How to Stop Liking Someone When They Don’t Like You Back

A girl who wants to know how to stop liking someone, sitting in bed thinking about a crush who doesn't like her back.

We all know the pain of losing a crush. At first, they’re all you can think about. Your friends and family tell you that you’re good and to go for it. Then, when you come clean about your feelings, you’re crush says it’s not mutual and you’re, well, crushed.

The effects of a hard rejection can last weeks or months. It’s not easy to get over someone you felt so strongly about, even if you didn’t date. I’m someone who falls hard for people that I like and I’ve been hurt by many rejections, but eventually you have to pick yourself back up. These are some of the best tactics I’ve found that give me the motivation to move on after a particularly hard rejection.

Rely on your friends and family.
There’s no better way to fill a person-shaped hole in your life than with multiple people who already love you. When you’ve been rejected by someone you were very excited about, your friends and family have your back. Lean on them.

Much of the the pain of rejection comes from the fear that you won’t be able to feel connected. Let your friends and family provide that connection. Platonic connection isn’t a perfect substitute, but it’s still comforting and can definitely help you move on.

Exercise.
There’s a long list of reasons why you should be exercising if you aren’t already, but exercise is also great medicine for the rejection blues. Exercise is a great natural mood booster thanks to the endorphin rush it induces, and the physical activity can help you channel your mental energy elsewhere. Also, don’t underestimate the confidence boost that comes with even a small increase in muscle definition.

Meditate.
There are many different kinds of meditation but at their center they’re all about mindfulness or focusing on the moment. Often, guided meditations will tell you to acknowledge thoughts that occur, but not to dwell on them or push them away. This allows them to flow freely and resolve naturally. This process can allow you to pass the negative thoughts associated with your rejection and find gratitude for the other parts of your life.

Get outside.
There are numerous benefits to getting outside, including getting your daily dose of vitamin D. Most of us spend all day in front of a computer where it’s easy for our minds to wander where they shouldn’t. A short stroll in nature can do a lot to remind you that the world is a lot bigger than your computer screen or what’s happening in your social feed… or in your social life. It’s easy to get lost in your own little bubble . So try getting lost in something else instead—like a sunset, hike, or quiet walk home.

Take a break from social media.
It’s important after a rejection to create a little bit of distance between you and your crush if you’re still dwelling on them. That means mindshare distance as well. If you’re following their social media presence, you might be reigniting those feelings you had for them. Also, a lot of social media is the representation of people at their best, not people at their usual. If you see a lot of seemingly happy couples in your feed, it’s not going to give you a truthful representation of what real dating life is like and isn’t going to help you move past your rejection.

Indulge your hobbies.
Focusing on hobbies and flow-state based activities can help you stop ruminating on the rejection. Flow is a psychologically defined mental state in which you’re energized, focused, and fully involved in an activity. It’s known to increase life enjoyment, so indulging hobbies are a good way to do this. Any hobby that involves you actively engaging your mind will do your broken heart good.

Seek a therapist.
One of the main reasons a rejection can be so hard, is the meaning we ascribe to it. Many people devalue their self-worth when their affections aren’t returned. Some people can fix this with a simple mindset change, but others need to grapple with long-standing behaviors or confront past pains to overcome these thought traps. Therapy is a great way to shed light on some of your behavioral patterns that may have been causing you pain. Seeking a therapist doesn’t mean there’s something deeply wrong with you and is always good for increasing self-awareness, which will aid you in the healing process.

Go on more dates.
This is the last part of the healing process—getting back up again. Eventually, after you’re ready, you’ll have to start seeing people again. You may not feel like you can have feelings for someone else again, but you can and you will. It’ll take time, but someone will charm you and you will fall in love but it takes time, effort, and an open heart.

Rejection is one of the most difficult feelings you can face. We often take it to mean that we weren’t enough, instead of what it actually is: we weren’t a fit for this person. There isn’t a quick way to overcome that instinctual feeling of inadequacy, but you can do it. It just takes strength, good habits, an open heart, and time, so don’t rush it.

 

Alex Bocknek

Alex Bocknek is the senior editor of The Date Mix and works at Zoosk, the online dating service. He’s also a recovering music critic and an aspiring fiction writer (probably lost) on the way to an independent bookstore near you. He can be found occasionally musing about politics, philosophy, and love in the modern world.

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