Are you crushing on a guy who you know just wants to be friends, or worse still, is already in a relationship? Perhaps you’re the one in a relationship, and you’ve noticed strong feelings building for another man in your life. No matter what your story is, you like someone you can’t be with, and you want to know how to stop liking this someone so you can move on with your life and be happy.
If that sounds about right, you’ve landed in the right place.
Firstly, remember this happens to many of us
If we look back on our lives, most of us have caught feelings for someone who wasn’t suitable for us, didn’t feel the same way, or came into our lives at the wrong time. It happens every day. With the coworker you see for eight hours every day. The ex you shared five years with. The best friend who has been in your life since you can remember. A stranger you met in a bar a few months ago. Your boss who’s already married.
It’s perfectly natural to be attracted to people throughout our lives, especially if we’re spending significant time with them. Although your emotions might feel all-consuming right now, you know in your heart that this isn’t going to end well. For whatever reason (maybe all the reasons), you can’t be with this man.
So the question on your mind is, how do I stop liking someone and move on? Maybe you’ve already tried to distance yourself from this guy and stop thinking about him, but it’s not working. It’s as if his face has been carved into your brain. Sometimes you think you’re over him for good, and as if like clockwork, he resurfaces again like an old tax return you thought you’d dealt with.
In this article, I’ll be sharing a step-by-step guide on how to stop thinking about someone you have a crush on, close the chapter and meet someone new who’s much better suited to you and the relationship you want to build.
Here’s why you need to learn how to stop liking someone you can’t be with
There may be a tiny part of you clinging to the fantasy of this man changing his mind, the two of you finally getting together, falling in love, and living happily ever after. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but the truth is, there’s a 0.001% chance this will happen. If you read that and thought, maybe we’re the exception, again, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but chances are you’re not.
Plus, you deserve so much more than a guy who doesn’t want to or can’t be with you. You deserve a healthy, functional relationship with a kind, loving man who recognizes how incredible you are.
So, if you’re ready to let go of this complicated, messy, unrequited love and welcome in new opportunities, keep reading.
Here’s how to stop liking someone and move on
1. How do you stop liking someone? Accept that they’re UNAVAILABLE
Whether the guy in question just doesn’t see you in a romantic way, he’s not ready to date anyone right now, or he’s already in a relationship, the bottom line is he is unavailable.
You don’t want to be the woman who tries to break up a happy couple, and even if you know they’re not happy, the point is they are still in a relationship until they’re not. Remove yourself from that situation—you don’t need or want the bad karma that comes with it.
Similarly, you don’t want to be the woman who sits around, hoping a man will eventually see how amazing you are and want to be with you. All you need to focus on is, right now, this guy is a no-go.
2. Avoid the blame game
When a guy doesn’t reciprocate the feelings you have, it’s easy to want to blame them for not being the person you want them to be. But just like you can’t switch your feelings off like a tap, they can’t force themselves to want to be romantically involved with you either. So don’t let resentment, hatred, or anger build towards them.
However, there’s a chance this guy may have led you on and given you false hopes about being together someday in the future. Married guys do this a lot when cheating on their wives, even though they have no intention of ending their marriage. If this is the case, just remind yourself of how poorly this guy has behaved. Why would you even want to be with someone who treats people like that? This guy is the total opposite of a catch. You know that slimy, scummy stuff that builds at the bottom of ponds? Yeah, he’s that.
And if the guy in question has never led you on, then be thankful for that! He has been honest, respectful, and clear about his intentions. What more can you ask for?
Most importantly, resist the urge to blame yourself for being in this situation. Let go of those toxic, “I should be prettier, smarter, sexier…” thoughts. You don’t need to be any more of anything. You are enough the way you are today.
3. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings
Unfortunately, many of us (men in particular) learn at a young age that having or showing emotions is a sign of weakness and that we should swallow or bottle them at all costs. You might feel embarrassed or ashamed for liking someone who doesn’t see you in the same way. You might feel sad, hurt, or heartbroken that you cannot be with this man even though you have strong feelings for him. And what I want you to know is all of these feelings are perfectly okay. Give yourself permission to feel them all.
Repressing your emotions won’t get rid of them. You’ll bury them deep down where they’ll linger, grow stronger and resurface again in the future.
So, acknowledge your feelings. How much do you actually like this guy? Is it purely physical or infatuation, or is it something more? And are you hurt about the man in question, or are you more hurt because your ego feels bruised?
Get clear on what you’re really dealing with here. This is essential if you want to learn how to stop fancying someone in the long run.
