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17 Effective Ways To Stop Loving Someone You Can’t Be With

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Falling in love with someone is emotionally intense and distracting at the best of times. It could be the most amazing thing you’ve ever experienced.

But that’s only when you can share your love with someone else. What happens when you love someone but you know that you can’t be with them?

There are all sorts of reasons why the fairytale love story might not work out the way you imagined and the person you’re in love with can’t be your happy ending…

They could be someone from your past – an ex who’s moved on that you realize you’re still in love with.

They could be a friend with whom you have a platonic relationship where it’s very much platonic with a capital P. Or someone who is just not appropriate to be with because they’re the ex of a friend or family member.

It could be that you’re in love with someone you know isn’t good for you and won’t give you the future you want, but you just can’t seem to move on from them.

Or perhaps it’s unrequited love that you’re dealing with and you’ve fallen for someone who doesn’t know how you feel or doesn’t feel the same way towards you.

As many different scenarios as there are, they all have one thing in common, and that’s the sad truth that you know this relationship, however badly you want it, can’t happen.

You know that this person isn’t your happily ever after and the love you have for them is only making you miserable.

Being in love is meant to be one of the most fulfilling, joyful emotions a person can have, but only if it’s with the right person. If it’s not the right person, then your feelings can become an all-consuming, painful burden to carry with you. It can affect your confidence, your success, and stop you from finding the right partner in life.

You know you need to move on from this person for the sake of your own future happiness, but how do you do that? There’s no quick fix to stop being in love with someone, but there are different tips you can try to help you start focusing your attention elsewhere.

If you’re in love with someone you can’t be with and you want to get over them, read on for some ideas on where to start.

To help you stop loving someone you can’t be with, we’ve created a self-hypnosis track designed specifically to tackle this one issue. Click play below to listen to it now:

1. Take things one step at a time.

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to stop loving someone. That pressure will only make it harder for you to move on.

You can’t just flick a switch and get over being in love with someone; it takes time to move your mind and heart away from focusing on them. Even if you know you don’t have a future with this person, you still need to let yourself grieve the relationship you hoped you could have.

Expecting yourself to be over someone just because you know you can’t be together will only make you more frustrated when you realize you still have feelings for them.

Distracting yourself from your emotions by throwing yourself into dating, work, or exercise in the hope you’ll stop thinking about them won’t be enough.

Take little steps in moving forward with your life. Wake up in the mornings and think of something positive about yourself rather than them. Make plans to reconnect with friends and family and surround yourself with the loving relationships you already have. Open your mind to meeting new people, not just to date, but to make friendships and share new experiences with.

Over time, when you’ve given back to yourself, you’ll find that your feelings naturally lessen for this person who you once thought you loved. You’ll begin to enjoy the life you have without them so much that they fade into the background.  

2. Work through your emotions.

Being in love with someone who is for some reason unattainable carries with it a lot of different emotions.

You’ve got the euphoric feeling of thinking you’re in love, the frustration of not being able to be with the person you’re in love with, the excitement every time you think that whatever stands between you could change, and the heartbreak of realizing it never will.

Chasing after someone you can’t have can stem from a person’s need for affection and the way they were brought up to react to it. Maybe you were always yearning for a parent’s affection or have a sense of abandonment that you haven’t moved on from that makes you go after things you can’t have.

Loving someone you know you can’t be with might be much less about the person you think you’re in love with and much more to do with who you are.

Think about what makes the person you’re in love with so different to everyone else and worth the energy you’re expending on them. Are you really in love with them or the lifestyle they represent? Maybe they’re already in a relationship and it’s the type of relationship you’ve always wanted, so you see them as the example of a perfect partner. But they’re not necessarily your perfect match.

Dig deep into your feelings about this person who you’re so attracted to. Is the attraction physical, emotional, or both? Can you explain it? If you can’t articulate your feelings, you could talk to a therapist to help rationalize your thoughts and understand yourself better.

When you think carefully about how you really feel, you might realize that you’re not actually in love with this person at all, but rather with something you want that they represent. Or, you might simply be reacting to a deep-rooted emotion that they’ve triggered in you.

You may find that this love you think you feel isn’t what you think it is at all. When that happens, you’ll be one step closer to finding the love you truly deserve.

