How To Stop Liking Someone You Can’t Date

By Mary Elizabeth Dean|Updated June 13, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Wendy Galyen, LCSW, BC-TMH

Are you constantly thinking about a person you can't be with? Once you've recognized you should stop liking this person, it does not mean you have to let go of them entirely-but it is something you can do eventually. Create space for yourself and be vocal about your needs. This is a time to find yourself and maintain your own identity while moving forward.

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Tips on How to Stop Liking Someone You Can't Date

  • Keep it appropriate

Keep your relationship with this person appropriate to the circumstances. This means if you like your boss, make sure to keep all your interactions professional and respectful. If you are thinking "Why am I suddenly attracted to my female friend?", but know she doesn't like you back in that way, commit to only being her friend or maybe re-examine if she can be in your life. You cannot stop liking someone if you can't stop imagining yourselves together. Limit your interactions to ones that are appropriate for your relationship, and eventually, your feelings should start to fade, or you will meet someone else.

  • Spend time apart

You may have tried to keep things friendly or professional with your crush, but you still can't stand that you can't be together. They're always on your mind, and you have trouble keeping your composure when they're around. It might be best to spend some time apart or stop seeing that person completely. Of course, in a work situation, that isn't always possible, but it can be best to try to maintain a certain distance until your feelings subside.

  • Set boundaries

Setting boundaries is key. Maybe you're falling for a close friend who always wants you to be around, but doesn't know you like them. In this type of situation, setting boundaries can be good. You want this person in your life, but for whatever reason, you can't tell them how you feel. What you can do is limit the time you are together. If you can tell them how you feel and they don't feel the same way, there is a chance you can stay friends anyway. In this case, each of you should agree to avoid things like flirting or making comments that might send mixed messages.

  • Talk to someone about your feelings

Talking to someone about your feelings can help you stop obsessing, and start feeling more normal. Be careful not to gossip or talk to someone that knows the person you like! You don't want to start drama or rumors, so talk to someone outside of that circle or someone you trust.

Dealing with Intrusive Thoughts

Are you feeling plagued by thoughts and memories you can't stand? Perhaps it's a nagging in the back of your mind that seem to intrude when you try to block them out. Intrusive thoughts happen to everyone and can occur during this process. Your difficulty in stopping yourself from liking this person and pushing them out of your mind can make them feel they are more persistent in your thoughts. These unwanted and persistent thoughts are called "intrusive thoughts."

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It's a challenge to try to get rid of these "bad thoughts." Avoid putting yourself in situations that could trigger them, for example, excessively taking glances at their social media accounts. Be aware of any situation that may "trigger" intrusive thoughts and make a plan to engage in alternative and less triggering behaviors. Intrusive thoughts happen to everyone, in a variety of situations, and the next time they come up, instead of trying to push them out of your mind, just let them come and go.

Be Realistic

This person is not a prince or princess in disguise, and you don't need rescuing. People who have difficulty letting go of someone they liked may be continuing the relationship in their minds through remembering and fantasizing. Fantasy makes it difficult to back away or let go, as it's addictive and causes a "rush." The failure to believe you're caught in a fantasy drives the process. Start by letting go of any delusions you have about being with the person. You really have no idea what it's like to be with a person until you're actually with them. It may be completely different than what you imagined-and not in a good way.

Other Solutions

A reasonable approach to stop liking someone is to walk away and accept the situation. You may have to mourn what you thought might have been. During this grief process, you may have feelings of loss with the individual you liked. Successfully walking away from them does not involve processing your feelings with them because the likelihood of doing so will further the attachment. There are a few things you can do to free yourself of these thoughts.

One solution is journaling. In your journal, write the person a letter with full transparency of why you can't like them anymore. The message should be clear about why you feel the relationship cannot come to fruition and communicate a firm boundary you will maintain during future interactions.

Another option is redirecting your thoughts. Any time you find yourself thinking about this person, turn your thoughts elsewhere. If you're thinking of someone outside your relationship, consider your current partner, instead. This has shown great results in professional studies.

The stress of liking someone you can't date can be overwhelming at times. If this sounds like you, try practicing some calming techniques like yoga or meditation. Anything that will relax you and keep you grounded will do the trick.

How BetterHelp Can Help

If you feel you've tried everything to no success, there's still more you can do. The professional help of a trained therapist could be the right move.

