Liking a guy who doesn’t like you back is the absolute worst. It may be even worse than getting dumped. It completely sucks the joy out of your life, making you question everything about yourself: your looks, your personality, your intelligence, your social skills, everything!
You are on a desperate quest to figure out why you’re not “good enough” for him. Why doesn’t he like you? What are you doing wrong? Surely there must be something! Now if only you can get him to see how perfect you two would be together … what an amazing match it would be … but how can you do that?
Here is the brutal truth you probably don’t want to hear: There isn’t all that much you can do about it. You can’t force someone to like you. No amount of wanting or yearning will get him to like you back. No amount of plotting or strategizing or analyzing will get you the results you want, it will only drive you insane.
Now I will say there are ways to increase your attractiveness and likeability. You should focus on becoming your best self, on looking your best, feeling your best, being your best. But if you’ve done that and he still isn’t interested in you, it’s time to just accept it and move on. But the moving on is easier said than done … believe me, I’ve lived it and I get it!
So here is my ultimate guide to getting over a guy who doesn’t like you:
How To Get Over Him
I think it can be even more difficult to get over a relationship that never happened. In this case, you mourn the loss of the potential of what could have been, and that potential can look pretty spectacular in your mind, unlike an actual breakup where you aren’t caught up in the what could have been. You were there, you lived it, and you experienced the breakdown of the relationship.
So how do you get over a guy you never even had?
1. Get distance
Try to not be around him, like at all. This is counterintuitive because when we like someone we want to get close, we feel ecstatic when we hear they’re going to be at a party we’re going to, our heart starts to race when we fortuitously run into them. You have to put a stop to all of this. Instead of going out of your way to be places where he will be, go out of your way to make sure you will not be in the same place as him.
Seeing him will only set you back and rile you up. And it will never turn out well for you.
If he’s nice and friendly, you’ll think maybe there’s still a chance. If he’s cold and aloof, you’ll feel devastated by his rejection and will once again get caught in the endless cycle of obsessing over why he doesn’t like you.
If it is clear to you that he just doesn’t like you back, then accept this as your reality and don’t flip-flop.
Remember, if he liked you, he would be with you. If he’s not taking steps to be with you, it’s because he doesn’t want to be. Don’t look at anything but the clear as day facts.
If it’s impossible to not be in his vicinity– you work together, go to school together, live in the same building– then you’ll have to maintain an emotional distance. You can be friendly, but keep yourself pleasantly detached. This is a little harder than keeping a physical distance, but you got this! It’s mind over matter … and just keep in mind what you really want: a mutually loving relationship.
2. Give up hope
Hope can be a beautiful thing … but sometimes it’s not. And in this case, it’s not.
Giving up hope will make it easier to follow step one and distance yourself from him. If you relinquish all hope of a romance ever starting, then you won’t feel a need to be places where he might be.
For the time being, you need to give up all hope of this ever happening. That doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen, you certainly can get your ex back, but it clearly isn’t going to happen right now because if it was going to … then it would be happening!
Accept that he isn’t the guy for you, because if he was the guy for you, he would be with you. You should never ever have to convince someone to be with you. Love doesn’t come about through plotting and strategizing.
You don’t need to go on a mission to prove to him how amazing you are. If he’s the right guy for you, he’ll see it. And if he’s the wrong guy, he might also see how amazing you are, but for whatever reason, he just feels you’re not the girl for him, and that’s OK.
Maybe he does see how amazing you are, maybe he really cares, maybe he has feelings for you, but now just isn’t the right time. OK, fair enough. But you should still move on. There is no sense in waiting around for him to choose you and decide he’s “ready” for a relationship.
3. Look back objectively
Whenever a friend or reader is going through a breakup, either with a person or with the potential of what could have been, I always tell them to take stock and ask a few important questions.
Pain can really enhance your life when you take the time to learn from it. I’ve made a career learning lessons from my pain and sharing them with the masses! And it has changed my life and it did get me where I ultimately wanted to go.
When life knocks you over, it’s important to look back at the situation and see what lessons there are to learn.
Here are some good questions to guide you:
- Why did you feel so strongly for him?
- What qualities did he have that you want in a partner?
- What did you do in this situation that you will never do again? (i.e. chasing after him, stalking him endlessly on social media, obsessing over the relationship, selling yourself out by trying to be what you think he wants, etc.)
- What qualities did he have that you don’t want in a partner? (Yes, I know it feels like he’s this supremely perfect being but he isn’t because no one is and there has to be something wrong with him. And if there’s nothing wrong with him, then try to figure out why he’s wrong for you. I know you don’t feel this way, you think he’s perfect for you, but you’ll just have to trust me. If he was a perfect match for you then he would see it too and would be with you.)
