How to move on from someone who doesn’t like you

Peopleimages/Getty Images

A couple of years ago, I worked with a co-worker who hated me. She talked negatively about me to other team members and challenged me openly on several occasions. The cherry on top? She told my boss she was better suited to be manager than I was.

Just because it stemmed from her frustrations with her own career, it didn’t make my experience any easier. I felt like I had to constantly defend myself, and my work had to compete with all of the negative attention.

Looking back now, though, I can see a silver lining. Her disdain toward me taught me five things about dealing with people who have it in for you:

1. Start With Yourself

It’s too easy to conclude that people don’t like you just because—without taking a look at yourself. Before deciding it has nothing to do with you, take a moment and consider if you’re doing things that could potentially be offensive or insensitive.

It could be something you’re aware of—like if you’re hyper-competitive and willing to step on others to get ahead. But it could also be habits you’re not attuned to, like finishing people’s sentences.

So, ask for feedback from someone you trust. Your boss or co-worker can provide perspective on how you’re coming across to others, and why you may not be received so well. This’ll give you an opportunity to adjust some of those behaviors, and then, revisit the relationships that may’ve gotten off to a rocky start. (I know it’s a tricky conversation to start, so here’s a template that’ll help you ask for honest feedback.

2. Accept Your Differences

Maybe the people you ask says there’s nothing they can identify that would rub others the wrong way. If that’s the case, the next step is to accept that not everyone will like you—and that’s OK.

Your job is not to convince them why they should. Yes, you need to be courteous, but don’t stop being true to who you are.

It’s helpful to remember that people have favorites inside and outside the workplace, I bet you experience it, too: There are probably some people that you click with and others you don’t. While it may seem personal, it’s just human nature, and remembering that can make it sting less.

If it’s still getting to me, I also like to remember that no one’s perfect and embracing imperfections is what make us unique.

3. Refuse to Engage

Of course, accepting doesn’t mean you stoop to their level. There’s an old saying that arguing with fools will just prove there are two.

No matter how strong you think your clap back game is, just don’t do it.

One strategy that has always helped me resist the urge to participate is redirecting the conversation. If I must talk to someone who doesn’t like me and I believe it’s headed in a negative direction, I quickly redirect the conversation back to its origin. For example, “Steve, I’d love to get back to brainstorming the marketing plan, specifically.”

4. Refocus

Dealing with such a negative person can be draining, so refocus your energy on the people who believe in you. You’re in your job for a reason—because you can do it, and the people who hired you know that!

What others think of your qualifications is not relevant.

Believe it or not, I often refocus by pretending that I’m on stage in front of a large audience. Lights, camera, action and everyone is watching. It doesn’t matter what happened backstage, in the dressing room, or at last night’s show. What matters most is my performance right here in this moment. That image helps me shake off any negativity and get back to business.

5. Reset

When you’re working with someone who doesn’t like you, you have to (repeatedly) hit reset. You can’t approach each working opportunity thinking about all the reasons why working with this individual’s difficult.

Resetting will minimize your frustration and allow you to get more done.

One way to do this is to “play dumb.” Yes, you’re wise enough to interpret the true meaning of your co-workers so-called compliments and see them for the digs they are. However, you can pretend not to. You can smile and say, “Thanks so much for acknowledging my work. I was pleased to see the positive results as well.”

If you imagine your interaction going fine, it just might—and you want to do all you can to make that possible.

Despite the critics, you must continue to persevere. This was the hardest lesson of them all for me to learn. I stressed about going to work, knowing I’d have to deal with this awful co-worker. But I got through it by remembering it was her problem. I didn’t dislike this associate. She disliked me. That was her burden alone to carry. Acknowledging that this was not my problem helped me remain resilient and continue doing the job I loved.

It’s a situation that, unfortunately, many of us know all too well. You caught some feelings for a friend and much to your disappointment, they just don’t reciprocate those feels. Now, you’re left scratching your head over whether you can salvage your friendship despite the unrequited love. Wondering how to move on if your friend doesn’t like you back? The good news is, experts say it is possible to recover from this, no matter how impossible it may feel in the wake of rejection.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be challenging to cope with this scenario, of course. Dealing with the fact that someone doesn’t like you back is painful enough when it’s just some rando you met at a bar or on a dating app, but when it’s your friend — someone you trust, respect, and love — it can hurt on a deeper level. Not to mention, there’s a good chance you may want to keep this friend in your life. With any other crush, the old “out of sight, out of mind” idea may help you to move on faster. But with a friend, you’ll have to face the person who didn’t return your feelings on a regular basis.

“Rejection is difficult to swallow in general,” says Pricilla Martinez, CEO of Regroop Online Life Coaching. “But when it comes from someone you want in your life or someone you’re close to, it brings out all of your insecurities.”

A friend is someone you expect to accept all of your so-called flaws, quirks, and mistakes, and love you no matter what. So, when they don’t like you back, you may feel extra vulnerable.

“You may have known each other for many years, or been open with them about your struggles in the past,” explains Amanda Ruiz, licensed professional counselor and founder of The Counseling Collective. “If a friend doesn’t like you back, it can be more disappointing because they know you on a deeper level than someone you weren’t friends with first.”

Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman, adds that deep down, you may have wanted more than friendship from the get-go. If that’s the case, then it may be extra difficult to accept that your friend doesn’t like you back.

According to Ruiz, the first step toward moving on is being honest with yourself about your disappointment. It may be tempting to run and hide from this painful emotion, but ignoring it won’t make it go away. Once you’ve acknowledged that you feel let down, you’ll be able to work toward putting that behind you. Ruiz also suggests sharing your disappointment with your friend, if you feel comfortable enough to do so. If your friend knows what you’re going through, they’ll be far more equipped to be sympathetic if you need some time and space to sort through your feelings.

Speaking of which, Ruiz says the next step is to decide whether you need to take a break, or whether you can simply resume the friendship as is. This may depend on a number of factors, including the nature of your friendship and the depth of your feelings for them. It’s crucial to be realistic about what you’re capable of and remember, if you need to step away for a little while you heal, that’s totally OK. If you do decide to remain friends, Edwards notes that you’ll want to do so without hanging any hopes on the possibility that their feelings will change.

"It all depends on whether or not you’re willing to accept the friendship knowing it won’t go any further than that," he adds. "If you’re not, then it’ll likely be the end of that friendship. If you are, chances are good you’ll end up having an even better friendship."

One of the most helpful strategies you can employ to help yourself move on from this situation is to set some boundaries. According to Ruiz, establishing boundaries is an effective way to make sure you protect yourself emotionally.

“Maybe meeting for your weekly lunch will be too difficult for you right now,” she tells Elite Daily. “Not saying ‘love ya’ every time you part, or crashing in bed with your friend may be important. Or, just not seeing each other as often is a boundary that you might need to put in place. Be honest with yourself and what you need and don’t be afraid to ask for it. If they really are your friend, they will understand.”

It’s important to be patient with yourself during this process because it might take longer than you expect to bounce back from your hurt feelings. If you’re finding it exceedingly difficult to move on, and it’s negatively impacting your mental or emotional well-being, Ruiz recommends considering therapy. Talking to a licensed professional may help you to work through some of the complicated emotions attached to this situation, grieve the loss of the relationship you hoped for, and best of all, transform negative thought patterns that may be unnecessarily triggering your insecurities.

There’s no doubt that it can be quite the blow to your self-confidence when a friend doesn’t like you back. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? It may feel like the end of the world that your friend doesn’t share the same romantic feelings for you, but the important thing to remember is that it’s not necessarily the end of your friendship — nor is it the end of your potential for a happy, healthy love life.

Being rejected can leave you feeling powerless, which is why it’s extra imperative to remind yourself that how you choose to deal with the aftermath and resume the friendship is ultimately up to you. In other words, you have the power to decide whether or not this disappointment is going to break your bond with your bestie. Whether or not it does, know that one rejection does not define you — it only makes you more resilient so you can bounce back even quicker in future dating experiences.

When someone tells me, “I don’t care if people like me,” they are showing me the emotional wall they use to block the hurt of rejection.

All of us care whether or not people like us. Humans are social animals. According to the psychologist Abraham Maslow, feeling love, affection and belonging is necessary before we can reach the highest levels of consciousness and wisdom.

We need each other to survive, from infants through schooling and throughout our professional careers. Many studies have shown that social connections help seniors to live longer and happier lives. The greatest form of punishment is isolation.

To think you can realize your potential without the help of others is an illusion. While trying to navigate your work and home life, you need people to talk to, to listen to you, and hopefully, someone who will challenge some of your rambling thoughts. I often need a human mirror to see how much I’ve grown in the past year and to remind me of my strengths. I, like most of you, excel at reminding myself of my weaknesses, so I elevate my self-awareness with the aid of my trusted friends and colleagues.

