17 Best Ways To Deal With Loving Someone You Can’t Have

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The heart-wrenching feeling of loving someone you can’t have affects you mentally and physiologically. It feels like a deep void in your heart for someone you know cannot fill it, and neither can anything else. But, falling in love is a thrilling, exhilarating, and enthralling experience.

And for a very long time, lovers have been known to endure untold hardships, traversing unbearable desert sands, raving seas, and fighting bitter battles for their unrequited love. Read on to learn about loving someone who you can’t have.

Why Are You In Love With Someone You Can’t Have?

Love is wonderful, but it can be heartbreaking if you end up loving someone who does not love you back. So let’s take a look at the reasons to see why you love someone you can’t have.

1. You are addicted to the person

When you long for love, you can’t live without it and ignore the signs that you are in love. When you love someone you can’t have, it can be intoxicating. You can’t get enough of them, and eventually, you will be addicted to loving them. When you hold on to the hope or fantasy of obtaining unmet love, it can distort your perception. You are addicted to the excitement of chasing them, much like a drug.

2. You are lonely

When you fall in love with someone you can’t have, you suddenly feel lonely, even if you’re surrounded by family and friends. Even when you are physically present with others, you feel disconnected and isolated from them.

The thought of being alone can be unsettling, so you may cling to the person you love in an attempt to avoid feelings of loneliness. You cling to the person who doesn’t love you because it’s easier than getting over them. If you’ve recently broken up with your partner, you might be having trouble adjusting to single life. The lonelier you feel, the more you worry about not belonging or being rejected by others.

3. You are attracted to them

The mere thought or sight of the person makes you irresistible due to their physical beauty or qualities such as charm, intelligence, quirks, wit, and their odd sense of style, lifestyle, personality, habits, or even their status.

4. You idealize the person

You admire the person you want but can’t have, convincing yourself that they are your perfect partner, whom no one else can compare. Maybe you imagined that the person you loved was perfect for you in every way and that the two of you would end up together. As a result, your mind is not used to imagining your dreams and fantasies collapsing.

5. You are obsessed

You can’t get the person out of your head because you’re used to obsessing over them. You can’t stop thinking about the person, and these thoughts have control over your life. Your mind refuses to accept that it is over, and you may feel it’s easier to remain in a denial mode. You are probably obsessed with this relationship. Yet, obsessing over heartbreak can be strangely gratifying.

6. You stay connected on social media

You maintain an active presence on social media accounts because you are unable to accept that you are fixated on the person and do not want closure. You constantly call or text them to stay in touch with the person you want but can’t have.

7. You are over-analyzing

You may be replaying the breakup in your head, pondering how things could have gone differently between the two of you, or you may be ignoring the issues that led to the failure of your relationship. Unfortunately, when you fall in love with someone you can’t have, you’re prone to over-analyzing every aspect of your relationship, your partner, or yourself in an attempt to figure out why your love isn’t with you.

8. You cannot imagine a future without them

When you love someone you can’t have, you fail to imagine a future without them—you might be afraid of their absence and also of the future. It is because you believe their presence can somehow improve your circumstances. So you start thinking the person you love will fill the voids in your life that you can’t fill on your own.

9. You live in past

You may be reliving the past, recalling the last time you saw the person you love, remembering every moment spent with them, and hoping that it will all come back to you. You will be reminded of your relationship whenever you see their photographs, miss the places you visited together, or remember the person when you watch their favorite movies. You realize you’ve lost your identity and that everything in your life is centered on this person.

10. You are emotionally entrapped

You feel trapped in your emotions as if you’re trapped behind closed doors with nowhere to go. You may feel remorseful or sad because you can’t have the person you loved. You are tangled in a cycle of worry and anxiety, followed by bouts of depression and mood swings.

When you’re stuck in a rut and emotionally entrapped, you’re disconnected from reality. The more you recall past events or all the memories you had together, the more upset you become, leading to more obsession. It’s a vicious cycle of feeding on your grief and loss. However, once you realize your reasons, you can come out of the zone.

17 Ways To Deal With Loving Someone You Can’t Have

The feeling of loving someone you can’t have can make you feel as though your heart is torn apart. However, it is not the end of the world, and instead of feeling helpless and hopeless, you can work on yourself to find the bright spots.

1. Talk to family and friends

Talking to family and friends can help you overcome negative feelings and relieve some of your pain. As you receive support from your friends and family members, you may realize that your feelings are normal, you are not alone, and others have survived similar experiences.

A loving and supportive group of friends and family members can do wonders to allow you to express your inner and deepest feelings more easily and calm your mind.

2. Exercise and eat healthy food

When you love someone you can’t have, self-care is the best antidote to fight the blues. Make healthy food choices, get enough sleep, and begin an exercise routine to feel better physically and psychologically.

Self-care is the least selfish thing you can do. You cannot pour from an empty cup. You need to take care of yourself before you can be there for someone else.

