There’s no way around it: getting over an unrequited love isn’t easy. Letting go of what felt to you like a deep connection—before it became a relationship—is challenging, and you might be finding it hard to know how to cope. You know what to do when you experience a breakup, but what if your friendship (or whatever it was to you) never turned into anything more?
Learning how to get over someone you never dated is important for this very situation. Maybe it seemed like your connection stopped mid-sentence or perhaps the other person moved on before you had a chance to say how you felt. These types of scenarios might be tough to navigate, but they’re certainly not impossible to get through.
With these tips, you’ll be able to do more than cope. You’ll come out the other side a more self-aware and confident person.
Remember That Your Feelings Are Valid
First thing’s first. Remind yourself that everything you’re feeling right now is normal.
The thing about feelings is that we often can’t control them. We can manage them, yes, but they bubble up whether we like it or not. So it’s not worth your while to regret feeling something for this person in the first place, be ashamed for “letting your feelings get the best of you,” or play off the whole experience as insignificant. Just don’t do it.
Whether you and this special person texted for a while, were friends with or without benefits, worked together in a professional setting, or something else entirely, you developed feelings for them, and that’s okay. It doesn’t matter if the connection lasted one week, one month, or one year—don’t downplay this romantic disappointment just because you never dated.
Journal About Your Feelings and Your Experience
When it’s time to break up, both people typically have some type of closure. But not when there is no breakup to begin with. Writing things down can give you closure—and love outside of a relationship’s beginning and end might not give you the bookending you need.
If you’re not the journaling type, don’t move on to the next tip just yet. You can also jot down your thoughts and feels on a sticky note or in your phone’s notes section.
Writing things down has several benefits for learning how to move on:
- It can make things clear and help you see the bigger picture.
- You’ll free up more space in your mind. Instead of locking up all those emotions and worries in your head, you’re releasing them out into the world (or, rather, onto paper) where they can now live.
- It can be therapeutic, serving as a way of working through your feelings, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first.
There’s a good chance that you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted once you put pen to paper. Why not give it a try?
Don’t Fantasize About the What-Ifs
Learning how to get over someone you never dated is challenging because you’re stuck with all the what-ifs. What if you had told them how you felt? What if you had made the first move? What if they just were not ready for a relationship at that time? What if they realize they miss you?
You might be plagued with guilt over not telling them how you felt or beating yourself up for a missed opportunity. But remember that these negative thoughts are not serving you—they’re not helping you know how to move on.
Instead of wading through a pool of what-ifs, steep yourself in reality. Feelings weren’t shared for whatever reason (and you may never know), but the reality is that there is someone out there for you, and maybe this person isn’t it.
Keep Your Distance
Whether you’re getting over a meaningful connection or moving on from an ex, the best way to get over someone is by creating some distance. This is especially helpful in the beginning as you’re working through emotions and dealing with rejection (yes, it can still be a rejection even if it wasn’t vocalized).
You might be thinking that this is a lot easier said than done, especially because every situation varies. So we’ve listed a few scenarios that you might identify with and noted how to keep your distance in each:
The Friend Zone
When you need to know how to get over a guy or gal you developed feelings for in a friendship but who didn’t reciprocate, take a step back from going to hangouts where they are likely to be. Yes, it can be a bummer to not be around a larger group of friends, but this doesn’t have to be forever—just long enough for your emotions to become less raw. (Get more advice on dating a friend.)
The Friend Zone (With Benefits)
How to get over someone you never dated but slept with? There are many nuances of hookup culture, one of them being that someone might think it’s completely casual, while the other person is developing feelings.
First, protect your emotions by not hooking up again, as doing so now means something different for each of you. You’re emotionally invested, and they might not be, which means the longer you keep the fun going, the greater the risk of deeper heartbreak later. Then, consider muting their posts on social media so that you’re not reminded of them.
Maybe you’d been texting back and forth with this person, and then they weren’t replying as frequently, even stopping altogether without so much as a goodbye. You realized you were being ghosted. To fully move on, delete their number from your phone so you’re not tempted to reach out.
Stay Busy Doing the Things You Love
When you’re trying to get over any type of heartbreak, it’s important to stay busy. Not only will a full schedule keep your mind off of the one who got away, but it will also help you to cultivate other relationships in your life—especially the one with yourself.
One way to love yourself is to do the things you love. By continuing to pursue your passions and the activities that make you feel grounded, you’re reminding yourself that you have value, that you’re a strong individual, that you’re worthy of being loved.
Need ideas? Grab a travel buddy and book flights to a city you’ve always wanted to visit. Sign up for that seasonal cocktail-making class. Continue training for your marathon next year (and join a run club while you’re at it!). Rock out to live music.
Once you’ve begun to heal emotionally, try to get back out there and start dating again. Chances are that you put dating on the backburner while figuring out that love vs. infatuation thing with the special person in your life. As you developed feelings, you might have started focusing only on them, putting dating aside.
One of the best ways to get over someone is—you guessed it—going out with other people. Whether you start with casual dating or have the goal of a long-term partnership, simply getting back into the dating world can open your eyes (and heart) to other people who might be a good fit for you.
If the thought of hopping back on the dating apps is overwhelming, give matchmaking a try. At Tawkify, we make the dating process intentional and human, with hand-selected matches, matchmakers who are with you every step of the way, and even planned first dates.
When you’ve mastered how to get over someone you never dated and are ready to date with intention, give Tawkify a call.