How to Deal With Loving Someone You Can’t Have


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Unrequited love is painful. It’s hard to channel your feelings appropriately because the person it belongs to doesn’t really want it. That’s a hard pill to swallow. This is why I want to discuss how to deal with loving someone you can’t have.

Recently, I read this book called Letting Go by David.R.Hawkins that details how we process emotions incorrectly which tends to result in a host of problems like anxiety, depression and self-sabotage.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that relationship issues can turn your world upside down. 

It’s not necessarily a bad thing because love is beautiful but it’s not easy to navigate the rough seas of unrequited love.

Most people either suppress, express or escape feelings that cause them emotional turmoil. 

One thing we know about unrequited love is that it can bring about feelings of sadness, uncertainty, anxiety, depression and rejection. 

Not dealing with these emotions appropriately could influence you to behave in ways that not only ruin your connection with that person but also your overall well being.

With that being said, I want to discuss everything you need to know on how to deal with loving someone you can’t have. 

This article will help you to let go of those feelings as well as provide you with some steps on how to move forward in your life without being defeated by the yearning and sadness for someone you can’t have. 

None of this will be easy but it’s important for you to treat yourself with compassion. 

We don’t really choose who we fall in love with so don’t punish yourself for being in this position. 

Be gentle and compassionate throughout this entire process. 

Related post: 15 signs she doesn’t want a relationship with you

1. Let go of the love you feel

If we apply the principles highlighted by David.R.Hawkins, letting go entails embracing your feelings.

In other words, you should not pretend like you don’t love someone you can’t have.

Allow yourself to feel love in order to let it go.

It will be difficult at first but once you realize that life goes on despite not fulfilling your desire attached to the love you feel, it will be easier to let go of it.

Personally, letting go of love will require you to accept the reality of the situation.

Irrespective of how you feel, things with this individual will not change. And, you don’t need it to change.

Channel that love into your own life. Don’t struggle with it. Don’t try to hide from it. Don’t hate yourself for loving someone you can’t have.

Part of letting go requires you to stop taking action based on how you feel about that specific situation.

The more you feed love, the greater it will grow.

Let go of the idea that you can be with this person now or ever. 

Don’t tailor your life around the chance of being with them or the desire to love them.

Related post: If you love someone, should you let them go?

2. Maintain a healthy distance

You will experience great difficulty dealing with loving someone you can’t have by staying attached to them or in close proximity.

I would advise you to remove them off social media, get rid of their number from your phone, remove reminders and content related to that person and give yourself enough space to get away from them.

The more distance you put between yourself and this person, the easier it will be to deal and let go of your feelings for them.

Staying in contact or monitoring their social media activity will only torment you.

As much as distance makes the heart grow fonder, it also comes with the risk of making the heart grow further apart. 

I’m other words, stay away from someone for long enough and you’ll begin to move on from them.

3. Keep yourself busy 

Easier said than done, I know. Additionally, I understand how difficult it can be to muster up the enthusiasm to do other stuff when your mind and heart are focused on someone. 

Trying to keep busy with mundane tasks will prove to be futile and a waste of time.

Instead, I recommend focusing on something you care about like a career or a dream.

Goals that have meaning to you are also important aspects of your life to focus on. 

When you can redirect some of your focus on a daily basis to activities that matter to you, that you care about and that open the doors of opportunity for you in the future, it will make this time a lot more bearable. 

Keeping busy with these enjoyable and meaningful activities will remind you that life has infinite possibilities and you don’t have to limit yourself to this situation.

Furthermore, keeping busy will help you to avoid rumination and obsession which is known to influence the most thoughtful people into behaving recklessly. 

4. Surround yourself with people you love

Having all of this love that cannot be directed anywhere can often make you feel overwhelmed and erratic.

Given that you can’t express it to the person you can’t be with, the next best thing to do is direct it to other people you love.

By this, I don’t mean you should start loving random people or dating anyone who gives you a bit of attention.

Instead, channel all this love and affection to your friends and family.

Never will you walk away from doing this with any regrets.

These are people who want your time and presence. They will appreciate all the love and support you send their way.

Giving yourself a taste of how wholesome it is to love people who want to be in your life is a healthy way of dealing with unrequited love in other areas of your life. 

Also, there’ll be days when you don’t feel so good or need to share your feelings with someone who cares, sympathizes and understands you.

Being around family and friends is a great way to avoid isolation. 

I’m someone who struggles with my thoughts and when I spend far too much time alone, I end up spiraling.

It’s true what they say – an idle mind is the devil’s playground.

