akif Kichloo

girl being sad in her own world

It’s the lingering gaze, stolen glances, fluttering heart, abyss of fantasies, and many unsaid words that hurt. It’s supposed to hurt. The intensity of untold emotions and unrequited love in one-sided affairs recoil us on a path that neither ends nor ever began. 

The far distinction between a ‘relationship’ and an ‘almost relationship’ is what separates us from fantasies and, unfortunately, reality. Unaware of your emotions, the world will continue to move on harshly without leaving you an array of peace. All that’s left behind is the relentless cycle of hopeless what-ifs. 

Don’t be so harsh on yourself. You deserve a love that reciprocates; you deserve a love that acknowledges you, accepts you, nourishes you, and cherishes you. You are worthy of persistent love, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

It’s hard to move on from someone who never was yours, to begin with, but it’s necessary to do so— to be more kind and generous to yourself. Having been in the same situation, I know why letting go of one-sided love is crucial. That’s why we are here to aid your journey and help you get over someone you never dated. 

One-sided love— Why it’s more painful to let go!

Why? Simply because it bloomed alone, and it withers alone. It’s painful because you will have to willingly let go of the only hope that keeps you close to your love despite the evident distance. You will have to let go of the romantic fantasies that sum up the most beautiful era of your life. They were indeed beautiful but never were true. 

older couple sitting down having a cup of coffee

People in relationships somehow manage to receive closure, a massive fight, or perhaps, indifference that helps them get over a breakup, sooner or later. 

However, letting go of a love you never received? Now, that’s a bummer! It deprives you of any closure whatsoever, you rarely get to share your emotions because people don’t understand, and there’s no apparent incompatibility/indifference for you to move on from that very person. 

So, it’s natural for it to hurt just as much as any other breakup. 

  • Shattered hope: We cling to hope; that’s our only means of bearing with the pain. Letting go of a person is one thing, but letting go of your only hope is just cruel. 
  • No closure: There was no beginning to begin with. Naturally, there won’t be a closing end either. 
  • Alone in the emotions: Usually, people around you don’t understand the severity of having a crush and how not being with them hurts. How not being able to share your feelings and being silent hurts. 
  • Unanswered question/self-doubt: “Why doesn’t she/he like me; is there something wrong with me?” “Did I do something wrong?” “Do I not deserve her/him?” “Is there a way to make her/him like me?” 

It hurts even more if you are really close to them, like friends— seeing them with someone else romantically is scarring. I know, I understand; it’s poetic. 

Accepting pain helps you move on

The mere realization that it hurts you more than it will ever fulfill you is already a step ahead towards moving on. 

Moving-on? Now, that’s liberating— it’s closer to loving yourself back again and finding your lost pieces. It’s a step towards finding your happiness again— happiness that lies within you, not your crush, partner, or anyone but you. 

10 ways to get over someone you never dated

We, as humans, are never taught enough self-love, what it’s like to prioritize ourselves, and why it’s necessary. So, naturally, it’s hard to choose yourself over someone who never returned your love. Our happiness and worth often lie at the bottom of the list of our priorities. 

“If you wouldn’t take care of yourself, who would?” Certainly, not me. Certainly, not them. It needs to be YOU! Let self-love be your only thought while processing these steps to move on from your crush. 

1. Confess; if you haven’t already. 

‘Have you told your crush about your feelings?’ Oftentimes, people hold back their feelings because;

  • You might not want to ruin the year-long friendship. 
  • Your crush may be dating someone else, perhaps your brother or best friend.
  • Some individuals may also deny proposing or confessing their feelings to protect themselves from rejection. 

Inevitably, rejection will close the doors of your fantasies, a silent closure that will leave you dry. People don’t want that; they don’t want their fantasies to end. 

If you haven’t confessed yet, you must now! You cannot expect a person to acknowledge your love before letting them know. What’s there to lose? You are already suffocating enough to hold onto such strong emotions for a long time; let go and let them know. Rejection can also work as an excellent closure for unrequited love. 

2. Acknowledge and accept the reality.

If you have already confessed and your crush’s answer remains ‘NO,’ it’s time that you accept their decision. Most of the time, individuals would choose to stay in denial and continue the cycle of fantasizing because it brings comfort. 

