How To Get Over Someone You Never Dated — 15 Helpful Tips

Break up And Loss | | , Expert Blogger & Research Analyst
Updated On: February 7, 2024
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Wondering how to get over someone you never dated? Or asking yourself, is missing someone you never dated okay? It’s like battling an invisible enemy. You can’t even blame them because there wasn’t a real breakup. It’s a weird kind of heartache, isn’t it? People don’t always get it, so the advice you get is usually “just get over it”. If only it were that simple!

Imagine having strong feelings for someone, they keep growing, and suddenly you realize it’s not going anywhere. It’s tough trying to move on from someone who was never really yours. That stings! But guess what? You’re taking the first step toward healing by just acknowledging it. And trust me, that’s huge. To help you move further along in your journey of getting over someone you never dated, we bring you some actionable tips. But before that let’s see how long this recovery process typically is.

How Long Does It Take To Get Over Someone You Never Dated?

That’s a million-dollar question. Imagine a scenario where you had a crush on someone but could not muster the courage to tell them. Or while you were gearing up to tell them how you felt, you realized they were already into someone else. I have a friend who was in love with her classmate in high school. She had fessed up her feelings and asked him out, but he turned her down.

They lost touch but she loved him so madly that she didn’t date or get into a relationship for over two decades. She always asked, “Why am I so attached to someone I never dated? How to get closure over a crush you never dated or went out with? It’s maddening!” Even after 18 years of leaving school, she couldn’t get over him and forge new relationships. She couldn’t get over someone she never had.

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But not everyone takes so long to get over someone they never dated. In fact, research throws up diverse answers to how long it takes to move on from someone you love/have feelings for. One 2007 study pegs the average time a person takes to move on from a romantic interest or partner at 11 weeks. Another study, also from 2007, puts the heartbreak recovery timeline at 10 weeks. The two are more or less on the same page. However, a third study on getting over a long-term relationship or breaking up of a marriage puts the recovery time at 18 months.

The timeline, it’s safe to conclude, depends on a variety of factors — the length of the relationship, the intensity of feelings, and the personality of the person dealing with heartbreak — and so, there are no definitive answers to how long it actually takes to get over someone, even if you were never in a relationship.

If you’ve been wondering how to fall out of love with someone you never dated, then you need to be prepared for the fact that it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years to make progress. After all, it’s hard to get over someone you love deeply, even if it was a love that was never reciprocated. A Quora user sums it up beautifully when asked how long it takes to move on from unrequited love, he says, “As much as it takes to tame your heart.”

Related Reading: How To Get Over Someone You See Everyday And Find Peace

15 Effective Tips To Get Over Someone You Never Dated

Well, getting over someone you never had is deeply painful. The negative thoughts one experiences because their love was not acknowledged or reciprocated can make it even worse than dealing with the pain of breakup, in many ways. Getting over someone you never dated could sound like a dichotomy, but truth be told, it can be really hard.

Perhaps, the hardest part about getting over someone you couldn’t have is that you may have to do it alone, much like dealing with a breakup alone. However, it’s not impossible to put this pain behind you and make a fresh start. As I say to my girls #notanotherminute, that should be your motto too if you’re wondering how to get over someone you never dated or are in the process of getting over someone you never met. These tips on moving on from someone you never dated will help you.

1. Stop flirting

How to get over someone you never dated but are still friends with? If you have decided to move on, then it is about time you stop flirting with your crush. When it is not getting you anywhere and you are just getting mixed signals, then it is just an exercise in futility. Quit it. How to get over a guy you never dated or a girl who didn’t reciprocate your feelings? Just move away one fine day. Ghosting is not a bad idea in this case. There is no good or bad timing for it. Just do it.

If, for whatever reason, the other person is not interested in you, sticking around isn’t going to change that. Letting go of a relationship that doesn’t exist is vital for closure. Accepting their lack of interest will help in moving on. Distance is key, so take the space you need to heal. Resolve to avoid flirting and being receptive to it.

getting over someone you never dated
Stop flirting with your crush and move on

2. Stop fantasizing

“I can’t get over him and we didn’t even date. Why can’t I forget someone I never dated?” Suzie said, with a draining sigh, to her best friend while scrolling through the Instagram feed of a coworker she has developed intense feelings for. “How will you until you stop going over his pictures and imagining yourself by his side,” her friend replied.