Based on this need for social connection, your reactions to rejection, negative judgment and stinging sarcastic remarks can range from minor hurt to bouts of depression. The ability to let a show of dislike roll off your back is a learned skill. You have to consciously balance your need to be liked with understanding what is true about the current situation.

1. Catch yourself reacting defensively or shutting down. The first step to handling a negative situation is to recognize your reaction. Instead of stuffing your emotions, you need to stop three or four times a day and ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” Do you feel fear in your chest, betrayal in your heart, anger in your shoulders, gut or head, or humiliation in the pit of your stomach? It takes practice to discern your feelings, but the first step is to identify what emotion has shown up in your body so you can choose what to do next.

2. Ask yourself what is true about the situation. When you sense yourself shutting down or feeling defensive, ask yourself what you believe the person meant to do to you. Did they truly mean to insult you, betray you, disrespect you, or make fun of you? Your brain works very hard to keep you safe, so it will judge a situation as threatening if there is any possibility of social harm. This is not a logical process. When you react to a person’s words, ask yourself, “What was the intent of the comment? Is it true they meant harm? Is it true that others will agree and judge me negatively because of their words?” Would it be possible to ask the person if they meant to insult you or discredit your ideas? Often people do not realize the impact of their words. You will feel better if you discover they meant no personal harm.

3. If you are sure the person meant to be negative, determine if their target was you personally or your ideas. When our brains sense a possible threat, we react as if we were personally attacked, meaning we take things too personally by nature. Take a breath to relieve the stress and ask, “Was the person commenting on my idea or on me as a person?” If you aren’t sure, take another breath and feel it enter your stomach. This will ground you in the present and take you out of your chattering mind. If you can, look the person in their eyes. Then ask yourself the questions in point #2 to determine if the remark was a personal attack that needs to be addressed or just a disagreement you can live with.

4. Finally, if you believe the person doesn’t like you, ask yourself whether this matters. Some people will like you. Others will not. Will the person’s judgment of you impact your work or life? If not, what can you do to release your need to be liked or even respected by this person? And, what can you do to stay neutral and not return the dislike? The more you can come to accept others as who they are, to resist fixing them or changing their opinions, and to listen with patience and compassion, the more you can move forward with your goals regardless if someone likes you or not. According to Charlotte Kasl, PhD, author of If the Buddha Dated, when you dismantle your personal censor you can achieve your highest potential. Rise above the discord by mentally forgiving the person for not appreciating what you contribute and forgiving yourself for reacting with fear or anger.

If you are doing the best you can with what you have, worrying if people like you or not is a waste of your most precious resource: your energy.

This article was co-authored by Chloe Carmichael, PhD. Chloe Carmichael, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who runs a private practice in New York City. With over a decade of psychological consulting experience, Dr. Chloe specializes in relationship issues, stress management, self esteem, and career coaching. She has also instructed undergraduate courses at Long Island University and has served as adjunct faculty at the City University of New York. Dr. Chloe completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York and her clinical training at Lenox Hill Hospital and Kings County Hospital. She is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is the author of “Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety” and “Dr. Chloe’s 10 Commandments of Dating.”

There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 23 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 1,754,002 times.

Did you have a crush on someone who didn’t like you back or did you discover that your boyfriend didn’t care about you the way you cared about him? While romantic rejection is common, it can be a painful and difficult experience to get over. Whether you had a crush on someone who didn’t like you back or you found out your boyfriend didn’t care for you, mending a broken heart can take some time. Read through these tips about getting over a guy to change your perspective and keep moving forward.

How to move on from someone who doesn't like you

Dear self, stop fighting for someone who doesn’t love you. Move on and stop hurting yourself over a love that will never work. Have some dignity and cut off this emotional dictatorship at its roots. Be brave and say, “I’m leaving you because I love myself.”

We all know that it isn’t easy. We’re aware that the brain has no restart button, emergency exit, or even a window you could open to let the fresh breeze in and air out your sorrows. The brain is stubborn, methodical, and persistent. It fights to cling to emotional memories, because those are the ones that leave such a huge mark on your identity.

“To forget love, there’s no better remedy than finding new love or putting distance between you and them.”

-Lope de Vega-

They say that loving someone without them loving you back is like trying to light a candle with an unlit match. And we don’t really know why we do it, why we insist on worshiping someone who doesn’t love us. We persist and resist, thinking distorted thoughts like, “if I tell him this, he might…” or “if I change this, it’s possible that…” as if this would achieve anything.

