How to deal with falling for someone unattainable

“It is a terrible, wretched thing to love someone whom you know cannot love you. There are things that are more dreadful. There are many human pains more grievous. And yet it remains both terrible and wretched. Like so many things, it is insoluble.”― Naomi Alderman

There is nothing quite so perplexing and painful as unrequited love. Here are a few ways to deal with falling for someone you can’t have, how to refocus your attention and how to break the cycle.


The first step to dealing with unrequited love is to acknowledge your feelings and then fully accept that this is a closed door. Full acceptance of this fact means that you stop breaking your own heart by pining over the person and fantasizing about possible ways for you to get together. 

While it may not feel like it, you do ultimately have control over your own feelings. You are not defined by your feelings and don’t have to let them rule you. The sooner you make peace with the brutal truth that this person isn’t into you, the better it will be for you. You may even be able to befriend that person and experience a different type of relationship that is rewarding in a different way. 

Once you have accepted the truth, you can move on to a future you deserve, instead of holding yourself back over someone that isn’t meant for you. It is also vital to respect their boundaries, both emotionally and physically, and not put them on a pedestal. The object of your affection is not a perfect object but a person with flaws like everyone else.

Be gentle with yourself

It is okay to give yourself a bit of time to be sad about the situation, but the key is to not wallow in it and drag yourself through unnecessary pain. Don’t hold back your emotions, it is okay to cry. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re human and this happens to everyone. Allow your feelings of pain, frustration and disappointment. Then, recognize that these feelings will pass in time. 

Share your feelings with a trusted friend

Having some outside perspective from a supportive friend will help you to see the bigger picture and get over your feelings. Getting stuck in our own head over unrequited love can make it seem a lot more catastrophic than it genuinely is. Having someone to share your feelings with, without judgement, can be incredibly useful in helping you let go.


Do things that make you happy. Stop spending your time thinking of them and playing love songs that remind you of them. Treat yourself, spend time with friends and do things you love to do that fulfill you. 

Focus on self-love

Take all those feelings and start re-focusing them on yourself. Take care of your own needs. Practice self-care, self-compassion and gratitude for what you do have instead of what you don’t. Remind yourself there was a time when you didn’t even know this person existed and that you don’t need them to be fulfilled and happy. This can only come from within.


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Written by Taryn Hill

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