Deep down, your heart already knows the truth; you simply need to accept it. Of course, it’s not that simple, is it? Acknowledging the painful reality of not being with your crush will take time, and it’s completely fine. Acceptance will bring pain— your dreams of togetherness will shatter, and you will be left alone. 

However, it will also clear the fog! That’s the only way you can move on. No matter how hard it is for you, continue to remind yourself about your current situation. 

  • “It’s not going to happen.”
  • “There’s no future together.” 
  • “He/she doesn’t love me.” 
  • “Fantasizing them won’t change my reality.”
  • “It’s delusional to continue hurting myself over someone who doesn’t love me back.” 
  • “No matter how much effort I might put in or how much I do change myself for them, their answer will remain the same— ‘NO.'” 

Don’t believe or hope for a future that’s still a mystery— adding on to futile hopes will weigh you further into agony. Constantly imagining an impossible fate with your crush will shut out other potential relationship options for you and won’t allow you to move on. 

guy being free in nature

On the brighter side, also remind yourself,

  • “As one tale ends, another begins.” Something more beautiful and romantic is coming along in your life— it’s going to take your breath away. “When something goes; something better is coming.” That’s how life is; it’s full of darling surprises. 
  • A relationship’s end isn’t your absolute end. Life has just started, and it’s futile to consider that your future doesn’t hold happy moments. It contains whatever you manifest. So, begin manifesting a positive yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 
  • They don’t love you back, and it’s okay. There is someone out there who’s waiting to love you unconditionally. Please note: It can also be you. To be honest, it should be you! 
  • Instead of living in a fantasy world, bring fantasy to your reality. It’s your life, and you get to decide how to decorate it. I say, decorate it with positivity, self-love, and self-worth. 

3. Let go of ‘what-ifs,’ ‘should-haves,’ and ‘but.’

  • “What if I change the way I dress? Will he/she acknowledge me then?” 
  • “I shouldn’t have made a move. If I had resisted just a few more years— they might have been mine.”
  • “What if they aren’t ready to accept my love just yet? There sure would be better timing.”
  • “Should I confess my love? What if it isn’t the right time?”
  • “What if she likes me but doesn’t want to hurt her partner?”

There are endless strands of hopeless what-ifs, should-haves, and buts— each adding a little hope to your lovelorn heart. It’s necessary to understand that these what-ifs will only bring fake hope and fake expectation— it’s not the reality. 

“If it were meant to be, it will be. There’s not a single force that can separate two lovers.” 

No what-ifs will change your reality. What’s done is done; what’s ahead is unknown. So, let go of blaming yourself for it. Don’t beat yourself around either; you cannot control/change their feelings if they don’t want to do it themselves. 

4. Don’t blame the bad-timing

We will readily accept any sweetly-coated lie rather than choosing the truth. One such traumatizing lie is bad-timing. 

It’s yet another hope that makes us expect a fruitful future. It makes you believe that a good opportunity/timing will come, and you will end up together. 

This hope further stops us from moving on— you spend months or probably, years waiting for them— stuck in the same cycle. This hope makes you lose precious time, people, potential relationships, a happy today, and your whole life. 

You will become miserable if you continue to survive on hopeless hopes. So, let go of it. 

5. Stop Fantasizing

It’s obvious, isn’t it? Yet, extremely challenging. Fantasies keep you close to your crush— and its scope is limitless. Our power of imagination frees us to visualize whatever we wish to. 

You might still fantasize about a wedding, a domestic household with your crush, having kids together, going on dates, kissing, and even sexual scenarios. However, the more you’d allow yourself to think and fantasize about them, the harder it will become to move on. 

girl in pink background feeling optimistic

If you continue to imagine a future with them, you won’t be allowing others or yourself a chance to find a healthy, happy, and lovable relationship in the present. So, stop yourself no matter how hard it is to do! 

Instead, occupy your mind with things that actually hold weightage in your life— it can be anything; your dream job, family, friends, passion, art, music, etc. 

6. Stop interacting with them for a while

It’s easier to avoid someone who’s far away from you. However, if this special someone is close to you as a friend, it becomes difficult, almost suffocating— to watch them smile and laugh with someone else. 

