How to get over someone you were never actually with

All bets are off. It's over. It never really started, but, you know... It was a non-starter.

Queue the Adele songs, supportive friends, bottles of wine and days in bed building Big Ben with your pile of tear-stained Kleenex.

Except you were never together so it seems a bit wrong to be upset. Doesn't it? Can you mourn the loss of a love that never existed?

I want you to listen to me. Grab your cotton-buds, clean out your ears and concentrate.

Official relationship status is not a pre-requisite of a broken heart.

Sometimes, the pain felt at the end of a “non-relationship” is harder and more real than that at the end of a coupling.

Logically we know it wasn’t a “thing”, but to our brains information is information and it’s not the best at differentiating between what could have happened and what actually did. Basically, our brain caught the feels and now that it’s over it’s sad.

And that's okay. Your brain is allowed to be sad. It pumped hormones and chemicals into receptors all over your body that made you feel gushy and excited and like "this-one-could-be-the-one".

Even if, by societies standards, it was nothing, to your body this is a breakup. And you're going to feel like shit for a while.

Potential always looks prettier

You’ve thought about it. Imagined the dates, the cosy nights in, the petty arguments over which movie to watch and how you’d eventually give in and let them choose.

How you’d open yourself up to them, let yourself be vulnerable. The kisses on the way out the door. The dinner you’d attempt to make and the takeaway you'd inevitably order when it falls to shit. Because even fantasy has to have some sense of reality.

My point is this. Because you never saw or maybe acknowledged the shit bits (and everybody has shit bits) you’ve never imagined the arguments. The disagreements where you’re not willing to give in.

What if their parents don’t like you? Or their friends? What if you don’t like theirs? Or they don’t like yours? What if their religious/political views sharply contrast with yours? What if the intense romance fizzled out?

Half the pain is never knowing. Hope is being crushed. Ideas and dreams that will never come to fruition. In reality, a life that will never be lived.

Your feelings are valid.

Kris Gage, the legend that is, wrote this in a post that makes more sense than I ever will, so I’ll let her speak for this one.


There is nothing wrong with you.

You will never fully know a person. What’s in their heads, what’s on their mind. Their reason for saying no could be any one of a trillion possibilities. Whatever it is, it has no bearing on you. Even if they do think you’re a crap person (which is highly unlikely). Doesn’t mean that you are. It means they don’t know or see who you actually are.

And no, it's not your job to show them. It's your job to be yourself, people will like you anyway.

You can and will feel this way about someone else.

Even if, right now, it feels you're going to end up naming your pillow, dry humping it every night and adding it as your plus one to social occasions.

You deserve someone who's got their sh*t together, sees you in your perfect imperfectness and says "I need that in my life - at any cost".

Chances are, this douche, who didn't see how brilliant you are, is a near miss. When you do find your person, you'll lie in bed and think "why in the name of Pink Gin was I ever going to settle for that ass-wipe"?

Give yourself the time and space you need.

No, it’s not the end of an “actual relationship”. No, your friends probably won’t understand. Just take the time for you. See above. Your. Feelings. Are. Valid. If anyone asks you’re taking some time for you. They don't need to know you'll be holed up drinking gin and tonic from a can, watching Bridget Jones Diary.

Acknowledge your Feelings

They’re there, as much as you wish they weren't. If you try to force them down into the abyss that is wherever unwanted feelings go and glue a deranged smile on your face, the feels are going to burst out at the most inopportune moment - Like at the checkout line in Aldi when you remember they loved mushy peas and seeing that tin just reminds you of how you'll be eating mushy peas alone for the rest of your life.

Show yourself some compassion. You wouldn’t tell your best friend to “just get over it” so why would you tell yourself the same?

Figure Out Why.

No. Not why they don’t want you. Do. Not. Go. There. We’re not going there. Okay? But why you were drawn to them in the first place? What did they represent?

Connection. Safety. Fun. Adventure. Being part of something. Feeling cared for? Take note. This is what you want/need in your life. Add it to your list. And then go about finding other - healthy - sources of what you’re looking for.

Write a Settle Letter

What’s a settle letter? It’s a list. This person was not perfect. They are not your ideal mate. So write the list of what you’d be settling on if you had hooked up long term.

Right now, your brain is caught up on all the positives. But if you think about it. Really think about it. There were things that bugged you.

Did they not text back when you asked something significant?

Did they cancel or change plans at the last minute?

Pee with the door open.

Pick every onion out of their curry instead of just ordering it without and bloody onions in it because they didn't want to be "that person" to the server.

Tear them to shreds if needs be. But a settle letter is a little bit less harsh than an "I-f*cking-hate-your-guts" letter. But hey, do you. Whatever you think is best.

Love Yourself

Right now you’re vulnerable. You’re hurt. As above, acknowledge it. Spend the day in bed. Watch Greys anatomy - Shonda knows how to get a tear out of people. Order a takeaway. Whatever floats your boat. Give yourself a set amount of time to Mourn the loss of what never was and rebuild from there.

I know one thing for sure, you're an amazing person. You're here on this site, you have the emotional intelligence to understand you're struggling with this. You're a badass. Now go live your badass life.

Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash