One of the hardest facts to come to terms with is loving someone who doesn’t love you. When the realization hits you, it seems like your entire world comes crashing down. You feel like your one chance at love is gone, and you will never get your fairy-tale ending.
When he doesn’t love you back or she doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, you need to move on. Although it seems near impossible at first, it’s just something you need to do. By all means, take the time to process everything, and then get up and get moving. But how to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you? Let’s answer that million-dollar question.
What Is It Like To Love Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back
There are few things as heartbreaking as one-sided love. I mean, seriously, what’s the point of all those strong feelings when you know that they’re going to result in the pain of heartbreak? While it can be hard for both parties, the person grappling with unrequited love definitely gets the short end of the stick. While historically a lot of art has come out of such heartbreak, the jury is still out on whether the pain justifies the end product.
When someone doesn’t love you back, everything seems pointless – the art, the poetry, the music, and even the things you’ve always enjoyed and been passionate about. It feels like the magic in the world never existed. But it’s not always going to be like this.
How To Stop Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love You
When someone doesn’t love you back, all your efforts of niceness are taken for granted. You need to understand that this person is not interested in you, and so you need to stop putting so much into your association with them.
Although there is no clear way, a plan of action as it were, for when you find yourself loving someone who doesn’t love you, here are a few things to keep in mind when you are faced with such a dilemma:
Related Reading: 9 Ways To Cope With Unrequited Love And Move On
1. Leave them alone
Your instinct may tell you that confessing your love, again and again, would perhaps change their mind. In this case, your instinct is way off the mark. When you know that the other person doesn’t share your feelings, professing your love for them, again and again, can not only become awkward and embarrassing but also annoying after a while.
The way you are entitled to feel your feelings, they are entitled to theirs. In such cases, a ‘no’ means a ‘no’. A friend confided in me, “I love someone who doesn’t love me, and I can’t stop spending money on him”. I had to make her understand that her love was blinding her and he was now just taking advantage of her kindness.
So constantly telling someone that you love them after they have told you that they don’t share your feelings, is a strict no-no. Leave them alone. Fragile heroes in films who couldn’t take a ‘no’ and turn into romanticized stalkers are horrible examples to follow in life. Don’t be that person.
2. You are entitled to your own love
However, when someone doesn’t love you back, don’t deny yourself your emotions or invalidate them just because the object of your affection doesn’t feel the same way about you. You have every right to love them on your own. They cannot take the feelings you have away from you.
Them not reciprocating also doesn’t mean that what you felt wasn’t precious beautiful love. Loving someone from a distance can be a sad experience, but not invalid.
How to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you back? Don’t suppress the feeling of being rejected, rather come to terms with it. Your love being denied can feel like a loss. A personal one. That one moment can break your heart, and yet it can also teach you humility. You need to learn to let go.
Love is beautiful and cannot be played from the safety of the harbor. You have to let your boat out in the sea. If the boat is knocked over, remember it will hurt, and it’s okay to feel hurt. Heartbreak hurts like hell, it feels like you’re losing a part of yourself and you have the right to grieve that loss.
So let the tears fall, write the long note and burn it, drink that wine (always have friends around when you do). Expressing the feeling of loss often helps one in letting go of it.
4. Be respectful of their feelings
Remember that while you might feel like you have lost something, the other person hasn’t technically done anything personally to harm you. You happened to make the mistake of loving someone who doesn’t love you. Unfortunate as the circumstances are, they do not warrant rude or negative behavior toward them.
You are hurt and sad, and perhaps even hoping against hope that they’ll change their mind. But being nasty to them, or reacting negatively is sure as hell not going to help. Respect their feelings. The way you have a right to love them on your own, they have a right to not love you and it’s a right that you must respect.
5. Don’t be a creep
I’m being rather blunt and repeating this point because it can’t be stressed enough. A majority of crimes of passion (we need a new term for these!) happen when one-sided love is denied and the person (mostly a man) can’t take it.
Acid attacks, murders, stalking, rapes are horrible realities that we might not want to deal with, but they are all somewhere the results of toxic masculine entitlement. You are not owed love by the other person, no matter what gender.
Love is a beautiful feeling. Wanting the other person to comply even when they don’t feel that way isn’t love. It becomes about power and ownership. Definitely don’t be that person. Admit to yourself, “I love him but he doesn’t love me”, and begin the peaceful process of healing.
Related Reading: 5 ways to stop stalking your ex on social media
6. Move on
Remember that one-sided love is rarely a success. More often than not, the person whom you love doesn’t develop feelings for you and you will have to make peace with that. One way of doing so is by moving on. Accept to yourself that it was great to love this person. And know that it was a success because you felt a life-changing emotion.
Love isn’t just being with someone. It’s a catalyst that can teach you a lot of things. So remember that and slowly try moving on. You can try meeting new people, going on Tinder dates or dating casually to take your mind off the person.
When he doesn’t love you back or she is cold to your advances, it is advisable to create a little distance in your dynamics. Go on a road trip with your (other) friends. Slowly, but surely, like the leaves that fall in autumn, you’ll find yourself detaching from them and moving on.
You’ll always feel a certain something for that person perhaps, but the stabbing pain of the heartbreak or the longing would be gone. Trust me, it will get better.
7. There is a world out there for you
Speaking of Tinder dates, unless you’re polyamorous, you will be focused on loving one person at a time. While this is great when they share your feelings, it might become a problem when they don’t love you back. Remember that a soulmate might not be a reality but just an idea that you find in different people.
There are plenty of people, good people, out there who are looking for love just like you. It could be the girl you bumped into at the nearest coffee place or your crush at the gym. It could be the shy nerdy boy in your office or the boss lady, who is brilliant at everything she does.
Everyone is looking for love, if not actively, then at least as a thought at the back of their mind. You have a world out there full of these people, whom you could meet and love. While that one person who didn’t love you back might have seemed perfect, they sure are not the last eligible or perfect person for you.
When you get over loving someone who doesn’t love you, you realize just how much the world has to offer. So go out there and meet others. Your love story isn’t a bleak one-sided cliché. It doesn’t have to be, you can do this.
It is known as unrequited love. A lot of people go through this, either in the form of an unrequited crush, or even when one person in a long-term relationship falls out of love with the other.
Try to reduce the time you spend with them. Distance yourself and stop putting more than required into the relationship.
Accept the reality, and start looking for love elsewhere. If you’re ready for a serious relationship, find some people on dating apps who are looking for the same thing as you.