Unrequited love goes back to the dawn of time. It’s a sad, painful part of life. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t make a person return your feelings. It can be a painful experience that can make a significant impact on your life. It may feel like the end of the world, but you will get through it. Start by following our 11 helpful tips for how to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you back.
How to Stop Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back
Look, I get it. Rejection sucks. It can make you feel like you’re not good enough. You may start experiencing self-doubt and asking, “What’s wrong with me?” Don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes, we’re just not compatible with the person we love. If they can’t see what a treasure you are, you’re better off without them anyway.
There are millions of people on this planet. Don’t let the disinterest of one person define you. Your life is not over. There is no such thing as one chance at love. Because when you finally meet the person you’re meant to be with, there won’t be any hesitation, any doubts. If you’re in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, let them go. They’re not the one for you.
Types of Unrequited Love
There are different types of unrequited love, and unfortunately, they all hurt like hell. You might think you’re in love with someone whom you’re not even dating. Trust me, darling – this isn’t true love. It’s merely infatuation. You’ll get over this heartache pretty quickly.
Then there’s when you’re in love with someone you have an intimate relationship with, but they don’t feel the same as you. Maybe the relationship is new, and you’re just ahead of your partner in how you feel. It’s hard to know how long it should take to see if you’re in love, but if it’s been over six months, and it hasn’t even been brought up, chances are it’s not going to ever be in the cards.
Then there’s the most painful (in my opinion) type; you’ve been with someone for a while, and it ends. I’m talking about a serious long-term, monogamous relationship. Maybe you lived together; perhaps you even got married.
Whatever the case may be, now they don’t love you anymore, and you have to move on. But how do you do that?
Tips for How to Move On When Someone Stops Loving You
Moving on can be hard. I’m not even going to lie. Trying to figure out where to start can paralyze you with fear. You have to forget all your thoughts about the future. Now, you have to start picturing new scenarios. And it can be scary. You’re getting advice from a veteran. I served 11 years in a disastrous marriage and had to start over with four kids.
Each of the tips I’m about to explain to you has been personally used in my journey to stop loving someone who no longer loved me. Some days, you might not think you’ll make it through, but it won’t be like that forever. Every day, remind yourself that you are a warrior. Heartbreak is just a part of life. You’ve survived it before, and you can survive it again.
Tip 1: Admit Your Feelings
When you get rejected, it’s natural to try and pretend like you don’t care. If you ignore the fact that it matters, you won’t feel the pain. But it doesn’t work like this. Avoiding the problem will make it worse. Be honest with yourself about how you feel.
It’s normal to feel angry, betrayed, insecure, and confused. Your life has just been uprooted by the revelation that the person you’ve given your heart to (whether they know it or not) does not reciprocate your feelings.
Everything you’ve planned for your life is now meaningless. It’s easy to feel lost when you’re facing a change in relationship status. If you’re going from a long-term relationship or marriage to being single, you might even have trouble figuring out your identity. For so long, you’ve been part of a team. But now, you’re flying solo. It takes adjustment.
Tip 2: Talk about Your Situation
You’re strong and resilient. You’ve gotten used to shouldering things on your own and hiding your true feelings so people won’t be worried about you. You smile and say things are great, but deep down, you’re miserable. Stop hiding it.
It’s okay to talk about how you feel. As someone who’s always fought my battles alone, let me say that there is something therapeutic about vocalizing the truth. I was a complete basket case when my marriage ended. At first, I tried to pretend I was okay. But then, one day, everything fell apart.
I couldn’t hide anymore. And when I finally started speaking my truth, I found peace. I was at my lowest, and I didn’t even try to hide it. I talked to anyone who would listen – my parents, friends, therapist, bartender, neighbors, and even strangers. I didn’t care. And it felt so good to get it out there.
Tip 3: Accept the Truth
It’s hard to let go of someone you love, especially when it’s because they don’t love you back. You might be so desperate to get what you want that you hang around, waiting for any scrap of affection your love might send your way. You analyze every situation, looking for signs that you shouldn’t give up.
Stop torturing yourself. No matter what you do, the outcome isn’t going to change. Your relationship is not going to have a happy ending. The sooner you face the truth, the sooner you can move on with your life.