The therapists at BetterHelp are trained and ready to assist you. Their platform is entirely online, making them extremely accessible and affordable. They have therapists available any time of day or night. And they will make sure you're matched with the right professional. With therapy, your problems could be a thing of the past! Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Kimberlee gets me! She is so in tune with what I am saying and understands what I mean when I can't even get the right words to express things. She's truly a blessing. In a short time, I have seen her I have grown leaps and bounds. I had given up hope of being whole, and she's giving me practical tools and amazing advice! On my good days I feel better mentally than I ever have my entire life! My "bad" days are less frequent and less intense as well!"

"Karen is so intuitive. When I explain a situation she can pinpoint exactly what's going on and the way through, its amazing. She is so direct where others have tip toed around problems keeping me in the same problematic situation for years - Karen can move me through those problematic situations within one conversation with her approach which is direct but never in an invasive or offensive way . I feel safe with her responses and suggestions."


By moving your thoughts away from this person, cutting your losses, and maintaining your mental health and wellbeing, you're moving forward to a better relationship you deserve. Using these tools will send you on your way to a life free of the person you can't date. Take the first step to a life with fulfilling relationships today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I stop liking my crush?

There are actions you can do to help you stop liking your crush. Talk to them and get to know them. You may learn about things you don’t have in common, and they may seem less attractive to you. See if there is any chemistry between you by having a conversation. It gets easier to stop liking a crush when you learn they are not who you think they are and consider them as just a friend.

Try to stop talking to them if possible. Stop liking your crush by ending interactions, including those on social media. Focus on other things in life that make you happy. It will help take your mind off of your crush and encourage a productive way to stop liking him or her. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings to get another perspective. Learn which ways to stop having a crush has helped others. To stop liking your crush, allow time to accept and cope with your feelings.

Why do we stop liking someone?

When you stop liking your crush, you may learn things about them that make you see them differently. You may find someone else more attractive. Sometimes your time and attention get focused on other things long enough to make such feelings fade away. You may stop liking someone when your feelings change about them. When you get distracted with what matters, it gets easier to stop liking your crush.

How do you make yourself not like someone?

To stop liking someone takes patience and practice. Determine what makes you like that person and why they may not be suitable for you. You may realize there is no hope for anything to happen between you. Learn to counter or channel romantic thoughts. Maintain your distance and think about their faults. Cut off contact with them on and offline. Many find that avoiding things that remind them of that person makes it easier to stop liking them. Occupy your time doing hobbies and meeting new people. While these are common ways to stop liking someone, ask people you know what they did to get over their crush for more ideas.

How do you know if your crush likes you?

Pay attention to their body language when they are around you. They may engage in more direct eye contact, stand closer to you, and engage in more meaningful conversations with you. They may talk to people about you in a pleasant way. They show interest in what you’re doing and want to spend more time with you.

How long can a crush last?

Some people stop liking someone after a lot of time has passed. On average, a crush may last about four months, but people may have a crush that lasts weeks, months, or years.

How do you become heartless?

It’s challenging to move forward while carrying pain from being hurt by someone else. Ignoring the pain may lead to feeling heartless. Learn to focus on other things and people in your life. Change your frame thinking and focus on how to be calm. Realize you cannot be in control all the time. Accept what you can’t change. Talk about your thoughts with someone you trust.

How do I know if I'm in love?

True love success stories about people finding the perfect partner may have you thinking about what it is like to fall in love. When you’re in love, you have strong feelings of compassion for another. They are on your mind often. You think about having a future together. You enjoy their presence and value their thoughts and opinions. You miss them when apart. You get jealous of them, but in a good way. You want people close to you to like them. You like them, and they like you back.

How do I get him off my mind?

If you liked him for a while, you’d have to learn how to stop liking him to get him off your mind. To stop liking a guy you’ve had on your mind for a while, be prepared to change your way of thinking. Channel your thoughts and feelings onto something else when he pops in your head. Engage in a hobby or learn a new skill. To stop liking a guy, you have to cut off any contact you have with him. Remind yourself things may not be what you think. Your thoughts about him may not be accurate. Keep yourself distracted by doing an enjoyable activity or reconnect with friends. Focus on changing negative thoughts and assess from another perspective.

How do you start liking someone?

When you like someone new, it may help you to stop liking someone that doesn’t share the same sentiment as you. While there are ways to start liking a guy or girl, in many cases, when you like someone, it often comes naturally.

Admire their appearance. Notice characteristics about them, such as their charm and intellect. Be comfortable when having conversations with them. Other things happen when you start liking someone. You’re excited when they contact you by phone or text. You look forward to talking to them or seeing them again soon. You miss them when you’re apart. You assess your compatibility by looking for things you have in common such as interests and values. Physical attraction may include lightly touching their shoulder during a conversation. You think about feelings you have for them by sharing your thoughts with a trusted friend.

