We’ve all been there: There’s that one person we just adore; that person we would do almost anything to be in a relationship with. When he walks into the room, your stomach gets butterflies. You feel like you’re walking on air when she says your name. And yet, this person don’t share your feelings. Perhaps this person has simply failed to return the affection you have for him or her, or has even told you he or she is not interested.
This is a normal part of life. If you have let the person know you’re interested (clearly, with words, be it written or verbal) and he or she has told you in return that those feelings are not mutual, it’s time to move on and respect his or her free agency to choose a mate.
Before I get into tips on how to get over your crush, I’ll say this: Attempting to persuade someone to be with you, after they have told you no, is simply unacceptable. Part of developing healthy relationships (including no relationship at all) includes setting healthy boundaries.
Not letting go is very unhealthy, and can actually develop into serious psychological issues, including obsessive love, depression and anxiety, being in love with love or love addiction, romantic attachment disorders and even stalking. (If you’re struggling with this, I recommend reading Obcessive Love: When It Hurts Too Much to Let Go, By Dr Susan Forward and Craig Buck)._
Following are ways we can detach ourselves from a previous love interest, relationship or even friendship. While it’s OK, and entirely normal, to grieve for a bit, it’s important to recognize the pain is temporary and can be overcome within a short time, if you put a strong effort into it.
1. Get out of the house
Go out to dinner with your friends. Get to work early and stay late, seeking to excel in your job, studies or profession. Take a cooking course or a social dance class, or enroll in a professional development program. Focus on getting out, staying busy and making yourself tired by the end of the day.
Dating may or may not be the right thing for you to do at first. The important thing is that you get yourself around people. Avoid places and activities you associate with the other person; find new locations and activities to refocus your mind. If this means moving, seriously consider that possiblity.
Physical activity has been proven to release endorphins into the bloodstream and improve our mental condition. We also feel physically stronger and more confident when exercising at least twice a week. This confidence can be helpful when you’re out meeting new people.
3. Avoid addictive substances and activities
While this obviously includes drugs, alcohol and nicotine/tobacco, it’s important to remember this also means abstaining from pornography and unwise sexual encounters (like hookups and one-night stands). Even milder activies like a seemingly harmless makeout or cuddle session with a friend, ex-lover or stranger can cause serious feelings of guilt, so avoid any affection-based activity while you’re getting over the person you wish you could have.
4. Stop looking at his or her Facebook and other social media pages
Remove this person as your friend; block him or her, if necessary. Leave your phone and tablet at home, if you need to, and use a social media blocking site while at work, such as Anti-Social. If you have pictures of him or her in your house, car or at work, throw them away and don’t look back. You will be freeing yourself of the person, and it will be easier to put him or her out of your mind.
5. Seek professional help
This is perhaps the most important step, if you still can’t get over the person. Remember, there are social workers, counselors, psychologists and others who have dedicated their entire career to helping people overcome mental and emotional difficulties.
If you don’t know where to turn, seek help from eccelsiastical or educational leaders, or even guidance from your HR manager at work; all these people have the resources to point you in the right direction toward the help you need.
When you start working with a counselor or psychologist, he or she may ask you to do difficult things. Remember that this is good for you, and that he or she does genuinely care about you and your progress. Talk with a parent or close friend about the work the counselor is having you do, and hold yourself accountable to them so you can progress quickly.
As you follow a counselor’s guidance, you’ll begin to feel more in control of your feelings and ultimately your life. As you grow as a person, seek to be your very best self, and you’ll find the peace you’re seeking.