However, love isn’t a vending machine. You can’t put in a coin, press a button, and get the thing you wanted. Sometimes, there’s no other remedy than to take the plunge, forget all your false hopes, and stop killing yourself over someone who’s gone in a different direction with other people.

When you love someone who doesn’t love you back, you can’t get them out of your mind

A moment ago, we wondered why it’s so hard to turn the page and be strong when you know that someone doesn’t love you. The answer to this question is found in the intricate and always fascinating world of neurology. To understand it a little better, take a look at the following example:

Say you’re having a few really good days where you feel like you’re getting over the breakup. However, one random afternoon, you pass by someone who’s wearing the same perfume that your ex wears. You’re suddenly overwhelmed with sadness until it almost paralyzes you and brings you to tears.

Antoine Bechara, a neurobiologist from the University of California, coined the term “cerebral conflict” to describe how when a person is rejected, the brain continues to associate certain stimuli, images, and memories with each other. The neural network responsible for this intimate but powerful relationship is located between the hippocampus and the amygdala.

Remember, these structures govern and orchestrate emotional memories. Thus, every experience you’ve had with that special person has been burned into your mind, and in turn, linked to certain stimuli that trigger the memory.

So when you smell a particular perfume, see a particular photograph or item of clothing, or walk by the restaurant where you used to get dinner every weekend, it activates your neurotransmitters and makes you almost addicted to impossible love.

And it isn’t so easy to break this association and manage this cerebral conflict.

Dear self, open your eyes and heal your heart

The anatomy of rejection and abandonment is brutal, profound, and complex. We already know that our reluctance to turn the page isn’t always voluntary, that the brain also feeds into this vicious biochemical cycle .

“I learned that I cannot demand love from anyone. I can only give good reasons for them to like me…and be patient for life to do the rest.”

-William Shakespeare-

However, neurologists explain that over time, these associated memories are activated less and less. The neural connections that brought about those negative emotions gradually start to lose their strength, until they become an echo of a sad and distant melody that is less painful every time you hear it.

The passage of time allows you to move forward more calmly, as long as you utilize the appropriate psychological strategies to stop yourself from worshiping that person who doesn’t love you back. Below, we’ll explain a few strategies that can help you.

Tips to overcome emotional rejection

Dear self, if they don’t love you, remember to love yourself above all else. This is the main premise that you should integrate into your life. But we were taught not to give up or lose, which makes it even harder to break any kind of bond.

  • Understand that love is not sacrifice. It’s never worth it to think things like, “if I stop doing this maybe they’ll love me,” or “if I change this and that about myself they’ll like me more.” Don’t do it. Don’t commit emotional suicide, don’t humiliate yourself, don’t set fire to the only thing that gives you strength: your self-esteem.
  • If they’re hurting you, they don’t love you. It’s simple. If you’re an invisible horse on their carousel of infidelity, selfishness, and insults, stay away from them. Why make yourself a prisoner in their emotional torture chamber? If you escape, you’ll finally realize that freedom is the best source of comfort, and solitude is a welcome refuge.
  • In impossible love, the first thing you lose is hope. Some relationships come with an expiration date, and if you’re fully aware that nothing you want will ever come to be, you should leave through the door where you just walked in. And do it with dignity, with your head held high, and with your heart in one piece.

Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is extremely painful, but it’s even more painful to stop loving yourself for someone who doesn’t even deserve you. Be strong and wise, and always remember that you should only love that which is worthy of being loved.

How to move on from someone who doesn't like you

Falling out of love with someone is an unfortunate part of life that all of us have had to deal with at some point – but it gets even more heartbreaking when the person who’s being fallen out of love with is you. Nothing in the world can prepare you for the feeling that someone towards whom you still feel immense emotional attachments to doesn’t love you back. You can feel left out, abandoned, and lonely to the point where you can end up convincing yourself you’ll never find love again.

However, that’s definitely not the case and you need to practice your positive thinking to remind yourself of that as often as you can. It’s very hard because you’re craving validation from someone who’ll never give it to you. Still, there are healthy ways of coping with the situation. Take a look at some tips on how to sever your emotional attachment to someone who doesn’t love you back. And remember, it’s always a work in progress, so don’t expect immediate results.

