10 Ways to Get Over the Guy Who Doesn't Love You


couple breakup

If you love someone, set him free, the saying goes. Yeah, right! Who wants to do that?! When you love someone, the last thing you want to do is set that person free ... you want to cling to him like the last life jacket on the Titanic. Sometimes this works out, if the person doesn't mind, or even adores, your clinging. Other times, if the person doesn't feel the same as you, you just end up causing yourself a huge amount of heartache. Yes, causing YOURSELF heartache.

Sure, people give mixed signals. But if he's telling you he loves you one day and disappearing for three weeks the next, you can be sure you two aren't on the same page, no matter how he might feel "deep down." I think we've all been there at least once. I know I have. It was painful, but at the end of the day, it was liberating to finally "/let go" of someone who just didn't seem to be on the same relationship page.

There are myriad books dedicated to keeping a man interested, getting him to commit, and keeping your marriage spicy. But what about just letting go? That's really what many of us need to learn how to do. And it's probably one of most difficult things in the world. But also one of the most necessary. Here are 10 ways to do it -- beyond distracting yourself with hobbies and pets and volunteer work.

  • 1. Be realistic.

    couple breaking up

    Let go of the idea that if only you can get this man to commit to you, life will suddenly be all roses, champagne, and sex-fueled weekends in the Maldives. The truth is that rejection will happen throughout your life. Being married just brings with it another set of problems. As Samara O'Shea writes in Love Me ... Not: How to Survive and Thrive in the Face of Unrequited Love: "Once you're in a committed relationship, the rejection associated with dating -- such as guys not calling -- might be in the rear-view mirror, but new and exciting types of rejection lie ahead. There's small rejection (you'll snub each other's choice of curtains) and rejection that hurts more (like turning down each other's sexual advances)." In other words, bagging your man isn't going to make you immune to hurt for the rest of your life.

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  • 2. Allow yourself to feel bad.

    woman heartbroken

    In this culture, it's become not okay to feel bad. Books, gurus, and TV commercials all urge you to take a pill, get back out there, get a massage -- anything but sit with your sad feelings and actually feel them. But being sad is a part of life. No one can be happy 100 percent of the time -- nor should you. It's only a problem if you become so attached to your unhappiness that you are reluctant to give it up because it's become part of your identity. Fresh off finding out that someone you love doesn't love you back, I recommend turning off the computer, not going out and getting drunk, and not numbing your feelings in any way. Sit in a quiet area and allow yourself to feel as bad as you like for at least an hour. Really FEEL it. Chances are you will need to do this less and less every day.

    There is a difference between allowing yourself to feel bad and "wallowing." Wallowing means you can't shut up about your unrequited love. Every conversation turns to him. You overanalyze everything that went wrong. Accept that there is a certain amount -- a lot actually -- that you will never know. You simply can't look into another person's psyche. Force yourself not to talk constantly and write long emails about him to friends. You can actually ask them to simply not respond to you. You will eventually tire yourself out.

  • 3. Stop cyberstalking.

    woman cyber stalking

    All kinds of studies have shown that continuing to cyberstalk your ex or your unrequited crush through social media will only prolong your agony. And yet it's so easy to do -- we can't seem to help ourselves. We actually get addicted to the chemical rush of the pain of seeing him with a new woman or out on the town enjoying himself.

    But you don't know what you are really seeing. He might post a picture of himself and his new honey looking ecstatic at a concert, but you didn't see the huge argument they got into right before they left. As Ami Angelowicz writes in The Frisky: "Social media is like a funhouse. It warps everything, makes it giant or small or headless, unrecognizable, most notably, your sense of self and of reality. It takes your imagination on a wild tilt-a-whirl of imagined scenarios and possibilities. It’s a warped mirror, reflecting your worst fears and deepest insecurities."

    In one relationship, I became addicted to checking up on the various women I knew the object of my affection had dated in the past. As the years went by, I gradually saw all of them get married and have children. While I had been eagle-eyeing them to see if they were keeping in touch with the man I wanted, the truth was, they didn't want him. They had gotten on with their lives, while I hadn't. I really wish I could have that time back!

  • 4. Realize you did nothing wrong.

    sad woman

    Asking yourself why a guy didn't love you, why he didn't keep his promises, or why he didn't choose you over someone else is a futile endeavor. And yet we love to obsess on these questions. There is something to that old adage, "It's not you, it's me." It IS him. You don't know what he wants, his issues, or what he's dealing with. For all you know, he's gay. Maybe he has deep-seated problems with intimacy. Maybe he just doesn't like skinny chicks -- are you really going to gain 50 pounds for him? Who knows, who cares?

    Focusing on the idea that if only you change, you can "win him over" somehow gives you a fleeting and false sense of control. Many things in this life are completely out of our control -- including how other people feel about us.

  • 5. Stop trying to make him feel bad.

    couple breaking up

    I was a sucker for this one for a long time. After a breakup with an ex, I would send email after email detailing his transgressions, expecting and hoping I would get the one apology that would make me feel better. The truth is, even after he would apologize, I still felt like shit. Because nothing had changed.

    If you truly feel you are owed an apology, then ask for one. If it's given, accept it and move on. If it's not, then let it go. He'll come to you with one when he's ready. I've heard of people getting apologies years after the fact. Or maybe he will never be ready. He's very possibly too ashamed or too narcissistic to admit what he did wrong.

  • 6. Cut off communication -- at least for a while.

    sad woman in bed

    Most relationship experts advise cutting off communication with someone who is obsessing you, but this isn't always feasible. You may have children with the person. You may share an office or project you are working on. If you can cut off communication, do. But I find most people fail this, at least at first. If you can't cut off contact, at least try this approach: See that person for who they are.

  • 7. Knock him off his pedestal.

    woman thinking

    Knock him off his pedestal, as blogger Nicole Forrester puts it. Sure, maybe he's still charming, funny, and handsome as the devil. But pay attention to who he REALLY is. All of us are just human. Notice his foibles and stop making excuses for them. Was he sharp with an underling? Did he forget to wish you happy birthday? None of this is because he needs you to truly understand him, but because he's just another human being with flaws and idiosyncrasies. He can be selfish, rude, and forgetful just like everyone else. Work to get out of your fantasy world. Who knows, maybe you will even realize that he doesn't have to love you back for you to appreciate him as a fellow journeyman on this planet, someone who also has trials and tribulations.

  • 8. Trust.

    woman thinking on bench
    Martin Dimitrov/iStock

    Trust that if this person doesn't love you back, there's a reason for it. Maybe there is something about this person you don't know, and the "universe" is making sure you dodge a bullet!

  • 9. Reword. 

    woman thinking

    Instead of thinking something to the effect of, "I wanted this and he didn't," which can escalate into an even more frustrated set of thoughts ("That jerk, he led me on!" "He wasted my time!" etc.), try rewording to something more neutral like, "Two things did not match up," or "Two goals passed each other."

  • 10. Try therapy.

    woman consulting doctor

    If you can't stop obsessing over a lost love, you might want to talk to a therapist about it. Often a pro can help us get to the root of why we can't "just get over it" and give us tools to employ to help deal with our feelings and move on.

    In some rare cases, obsession can be a symptom of a metal heath condition. For example, Samara O'Shea suffered from limerence, which is similar to obsessive compulsive disorder and makes a looping train of obsessive thoughts about an unrequited romance almost impossible to turn off. O'Shea ended up taking medication to take her out of that mental whirlwind. Talk with your doctor if you suspect you may have a similar condition. But realize that there is no "magic pill" for unrequited love.

    It will likely take time and a some hard emotional work on your part, but you can let go.

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