- Did he lead you on? Do you feel like you’ve been deceived by him? (Answer this honestly. You may be holding onto a lot of resentment and it’s important to release it before you jump back into the dating waters.)
- What did you learn about yourself from this situation? And how can you use that to make your next relationship amazing?
4. Ruminate about all the bad stuff
I am a big proponent of positivity, of seeing the good. Well, in this case, bring on the bad thoughts!
Part of why we get so carried away when we like someone is we obsessively think about all their good qualities.
We think about how charming he is … how sweet he can be … about that really hilarious joke he told … about how sexy he looked that time you ran into him after he was leaving the gym … about how sweet he looked when he was playing with his sister’s kids… and this can go on and on for days.
If you want to get over him, do the opposite. Think about what you don’t like about him. Now, this doesn’t have to be mean or malicious. This doesn’t have to be about him at all. You can still think he’s a great person … he’s just not the person for you and here are the reasons why.
If you absolutely can’t find a single thing you don’t like about him then you were probably infatuated with him … or rather, with the idea of him. Remind yourself that no one is perfect. And that even the happiest most in love couples can see flaws in each other. You can’t possibly like him as much as you think you do because you don’t know him.
5. Embrace your negative emotions
Feeling bad isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it can be the path toward healing. Maybe you feel stupid for mourning the loss of someone you never really had, but it’s not stupid. It hurts.
It took me many months to get over a guy I went on two dates with! That pain was real, the feelings of rejection were real, and the self-doubt that ensued was very, very real.
Don’t fight your emotions and try to suppress them. If you shove them down, they will always find a way to come on out. Feelings don’t go away just because they go unacknowledged.
Don’t talk down to yourself and get angry at yourself for feeling upset. Feelings aren’t logical and they don’t respond to rational arguments. Just feel what you need to feel and ride the wave, as uncomfortable and painful as it may be.
I said earlier that getting over a guy who doesn’t like you is painful because you are mourning the loss of the potential of what could be. Grief is a part of mourning. So let yourself grieve.
You don’t want to bring all these negative feelings and hang-ups into your next relationships. The surest way to avoid that is to heal and get over this guy and the emotional turmoil he caused within you.
I just want to caution you not to get too carried away with this. If you can’t function properly and spend your days curled up in a ball crying your eyes out, then you’re not really upset about this guy… he was just a trigger for something much deeper and it would be a good idea to talk to a therapist if you really can’t get past it and get on with your life.
Getting Back to Yourself
Heartbreak can make you lose yourself. You can get utterly lost in the sea of pain and self-doubt. You just don’t feel like yourself anymore, you feel darker, more insecure, and a little bit empty. It can be a sad and lonely place and all you want is to feel good again, to feel OK again.
In this next section, we’ll talk about exactly how to get there.
1. You are worthy of love
Don’t make the mistake of feeling that you are unworthy or unlovable just because this guy didn’t love you. For whatever reason, people love to adopt this crippling belief and bury it deep in their subconscious. Don’t do this! Don’t feed into it, don’t let it dominate your psyche, don’t let it follow you around like a piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
Remember, you were OK before him and you’ll be fine after him. Not everyone is a match and that’s OK. I know it feels like the end of the world, I know it feels like you’ll never ever possibly find anyone as good as him, and you’re right. You’ll find someone who isn’t him and that person will be even better suited for you!
2. Get moving
Moving on emotionally and moving physically are pretty connected.
Exercise is powerful, it can even be described as a form of therapy. Yes, it can be annoying to drag ourselves to the gym, but it’s always worth it and you always feel so glad you did it.
Working up a sweat produces endorphins, which will make you feel really good, ease stress, and a whole host of other benefits. I don’t need to school you on the importance of exercise, you know the difference it makes to your mood and wellbeing.
Another big part of this is eating healthy. It just feels good to take care of ourselves and respect our bodies. Eating clean and healthy with help you feel more clearheaded and energized. (Take a look at this list of foods to eat to make you even more beautiful).
3. Change it up
Sometimes getting back to yourself involves upgrading yourself.
Change can be fun! It can also be strangely therapeutic. Experiment with a new look, maybe try out a fun makeup technique like mastering the art of highlighting and contouring, change your hair color or try a new cut. Go through your closet and sell or donate all old clothes you no longer wear and re-stock with fresh styles that make you look and feel amazing.