4. Figure out what you like (and don’t like) about him
If you’re here reading this article trying to discover how to stop liking someone, there’s a strong chance the guy in question has many qualities you’re attracted to. Or, maybe he doesn’t, in which case it’s time to ask yourself, why the hell are you wasting a hot minute thinking about this guy?!
But if he does, zone in on what those positive qualities are. Make a list of them. This is part of Little Love Step #2: Create your love vision, which helps you reflect on the man and relationship compatible with your future. Is he kind? Is he over six feet tall with dark hair and a rugged beard? Maybe he’s into rock climbing or surfing just as much as you are.
“My list from my 20s was 55 characteristics—it had a lot of superficial, physical stuff, and my list at 30 kind of took that away because you know what? Looks do fade. The things that really matter are those personality-based traits like honesty, trustworthiness, a solid family and friend base, that kind of stuff lasts. I’m still partial to dark denim jeans, but if you don’t own a pair we’ll get you some.”—Elena Murzello, author of The Love List.
You might even have an epiphany that what you thought mattered to you doesn’t actually matter at all. When you pinpoint what’s attracting you to this man, you’ll also realize there are many other guys out there you’ve not met yet who will have similar attractive qualities. Maybe in your mind, this guy is a pink unicorn. But maybe, in reality, he’s just an ant.
Journaling is another technique you can use to acknowledge and make sense of your emotions and figure out what’s drawing you to this man. It can be incredibly therapeutic, especially on the days when you find he’s on your mind and you just can’t stop thinking about him. Plus, journaling will also help you figure out the kind of man you’re looking to meet so that you can draw him into your world.
Change how you think about him
Now that you’ve made a list of positive qualities attracting you to this guy, it’s time to flip things around.
What do you dislike about him? What irritates the hell out of you? When you think carefully, there will probably be things you aren’t sad to see the back of. Research suggests that one of the best ways to reduce your feelings towards someone is to focus on their negative qualities and any negative experiences you shared with them. So take them off that pedestal for a second, and be honest with yourself. Did he ever do anything that deeply hurt you? Maybe your friends and family don’t like him. Perhaps you don’t have as much in common as you initially thought.
5. Distance yourself from him (as much as you can)
The next step is to pretend like this is a breakup (maybe it is) and put some much-needed space between you and him.
Because the more time you spend with someone, the more they’re going to be on your mind and heavily entwined with the rest of your life. The less you see him, the easier it will be to stop thinking about him, and the faster you can move on.
How to stop liking someone: don’t see him
I can hear what you’re thinking. That’s excellent advice, Adam, but what if we’re close friends or we work together?
Here’s how to stop liking someone you see every day:
- Only talk to him when absolutely necessary
- If you have to be around him, try and make sure there are other people there too
- If you work together, don’t see him outside of work (say no to drinks, parties, etc.)
- And if you’re friends, limit the time you hang out with him until you’ve moved on
If you don’t have to see him every day, this will be much easier to do. Don’t text or call him. Avoid heading to places where you know he might be. Try new hobbies and activities and head to new cafes and bars.
Preserving your personal space is vital so you can heal. If this guy is a good friend, there’s no reason why your friendship has to end. Once you’ve healed and moved on, you may feel ready to invite him back into your life again.
Discard any reminders
If you have a history with this guy, there might be things around you that constantly remind you of him. Old photos, jewelry, clothing, or other gifts or memories. It might be less about physical reminders and more about rituals you shared. For example, splitting an ice cream sundae after work every Wednesday night. Sending each other funny memes on a Monday morning. A perfect spot in the park you always used to go and chill when the sun was out.
Whatever it is that reminds you of him, get rid of it. Put the photos away. Throw out the gifts. Don’t head to your old favorite spots. If it’s out of sight, then it’ll be out of your mind.
Block him on social media
It’s all too tempting to stalk people we know on social media. You want to know where he’s going, what he’s doing, and who he’s doing it with. But this will only keep you engrossed in his life and drive you CRAZY!
So, hit the unfollow button or even the block button for a while. Take a social media break for a while if it feels right.
Control your thoughts
Easy to say and much harder to do, I know. But it is possible, and it’s essential to conquer how to stop liking someone and move on for good. So the next time your mind wanders to him, replace that thought with something else. Something happy, positive, and exciting. A TV show, an upcoming vacation, what you’re going to eat for lunch… anything, as long as it’s positive and doesn’t involve him.
Make yourself do ten extra squats in the gym every time you think about him. Have fun with it and see what works for you.
Stop talking about him!
