How To Stop Liking Someone You Can’t Date
Updated February 05, 2019
Reviewer Wendy Galyen, LCSW, BC-TMH
Need to find out how to stop liking someone? It can be hard to make emotions like this go away. When we start to like someone in a romantic way, we can get carried away even when they do not feel the same.
The heart knows what it wants, but sometimes the heart decides that it wants something it can't have. A relationship with a superior at work or a married person are a couple of extreme examples, but it could also be someone you know who just wants to stay friends.
Here are 5 tips on how to stop liking someone:
- 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 like a friend who doesn't like you back in that way, commit to only being their friend or maybe re-examine if they can be in your life.
You cannot stop liking someone if you can't stop imagining yourselves together or attempting to flirt with them. Limit your interactions to things that are appropriate for your relationship and eventually, your feelings should start to fade or you will meet someone else.
- Spend time apart
It is possible that you have tried to keep things friendly or professional with your crush but you still can't stand the fact that you can't be together. They're always on your mind and you have trouble keeping composure when they are around.
In this type of situation, 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 go away.
- Set boundaries
Setting boundaries is a key tool when it comes to dealing with relationships and giving yourself time to let your feelings dissipate.
Maybe you are 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 that 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, 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 come to terms with why you like your crush and why you can't be with them. Getting it off your chest can help you stop obsessing about it so you can start to feel a little bit more normal around that person.
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 that you really trust.
You can also reach out to an online counseling service like BetterHelp, where you can chat with a counselor and work through your feelings in a healthy way.
If you really like someone but you cannot date them, do not worry. The important thing is that you deal with the situation so you can come to terms with your feelings and eventually move on successfully.
Are you a victim of your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors because you are consistently focusing on this person you can't be with? It's important to recognize this attraction and how you are not powerless. You have the power to make choices and get away from this pattern. You've recognized that you need to stop liking this person, it does not mean you have to let go of the relationship but it is something that you can do eventually. Create space for yourself and be vocal about your needs, it's a time to find yourself and maintain your own identity when moving on from them.
Are you feeling plagued by thoughts and memories that you just 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 be something that you're battling with during this process. Your difficulty in stopping yourself from liking this person and pushing them out of your mind can actually make them feel that they are more persistent in your thoughts. These unwanted and persistent thoughts are called "intrusive thoughts".
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. Make note 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 that the next time they come up instead of trying to push them out of your mind just let them pop in and pop out.
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 maybe 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" and feelings of infatuation. The failure to believe that you were caught in a fantasy drives the process. Start by letting go of any delusions that you have about getting with the person and own your own self-worth.
A reasonable approach to stop liking someone is to walk away from it 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. If there's anything that needs to be said it could be said in a journal that is yours exclusively.
In your journal write the person you ought to stop liking 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 that you will move forward with during your interactions.
You realize that you better stop liking this person as this relationship will not materialize and no amount of time will salvage it. By stopping yourself from liking this person, cutting your losses, and maintaining your own mental health and well-being you decide to move forward to a better relationship you deserve.