3. Set some boundaries.

If you’re trying to get over someone, the first thing you can do is to put some boundaries in place on the contact you have with them.

You can’t move on from someone if you’re still in constant contact with them or find that you’re putting yourself in places where you know you’ll meet.

You need distance to get over the attachment you have, especially if you or they are trying to focus on a relationship they are already in.

Even if it’s hard to stay away from each other completely because of work or social groups, you can still make a conscious effort to mind your conversation so that when you do speak, you keep it short and don’t linger. You can limit the contact you have to polite greetings only and stop allowing yourself to be so emotionally open when you’re around them.

You need space to take control of how you feel and start letting go of this person you know you can’t be with. You may not be able to cut them out of your life completely, but you can decide to keep them at a healthy distance.

4. Get your head out of the daydream.

It’s not uncommon to fantasize about someone so much so that you begin to believe you’re in love with them. You imagine what a relationship would be like with them, dreaming up scenarios in your head of how life would look if you were together. You make it feel so real and convincing in your mind that you can almost believe that it could be real life. 

Dreaming up this alternative life for yourself is a type of escapism from the life or relationship status you’re currently stuck in. Daydreaming is a fun escape, but it shouldn’t be a distraction from your real life.

Maybe you’re not happy in your current relationship or don’t have one at all. Maybe you’re just bored socially or aren’t enjoying your job, so you are fixating on a life that you perceive as better than the one you have.

This person you think you’re in love with becomes the answer to your current dissatisfaction with life and you’ve fallen in love with the idea of not just them but the person you think you could be if you were with them.

Both the joy and sadness of daydreams is the very fact that they aren’t real life. The more you keep living in a fantasy world of your own making, the longer your life in the real world will continue to dis-satisfy you.

This person in your dreams is unattainable because they are a dream you’ve fabricated for yourself. As hard as it might be to admit, it’s time to face up to what real life looks like for you right now. You must accept where you are rather than put your energy into dreaming up an emotional connection and a relationship that doesn’t exist.

Stop putting your focus into building something in your mind and start working on areas of your life to reshape it into the one you want to live. When you’re happy in the real world, the world of fantasies will seem less appealing as you begin to see all the possibilities in the life you already lead.

5. Ground yourself in the reality of the situation.

The truth can be hard to swallow but denying the reality of the situation you’re in will only make it worse for yourself.

For whatever reason, you can’t be with the person you’re in love with. That fact is simple. It might feel unfair, or you might wish it would be different, but unfortunately it’s not.

If they don’t reciprocate your feelings, you can’t force someone to fall in love with you however much you feel for them.

If it’s a case of right person wrong time, you can’t change that; you have to accept that if you’re meant to be together in the future, it will happen. But there is nothing you can do right now.

If one or both of you are with other people and don’t want to let go of one relationship for the other, then you must accept that however strong the connection you feel between you, it’s not enough to make things work.

The truth is unforgiving and will hurt when you finally face up to it. You might have dreamed up ways where you could be together, where the current situation you’re both in doesn’t matter anymore and your love will overcome it. But this happens in fairy tales, not as often in real life.

If you can’t be with someone then you have to stop torturing yourself by entertaining the idea that things will change. The truth of the matter is, it won’t, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can start moving on with your life.

6. Start paying more attention to yourself.

Love is a powerful emotion, and when we are in love with someone, the feeling can be all-consuming. They fill all your thoughts and they are constantly on your mind no matter what you are doing.

It takes energy to maintain love for someone, and all the time you spend thinking about them is time you’re not concentrating on yourself.

All the love that you’re wasting on this person you can’t be with, you could be putting back into the person that really matters – YOU. Instead of them, you could be concentrating on what you want to do, where you could go, what you could achieve. You could do more of what you enjoy and reach a level of self-understanding and happiness that is more fulfilling than you could imagine.

When you start concentrating on yourself again, you’ll realize there is so much more to who you are than just a person in love.

Instead of putting energy into chasing after a person you can’t have, put it into making new memories that you can cherish and meeting new people you can connect with. Find what it is you like just for yourself rather than because of someone else. Put yourself first again.