Here Are 6 Ways to Release Emotional Attachments to Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back

1. Get yourself back out there.

It doesn’t matter whether you feel ready or not – no one feels truly, fully ready to start dating again after their relationship has broken down. But the positive side to trying to find someone new is that you meet new people all the time. Even if it doesn’t progress into a relationship, you might still end up finding people you love to spend time with as friends. Besides, the more you surround yourself with new people, the more you’ll find that validation that you needed from the emotionally unavailable person. Rebounding is not always a great idea, though. What you need might be emotional, rather than physical, attachment. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know if you’re leading someone else on, take it easy. Enjoy the companionship of new friends as much as you can.

2. Give yourself time.

There’s a reason why people say that time is the greatest healer. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, things will get better once you let some weeks and months pass. You’ll see that life goes on, that you have work and family and friendships you can put all your energy into now instead. Don’t try to feel better straight away. Allow yourself time to grieve over the love you’ve lost. If you try and suppress those feelings, they will emerge stronger and more powerful. Feel what you have to feel, as it will allow you to expunge those emotions from yourself and you can move on.

3. Reminisce about the things that went wrong in your relationship.

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.” – Simone Weil

These are all the things you want to avoid thinking about, right? Well, what better way to remember why you shouldn’t have any emotional attachment to that person than remember all the things they did to get you here? Do you remember your last argument? Or the annoying habits they had that kept building up until you couldn’t take anymore? It’s a great way of reconciling any residual guilt you have as well. It often happens that people coming out of failed relationships think the burden of responsibility is on them, which isn’t the case at all. Remember that this is a two-way process. In other words, the ending of the relationship should be a shared responsibility.

4. Be the best version of you.

After you’ve been in a relationship for a very long time, it’s easy to lose your individual identity. Remember what makes you unique and explore it – or find something new, like a hobby you’ve never considered picking up. Pottery? Stained glass? Pilates? Pole dancing? There’s a whole world of activities out there that you can get involved in. They will engage your mind in the best way possible, so you can forget about the person that you keep thinking about. Focus on you – because you probably haven’t done that in a long, long time. Remember that you are an individual with hopes and goals and dreams that you can now achieve.

5. Close the chapter of your last relationship forever.

There’s nothing more tempting than trying to get back in contact with the person you love – even if they don’t love you. Casual texts to see how they’re doing, or pretending you’ve sent the text to the wrong person. All those things are your mind’s way of trying to implant a sense of false hope. Let go of that. Delete their phone number and stop stalking them on Facebook and Instagram. The more time you have to spend apart, the better you’ll feel. Stop living in the past and look towards the future.

How to move on from someone who doesn't like you

6. Try to find love again.

It will seem impossible at first that you’ll ever feel a deep emotional attachment to anyone else, but you might be surprised. If your heart is open to new possibilities, you need to give it the opportunity to live them. Positive thinking is key here. If you give in to your apocalyptic thoughts that you’ve walked past your soulmate forever, you won’t feel any motivation to keep going. Instead, think about how you deserve to be loved with the same enormity that you, yourself, can love. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and allow yourself to feel love towards someone else. It’s a wonderful remedy for unrequited feelings.

Final thoughts

At every step on the way, remember to always reassess your own feelings. Is that what you need right now? Are you making the right choices? Are you moving too quickly? Don’t force yourself into situations that you might feel uncomfortable in, just because you feel like you should. Healing from emotional attachment is a very individual process, so listen to your heart and you won’t fail. You’ll know when the right time comes to do some healing. Until then, be kind to yourself and don’t allow for the bad thoughts to enter your head. Settle for positive thinking and a good mindset instead.

How to move on from someone who doesn't like you

There’s nothing quite as miserable as crushing over someone who’s not into you, but it happens. According to research from Psychology Today, 98 percent of people have suffered from the pain of unrequited love at one point or another in their lifetime, so know that you’re not alone. Sometimes you just end up falling for someone and, through no fault of your own, they’re just not into you. We can’t pick and choose who we fall in love with and we certainly can’t make someone see us in a romantic light if they don’t. And yes, it sucks.

But on top of it sucking, you also need to get over that person for your own well-being. You can’t spend the rest of your life hoping that they’ll just turn around and suddenly be into you. I’m not saying it couldn’t ever happen, but I am saying it’s best if you protect yourself and start moving forward.