We’ve all been in that crushed-out honeymoon phase where we’ve met someone new and cannot stop talking about them. And that’s okay if you’re dating them and things are heading somewhere. But that’s not what this is. And if you want to move on properly, you have to stop talking about them.
If you need some help with this, get your friends to call you out if you bring him up. You might even want to start a ‘move on’ jar in your house and put a dollar in it every time you mention his name.
6. Get extra help (if you need it)
Vent to someone you trust
You might think you’re dealing with your emotions well and fumbling through this on your own. You might also be embarrassed to share what’s going on because you like someone who’s off-limits. But if you keep everything to yourself, you can end up drowning in your thoughts.
Don’t be afraid to share what’s going on with someone you trust: a friend, family member, coworker, or therapist. Explain how you feel, but also your desire to move on. If you choose the right person, there’s a good chance they can help you somehow.
Work with a dating coach
Some of us don’t feel comfortable sharing intimate parts of our lives with our friends. Others of us have friends who give the WORST dating advice EVER (I’m looking at you, Mark). If this sounds familiar, you might want to work with a dating and relationships coach. I’ve spent a decade working with thousands of women (and men) to help them successfully find long-lasting love, and there’s a solid chance I can help you too.
7. How to stop liking someone: focus on yourself
Put yourself first
When you like a guy and want nothing more than for him to like you back, you might find yourself in a toxic cycle of going out of your way to please him, even if it’s harming you in the process.
Now is the time to stop doing this. Stop saying yes to him. Start putting yourself first from today, and never stop. If no one ever taught you it’s okay to be selfish sometimes, I’m here telling you now: it’s okay to be selfish sometimes, and this is definitely one of those times.
Shake up your routine
If you’re living the same life, heading to the same places, and doing all the same things you were when you first started liking this guy, you’ll have nothing fresh to take your mind off him.
So, it’s time to hit the reset button. Channel your inner Madonna and reinvent your life today.
Get a makeover. Apply for a new job. Move towns. Try a new fitness class. Visit an art exhibition. Explore a new city. Give your home a spring clean. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s different and feels thrilling to you.
Find a hobby
Another brilliant way to refocus your energy on yourself is to fill your spare time with things you love—especially if this crush has meant you’ve put your passions and hobbies on the backburner.
Think about some of the things you loved doing as a child or have always wanted to try but never gotten around to doing. It’s never too late to start a new hobby.
Be kind to yourself
It’s easy to blame yourself for the feelings you’re having or judge yourself for taking longer than you think you should to heal and move on. But there is no exact timeline for when you should have moved on. We’re all different, and every situation is unique. So remember to be kind to yourself in the process. Speak to and treat yourself the way you would a best friend.
8. Get social
The next step in how to stop liking a guy is to make sure you’re spending quality time with people who care about you and make you feel good.
Catch up with old friends you haven’t seen in a while. Broaden your social circle and find new friends. Trying new hobbies and activities is a great way to connect with like-minded people. Let go of any expectations of making new romantic connections, to begin with. Let the focus be on building yourself back up and getting back to your happy place.
And don’t forget to pencil in some alone time too.
9. Find new guys to be interested in
How to stop liking your crush: start flirting again
When you’ve given yourself enough time and space to heal and move on, one of the best ways to stop thinking about this guy is to put yourself out there again and potentially meet some new guys.
BUT, and it’s a big but, only do this once you’ve faced your emotions and are fully ready.
When you are ready, start getting your flirt on. Enjoy interacting with other guys, practice your flirting skills and have fun!
Date other people (when you’re ready)
It won’t be long before this guy becomes a distant memory and no more than a blip in your past. There’s nothing left to do but start dating again. Join a dating site or app, head to a singles event, go on a singles holiday, join new clubs, volunteer in your community, talk to people you wouldn’t usually speak to… the potential places for meeting your perfect match are endless.
Remember to let go of your expectations and focus on being in the moment and enjoy the process of getting to know someone new.
Conclusion: now you know how to stop liking someone, it’s time to take action
It’s not easy to stop liking someone and move on, and there’s no overnight fix. But you owe it to yourself to let go of a connection that isn’t reciprocated so you can make space for someone deeply attracted to you to walk in.
Why waste time and energy on someone who doesn’t want what you want? For a relationship to work, you both have to be on the same page and equally committed to building a life together. And I promise you, there is a man out there who wants all the same things you want and will want them with you.
Have you ever had to force yourself to stop liking someone in the past? What worked for you?
Let me know in the comments below.
PS. If you’re ready to start making men pursue you for love, then join me on this free webinar to discover the 3 steps to building emotional attraction – Register here to get started (it’s 100% free).