Feelings. Try as we might, we can’t always control them. We’ve all been there, you like someone who you can’t have or worse someone who does not reciprocate those feelings. It’s an excruciating experience. Here are some things you can do to help you stop liking them and hopefully begin to move on.
Distance is your friend
Begin by distancing yourself from that person. Avoid going to places where you know you’ll bump into them. Spending any time together only deepens your feelings. Distance here isn’t just physical distance but includes radio silence where you stop calling and messaging them or even stalking them on social media. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder, sometimes it’s more like out of sight, out of mind. If you have to keep seeing each other, for example, because you work together or are neighbours, keep any interactions and conversations polite but distant, as generic as could be.
Distract yourself with other activities. If there’s ever been a time to take up that new hobby or start volunteering at some organization, heck even run a marathon, this is it. Just keep yourself too busy to ruminate on what could have been.
Friends and family
Hang out with friends and family who will not only give you some much-needed companionship but also take your mind off your unrequited feelings. This will also serve to remind you that you have love in your life from other people.
Make a list of things you dislike about them
While this didn’t work for Lavon and Wade from Heart of Dixie, it could work in real life. Everyone has weaknesses and shortcomings and often when we are hang up on someone we can’t have all we do is romanticize them and obsess about their good qualities. Try and make the list of things you dislike about them as long as possible and allow yourself to be petty.
Along with this, consider making a list of all the reasons it couldn’t realistically work between you. Too often we idealize people we miss, if you commit to acknowledging all the reasons it likely wouldn’t work, you can begin to move on.
Vent or talk to someone you trust
Often when you like someone and can’t have them, the default behaviour is to keep it a secret. Yet, sometimes you just need to vocalize your thoughts and feelings. Find someone you can be open and honest with without any fear of being judged. Explain how you feel and express your desire to move on. Hopefully, they can help keep you on track. If you feel so overwhelmed that you think you’d benefit more from a professional than a friend, you could seek the services of a therapist.
The first step is acceptance. Accept that you can’t have them, no ifs, buts, and maybes. You can’t have them. Kill every last straggling vestige of hope and commit to moving on from them. Stop yourself when you start moving down the rabbit holes of fantasy and yearning, instead distract yourself with something else.
Give it time
Be kind to yourself, it’ll take some time to get a handle on those feelings. In the meantime, take care of yourself, showing yourself some extra care as you ride it out. One day you’ll look back and will be feeling so much better. Keep that thought in mind even during the hard days. This too will pass.
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