Maybe take up a new hobby, or try a new exercise class (this also fulfilled the action item above!) Maybe make your home feel like new by re-arranging the furniture or doing some redecorating or reorganizing (And how doesn’t feel better after organizing?)
Push yourself past your comfort zone by doing something you never thought you could or would do. This is how we get to know ourselves, this is how we know what we’re made of. And if you made it through the pain of loving someone who doesn’t love you back, you literally can get through anything!
Getting Back Out There
The final phase is about you getting back to your life and accepting that it no longer includes him. It’s about dating new people, spending time with friends, and doing new things.
1. Start dating again, or at least thinking about dating
Start imagining yourself with someone new. Open yourself up to the possibility of dating someone else and being in a happy relationship. It may not happen as soon as you want it to, but it will happen eventually. What will prevent it from happening is if you stay stuck where you are… pining for a guy who doesn’t like you back.
It’s time to mentally move on, it’s time to let go of the hope that you and him will eventually get together and open yourself up to new guys.
You can take a proactive step by getting on some dating apps, or just visualize your next relationship. Think about how you want it to feel, what it will be like. Imagine how amazing it will be to be with someone who loves you just as much as you love them. Imagine how nice it will be to not have to chase… and instead, to just have.
Now I should mention that sometimes dating too soon can backfire — one bad date can send you back to desperately pining and yearning for your “perfect” man and can fully set you back.
You just need to know yourself. I know myself and back when I was single and dating, bad dates were crippling. They made me angry and jaded so I was extremely selective about who I went out with.
I have friends who aren’t jaded by bad dates, they genuinely enjoy going out and getting to know new people and this isn’t exhausting to them. Maybe it’s an introvert/extrovert thing. Either way, do what’s right for you and don’t date before you’re ready because it could have the opposite effect and set you back.
2. Lean on your friends and family
Rejection can put you in an emotionally fragile place. It hurts, you feel defeated, and maybe unloveable. The best antidote for that is to surround yourself with people who love you.
Reach out to your friends and family. Let them be there for you.
Have a fun girls night out, or order takeout and grab a few bottle of wine for a girls night in. My advice is to try and enjoy being single and selfish because someday you will find the right guy, and hopefully you will make delicious babies, and when that happens, selfish will be a long gone luxury!
Just one warning: try not to talk about the guy endlessly. Yes, girlfriends are for girl talk, and you can and should open up and share, but then move on. Analyzing and obsessing over it will just make you feel worse and make it harder to move on. Talk about it if you need to, hear their advice, and then move on. There’s no sense in beating a dead horse.
Just have fun! Don’t go down the rabbit hole of obsessive thoughts, this never takes you to a good place.
3. Do fun things
Like I said, bask in being single and selfish! This is your time to do whatever you want to do … so go do it! Travel, go to cool museums, go to a concert, go to a Broadway show…. you don’t need to be in a relationship in order to do these things. It’s fun to do this stuff with a partner, and it’s also fun to do it with friends. It can even be fun to go it alone!
Don’t put your life on hold until you’re in a relationship. If you want to go places and do things, then do it!
And as a bonus, living a full and interesting life is what makes you more attractive to men and increases the chances of you finding a relationship.
1.Talk about it on our forum
Heartbreak can be a lonely experience, but trust me you’re not alone! For proof, just take a look at our forum. Whatever you’re dealing with, there are others in the same boat and it’s a great place to go for emotional support and advice.
Sometimes you may not feel comfortable being so open when talking to people face to face. Maybe you’re ashamed or embarrassed. There is a freedom that comes from anonymity.
2. Join our newsletter!
OK, so this is a slightly shameless plug, but on our newsletter we provide daily tips to get the relationship you’ve always wanted. We talk about how to get over breakups, red flags to watch out for, mistakes that push men away, what turns men off, what makes men want to commit, how to bed the absolute best version of yourself, and so much more.
You’ll also hear all about my very bumpy road which ultimately led me to marry my high-school ex-boyfriend!
You can sign up here.
There you have it. I hope this was helpful and hope you can move on swiftly and not let these bad feelings penetrate your sense of self. Got questions or comments? Leave them below!
How to Get Over a Guy Who Doesn’t Like You:
- Get distance from him
- Give up hope for a relationship happening
- Look back objectively
- Think about all the bad stuff about him
- Embrace your negative emotions
- Remember you’re worthy of love
- Exercise and eat healthy
- Make a change in your life or to your appearance
- Open yourself up to dating other guys
- Lean on your friends and family
- Have fun
- Talk about it on our forum
- Join the ANM newsletter