I know that being around them and not having them with you is miserable. Their sparkling eyes and kind heart will clog your mind and won’t allow you to move on or even think about anything else. 

So, take some time off the friendship because It’s completely normal to do so. 

7. Don’t continue to check on them.

When you take a break from your crush/friendship, it should be honest and genuine. If you go back to checking your crush & their activities continuously through whatever means, you won’t be doing justice to your moving-on journey. Take a proper break;

  • Don’t stalk them on social media. 
  • Don’t think about them. 
  • Don’t talk/ask about them with your mutual friends. 
  • Don’t follow their activities in real life.
  • Detach yourself from them until you heal properly 

That’s not all, don’t wait for them to approach you either. Sometimes, we think; distance will make them want us. Again, don’t hold onto such loose hopes. Refocus your thoughts and allow your mind to expand and consume something beneficial for you. 

8. Stop picking up the wrong clues. 

  • “She called me when I didn’t even call her; she might be missing me. If she is missing me, she must like me back, too.” 
  • “She liked my photo on instagram….” 
  • “He texts me every day….”
  • “He smiled at me and I saw something different in his eyes.” 

No, some people are simply friendly and would approach you if you go missing; it doesn’t necessarily mean that they like you back. Also, people can take care of you as friends without any other motive. 

Please, don’t confuse their normal behavior with flirting. If your crush has said no, they are clear about their feelings and won’t be dropping hints. 

9. Don’t blame yourself.

Not everything that happens around you is your fault. While it’s necessary to take responsibility for your actions, it’s not always essential to self-sabotage yourself without a cause. 

We are ready to blame ourselves for every failed relationship without any valid reason. Stop yourself and ask, are you really to be accused? 

Sometimes, things simply don’t work out; it’s neither your fault nor your crush’s. They simply don’t find you compatible or attractive in their life bubble. Please note: their feelings are not universal, and neither are facts. So, don’t take every criticism that’s thrown at you seriously: different people, different opinions, and different qualities. 

Blaming yourself, your looks, appearance, fashion, education, personality, and monetary status will reduce your self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Before you go ahead and trash yourself, please know that you are beautiful and unique. Your values are priceless, and nobody has the right/should have the right to say otherwise. You should never devalue yourself; that’s the first step to self-love (more ahead in the article)

On the other hand, work on yourself without blaming yourself. No one is born perfect; you get better with time and effort. So, put your effort into the right thing: 

  • Educate yourself and expand your perception/personality.
  • Change fashion for yourself, not for others. 
  • Work on your insecurities and anger issues. 
  • Build your confidence by doing things you enjoy. 
  • Or simply live life to the fullest.

10. Talk to your close friends or opt for therapy.

Don’t let your heart weep with all the painful memories and emotions you carry within alone— let them all out. Confide in a friend you dearly trust, and they will understand. Even if they don’t, they will hear you out and share the burden. 

friends comforting each other during tough times

Before you continue to unload your emotions, ask your friend if they are mentally ready to listen to your emotional baggage. If they genuinely want to help you out, let them know whether you simply want to vent, need their honest advice, or want them to make decisions for you. 

How to move on from someone you never dated

Getting over someone and moving on with life go simultaneously. Once you adhere to every do-s and don’ts, it’s time that you focus on yourself as an individual. 

We may follow every hook and nook in the textbook and still miss our crush, and that’s where self-care and self-love act out. Here’s how to focus on yourself and blossom beautifully with or without a crush/partner. 

1. Learn to love yourself 

As mainstream as it may sound, “you cannot love others until you love yourself completely.” You heal physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and socially when you love yourself. 

girl being happy learning how to love herself

Self-love teaches you how to accept yourself for who you are— it makes personal space for you where you can heal and cherish your scars and flaws. 

Once you start practicing self-love, you will naturally eliminate low confidence, low self-esteem, and self-doubt. You will acknowledge your qualities and positively accept what you are not good at. Naturally, self-love will substitute pessimistic thoughts into optimism, self-doubt into reassurance, and give birth to self-care. 

Practice self-love and self-care:

  • Meditate every day to clear your mind. Meditation calms your mind and untangles your hazy thoughts. 
  • Maintain hygiene and body positivity. Don’t abide by what society says about beauty measures and appearance. You are beautiful because you are your own unique self.