Accept that the person you’ve fallen in love with doesn’t love you back. It sucks, but by hanging on to the impossible, you’re missing out on the chance to discover something better, something that’s real. Let go of your fantasy and face the truth if you want to move on with your life.
Tip 4: Stay Positive
Facing the reality of unreturned love can be upsetting. You feel like you have a gaping hole in your chest where your heart used to be. You might start crying at random times or have a short fuse that ignites over everything. You become disconnected from your life.
During the grieving process, it’s important to remember to think positive. I know that right now, you’re hurting and it feels like things will never be normal again. But you’ve thought that before. And things worked out fine. This, too, shall pass.
Until things get back to normal, it’s important to stay positive. You can still grieve and be sad without falling into an unhealthy downward spiral. There are simple things you can do to keep a positive outlook.
- Every day, try to find one reason to smile. It doesn’t have to be something big. Maybe the clouds have a neat shape, or you saw a cute puppy.
- Every day, say something nice to one stranger. Even better, perform an act of kindness. It could be as simple as holding open a door or letting a person go in front of you in traffic. Compliment a jacket or shoes, hair color. It doesn’t matter.
- Think of one thing in your life to be thankful for every day. It’s helpful to think of the things you do have instead of focusing on what you’ve lost.
Tip 5: Get Busy
If you sit at home alone, pining for a person who isn’t going to think twice about you, you’re never going to be happy. You have to distract yourself from thinking about your lost love. Think of this as a clean slate. Reinvent yourself. Get a makeover or buy a new wardrobe.
Learn a new language and take a vacation. Find a new hobby. Maybe you’ve always been interested in art. Get a couple of friends to start going to wine and draw classes, where you get to paint and drink at the same time. Join a gym or start doing yoga.
One of the best ways to get over a broken heart is to focus on someone else’s problems. Get involved with a charity helping out those less fortunate. Or volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter. Trust me, giving to those who have less than you is a great way to clear your mind and help you get your head out of your butt. Things aren’t as bad as you think they are.
Tip 6: Take Care of Yourself
When you get rejected, it’s easy to take it personally. You start to question everything about yourself. You may begin to slack off on taking care of yourself. When you can muster up the energy to eat, it’s fast food that you had delivered, so you don’t have to get out of your pajamas.
When it’s time for work, you put in the minimal effort with your appearance. You stopped going out with your friends. Your gym membership is going to waste. And your Netflix account is begging for a break.
Stop. When you mope around, you’re throwing fuel on the fire. Your unhappiness is going to continue getting worse. No matter how difficult it is, you have to take care of yourself. Getting back into your routine is an excellent way to start putting your life back into balance.
Small Steps Can Make a Difference
Getting your life back to normal doesn’t have to happen all at once. No one expects you to be an emotionless robot. We all heal in our own time. But you can take small steps to speed up the process. Try some of these helpful ideas.
- Always take the time to put on makeup before you leave the house. You’ll be surprised how a little eyeliner and lip gloss can boost your confidence and mood.
- Get a makeover. The best way to deal with unwanted change is to balance it out with a positive change. You’re going into a new phase of your life. That calls for a new look.
- If you’re courageous, go further and go for a bold new look. Try a hairstyle that is outside your comfort zone. Pick a different hair color.
- Get back to the gym. Exercise releases endorphins, which combat stress and make you feel the feeling of happiness. Sign up for kickboxing. Going a few rounds with a punching bag is a great way to get out your frustrations. And who knows, maybe you’ll meet a cute guy who can be a whole different kind of distraction.
- Stop relying on take-out. Eating a well-balanced diet can help boost your mood and give you energy, which you’ll need for all your new-found interests. Cooking can occupy your time and give you a sense of pride when it takes yummy. And being active is good for your emotional and physical health.
- Be social. Now is not the time to become a hermit. Let your friends talk you into going out for drinks or a night on the town. Take an impromptu overnight trip to try out a new restaurant in another city. Visit a friend who has moved away.
Tip 7: Don’t Make Rash Decisions
Let’s face it. When we’re going through a traumatic event, it’s easy to rely on vices to help us get through the pain. Who hasn’t drowned their sorrows in a bottle of wine? Alcohol can dull the feeling of your heartbreak and help you forget that you’re hurting.