If you’re struggling to decipher how to get over someone you never dated but are in love with, the same advice will stand you in good stead too. The daydreaming has to stop. It will only make your life more stressful and all the more lonely. Agreed, it’s hard to let go of someone who doesn’t love you but means the world to you.

Yes, it may seem like these fantasies are all you have left and these bring you a strange bitter-sweet sense of solace. But they also keep you hung up on a person who doesn’t feel the same way about you. Here’s how this fantasizing hinders your efforts to move on:

  • Sustains false hope, hindering closure
  • Prevents acceptance of reality and closure
  • Impedes emotional healing and moving forward
  • Maintains an unhealthy attachment, delaying progress

To be able to break free from this loop of fantasizing, longing, and stewing in pain, you need to distract yourself. You can learn a new skill, spend more time with loved ones, or focus on work to keep yourself so busy that there is little time for daydreams and fantasies.

Related Reading: 8 Ways To Make One-sided Love Successful

3. Do not stalk them on social media

You know all too well how it plays out: you start scrolling through the social media profiles of the person you’re smitten with. Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in their posts, photos, and updates. Stalking them on social media becomes an obsession you can’t shake off. And then suddenly, you’re reeling from the pain of being heartbroken over someone you never had.

It’s like falling into a rabbit hole, isn’t it? But here’s the thing: diving into their online life can become a habit that traps you in the past. Think about it — every picture, every status update, they all stir up memories and emotions. It’s hard to move forward when you’re constantly revisiting what used to be. So, how about taking a different route? Try these steps:

  • Limit your exposure: Mute or unfollow them. Out of sight, out of mind works! You need to stay busy in your own life
  • Stay away from temptation: Avoid checking their profiles on social media. Temptation can be strong but resist the urge
  • Keep busy: Dive into activities and hobbies that you love. Focus on your journey, not on their social media
  • Talk it out: Instead of analyzing their posts, chat with friends or a confidant about your feelings. Sharing helps more than scrolling

Remember, it’s about creating a mental space where you’re not stuck in a cycle of reminiscing. Break the loop, and you’ll find yourself moving forward faster than you’d expected!

4. Stop re-reading the texts

Why can’t I forget someone I never dated, you wonder? You keep asking this question but the answer is hiding in plain sight. It’s likely because you can’t stop revisiting the past. For instance, if you keep reading and re-reading their old texts, it will naturally heighten the longing for a time when you and your crush spent hours texting back and forth, sharing every little detail of your lives. However intimate your connection was, it didn’t translate into something deeper and more meaningful. And now, what you had is gone.

To be able to accept this reality, you need to stop living in the past, hoping things will go back to the way they were. If you’re always thinking about how to get over a girl you never dated or move on from a guy who doesn’t feel the same way about you, then you need to first deal with the texting anxiety that stems from texting them and then agonizing over their response or lack thereof. Don’t sacrifice dignity for unrequited feelings. Heartbreak is one thing but losing self-respect isn’t worth it. Exercise every bit of self-control to avoid this emotional trap.

Related Reading: 15 Reasons Your Man Never Texts You First But Always Replies To You

5. Find a cathartic way to release your angst

Whether you’re wondering how to get over someone you never dated but slept with or how to get over someone you never dated but are in love with, finding a cathartic way to release your angst can help. One tried and tested way to stop being heartbroken over someone you never had is to write your feelings down and then burn those pages.

Yes, this is such a rom-com favorite that it almost sounds cliche but I speak from experience when I say it helps. Closure comes from letting go. And sometimes, the tangible act of setting your feelings on fire (figuratively, of course) can help give you a sense that you have let go of your feelings.

6. Pamper yourself

How to stop missing someone you never dated? The process of getting over someone you can’t have begins with putting yourself first and practicing some self-love. You have invested a long time in someone who doesn’t even understand your feelings. Now invest in yourself. Fill your loneliness with the best company that you can ever get: yourself. Here are a few ways you can do it.