Apply makeup, dress nicely, and feel good about your body— let no one tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. It’s your body, and you know how to take care of it. 

Hygiene will yield positivity; everything around you feels fresh when you are clean. So, make bathing, brushing, and cleansing a daily requirement. 

  • Exercise and add healthy bites to your diet: Mental and physical health are correlated. You cannot grow mentally if you are not healing physically. So, tend to your physical needs— exercise, walk and eat healthy. 

Date yourself

Create an honest list of what you’d like in your partner, and let yourself not map down your crush. The truth is, we may deliberately try to avoid/ignore/accept our crush’s major red flags or bad attributes when in love. 

Focus and ask your brain what you didn’t like about your crush; it will help you move on from them and redesign your brain to find someone, not like your crush. 

Once you have created the list, become those things. Instead of wanting specific attributes/qualities in others— be the person you’d like your partner to be and date yourself. 

Bring back your lost self-confidence

Rejection from a crush is bound to deflate our self-confidence and self-esteem. We are forced to believe that we may not be good enough, and that’s far from the truth; you are always more than enough. 

The more complex truth is, not everyone’s going to like you, and that’s quite alright. As long as you like yourself, that’s all you need. Mind you, there will come people who would want nothing but to stay in your presence and love you unconditionally. You don’t want the world to like you; you simply need to love yourself enough. 

  • Make a list of things you like about yourself. 
  • Please point out the physical attributes that you like; it can be your eyebrows, eye color, jaws, physique, curves, etc. 
  • Write about your personality traits like; kindness, being an empath, good listener, sharp mind, great talker, etc. 

Write it all down, as small and as big. Let it be a daily schedule of your life and an excellent reminder that you are exceptional in your own essence.

2. Open yourself to new relationships.

Get yourself on dating websites and meet new people; you are yet to find the love of your life— someone who makes you happy and loves you unconditionally. 

happy african American couple taking a picture together

Please, don’t look for people similar to your crush. You deserve someone new and someone who doesn’t remind you of your crush. If you don’t like the concept of online dating websites, get yourself out in the bars. Dance your way and make a move; you never know who’s waiting for you outside— take those chances. 

3. Focus on yourself— being single has its on charisma

If you are not ready for a new relationship just yet, focus that time on yourself— your goals, passion, studies, job, a new startup, traveling, etc. 

  • Make a self-care routine that includes showering, cleansing, skincare routine, jogging, gyming, dancing, and getting ready for the day. 
  • Cook for yourself and make yourself feel special with a healthy meal every once in a while. 
  • Go on a travel voyage: you can go with your friends or travel alone; the choice is yours. You have unlimited options; every city has something great to offer. I highly suggest visiting a country rich in culture, diversity, and nature. Who knows, you may find the love of your life in a foreign atmosphere. 
  • Dance alone: If you are an introvert, I highly suggest dancing alone every day for an hour. It not only activates you physically but enhances mental health as well. 
  • Spend hours doing things you are passionate about: It can be anything; painting, singing, swimming, reading, or listening to music. Don’t let go of your hobbies ever! It’s what makes you more alive. 
  • Meet your friends: Our heartbreak can distance us from our friends and family. Use this time to reconnect with them. Even if they don’t understand your grieving heart, they know how to make you laugh, and that’s what you need! A good laugh and good times. So, go out and meet your friends/family.

4. Respect their decision

They didn’t reject you to hurt you or make you miserable; they simply didn’t like you, and there was nothing they could have done to change that fact. So, instead of holding grudges for a person who literally didn’t hurt you intentionally, respect their decision. 

Conclusion

It’s never as easy as it sounds— we are bound to fall back in the same rut repeatedly. Your healing and the moving-on journey will take time. Even if you don’t want to, I urge you to try and do everything written in this article. The storm will clear out one day, and you will enjoy the rain it brings along. Learning how to get over someone you never dated can be a difficult journey to be on.

However, if nothing changes; and your mental state worsens, please get professional help. Heartbreak can soon turn into anxiety and depression— which will hurt you physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. Before the light dims out and is harder to sustain, choose professional help and therapy for yourself. 

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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