Getting over someone is hard, but getting over someone you never really dated is harder and can even seem like an impossible task.
At least with breakups there are always reasons behind them that can help you rationalize them. Maybe you did not get along or you had diverging values, aspirations or you just grew apart.
The problem with almost-relationships is that they have none of this. There was never a beginning for you to compare anything with. You had a crush on someone and you thought feelings were mutual; you may even have been led to believe they were and so you allowed yourself to be emotionally invested in him. You let your feelings develop, thinking that you and him were on the same page, until you realized that he did not feel the same way about you.
There was your reality, and there was his reality and they sadly did not match, so now all you are left with is pain and “what ifs”.
Pain because almost-relationships coming to an end hurt as much a breakup from a real relationship. The pain does not care if you put a label on it. The pain does not discriminate. The pain you are going through is very real.
And “what ifs” because you can’t help yourself but wondering what if things were different and what if things become different. If you don’t watch yourself, you can easily spend months or years holding on to the slightest hope that something might happen, that he might change his mind, that he surely had feelings for you too, which can keep you stuck with your thoughts and prevent you from moving on. Trust me on this one.
Almost-relationships are the worst form of relationship to get over from in my opinion because you don’t have anything material to work with. They are like a shadow that you keep chasing indefinitely and never grasp.
I know it first hand, and you would know it too if you encounter such a relationship. But like anything in the world, what does not kill you makes you stronger.
Getting over a guy who was never yours in the first place is achievable but requires a different approach than a normal breakup.
But before you take the brave decision to move on, you want to determine that you are indeed in a dead end relationship. My post on when a guy likes you but does not want to date you will be of great help if you want to check it out.
Now let’s assume you figured that this is a dead-end relationship and you are ready to move on, what should you do?
1. Know that you are entitled to your feelings
The first thing you should do is total acceptance of yourself and your feelings. You are entitled to the way you feel even if you think it is solely your fault that you misread all the signs, that you misunderstood his messages and that It was all in your head. Trust me it is rarely the case, a lot of guys adopt attractive behaviors even when they have no interest in the person.
You did not just let your imagination run. There were certainly signs that he liked you and you just responded to them.
So don’t blame yourself for anything, and let yourself process the feelings of sadness and any other feelings you may have like anger if you feel you were played.
2. Realize that you never had anything
You need to be very honest with yourself. Did you really have anything with this guy? Was it you who approached him initially? Did he show real interest in you with actions or was he on the passenger seat and you were on the driver seat? Was it always you initiating conversations and proposing to go on dates? How many dates did he take you on? Not that many I bet, even if his company was great and you felt you had a connection.
If this almost-relationship required low effort from his side, then maybe he let it happen but he wasn’t anywhere near as interested in you as you were in him.
A lot of guys would not say no to a low effort casual dating even when they know there is no future.
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3. Start the process of de-idealizing him
This is the hardest part of the moving on process because you don’t have enough data points to start seeing him for who he really is, so I am going to help you with this one.
If you think about it, you never really got to know him in such a short period of time.
And here is what the brain does when it does not have enough information to form an opinion…it fill in the blanks based on the data it already has.
And because people are usually on their best behavior early on in relationships, your brain end up forming a very positive and often erroneous opinion of the person.
That when you start idealizing the guy and putting him on a pedestal.
What I can tell you for sure, is that every human being has flaws that show up only when you give it time, when you get to spend time with them and see them in different situations.
Don’t get fooled by how perfect he looked on paper or how charming he was on person. He is no super hero, he is just a normal guy and there are so many of him.
4. Get over the fear of missing out
If you are still asking yourself “what if” question, that is because you have a fear of missing out on the greatest love story of your life, maybe even the one, and you need to get over this because all almost-relationships feel like they could have been the greatest love story of a lifetime, precisely because you did not get to live that story and realize that it is nowhere near that. Now you will never know but you know what? You do not need to know.
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Let me give you some perspective on this:
First of all, you will encounter many of these dead end relationship and they will all feel the same, does that mean that these guys are all“the one”? No, it just means you are over-idealizing them because you did not get to really be with them.
A great love story is mutual, it cannot be one-sided, so this could not have been the greatest love story of a lifetime and you are not missing out on anything.
From experience, I know that what the future holds is very often far better than what you leave behind if you learn your lessons and commit to grow and become a better and wiser person.
When a dead-end relationship poisoned my own life, I thought I would never come across someone as great as him and I obsessed over him for years even when I was surrounded by other men, and then I met other people, had other experiences and I started seeing him for what he really is, a regular guy that I never get the chance to really know and that’s when I started de-idealizing him. I just did not know any better but now I do.
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