3. Pamper yourself

This is an excellent time to pamper yourself by doing something enjoyable, such as watching a movie with a friend, getting a spa massage, going on a vacation, taking the weekend off, or catching up on reading books.

4. Pick up a hobby

Taking up a new hobby to focus on could help relieve stress. For example, you can get some sunshine and fresh air by gardening or unleash your creative side by taking up hobbies such as painting and drawing. Baking, hiking, and biking are a few hobbies you can actively pursue.

5. Meditate

When you love someone you can’t have, you will feel vulnerable and helpless. Meditation is a powerful tool for practicing mindfulness. It can make you aware of the emotions, allowing you to move to a place of healing without being distracted by past events or future concerns.

6. Learn a musical instrument

Music is an effective strategy for coping with adversity. According to research, playing a musical instrument can turn off the stress response, thereby improving physical and emotional health (1). It can also boost your self-esteem while providing you with a sense of accomplishment.

7. Write down your thoughts

Write a journal of your thoughts or try your hand at poetry. The act of writing down your feelings can be liberating and can often provide you with a new perspective and divert your attention away from negative or stressful situations. Alternatively, you can blog about your positive thoughts and feelings.

8. Do not call or text

Avoid any contact with the person you love because it will only strengthen your attachment and slow down your recovery. Have a no-contact rule in place so that you can give yourself time to heal. Do not attempt to call or text the person, and do not follow them on social media to establish contact or intimacy.

9. Surround yourself with positive people

You should avoid being around negative people as much as possible because it can deplete your energy and motivation levels. Instead, surround yourself with positive people who can lift your spirits and inspire you to think positively.

10. Avoid being lonely

When you love someone you can’t have, being lonely for an extended period can be detrimental because it can stoke negative feelings and thoughts. If you wallow in loneliness, you isolate yourself, and you won’t fully process your feelings or get the support you need to heal. Therefore, hang out with friends or make new ones and spend time outdoors.

11. Don’t wallow in self-pity

When you love someone you can’t have, do not wallow in self-pity; tears are not a badge of honor to wear on your sleeve. When you wallow in self-pity, you will enable it to control your life and dwell on negative thoughts, making you bitter and resentful, even hopeless and helpless.

12. Learn lessons

It is not the end of the world if you love someone you can’t have. However, it opens up a new path of self-discovery, provides a fresh perspective on life, and teaches you new lessons. In addition, it enables you to discover your emotional side.

13. Avoid rebound relationship

Do not enter into a “rebound relationship” unless you have completely overcome the emotional trauma of the previous relationship. Instead, use this time to work on yourself and reconnect with parts of yourself that you may have neglected during your previous relationship.

14. Reorganize your home

Spend some time during the day reorganizing your home because a fresh look can help you forget old memories, reduce stress, and elevate your mood. Remember that a cluttered home reflects a cluttered mind. A clean house is a sign of a clean mind. It can often trigger your motivation if you just start!

15. Be grateful

Thank the special person in your life for being a part of your journey and shaping you into the person you are today. Be grateful for the wonderful time you had together, for the times you laughed together.

16. Love yourself

When you have feelings for someone you can’t have, you might start blaming yourself and forget how to love and care for yourself. Therefore, it’s a good idea to indulge in some self-love. For example, you may say a few nice things to yourself while standing in front of a mirror to avoid self-doubt, self-hatred, and undermining yourself. Stop blaming yourself and beating yourself up. Remember that this too shall pass.

17. Consult a therapist

While you can try different coping mechanisms and self-care strategies, it can be challenging to recover from some situations. Your deepest fears may resurface, bringing up unresolved feelings from the past and leaving you numb. When it is difficult to love and heal yourself, it is best to seek the help of a therapist to cultivate feelings of hope, love, and an abundance of possibilities.

Loving someone you can’t have can make you feel hopeless and sad. But does that mean it’s the end of the world? No, it means it’s time for you to introspect and understand your feelings. Falling in love might not have been in your control, but you can work on yourself and find positive ways to deal with the situation. These simple yet effective ways to deal with this situation can help you love yourself more, focus on the future, and push through your emotional dilemma without any self-doubts.

Key Pointers

  • You may fall in love with someone you can’t have because of an obsession, loneliness, or emotional entrapment.
  • Opening up to friends or family or seeking professional help may help you deal with the situation better.
  • You could take your mind off them by learning something new, reorganizing your surroundings, and writing down your thoughts.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Debra Shipman (2016); A Prescription for Music Lessons
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Shikha Thakur

Shikha is a writer-turned-associate editor at MomJunction. Having done a certification in Relationship Coaching, her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood. She also specializes in baby names. Being a postgraduate in Human Resources from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, she likes understanding people and their relationships. This reflects in her relationship... more

Ashley Cairns

Ashley Cairns is the CEO of A Change for Better (ACFB) and a mental health counsellor working in New Zealand. Originally from New York, Ashley has worked professionally in the US, Canada, and New Zealand, helping those suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Ashley holds professional memberships in the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Australia &... more