How To Stop Liking A Person If There's No Hope Of A Relationship

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated May 14, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide, substance use, or abuse which could be triggering to the reader.
Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Finding out or realizing that there’s no hope of entering into a relationship with a guy you like can be a difficult experience. You may be left feeling sad, lonely, hurt, angry, frustrated, or experiencing a host of other real feelings. Dealing with this challenging situation can be possible with the right tools and emotional support. Read on for strategies on how to stop talking to someone so you can feel better and begin to move forward with your life.

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Are your romantic feelings unreciprocated?

Situations where there may be no hope of a relationship

First, it can be useful to look at why you feel there's no hope of a relationship with this person before you throw in the towel.

It may be worth reevaluating this conclusion if they seem like a kind, safe individual, and you're simply assuming that they wouldn't like you back.

Low self-esteem, for example, may have you thinking that others won’t like you, but working on your confidence can help. Over time, you could come to recognize and embrace your many positive qualities and feel more certain about telling the person that you’ve been developing feelings for them. Or, if past trauma and negative thoughts are holding you back from believing you can have healthy relationships with new people in the future, you may want to address this with a therapist. 

That said, there are various valid reasons why a relationship may be impossible with a guy you like. He could already be in a monogamous relationship with someone else, or he could be in a polyamorous relationship when you are monogamous. He might not be interested in you romantically, perhaps only wanting to meet new people as friends—or he could have a different sexual orientation than you do. 

Perhaps you tried having a relationship with this person and then went through a nasty breakup, so you know things won't be different in the future. Maybe he has qualities you don't like or that are even harmful, but you're still grappling with feelings of love and affection for him. He could live far away from you, or the relationship could be impractical for other reasons: age, different life goals, etc. Whatever the reason, accepting that the relationship isn't possible can be the first step in moving forward. Some people have to consciously decide to stop liking someone before they can truly move on.

Getty/AnnaStills

Tips for getting over a guy you can’t be with

There’s no one easy way and no specific time to make your romantic feelings for someone disappear. When learning how to get over a crush, it can be helpful to understand that it usually takes time for the feelings to dissipate. You can try a few strategies to help the process along, though; consider the following productive ways to get over an unrequited love.

Reduce or cut off contact 

While it can sometimes be tempting to try to stay friends, most people find it difficult to heal from a rejection, breakup, or the realization that they can’t be with someone they like when that person is still a large part of their daily life. Frequent interactions may trigger unhelpful thoughts of your crush and slow the grieving process. If you work or go to school with the guy you like, you may be unable to control how often you see him. In this case, however, it may help you to set boundaries around how much contact you’ll have with him going forward—at least while you work through your feelings of sadness and hurt. 

You may want to distance yourself from him by reducing how often you text, talk on the phone, or see each other. You might choose to avoid social situations where he may be for a while, and you could also choose to mute or unfollow him on social media. Whether your measures of reducing contact with this person are temporary or long-term is up to you, but giving yourself some kind of break from constant reminders of him can give you the space to start to feel better.

Be realistic about them

When you’re in love or infatuated with a new person, it’s not uncommon to overlook their flaws in favor of their good qualities. Researchers call this “directional bias”, a term that usually refers to how an individual may consistently rank their partner’s or any other person's qualities more highly than others would. So, if you’re having trouble getting someone out of your head that you have no hope of being in a relationship with, intentionally being more realistic about who they are may help. 

You might remind yourself of their qualities that you don't like, significant lifestyle differences, or elements of their worldview or future plans that wouldn't have been compatible with yours. Holding on to a flawless image of this person in your mind is unrealistic and is unlikely to help you move on from them. The amount of time it takes to move on can vary from person to person.

Enrich your life in other ways

While you may not feel especially sociable when you’re sad, putting yourself out there to meet new acquaintances and enriching your life in new ways may help you feel better and move past this person. While you may not be ready to enter the dating pool or broadcast your relationship status, you may decide to spend more time with close friends and family. Forming new relationships may also help take your mind off your crush. 

You could pick up a new hobby or join a sports league or a club. You could also focus on your mental and physical health, such as starting an exercise routine or learning how to meditate. Activities like these might help enrich your life, help you make new friends, and allow you to focus on all the possibilities in front of you instead of on what you may be missing. Spending time in nature or diving into a new book can also be therapeutic and a way to constantly stop thinking about another person.

Getty
Are your romantic feelings unreciprocated?

Avoid judging yourself

Even if you didn't know this person very well or the chances of a relationship were always slim, it can still hurt when you find out or realize that things won't work out. In such cases, you might not feel entitled to feeling sad or upset, and you might judge yourself for these emotions. However, research suggests that judging yourself for how you feel will typically do more harm than good. One study reports that "a judgmental attitude toward one's thoughts and feelings is the strongest predictor of depression and anxiety". Instead, you're likely to move past these emotions in a healthy way if you allow yourself to feel them in the moment and treat yourself with gentleness and self-compassion while you're hurting or disappointed.

Consider seeking the support of a therapist

Sometimes, it can be hard to move through difficult feelings like disappointment, rejection, and hurt related to romantic relationships on our own. If you're having trouble coping with the fact that you can't be with the guy you want, seeking a therapist's compassionate, nonjudgmental support may be helpful. They can offer you a safe space to express and process your emotions, and a relationship expert can assist you in developing healthy coping techniques for handling difficult feelings. 

Some people find it uncomfortable to meet with a therapist in person, while others live in an area without many providers or have a busy schedule that makes it hard to attend in-person appointments. Research suggests that online therapy can offer similar benefits to in-person sessions, so individuals in situations like these might consider it as an alternative. 

With an online therapy platform like BetterHelp, you can expect to be matched with a licensed therapist with whom you can speak via phone, video call, and/or in-app messaging from the comfort of your home or anywhere you have an internet connection. Read on for reviews of BetterHelp counselors who have helped clients in similar situations where they struggled to find out how to stop liking someone. Regardless of the format you choose, support is available if you feel you need or benefit from it.

Counselor reviews

"I would totally recommend Christine. She was very supportive and assertive when counseling me. I like that she was attentive and always kept the communication and the conversation flowing. The information that she gave me was very useful and I would have love to keep in her counseling. She is excellent at romantic relationship issues. :-)"

"A year ago I was experiencing difficulties in my relationship, which highly affected my psychological state and interfered with my work. At one point, I decided to try BetterHelp.com. My counselor Dr. Brewer helped me to see some things I couldn't on my own and encouraged me to prioritize myself. It was a huge help for me at that point, which led to the decisions I am happy about."

Takeaway

Coming to terms with the fact that a relationship with the guy you like won’t be possible can be difficult. Reducing contact with them, enriching your life in other ways, and allowing yourself to experience your feelings without judgment may help; speaking with a therapist can also be useful. 

Learn to strengthen your mental health
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet started