It all started with that guy from your office.
The one you go out with for drinks after work. You both share all the same interests – that art podcast you both geek out over, that movie you both can’t wait to see. Hell, you both even have a subscription to The Economist.
You go home at night thinking about him – sometimes you end up texting or having phone conversations. It makes you smile when you imagine a perfect future together.
Except for one teeny problem…
You’re not actually dating!
It happens. You fall for a guy even though there’s no real future – he has a girlfriend, he’s not looking for a relationship, or maybe he just sees you as a “friend” (ugh, f**k you universe).
But that doesn’t mean you get to wallow in self-pity. Nor does it mean you should hang on the sidelines waiting for your turn with this guy, all the while staring daggers at any woman you see him talking to.
Maybe he’s been leading you on, or maybe you misread the signals. But how you got here isn’t important right now: because when it comes to getting over someone, it’s your job to pick yourself up and begin the difficult process of moving on with your life.
So here are the next three steps you MUST take to move on from this one-sided romance:
Step 1 – Stop *playing* the role of a couple
Thought you could get away with it? Going to late-night movies together, putting your head on his shoulder, convincing yourself all the while that it’s just a great friendship.
Well, it’s time to call quits on this couple behavior.
Because no matter how much you want to be mature and just see him as a friend, if you have feelings for him you’ll be in a constant fight between your brain and your heart.
Your brain wants to keep him around for the great company, but your heart (and other parts of your anatomy) want to jump his bones and eat pizza naked in bed together. It’s an impossible battle.
No, you don’t have to have a big dramatic conversation, or any conversation at all, but just decide to set new boundaries for this relationship.
- Stop hanging out alone together
- Stop doing “datey” activities
- Lose the flirty banter and keep it friendly
It might feel a little bit like a breakup at first, but it’s better to pull this bandaid off now than be stuck in limbo for another 6 months waiting for something to magically happen.
Step 2 – Find happiness from new sources
I’ll be honest. It’s going to painful for a while. But that’s ok.
Just because you never dated, doesn’t mean you won’t feel a ton of agony from accepting the loss of this guy. It’s normal if you had strong feelings for him. Don’t be ashamed of it or try to resist your emotions.
But once you’ve gotten past the withdrawal, you need to build back yourself up again.
Chances are you’ve invested a ton of your time and emotion in this guy, which has made you dependent on his company. So now you need to find OTHER big sources of happiness (this is one of the absolute keys to solving the problem of how to get over someone at any point in your life).
Go to environments that are totally different from the places you’d usually have gone with him. Get a support system of great friends around you who support you and make you feel appreciated. Take up some exercise and sweat out your frustrations for a month (getting fit in the process will just be a bonus!).
The sooner you derive happiness and fulfilment from new sources, the sooner you’ll be able to emotionally disconnect from your relationship with this guy.
And yes, you then need to start going on dates again. You don’t have to take it much further than a casual coffee or two, but it’s just great to remind yourself that you can connect with other guys, and it let’s your heart know that you’re moving forward in your romantic life.
Step 3 – Do the work on yourself
Maybe you fell into this situation by accident, but it’s important to ask yourself: How did this happen?
Did you fall for this guy despite him showing you he wasn’t really interested? Did you pursue him even when you’re friends told you it wasn’t worth it? Was the fact that he was unavailable even more of a challenge for you try and win him over?
It’s crucial to question your own behaviour here so that you can ensure you don’t fall into the same pattern again in future.
- You deserve a guy who really wants to be with you and makes an effort to show it.
- Loving someone who can’t/won’t love you in return isn’t romantic, it’s emotional masochism.
- If he’s not investing, the responsibility is on YOU to start walking away…
Take some space, surround yourself with the people you love, and resolve to be aware where you stand with the next guy before you get in too deep.
Getting over someone you’ve invested yourself in is always hard, but the sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll be back to your best again!