How do u know if a boy likes U test?

You can stop liking a guy quickly when learning about someone else who likes you. There are clues to look for that may tell you if a boy likes you. A test may include answering questions related to signs you might notice. He may ask questions to learn more about your relationship status. He makes direct eye contact with you during conversations. He likes to make you smile. He wants to help you get things done or offer assistance. He comments about your appearance noticing small details. He remembers intricate details from earlier conversations. He tries to impress you or finds a reason to touch you lightly. He makes an effort to see you by setting a time or date.

How can I stop being so insecure?

Some realize their insecurities when they stop liking a guy after learning he doesn’t share the same feelings. It’s time to cut away from unhealthy thinking habits to deal with insecurities. Accept the way you are and what you can’t change. Focus on meeting your needs and prioritizing them. Think about things that are good in your life and what you are thankful to have. Learn ways to build confidence in yourself. Stop talking or thinking about yourself negatively. Embrace your differences. Learn healthy ways to cope with unwanted thoughts and allow yourself time to accept who you are.

How can I attract my crush?

After learning about relationship success stories about how people have met their true love, you may wonder how to attract your crush.  Remind yourself of the positive qualities you value within you. Engage in friendly conversation and learn what you have in common. Get to know his friends and interests. Try not to talk about yourself too often. Choose conversation topics that are interesting and thought-provoking. Laugh together, and have fun doing things you both enjoy. Take care of yourself and your appearance. Be yourself and be comfortable in your skin.

How can you make your crush fall for you?

If you know how to stop liking someone, you can do the opposite to get someone to like you. There are success stories about people getting their crush to fall for them, resulting in living a happy life together. Establish communication through engaging conversations. Give hints thought body language by lightly flirting with them and see what happens. Maintain solid eye contact.

Establish a friendship with them and build up relations from there. They should be comfortable when with you. Find ways to spend time together. Move slowly to let chemistry build up between you and don’t push for things to happen too quickly. Be true to yourself. Show that you can be dependable and compassionate. Learn their interests. Be yourself and look your best. Have a good attitude, be confident in yourself, and smile.

When a crush doesn’t fall for you, it probably wasn’t meant to be, and that’s fine. It’s a sign it’s time to move on. If it’s too much to remain friends, it’s time to cut ties.

How do you know if a girl likes you but is hiding it?

There are a few signs to look for when a girl likes someone but hides it. She may display flirty behavior in-person or through text messages. She has told her friends about you. She laughs when you tell jokes. She establishes solid eye contact. She sends physical cues through body language. She smiles when you’re in her presence. She recalls the details you mentioned earlier. She may seem a little nervous or awkward while talking to you. She follows your social media page.

Can crushes last for years?

Yes, some suggest when you have strong feelings or infatuation for someone, it could last a couple of years or more. Some find it challenging to stop liking someone for personal reasons. Some say it is love or bliss, but some think a crush is lengthy if your chances of being in a relationship are small or it’s been a while since you’ve dated.

What is National crush day?

National Crush Day is a day to recognize a person you have a crush on by sharing your feelings with others. The day is June 11th, with people going on social media to share photos and reasons behind their crush. People share details about every person they had a crush on and reasons why they had to stop liking them. Some crushes are success stories about how they found their true love.

Is it OK to have a crush while married?

A married person may have a crush on someone without it meaning anything. A crush outside of a marriage doesn’t mean you should stop liking or loving your spouse. Relationship experts say such feelings are normal. A spouse remains committed to their marriage, but the crush may not reflect the marriage either. Sometimes a crush encourages attraction and liveliness in the marriage, but it also signals the marriage doesn’t have a honeymoon feel to it. Eventually, many spouses stop liking who they have a crush on as they focus more on their marriage. If having a crush on someone bothers you because you’re married, you can learn how to stop liking someone to help you focus more on your marriage.

Can a cold-hearted person love?

It is possible for a cold-hearted person to love, but it may take more time and patience based on mindset. It may not be as easy to have feelings for someone when used to feeling detached. Sometimes it’s a matter of giving a person space, being mindful of your actions, and understanding why they coldhearted.

How can I become emotionless immediately?

If you’re trying to stop liking someone, becoming emotionless can help. How to be emotionless includes recognizing, avoiding, or cutting off emotions as they occur. Take a step back when sensing the situation may turn emotional. Stop inserting your thoughts and opinions unless you’re asked. Put your feelings first. Listen without emotions getting in the way. Limit empathy and learn how to deal with negative emotions.