  • Take yourself out for a date and stay busy with yourself 
  • Get yourself a makeover
  • Change your style
  • Take risks and do the things you’ve always wanted to but were scared to attempt
  • Prioritize self-care

Most of all, you need to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. And bit by bit, work toward rebuilding your sense of self-worth and self-esteem. There is no better antidote for a broken heart.

Related Reading: 13 Powerful Ways To Make Him Realise Your Worth Peacefully

7. Focus on your career

When you’re struggling with the conundrum of how to move on from someone you never dated, self-doubt will cloud your judgment in more ways than you can imagine. Is it stupid to be heartbroken over someone you never had? Am I weak for not being able to get over someone I was never even in a relationship with? Such questions may weigh on your mind a lot when you’re getting over someone you never had.

The best way to counter this self-doubt and replace it with confidence in your abilities is through a sense of accomplishment. When you set goals and achieve them, when you chase after your ambitions, it instills in you the confidence that you’re in control of your life. So, go ahead, reclaim control by prioritizing work over wallowing. Inject fresh energy into your work and excel beyond past performance.

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8. Give it time

“I can’t get over him and we didn’t even date.” “Why am I hung up on her when we weren’t even in a relationship?” “How long does it take to get over someone you never dated?” These constant niggling thoughts can make you feel worse about your emotional state. But don’t invalidate your feelings. Even if you didn’t have a romantic relationship with this person, your feelings were still real, and so is the loss you’re experiencing. So, allow yourself time to grieve this loss. Time is the greatest healer, as they say. With time, you will be able to work through the pain of this heartbreak.

9. Establish boundaries

One of the most effective answers to how to get over someone you were never with is to set boundaries with that person. Setting boundaries is like drawing a line in the sand, defining what’s okay and what’s not in your journey of moving on. These limits act as a shield, protecting you from slipping back into old habits or reopening emotional wounds.

But remember, these boundaries aren’t rigid walls; they’re guidelines to support your emotional well-being. They require self-discipline and occasional adjustments, but they’re incredibly empowering in your journey of healing and getting over someone you never had. Here’s how to establish and maintain those crucial boundaries:

  1. Communication limits: Decide how often you’ll allow yourself to reach out or respond to messages. Stick to this schedule to avoid constant contact. It is a good way out
  2. Physical space: If you’re used to frequent hangouts or places they visit, try avoiding those spots for a while. Create distance to help your mind detach in a healthy way
  3. Emotional boundaries: Emotional boundaries determine the extent to which you’re willing to let your romantic interest in and help safeguard your vulnerabilities
  4. Seeking closure: Getting over someone you can’t have is difficult and seeking closure will truly help you move on. However, remember, more often than not, closure comes from within, not from the other person
  5. Redirect focus: Whenever thoughts of them flood your mind, have a go-to activity or distraction ready. Redirect your focus deliberately

Related Reading: 15 Boyfriend-Female Friends Boundaries To Swear By

10. Abide by the no-contact rule

Trying to figure out how to get over someone you never dated but are still friends with? Trust me when I say, the no-contact rule works. It gives you that space you need to sort out your feelings and get some clarity. Plus, it helps with closure and breaking unhealthy patterns and attachments. It also aids self-discovery and growth. So, if you’ve been wondering how to get over someone you were never with, give the no-contact rule a try. Here are some guidelines that can help:

  • Block communication channels
  • Avoid social media stalking or checking updates
  • Refrain from seeking information through mutual contacts
  • Establish boundaries to resist the urge to reach out while you’re in a healing process
  • Practice it for as long as you need to get over someone

11. Lean on your friends and family

Confide in your friends, if you are feeling sad. You may think that they won’t understand why you’re heartbroken over someone you never had but true friends have a way of surprising you. No matter how deep you fall, you will always find at least one friend who is there to pull you back up, who will make you feel worthy and will become your support system. Figuring out how to fall out of love with someone you never dated can become simpler with the right support.

