Releasing Attachments: Let Go of Who You Cannot Have
February 1, 2020
Many people have the shared experience of falling completely in love with someone that they cannot have. Whether it was a partner of a friend, a co-worker, a best friend, or someone across the world, pining for someone unattainable is tough. We may know we cannot have this person, but getting over it can seem impossible. Luckily, there are a few things that can help when you find yourself in such a situation.
Enjoy the Time You are Together
When you do get to spend time with someone you want, but cannot have, it can be overly tempting to ask for more, but avoid the temptation. Instead of crossing a line, focus on having a good time, within reason, and making positive memories to draw on later. Keep your feelings compartmentalized so you are not obsessing full time.
Get a Hobby
When you are infatuated with someone you cannot have, it can take up all your time. Divert your energy and attention to something new, like a hobby. Find something you enjoy to pass the time and help you move on.
Protect Your Heart
Though it is tempting to be friends with a person you cannot have, if you cannot keep clear boundaries then do not try to be a friend. Protect yourself and only take on what you can clearly handle. It is okay to pull back if needed for your mental and emotional health. If you cannot stop the feelings, limit contact as much as possible.
Make sure you are not alone by surrounding yourself with good friends. If it is your best friend you are in love with but cannot pursue, life can get lonely so make sure you have other friends who can be just as supportive. It helps to have someone to talk to about this unrequited love.
Date Other People
The best way to get over someone is to find someone else. This is not someone that you spend all your time comparing to the unavailable one, but about opening yourself up to something fun and new. You may not fall in love, but it is a step in the right direction.
Give Yourself Time
While you do not want to wallow for weeks on end, give yourself an hour or a day to sulk about not being able to be with that person and work through feelings. Over time your feelings may lessen and either way, your life needs to go on. If it helps, journal about your feelings. Use old paper and pencil journaling, not social media to express what is inside. Be open and honest because no one else will ever see what you write. If it helps, burn it after.
Tell Them the Truth
Many times, being honest is really the best option. Talk to the person without any expectation of what will happen. Be open about your feelings and how they make you feel so that they will know. It most likely will not go anywhere, but it will help you process and move on with life.
Love is wonderful, but it can also be extremely painful. Falling for someone you cannot have can make the world turn upside down, but you are not alone in having these feelings. Learning good coping skills will make things much easier over time and help you live a happier life.