Just as it is with a breakup, there’s no fast and sure method to get over someone who’s not into you, but you can make changes in your life, so it can be an easier transition. As much as it might pain you at first, you really need to make the first step all in the name of self-preservation. So, if you’re crushing on someone real hard who’s just not into you, here are seven hacks for getting over them. But first, check out the latest episode of Bustle’s Sex and Relationships podcast "I Want It That Way":

1. Limit The Amount Of Time You Spend Together

If the person you’re into is a friend, then it’s time to pull back on how often you see each other. I’m not saying you need to go cold turkey, but you definitely need to take whatever amount of time you spend together and cut it in half. If it’s someone you work with, that it might be harder to pull off — but it’ll be worth it.

2. Force Yourself To Meet New People

If you’re not dating because you’re holding out for the person who’s not into you, then you’re really doing yourself a disservice. In order to get over them, you need to put yourself out there, date around, have a one-night stand or two if you want. It’s time to surround yourself with other opportunities to prove that there are other people in the world!

3. Cut Down On Social Media Consumption Of Their Stuff

Again, if it’s a friend, you may not want to block them, but you need to think of yourself first. You don’t have to unfriend them, but if you stop following them, they’ll quit popping up in your feed and you’ll think about them less. Granted, that doesn’t mean you won’t cheat and go looking on their Facebook feed anyway, but it’s better than having their posts constantly coming up.

4. Keep Your Texting To A Minimum

If you two text quite a bit, then it’s time to limit your communication. Why do you need to text someone you’re trying to get over at all? Unless you’re making plans, something that you should be cutting down on, there’s no need to text obsessively all day and all night.

5. Realize It’s Not You

One of the hardest parts about unrequited love or crushes is trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. Well, there’s nothing wrong with you. Nothing at all. It’s just that, for whatever reason, this person just isn’t in to you. You can’t rip it apart and try to figure out why. All you can do is accept it and not beat yourself up about it. Yes, I know, acceptance is very difficult. But you’ll get there.

6. Consider Coming Clean About Your Feelings

My father has always told me it’s far braver to be honest about your feelings than it is to fight them. If the object of your affection is noticing the changes you’re making to the relationship, then tell them what’s up. Although, to be honest, they could probably already sense that you’re into them. (When people are smitten, it’s hard not to look at them and not let them know it!) At least in telling them what’s going on, as awkward as it might feel, the truth is out there and maybe they can agree to help by staying away for a bit too.

7. Consider A Clean Break

If you realize that none of these hacks are working, then you need to make a clean break and let that person go. You can’t move on or forward, if you have them around, and you deserve to move on and forward with someone who will be as into you, as you are into them. It will definitely hurt, but to quote SATC‘s Samantha Jones: "I love you, but I love me more." So love yourself more and just get out of there.

How to move on from someone who doesn't like you

Love is great and awesome and wonderful, but, unfortunately, it can be painful and ridden with heartache if you end up loving someone who doesn’t love you. That pain, ladies and gentlemen, is a different kind of heartbreak.

Loving someone who doesn’t love you back quite literally is the biggest bummer of them all.

Being in a one-way love situation absorbs your time, your emotions, and your mental power in ways that you feel like you have no control over, and it feels like you’re stuck with bad luck.

Not only are you consumed with adoration, but you’re also consumed with the grief that accompanies unrequited love. It feels like torture and it sucks the wind out of your sails, leaving you feeling like less than you are.

Why does unrequited love hurt?

When you love someone who doesn’t love you back, you feel pain, grief, and shame.

You feel pain because you realize this person won’t love you back and these feelings you have will never be reciprocated. It’s a feeling of rejection that hits the heart the hardest.

You also feel like this person was the only one for you, and you lost somehow. And you feel grief for the loss of the fantasy that loving this person would have given you if they felt the same way.

You feel shame for loving someone who will never feel the same; you wanted it so much and feel foolish for falling for someone who doesn’t feel the same.

According to psychologist Sandra E. Cohen, Ph.D., “There couldn’t be anything more painful than loving someone who doesn’t love you back. You’ve been patient, understanding, maybe even desperate to be everything he wants you to be, putting yourself aside, jumping when he wants anything, only to be hurt over and over again.”

Why Do You Love People Who Don’t love you back?

You can certainly be in love with someone who doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, but love must be returned in order for it to be real. It’s devastating to realize that, but you aren’t alone; in fact, almost everyone has experienced this pain.

Some believe everyone should fall in love with someone who doesn’t love them back because surviving that kind of pain teaches you important lessons. It teaches you that love cannot be won like a stuffed animal in an arcade game. It teaches you that pain is temporary and that you are so much stronger than you think.

The most important thing is that you will eventually realize that just because one person didn’t love you, that doesn’t mean you will not be loved by others.