5. Don’t try to replace them with someone else

Throwing yourself into someone else’s arms in hopes of forgetting someone you can’t be with is a recipe for disaster.

Rebound relationships very rarely work out and part of the reason why is because you can’t be with someone new while your heart is attached to someone else.

What happens is your mind starts to compare these people with each other.

Because you still have feelings of love for someone else, the new people you date will always fall short.

This will create unnecessary drama in your life and strengthen the false narrative that you won’t find someone better than the person you can’t be with.

Your mind will be extremely volatile during this time and so will your heart.

Jumping into the dating scene too quickly will not benefit you at all.

The only time you ought to start dating again is when you find yourself feeling perfectly comfortable being single.

When you are happy and single, that’s the best time to start dating new people because it means that you’re content with your life and the person that you are.

This puts you in a perfect position to be your truest self which will help you connect with someone who is right for you. 

Related post: Do rebounds make you miss your ex more?

6. Be incredibly patient with yourself

Nobody on this planet can give you an exact estimate of how long it will take you to feel better or to stop loving someone you can’t be with.

What I can tell you, with certainty, is that you’ll eventually move on and start to feel optimistic about life again.

But, you have to be patient with yourself until you do.

Moving on from someone takes time.

You’re not going to wake up one morning and magically be completely over them but you will experience gradual and consistent improvements with time. 

Be aware of this.

It could take you a few months to a year, maybe even longer.

However, if you follow the list of tips in this article, the time will be spent wisely and you would have not wasted it doing things that sabotage your future or your life. 

You’re not alone in this.

There have been many people who have gone through this, who are going through this and who will go through this. 

At some point or the other, they all move on and find love again. 

So, if other people have found a way to get through this situation, so can you. 

Just be patient with yourself. Avoid self-loathing. Avoid criticizing yourself unnecessarily. Don’t fixate on the past.

If you are fixating on the past, redirect your focus to lessons you can learn from the past rather than focusing on the regret.

All of these things will require some degree of willpower and hard work but you will come out of this a better person. 

Always remind yourself that you can only control yourself.

Everything else is outside of your control and that’s perfectly okay.

When you find yourself spiraling and freaking out, don’t take action and just wait. Sleep it off. Go for a walk. Speak to someone you trust. Write about it.

These little coping mechanisms will help you stay in control when your mind and heart start conflicting.

7. Don’t agree to be friends

When you are rejected by someone and all they offer you is friendship, it can be tempting to take up the offer in hopes of eventually winning their heart.

More often than not, this fails. You find yourself wasting months of your life waiting and hoping for them to change their minds.

Instead of convincing them of your worth as a partner, they completely settle into the idea of you as only a friend.

Worst of all, you may have to witness them date other people and fall in love with someone else. 

Don’t put yourself through that misery.

Right now, when you’re trying to figure out how to deal with loving someone you can’t have, avoid committing to a friendship.

It’s not healthy for you nor is it going to change much. 

This is one of the reasons why I encourage people to use no contact when they are rejected, dumped or divorced.

You can’t force someone to be with you by staying in their lives. 

You owe it to yourself and them to walk away and allow time and space to dictate what happens next.

If you’re meant to be together, the two of you will find a way back to each other. If not, you’ll gravitate towards the next best love of your life. 

Related post: Why you shouldn’t be friends with your ex

8. Start dating again

Initially I mentioned how unwise it would be to immediately start dating or being in a relationship when you still love someone you can’t have. 

However, this only applies during those early stages of moving on.

When enough time has passed, you’ve been patient with yourself, completely distanced yourself from that person and you are content with being single, it might be time to move on.

That doesn’t mean you don’t give a damn at all about that person.

It just means that the love you had for them has now evolved into care rather than an undying desire to be with them romantically. 

This would put you in a good position to start dating again and meeting new people.

In conclusion

Learning how to deal with loving someone you can’t be with may be daunting but it’s a challenge you must face.

Most of us, including myself, have been through this at some point or the other.

Trust me when I tell you that things will improve and you’ll move on.

You will find someone amazing who you can be with and that love story will be one for the ages.

Remind yourself that a promising future filled with love and happiness is a possibility for you. It can and will happen. Try to stay strong when you are at your weakest.

Use whatever tools and coping mechanisms that work for you during difficult and low moments.

Once you get through the worst of the storm, things will improve at a great pace.

With that being said, I hope you found some solace and useful advice in this article on how to deal with loving someone you can’t have. Please feel free to reach out for support or advice in the comment section below.

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