You don’t need someone else to be happy, and you might even find that by loving yourself completely, you’re happier than you’ve ever been before.

7. Speak to someone.

Having these intense feelings for someone you can never be with is a heavy burden to carry. But it will start to feel a lot lighter when you can get your thoughts and feelings about them off your chest.

It’s amazing how much of a release it can be to open up to a friend or family member about what you’re going through. They may or may not know the basic details already, but if they don’t know just how much it is impacting your well-being and your life, just having them listen to you can be of great help.

Of course, you might not want to reveal this sort of thing to a friend or family member. What’s more, they might not be able to give you the best advice even if you do share your heart with them.

So, you should really consider speaking to a professional about your feelings too. They will have training and experience in helping people who are going through what you are going through. They will provide guidance and advice you can trust.

What’s more, you won’t feel like a burden for venting to them like you might to a friend or family member. This is a big, emotional thing to share but a professional will be able to cope with it.

So, we do recommend that you speak to a relationship expert if you are struggling to stop loving a person you can’t have a relationship with.

A good place to get such help is the website Relationship Hero – here you’ll be able to speak to an expert via phone, video, or instant message.

As much as you may try to work through your feelings by yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, other relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, counseling is 100% the best way forward.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero can offer you.

8. Learn to stand on your own.

Does being in love with this person make you feel less lonely? Even when you know you can’t be with someone, just feeling as though you have some kind of connection with them can make you feel as if you have someone in your life.

It can be scary to feel as if you are totally on your own. Clinging onto the hope of being with someone even if you know deep down it won’t work gives you a sense of hope and comfort that seems less daunting than facing the world by yourself.

Instead, you must learn to embrace the individual you are. You shouldn’t be defined by another person or relationship; you need to wholly love and know yourself to be the best version of you.

Embrace your time alone, learn to put yourself first and do things you want to do just because you enjoy them. Stop worrying so much about pleasing other people and get to know who you really are.

Learning to enjoy life on your own can be a gift, opening doors to possibilities you’d never have considered if you stayed at home waiting for someone to love you.

When you’re the best version of yourself, you’ll attract people who love you for who you really are. You’ll learn that relationships aren’t about needing someone to be whole but about two people who are already happy in themselves finding a whole new level of happiness together.

9. Concentrate on the people who are in your life.

You’re so wrapped up in the unattainable love you harbor for this one person who can’t or doesn’t want to be in your life that you’re ignoring all of the people who do.

Start giving your time and focus back to those people around you who do cherish you and love you as a friend or family. It’s these people who are there for you consistently, ready to pick up the pieces when you’re at your lowest and celebrate you when you’re on a high.

They aren’t withholding their love; they’re supporting you and waiting for you to recognize the love you’re already surrounded by rather than chasing after someone who can’t or won’t give it to you.

We always want what we don’t have, but by taking a look closer to home, you might start to appreciate the love you’ve already got in your life.

Friends and family who are there for you deserve time and energy put into those relationships too. Don’t become so focused on what you don’t have that you take for granted what you do. These people who love you unconditionally are rare and the greatest gift you could have.

They are the ones that will help you move past the impossible love you’re caught up wanting. They are the support you need to move on from what you can’t have and remind you of everything you already do.

10. Stop putting this person on a pedestal.

This person you are in love with might seem perfect in your mind, but they’re only human.

If it’s an ex that you’re longing after, those memories you have from your past relationship might now seem like some of the best times in your life, but that’s only because you’re blocking out all of the difficult times that inevitably led you to break up in the first place.

You might be attracted to someone who you think is the perfect partner, but they don’t feel the same way. But how much do you really know about them? They seem perfect only because of the person you think they could be, but in reality, they could let you down just as much as anyone else.

When we’re in love with someone, we think the best of them; they can do no wrong in our mind and you can forgive their every fault. But the fact is that even this person you’re in love with is full of faults. We all are. We’re all just humans who aren’t perfect, and once you start realizing that about the person you think you want to be with, you might start questioning if they’re even the person you think they are at all.

11. You must want to make a change.

If you’re feeling miserable because you’re in love, then the only person who can get you out of that situation is you.

As much as we want someone to help us or make things better right away, if you’re in love with someone you can’t be with, there is no easy solution.

