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12 Effective Ways To Get Over Someone You Never Dated

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You’ve developed some really strong feelings for someone you’ve never been involved with.

But you now know it wouldn’t work out. Or perhaps you always knew.

Maybe you’ve asked them out and they said no. Maybe they’re in a relationship. Or maybe there are all kinds of other reasons why the two of you aren’t a good fit and there’s no chance of making a relationship work.

Whatever’s happened, you know it’s time for you to move on with your life and leave this person behind.

But you’re finding that’s easier said than done, which is why you’re here, reading this.

Getting over someone you’ve never dated can be difficult. Because there’s no official breakup and no moment when a line is drawn in the sand and you know it’s over, it can be hard to decide that enough is enough and it’s time to get them out of your head.

It’s up to you to do the work and leave them behind.

These are tough emotions to work through, especially if this is something you’ve never experienced before. But hopefully the advice you find here will help you through this and leave you ready to find the kind of love you truly deserve. 

What are you really feeling?

First things first, it’s important to figure out what your feelings toward this person really are given that you didn’t even date.

Is it love? There are few of us who can truly fall in love alone, but there’s always the possibility that you really did fall head over heels for this person. And there’s a chance you’re still feeling the same way.

But is it something else?

Was it on its way to becoming love, but never quite got there? Was it just warmth and affection? Was it lust and physical attraction?

What was it about them that attracted you to them?

Their physical appearance? Their mind? Did they make you think? Did they make you laugh? Did they wind you up?

Was there anything else underlying your feelings?

You also need to think about whether there was anything else underpinning those feelings; something that wasn’t specifically related to the object of your affections.

Could it be that your feelings resulted from your desire to have a partner in general? Perhaps you would just love to have someone to share your life with and shower with affection.

It’s also worth considering whether the fact that this relationship couldn’t have a future had anything to do with why you developed these feelings in the first place.

If they’re in a relationship or there’s any other reason why it wouldn’t work and you’ve known they’re unavailable from day one, perhaps it was that unavailability that attracted you.

If you know you can’t have someone, then you can sometimes let your guard down and start imagining a relationship with them, safe in the knowledge it’s always going to be a fantasy, and never become a scary reality.

You might have felt like it was safe to spend time with them because things between you were impossible, and ended up developing feelings for them just the same.

Reflect on what would’ve been the reality.

Talking of reality, it’s also well worth taking the time to consider what a real relationship between you would actually have looked like, had you ever reached that point.

Since you never technically dated them, you’re probably in love with a fantasy.

You’ve built up a whole imaginary idea in your head of what your fictitious relationship with this person would look like, and it probably looks pretty idyllic.

If you’re struggling to let go of them, try picturing what an actual, real-life relationship would’ve looked like.

Imagine your first fight, having to pick their dirty socks up off the floor, their annoying habits around the house, having to take their needs into consideration whenever you make a decision or are arranging your schedule… 

Imagine what the actual reality of your relationship would’ve been, and you’ll probably get over them quite a lot quicker than if you keep your focus on the fantasy world.

What have you learned?

Every relationship we have teaches us something. Yes, even the ones with a person who was never yours to begin with.

What has this experience taught you about yourself? About your weaknesses? About your priorities? About what you’re looking for in the perfect partner?

How did you end up falling for someone who didn’t reciprocate? What are the warning signs you should look out for in future?

Looking at this as an educational experience can help you accept it and move on to bigger and better things.

8 tips for moving on.

Many of the following tips are things you’d find in any good article about how to get over someone. They may be clichés, but that’s because they’re true.

Even if you’ve never dated this person, the process of getting over them will still be much the same.

But it should be easier, because they probably haven’t ever been a big part of your daily life that you now have to adapt to living without.

It’s all about keeping busy and reminding yourself just how wonderful and ‘enough’ you are.

1. Meet new people.

Meeting someone new is definitely not the only way to get over someone, and you should always be careful of rebounds, as you could get hurt and hurt someone else.

As long as you’re careful, putting yourself out there on the dating scene is a great reminder that there are plenty more fish in the sea.

A spot of harmless flirtation is a great ego boost to remind you that you’re desirable, interesting, and anyone would be lucky to have you.

If you’re reluctant to date, then even just finding ways to make new platonic friendships can be a big help.

2. Keep busy.

Anyone who’s ever been through heartbreak of any kind knows the best way to get over it is to keep your mind occupied with other things.

This situation is no different. Don’t overstretch yourself, but keep yourself busy doing all the things you enjoy and spending time with the people you love.

3. Talk to a trusted friend.

Talking your feelings through with someone you trust can help you make much better sense of them.

If you’re confused about what’s at the root of these feelings, putting it into words might help you figure it out.

There really are few problems that a night spent with a good friend, a bottle of wine, and some delicious food can’t fix. 

4. But don’t allow yourself to dwell.

It’s important to talk to people about these feelings rather than just bottling them up.

But you do need to be careful not to go too far the other way. If you find yourself bringing this person up with your friends all the time, then they’re still at the forefront of your mind and need to be filed away.

Whenever you feel the urge to mention them or find yourself wanting to scroll back through messages or analyze the last thing they said to you for the 50th time, catch yourself and actively distract yourself with something else.

5. Nourish your body.

You’re going through a tough emotional time right now, so don’t exacerbate that by not taking good care of yourself.

Make sure you’re eating well, drinking enough water, getting a solid eight hours sleep, and getting plenty of exercise to help boost those endorphins.  

6. Nourish your mind.

No one is standing between you and binging your favorite series or watching back-to-back rom coms. But if you need a distraction, you might want to try learning about something that genuinely interests you.

Distract yourself with podcasts, documentaries, books, or even courses. Heartbreak can be a real motivator, so see if you can channel that and broaden your mind.

7. Unfollow them on social media.

Do yourself a favor and make sure they’re not going to pop up on your timeline when you least expect it.

Unfollow them, so you can’t be tempted to stalk them, or at the very least hide their posts. Maybe even go for a full-on social media detox to help clear your head.

8. Be patient.

From the moment you first decide to put someone behind you, it’s so important to be patient with yourself.

Getting over someone isn’t something you can just do overnight, so don’t be surprised if it takes time and effort to get them out of your head once and for all.

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About The Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.