How To Move On From Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back

1. Accept the reality of the situation.

While it’s easy to dwell in the past and hang on to a small sliver of hope that this person will one day come around, the best course of action is to accept reality.

Life coach Mitzi Bockmann says, “I know you believe that you can convince them to love you, but unless they are actively willing to try to love you, your efforts will be doomed from the start.”

2. Remove them from social media.

Bockmann suggests deleting the person you love from social media, even if it’s difficult and makes you upset.

“I know the idea is painful, but I would encourage you to accept this truth and focus your energy on putting them behind you (i.e., blocking them everywhere), and looking ahead to finding someone who will love you truly,” she says.

3. Ask yourself why this happened.

“Are you repeating something from the past? Maybe you didn’t get enough love as a child or that love was hard to reach. You don’t have to do that now,” Cohen brings up.

Now is the time to determine and start noticing why you cannot move past these feelings. “If you’re struggling and need some help, reach out to a therapist. Having someone in your corner to sort this out, can be life-changing,” she adds.

4. Remember that you will love again.

“You deserve more than the ‘love crumbs’ you are getting. Even if you think you’ll never love this much again, you will. Do some soul searching about what you need and don’t accept less,” Cohen recommends.

Don’t give up on finding love, despite your experience with someone not loving you back. There’s someone out there for you — you just have to keep the faith that you will find each other.

5. Don’t blame yourself.

Don’t ever think this was something that you meant to do or it was your fault that this happened. When you love someone, there is never a 100% chance that they will love you back. You just have to trust your feelings sometimes and know that you can be wrong about things, and that’s okay.

6. Find an outlet for your frustrations.

If you need a more physical way of taking out your frustrations you can try to do yoga or kickboxing or any exercise that lets you feel free and happy from endorphins. Exercise is one of the best ways to actively get rid of negative emotions and get your body and blood flowing.

7. Give yourself time to heal.

Emotional pains and wounds are the worst to heal from. It’s going to take a long amount of time to heal from this emotional turmoil you’re going through. It might even take you longer than expected, but in the end, you will find the light at the end of the tunnel. Remember to not hold back and let your feelings out. If you need help from a mental health professional to express your feelings, feel free to do so.

8. Love yourself.

The only cure for unrequited love is to love yourself. Find it in yourself to detach from interactions with the object of your affection. Go do something that will make you happy, even if it’s small and private. Spend time with yourself and get to know who you are again.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Do it a lot. Try a bunch of different, nurturing things that bring you small doses of joy and can fill the void of this one-way-love suck-fest. After some time, it won’t feel so awful and you’ll feel like you again. Completely.

What to Do if You Love Someone Who Doesn’t Love You

If you’re dealing with unrequited love, the only answer is to shower that love onto yourself, even though rejection has a tendency to make us feel the opposite.

Now is not the time for anger; unless he’s taking advantage of your feelings, it isn’t his fault for not feeling the same about you.

Now is also not the time to listen to people attempting to comfort you by reminding you of “other fish in the sea.”

That cliché garbage is completely irrelevant for two reasons: One, you’re in love with this one person right now; you’re not just hurling yourself at every man who strikes up a conversation. Secondly, you’re not somehow devoid of self-worth just because you’re not in a relationship; you can love yourself and be on your own just fine.

But you don’t want to. You want to love him. And that’s OK. You can still love him from afar. You’re also allowed to feel really, really sad about not receiving that same love in return.

But it’s crucial not to stand around torturing yourself by holding a torch for something that will never happen while your life stalls.

Letting go of a relationship is never easy, but this time you're in luck. Here are 5 essential steps to let go of someone who doesn't want you back.

How to move on from someone who doesn't like you


Heartbreak is such a drag. You’re in love and all happy go lucky one second and then Boom! Out of nowhere, you’re sad and lonely, crying on your floor at night wishing you could turn back the time. Sadly, you can’t, which sucks. Somehow the things we want the most don’t turn out to be the best fit or option for us after all. That’s okay. Nobody said heartbreak and having to let go of someone you truly want was going to be easy. So get out of bed and rise and shine. Look on the bright side of this disaster. Take a stride towards the positive perspective and outlook of your breakup. Use it as energy to your soul to be a better you. Who said breakups have to be so melodramatic? No one! So make what you want of it!