So, tell your friends and share the load. Trust them to be honest but supportive. However, be selective about who you share your innermost feelings with. Pick the ones you are closest to and trust implicitly. Even spending time with family can make you feel good. Sometimes the presence of your loved ones is all the pick-me-up you need, even when you cannot share your true feelings with them.

Related Reading: 11 Tips To Deal With Loneliness After Breakup And Find Support

12. Start dating

How long does it take to get over someone you never dated? As we’ve already established, there is no definitive timeline for this, but I can tell you this for sure: it will happen a lot sooner if you put yourself out there and make an earnest effort to connect with someone new. Get over all of your what-ifs.

Remind yourself that being committed to someone you never dated won’t take you anywhere. It’s time to move on and find a real connection with someone who can admire, respect, and love you for who you are. So, put yourself out there and start dating, even if you don’t feel 100% ready for it. The freshness of a new romantic connection or just the possibility of finding one can help you move on.

Related Reading: 6 Signs You Are in a One-Sided Relationship

13. Rebuild your self-esteem

If you find yourself at a loss in figuring out how to get over a girl you never dated or how to move on from a guy who didn’t reciprocate your feelings, there could be self-esteem issues at play. When someone doesn’t recognize that you are in love with them or doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, it takes a toll on your self-esteem. You develop low self-esteem because you internalize the belief that you’re not good enough.

So, it’s time to put an end to thoughts like, “Why am I so attached to someone I never dated? How to get over someone you were never with?”, and turn your attention to yourself. Seek the necessary help, if needed to cultivate self-awareness about your self-worth and self-esteem, recognize your patterns, and unlearn and replace them with healthy thought processes.

14. Rebuild yourself with professional help

It’s not just your self-esteem or self-worth that a professional can help you with. One-sided love hollows you out from the inside slowly; before you know it, you are the shell of the person you used to be. Besides, the pain of unrequited love and rejection can easily make you fall into unhealthy, even self-destructive, patterns. Add to it the fact that the stages of grief after heartbreak aren’t easy to deal with. And you’ve got a concoction of emotional turmoil that can leave your mental health in dire straits.

Getting help, going into therapy, and speaking to a counselor can help you learn ways to navigate this emotional turmoil, equip you with tools to work through your feelings without feeling lost or overwhelmed, and figure out a path to healing. If you’re considering getting help, skilled and experienced mental health professionals on Bonobology’s panel are here for you.

Related Reading: 13 Heartbreaking Signs You Are Wasting Your Time Trying To Get Your Ex Back

15. Replace your negative thoughts with positive affirmations

Whether you’re grappling with how to get over a guy you never dated or have been pining over a girl you couldn’t have and want to move on, positive affirmations can serve as a little push you need to make headway. No, I’m not talking about the toxic positivity that forces you to see the good in situations that are outright heart-wrenching.

Positive affirmations are little power-ups for your mindset. They’re simple statements but carry tremendous strength in rewiring your thoughts and feelings about yourself and your situation. Start by identifying areas where you feel vulnerable or insecure due to this unrequited love. Maybe it’s doubts about your worth, fear of being alone, or feeling unworthy of love. Craft affirmations that directly counter these negative thoughts:

  • “I am worthy of love and respect, regardless of this situation.”
  • “I deserve happiness and fulfillment, with or without their presence.”
  • “I am enough just as I am; my worth isn’t tied to someone else’s feelings.”
  • “I release any attachment to this person and open myself to new possibilities.”
  • “My future is bright, and I am capable of creating my happiness.”

Repeat these affirmations regularly — write them down, say them aloud in the mirror, or even set them as reminders on your phone. They might feel awkward at first, but over time, they’ll sink in, gradually shifting your perspective. Spend time investing in this activity, at least five minutes. Pair them with actions. Use them as a foundation to guide your choices and responses to situations. This will help you get over the question that has been bothering you: how to get over someone you never dated and see every day/are friends with/but slept with.

The answer to how to get over someone you never dated lies in acknowledging, accepting, and processing your feelings the right way. We know it’s hard right now. Just remember this: this too shall pass. You are beautiful and deserve happiness and not just fruitless longing for someone.

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