The pain and frustration you’re feeling all sit inside your own mind and you are the only one with the power to move on from these feelings. If you want things to change and to stop loving someone, then you must decide to make the change for yourself.

Stop putting yourself in situations where you’ll bump into them, stop scrolling through their social media, make a conscious effort to put yourself out there and change your focus onto new experiences and new people to fill your time with.

You must make the choice to be happy if that’s what you want to be. It’s not easy getting over someone, but no one else can make these feelings go away for you, you must want to change how you feel and be prepared to do something about it.

12. If they were the right person for you, you’d be with them.

If a relationship with someone is unattainable, there’s a reason for that.

They might be your ex that you want back, someone who is already in a relationship, they might not return your feelings or just be at a time in their lives where a relationship isn’t possible.

Whatever the reason is that you can’t be with them, if a relationship with them was really meant to work at this point in your life, it wouldn’t be this hard.

This relationship is not going to happen right now, however much you think you love this person. They’re out of your reach for a reason and longing after them is only going to hurt you in the long term.

If you were meant to be with them, they’d reciprocate your feelings or be in a position where you could be together. The fact of the matter is, right now it’s just not meant to be.

It might comfort you to think that one day, when the timing is right or circumstances are different, you will somehow come back together. But you can’t stop living your life right now waiting for that to happen.

If you’re not meant to be with this particular person, take the chance to expand your horizons and learn about yourself and other relationships rather than focusing on someone you can’t have.

Once your attention isn’t fixed on someone else, you might begin to see the possibilities of new relationships and opportunities all around you that you’d previously been missing. You could even find someone who is ready and available for a relationship with you that you never expected.

Relationships aren’t meant to be one-sided. If you were meant to be with someone right now, you would be, so trust that this isn’t the right time or right person for you and let them go for both of your sakes. 

13. Open your mind to someone new.

Right now, the person you’re in love with might seem like the only one for you. Perhaps they are the only person you’ve ever loved this way and you can’t imagine feeling like this about anyone else.

Maybe you have a connection with them that you haven’t experienced before and you feel as though if only they felt the same way, you could be amazing together.

But just because you feel a connection to this person right now, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone else out there who you could fall even more in love with.

Your experience in love is limited only to what you know so far. You might not think you could ever love anyone else as much as you do right now, but the world is full of millions of different people and if you were willing to open your mind to the possibility of exploring a connection with someone new, you could find a love that would make what you feel right now pale in comparison.

You’ll never truly be able to form a new connection with someone else if you still harbor feelings for a person you know you can’t have. It’s hard to trust that you’ll find love when you let someone go, and it might seem easier to hold on to what you know, even if it’s not everything you want it to be, instead of facing the fear of never finding anyone else.

But if you don’t give yourself a chance to find true love and happiness with someone who does reciprocate, you might never get to know what a real, loving relationship feels like, all for the sake of someone who you can’t give you what you want.

14. Don’t try to replace them.

There’s a difference between moving on and opening your heart to new connections and trying to replace someone because you can’t be with them.

You must be truly over someone before you go looking for a new relationship. Love doesn’t just switch off, and if you dive straight into the dating pool in an effort to distract yourself from how you feel, you’ll only end up comparing all the people you meet to the one person you can’t have. No one will match up to them when you’re still in love with this particular person and your dating efforts will only make you feel worse.

Get back into relationships slowly and carefully. Don’t use anew relationship to take the place of an old one – it’s not fair on a new partner to be used in that way and they will know you aren’t giving them your whole heart.

There is someone out there for you who will love you in the way you want to be loved, but you’ll never find them if you’re not giving yourself time to get over the love you have for someone else.

15. Know that you are enough.

Just because you think this person is the right person for you, you might not be the right person for them.

Unrequited love can be hard to live with and even harder to understand when you feel so ready to be with this person and they don’t feel the same way. But just because they don’t feel how you feel, it doesn’t mean either of you are in the wrong.

You can’t help how someone else feels, and just because you aren’t the right person for them, it doesn’t mean you should be trying to be something different. It just means you need to find someone different.

You may find it hard to reconcile right now that they don’t feel the same way as you, but you deserve someone who loves you without hesitation, not to have to convince someone they should be with you or need to chase after them.