Even If You Don't Want To Let Go

The hardest part and moment of having to let go of someone or something is. sometimes you don’t always want to let them go and you’re not always prepared. You definitely weren’t prepared for this. So why would you want to let go at all? I know. It’s very unfair and not pleasant. I’m sure you’re not the only one having a hard time. During a breakup, it affects both parties. It’s just up to the particular party on how they want to deal with having to let go. Even if they don’t want to. This goes to those of you who are the party who doesn’t want to let go. Don’t become obsessive about it to the point where you lose yourself. Yes, that person was once a part of you, but before your relationship, there was a time that you had no idea that this person even existed. So don’t limit yourself when it comes to this breakup. Everyone has history with someone but don’t let that history define you.

5 Essential Steps To Letting Go Of Someone Who Doesn't Want You Back

Breakups can be messy and you are almost never prepared to have your heart broken so you most likely don’t know where to start when needing to cope with the loss of a relationship. Your mind is probably frazzled and your heart is aching. You are most likely crying and you probably can’t think straight. This means that right now is not the time to do anything rash. So put important decision making and life choices to the side or in the back of your mind for the moment. I would hate for you to do something you regret because you decided on it when you were too mad or sad. You want to be mature when it comes to heartbreak. Make sure to keep this in mind when you are dealing with these certain situations. Again, I know it’s hard, but I know you know it’s not worth all the drama. So with that being said, let me help you out a bit with your relationship troubles. Let me point you in the right direction when dealing with letting go. Here are 5 essential steps to letting go of someone who doesn’t want you back:

1.Learn To Love And Be Good To Yourself

This is a really big step in letting go of the person you want. When you truly love yourself you never have to second guess whether you should move on. You should automatically know that this relationship has come to end and although it hurts you shouldn’t blame yourself or someone else. You will know and become at peace with the thought that all good things must come to an end and nothing is forever. So if you lack the love for yourself, learn to let go. Learn to forgive even if there is no apology from that person. Sometimes we need to love ourselves enough to not look back and sometimes not looking back is the best thing you can do for yourself. Change those negative thoughts you keep thinking and the negative words you spread when you speak. Filter and purify your internal thought process when it comes to this person. Learn to talk to and to love yourself in the same way you did with your ex or the friend or person you’re trying to let go of or the one you want to let go.

2.Take Time For Yourself And Meditate

Take time to be by yourself. That doesn’t mean to stop caring about your friend(s), family, or other loved ones. It just means to make sure to take time out of your busy days to appreciate yourself. Of course, you can always try to be caring towards others, but sometimes you need to put yourself first and be more caring towards yourself. Believe me. It is something you’ll want more often if you don’t already. A good example of using your time for yourself is learning to meditate. Meditation comes in all forms. Laughing, breathing, resting your eyes, one minute of silence or anything that deals with the ease of the mind or the quieting of the mind is meditating. So take the time and be by yourself. You’ll be surprised by how this benefits you.

3.Keep Busy

One sure way that you can always take your mind off your ex and let go is to stop sulking and keep busy. This is something you’re going to have to want to do in order to see if it works in helping you let go of your ex. Most importantly, it’s going to help you stop caring as much for your ex. When you stop giving your sadness and unhappiness so much attention and focus on other things like going out to new places and traveling, watching a movie, meeting new people, picking up other hobbies etc. Keep yourself busy and you’ll probably never notice when you even stopped thinking about your ex. One good way to keep yourself busy is to pick up new hobbies, learn about new things, read new books, or learn a new life skill. These are just a few good options to keep yourself busy when you’re too focused on being sad or depressed.

4."This Too Shall Pass"

Remember everything changes. Life doesn’t stand still and sometimes we have to let go of the things we love and hold dearest to us. It’s painful sometimes, and it’ll probably feel like it will never get easier, but it will. If you have the mindset of “This too shall pass” then you’ll flow along easier with life when things get tough. Everything is life is constantly changing. Change is inevitable. So come to peace with the idea that all good things must come to an end. Be present and carry on happily with the rest of your life.

5.Family And Friends

Everyone has family and a good friend or two. So when life gets tough and you’re not sure how you’re going to let go of your ex and move on. what’s better to cure that loneliness than surrounding yourself with the people who love and care for you the most. your family and friends! Family and friends can do a great deal for you during trying times like these. Sometimes they have the best advice on how to let go of someone special to you and sometimes they don’t. but their advice sure does make you laugh. Therefore they made you happy and forget about why you were so sad for a second. Friends and family want to help. Most importantly they want to know how you feel and what you want them to do to help you feel better.