But if you get too dependent on substances like alcohol, you can end up with a severe problem. A lot of people also experiment with drugs or start smoking and having casual hookups. As someone who’s gone this route, let me be the first to tell you, you’ll regret these habits more than falling in love with someone who doesn’t care about you.
When you’re dealing with heartbreak, you might make decisions you usually wouldn’t consider, like agreeing to go home with the stranger you met at the bar. Stop and think before you make any decisions.
Is this something I would typically do? Is this something that goes against my values? Is this something I’ve wanted to do before now?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it might be a situation you need to give some serious thought to before you do it.
Tip 8: Get Back Out There
If you want to stop loving someone who can’t see what a catch you are, then you need to get back in the saddle. I’m not saying rush into a new relationship. That would be a bad idea. You need time to grieve the loss of your current relationship – or fantasy.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend time with the opposite sex (or same-sex if that’s your thing). Let your friend set you up on a blind date, even if the last six have turned out horribly. Check out a dating app. Strike up a conversation with a stranger on the subway.
Go out with a group of friends and use the time to flirt with new people. It’s good practice, and it keeps your skills sharp. Not to mention, it’s a great way to build your confidence if you get a cutie to flirt back. Take it a bit further and ask a new person out. You don’t have to wait for them to ask you.
Tip 9: Expunge Them From Your Life
Now that you want to move on from being in love with someone who doesn’t love you, it’s time to kick them out of your mind. You have to erase any proof that they ever existed. Delete any photos you have together, or of them alone.
Block their number so they can’t call you up when they’re bored or lonely. Unfriend them on all social media so you don’t have the urge to take a peek at their current location so you can arrange an “I didn’t know you’d be here tonight” meeting.
If you know their favorite hangout places, stay away unless you know they aren’t going to be there. It’s easy to fall back into the pattern of catching feelings if you don’t stay away from the temptation. Think about it like this. When you’re on a diet, are you going to spend time hanging out in a bakery surrounded by yummy, tempting treats?
Tip 10: Forgive Yourself
When we fall in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same, it can make us feel stupid. It’s hard not to beat yourself up. But you have to cut yourself some slack. We all have horror stories about failed relationships. You’re human, and you’re going to make mistakes.
If you want to move on with your life, you have to forgive yourself for giving your love to someone who threw it back at you. You can’t help your feelings, and you have no control over who you love. Just as your special someone has no power if they’re not able to return your feelings. Chances are, they feel bad about hurting you.
Just because you fell for someone who didn’t fall for you doesn’t mean that you missed out on your one chance at true love. If it didn’t work out, that means it wasn’t the right relationship. When it’s real, there’s nothing you won’t do for your person. There will be no doubt, no hesitation from either of you.
Tip 11: Trust Yourself
Once you feel the pain of rejection, it can be hard to have faith in your judgment. You start to wonder if maybe you deserve what you’re going through. You were the idiot who offered your heart on a silver platter only for it to be pierced with a sharp dagger.
But don’t be so hard on yourself. When you fall for someone, it’s because being with them makes you happy. You like the way you feel when you’re with them. So when you no longer have that source of happiness, it’s reasonable to want to make sense of loss.
Now that you have to start over, you might be wondering what if you fall for the wrong person again? If you did it once, it could become a pattern. You start to psyche yourself out so much that you don’t even want to try dating again.
A New Way to Look at It
As the famous rapper Kevin Gates said, “Life is a gamble, which means love is a casino.” You never know how life is going to turn out. Each time you give your heart to someone, you’re taking the risk that they shatter it into a million pieces.
Each decision has the potential to transform your entire life – good or bad. But if you play it safe, you’ll miss out on all the amazing things life has to offer. I’m a firm believer that each breakup we go through is changing us into the person we need to be so that we become perfect for our soul mate.
Yes, you are putting yourself at risk each time you fall in love, but you’re also opening yourself to the possibility of finding a love that lasts throughout time. You never know until you try. And even if you’re having to learn how to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you back, remember that these breakups are teaching you valuable life lessons.
The Best is Yet to Come
You may not believe it yet, but one day, you’ll meet someone so perfect that it’ll be clear why it never worked out with anyone else. As much as it hurts to love someone who isn’t into you, it’s something that happens to everyone. Smile through the tears and keep your hopes up. Your true love is out there waiting for you to become the one of whom they dream.