Is it OK to be cold-hearted?

It may be OK temporarily to end a toxic relationship, but the feeling shouldn’t be prolonged. It is not helpful to your emotional or mental health. You can learn productive ways to deal with unwanted emotions while learning why your feelings hurt.

How do I stop having a crush on someone?

Having a crush on someone is not always a bad thing.  However, if you find that you are spending a great amount of time thinking of them, you are avoiding friends and family, or you avoid trying to meet new people, it could be an indication that the time you spend on them is too much.  If you truly want to stop having a crush on someone, there are some simple steps you can take to mind off your crush.  First, purposefully spend time with friends and family.  Find a new hobby.  While you may not feel like you’re ready to pursue a new relationship, it’s okay to start a conversation with someone new and learn to develop relationships with good friends.

How can I stop liking someone?

Trying to not like someone can feel frustrating at times.  One way to get your mind off your crush is to try to find something negative about them instead of focusing on all the good things.  While this may go against the grain of what you have been taught your whole life, seeing someone through the rose-colored glasses of positivity can skew your perception of how they really are.  While you can’t expect to turn your feelings off completely, you can begin to limit the time you spend thinking of them or trying to be around them.

Spending time with someone you have a crush on will not be helpful when you try to stop liking them.  Therefore, it is important to acknowledge when it’s time to cut ties with your crush.  It may not feel good, but when you realize it’s time to cut ties and you follow through, you may find that it’s easier to meet new friends and expand your social circle. 

How long does a man's crush last?

Some relationship experts suggest that about four months is the amount of time a crush typically lasts.  Others suggest that crushes can last for extended or even indefinite amounts of time.  Typically, the difference in having a crush and being in love is that crushes are feelings that do not develop into emotional connections and relationships.  They are often associated with unrequited love or affection. 

How do I know my crush is thinking about me?

If you have a crush on someone and are wondering if they are thinking of you, there a few things that could indicate they are.  If they start a conversation with you, try to become part of your social circle or seem to be putting forth effort to spend some time with you, they may be thinking of you and trying to get to know you better.  If they text you or call you, they are thinking of you. 

How do I get him out my head?

Even though it may feel difficult at times, there are some effective ways to deal with feelings for your crush and to get them out of your head. 

  • Spend some time with good friends
  • Start a conversation with a stranger
  • Be deliberate about trying to make new friends
  • Embrace the single life
  • Go out town with your best friend
  • Avoid watching romantic movies
  • Avoid the object of your affection
  • Acknowledge the feelings for your crush and seek help to move forward with your life if needed.

Why do I push guys away when they like me?

Having a love life can be a little intimidating.  If you feel like someone is head over heels for you and you are not ready for a relationship, you may find yourself pushing them away.  If you have experienced a broken heart, it may be difficult learning to trust again.  The chances of having a love life now or later will require you to confront your feelings and learn a new way to communicate

Are crushes healthy?

Having a crush on someone can be a normal part of life.  A simple crush or admiration for someone is not unhealthy.  However, you don’t have to have a crush to feel like you are responding normally to others.  Having a crush on someone can help you learn to identify your thoughts and feelings toward others and can help you develop effective ways of communicating with others.  If you really like someone but are unsure of how to talk to them, or if you feel anxiety about the crush, you may find that talking to a relationship expert can help you learn ways to acknowledge what you feel and find healthy ways to approach what action, if any, you want to take moving forward.

 Is it love or a crush?

While crushes can lead to deeper feelings of love, there is a difference in the two.  A crush is usually a short-term feeling of admiration for or infatuation with someone else.  If the depth of your thoughts about a person is no deeper than liking the way they look or their outgoing personality, you may have a crush on them.  On the other hand, love is a powerful emotion that can break through even the strongest emotional barriers.  Love tends to consume you and make you want to grow on a deeper, more intimate level with a person.  If you are easily distracted from the object of your affection, it’s probably a crush.  However, if you find that you want to spend as much as possible with them and feel more complete when you are with them, you may be in love.

Is Limerence a crush?

Although some people mistake limerence for a strong crush, they are not the same. Crushes may occur when you meet someone that seems friendly or approachable or who appears to fit the mold of what you think a perfect partner would be.  They usually occur during a period when you have little information about the person and are often short-lived.  Limerence, on the other hand is a strong obsession with someone that is rooted in an intense romantic infatuation.  While not all cases of limerence involve feelings of sexual attraction, some people may feel that.

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