There is nothing wrong with you just because they don’t love you back. Don’t try to be the person you think they want you to be because that isn’t you and no one is worth changing that much for.

Instead, refocus yourself on what makes you happy away from them and trust that the right person for you will love you for exactly who you are.

16. Take a closer look at your own life.

Do you really love this person as much as you think you do? Feeling as though you’re in love can be exciting and add drama to your life, even when the love isn’t returned. Focusing on them rather than yourself means that you have an excuse not to face what’s right in front of you.

What’s right in front of you might be the fact that you’re just a little bored in your life. You let your emotions run wild on this person you know you have no future with because you aren’t feeling satisfied with what you do have.

To help get over this feeling, you can start by putting some more effort back into making your life interesting to you again. Refocus on your work and go for that promotion. If you’re already in a relationship, then stop looking at other people for comfort and start looking at how to spice up your existing love life. If you feel as though you lack direction, then try taking up a new hobby or doing something you’ve never tried before to shake you out of your comfort zone and experience something new.

Making your life interesting again will stop you needing to look to other people to make it interesting for you. You don’t need drama in your life; you just need to find what makes you feel alive again.

17. Learn from what you feel.

Being in love with someone who you can’t be with doesn’t have to be a totally negative situation. In fact, reshaping the experience in your mind to find the positives you can take from what you’re going through could help you to move on.

This person may not be the right person for you, but they can help you on the way to finding someone who is.

Take time to evaluate how you feel. What is it about this person that you find attractive and want in a partner? Is it how they look, if so, what is it specifically? How do they dress? Their hair color, eye color, accent?

What is it about their personality that you like? Do you admire their motivation? Do they make you laugh? Are you looking to them to make you feel safe and comforted?

Dissecting how you feel about this person and what it is that makes them so attractive to you can help you rationalize and name your feelings.

Once you know what it is you like about them, you know what to look for in a new partner. You already know that this person isn’t the one for you because for whatever reason, you can’t be with them. But in what you feel for them, you have some answers about what it is you’re looking for that you could find in someone else.

They may not be the right person for you, but they could be a stepping stone to someone who is.

Getting over any relationship isn’t easy, but at least when you’re going through a breakup you can rationalize to yourself about what parts of your relationship went wrong and caused it to fall apart.

When you’re in love with someone you can’t even be with, it can be hard to walk away not knowing if your relationship could have worked if you could have only given it a chance.

Getting over being in love with someone isn’t about letting go of the past or how you feel right now, it’s about letting go of the future you imagined for yourself with them and the picture-perfect relationship you built in your mind together.

Being in love with someone you can’t be with isn’t any easier than getting over someone you have had a relationship with. Love is love and it’s a strong emotion that takes time to get control of.

There will be moments when you wonder if you’ll ever find someone else that you could be happy with, but you must trust that in your future, there will be that right partner for you.

It’s a leap of faith into the unknown and the uncertain, and a lot of not being able to move on from someone comes from the fear of letting go of what you know, even when what you know is not right for you.

It might be a bit scary to shut off your emotions from someone you’ve built such a strong connection to, but you know deep down it’s for the best.

No longer being tied to them emotionally will open up opportunities that you never imagined you would have because you will have the time and energy to spend on getting to know what you like and making the most of life instead of spending all of it on someone who doesn’t even appreciate you.

You’ll only move on from someone if you truly want to. It takes discipline to get over a love, so be sure that you’re ready to put some effort in and be strict with yourself. Learn to set some boundaries and look positively ahead to your future rather than looking back to the person you’re leaving behind.

You know that you should be in love with someone who loves you just as much as you love them. You deserve a happiness this person can’t give you, so start being kinder to yourself and allow yourself the chance to find someone who can not only give you everything you thought you wanted, but more than you could have ever imagined.

Still not sure how to stop loving someone you can’t ever be with?

Our audio hypnosis track was created by a qualified clinical hypnotherapist and is designed to reduce the frequency and intensity of the thoughts and feelings you are having about this person.

Listened to daily over the course of a few weeks, you should quickly start to notice a change in how you feel about this person—an easing of the love you have for them.

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