Understanding how to stop liking someone you can’t have is a lot easier said than done, but you can find a way to move on.
Learning how to stop liking someone isn’t fun, easy, or even common. So, it doesn’t come naturally. We’ve all had a crush on someone in a relationship or simply someone that didn’t like us back. This rejection is a part of life.
Whether fifteen or fifty when you fell in love with them, you know the pain of being denied their love. Learning how to stop liking someone you can’t have isn’t easy, but you can do it.
It is painful to endure the feelings of unreciprocated love. You ache for them, but they don’t love you back. They may not even know you exist. Perhaps they love someone else. No amount of wishing or hoping makes it better.
I have experienced this reality, and since you are here, I’m guessing you’re in the thick of it, and I’m sorry. It sucks to try so hard for so long, only to realize you need to give up.
Why you need to stop liking them
A part of you may just want to curl up in your sadness and let it be. You’re so used to liking them without it being returned that you don’t want it to change.
The only way out of this pain for you is if they like you back. Moving on doesn’t feel like an option, right?
Well, all of that is highly dysfunctional and unhealthy. Holding onto feelings for someone you know you can’t have will only cause you to soak in that rejection until it becomes part of you. You don’t want to be defined by this.
Instead, you need to learn how to stop liking someone that you can’t have once and for all. It will help you feel free and move forward with your life. [Read: 16 signs it is time to move on]
How to stop liking someone you can’t have
When I was in this situation, it took time to fully getting over this person. Being able to accept the reality and let it go wasn’t easy.
But, with time, patience, and a lot of self-reflection, I was able to stop liking someone I couldn’t have. And so can you.
It took time, but with all of the realizations I’ve listed below, I was able to move on and be happy on my own. And you can, too!
1. Accept that they’re unavailable
If you like somebody that is already in a relationship, you need to LEAVE THEM ALONE. You will never learn how to stop liking someone if you don’t. I cannot stress this enough. It’s probably the easiest and the hardest way to deal with it.
Even though it may hurt that they’re with someone else, if they’re happily in a relationship, then it will be a lot easier for you to steer clear. You do NOT want to be known as the person who broke up a happy couple or drooled after someone who is taken.
If you really love the person, you should want them to be happy. If they’re happy with their life and relationship, then you should want what’s best for them. [Read: Am I cheating? – 8 signs you’re accidentally doing it]
2. Analyze your compatibility
Okay, so you like this person, right? But you might not be the best fit for each other. The best way to learn how to stop liking someone is to think long and hard about who they are as a person, their life goals, and if you see yourself actually meshing them.
There’s more to being with someone you love than having intense feelings for them. You’ve likely fallen in love with a fantasy of what you believe being with them would be like. In reality, the two of you probably wouldn’t make the best pair. Realizing that helps you deal with the fact that you can’t be together. [Read: 50 questions to check if someone’s right for you]
3. Date other people
I know, I know—the best way to stop liking someone isn’t to start liking someone else. But, nothing keeps your mind off someone you care deeply about more than seeing other people! You don’t need to redirect these intense feelings, just meet new people and see what’s out there. You’ll be surprised by what interacting with a stranger does for your confidence.
Plus, you never know who you’ll find if you put yourself out there. Biding your time in hopes that this person wants to be with you is a great way to miss out on a better opportunity. But, as the saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea—so get fishing! [Read: How to meet new people even in hard times]
4. Stay busy!
Want to stop liking someone? Forget about that special someone you’re mega-crushing on by staying busy. Go skydiving! Run a marathon! Do something that takes your mind off of them and the fact that you can’t have them.
Just make this business productive. Doing something wild or dangerous will only make things worse. Try volunteering, redesigning a room in your house, or just deep cleaning your rug that surely needs it. While you’re out living your own life, you may even bump into someone better than the person you currently like. [Read: How to get over someone – 14 steps to get there really fast]
5. Avoid them
This is going to be the hardest thing to do if you’re in love with someone but stay away. Just do it! Don’t “accidentally” bump into them at the grocery store because it will give you the chance to chat with them. These little moments only deepen your feelings.
Seeing them often will only prevent you from moving on. Whether you work together or run in the same crowd, avoid them. This isn’t petty, it is for your own good.
Learning how to stop liking someone will be that much harder if you keep seeing them. The saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” isn’t necessarily true when it comes to someone that you’re not already with. Distance will do you some good. Trust me. [Read: 12 reasons why the no contact rule always works]
6. Do you really like them?
I mean, honestly? Think hard about this. I know you think you do, but work with me here. You may like how they look or act or the idea of them, but do you even know them enough to know if you like them?
You don’t know all their little quirks and habits. Some things about them may actually drive you nuts. One of the best ways to learn how to stop liking someone is to ask why you think you like them in the first place. Make a list. If most of the things on it are purely in your mind and not set in reality, you may realize these feelings aren’t what you thought they were. [Read: Lust vs. love: 10 signs you’re feeling lust and not love]
7. Let go of expectations
Just because things like this work out in movies doesn’t mean they work out in real life. Telling someone how you feel won’t miraculously make them feel the same way. So if you expect the person you love to reciprocate your feelings, you’ve set your expectations too high.
If you want to tell them how you feel just to get closure, then, by all means, do it. But don’t expect any sort of response or reaction. You can’t make or hope someone into liking you back. And waiting around is not worth your time. Expecting a miracle at this point will only leave you disappointed. [Read: The pain of missing someone: Your heart will mend in time]
8. Control your thoughts
I know this is not as easy as those three words sound, but you can do it. Every time your mind drifts to that someone you like, change your train of thought. Letting yourself overthink about this person is how you fall so much deeper for them without even realizing it.
In order to stop liking someone that doesn’t like you back, you need to stop letting yourself go there. Don’t dwell. If your mind goes to them, reroute your thoughts to a TV show or even a crossword puzzle. You can even wear a hair tie around your wrist and flick it each time you catch yourself thinking of them. [Read: How to think positive and reprogram your mind]
9. Unfollow them
Do it and now. I don’t care if you want to see if they are still posting photos with their partner. Staying in touch as friends or as a follower will only ruin your chances of moving on.
When you want to know how to stop liking someone, this is one of the best ways. Social media keeps you constantly aware of what they’re up to and put them at the forefront of your mind. Unfollow them, block them, or just hide their posts. It may seem intense, but it will be so worth it when you hit that first day where they don’t cross your mind at all.
10. Acknowledge why they’re bad for you
Instead of making a pro and con list, make a con list. Learning how to stop liking someone is hard. You only see them in a good light. Instead, focus on how liking them is hurting you.
Make a list of how they make you feel and how liking them makes you feel. Write down how they make you feel lonely or jealous. Every time you catch yourself thinking of them, write down that feeling. Then read back the whole list. It’ll make you wonder why you ever liked them in the first place. [Read: Learn how to let go of a relationship that is bad for you]
11. Vent to someone you trust
When you like someone you shouldn’t, you often keep it a secret. You don’t want people knowing your crush is doomed. But, keeping it to yourself only means you are left overthinking.
Instead of keeping your feelings a secret, vent to someone you trust. Explain not just your feelings, but also how you want to move on. They can help keep you on track if you bring them up. They can even help introduce you to knew people.
12. Let go of a friendship
A lot of times, when you are trying to stop liking someone that doesn’t like you back, they are your friend. You don’t want to lose the friendship even though it is hurting you. But, why?
This friendship isn’t providing you with anything positive. It is only offering you pain. If you’re afraid to hurt them by ditching them as a friend, so what? I know that is harsh but you need to let go of them in every form to get over them. Maybe down the road, you can rekindle a friendship, but don’t bank on it. [Read: How to unfriend someone in real life]
13. Put yourself first
Stop putting them first. When I was in this situation, I would do the guy’s homework to get him to like me or to help him out. Why? That was cheating. I could have gotten caught. I was taking time away from my own school work to help him. Why? What was he doing for me? Nothing.
I’ll bet you’ve done something similar. You have gone out of your way for this person just because you like them. After that, they offer you a “thanks” or a smile in return and you melt. Stop that.
Put yourself first. Stop saying yes to them. I mean, you shouldn’t be talking to them at all, but if you work together and have to, just set boundaries. Help them when it is necessary for your job, but not just because. [Read: How to stop loving someone else… and love yourself more!]
14. Ghost them if you have to
I am a huge advocate for ghosting to stop, and never return. But, when you need to move on from someone that is damaging your mental health and preventing you from moving forward in life, you have a pretty damn good excuse.
You can let them know that you’re taking some time away from them to move on if they know you liked them, but you don’t have to. Just stop responding to their texts and messages. Block them if you can’t help yourself. It again seems harsh, but you will be happy you did it. [Read: How to ghost someone when you’ve never ghosted anyone before]
15. Accept your situation
Ah! There it is—the final stage of it all. To fully deal with the reality of you not getting the one you like, you need to accept it. Yes, it really does suck. Yes, it would be SO much better if you could just be with them.
But you can’t. And the sooner you realize and accept this, the sooner you can move on and be happy with your life. So if there’s nothing you can do about the situation, just let it go and enjoy the things in life you do have the luxury of possessing.
You can learn how to stop liking someone you can’t have. No matter why they are unavailable, remember there are an abundance of ways you can deal with it and be happy!