15 ways to stop obsessing over someone you can’t have (complete guide)

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When we become attracted to someone, it’s natural to fantasize. But when our fantasies turn obsessive and we start clinging to thoughts of the other person, that can be unhealthy.

Not only that, there can be a thousand reasons why you can’t be together, or why this person isn’t looking at you at all.

And now, here you are, wanting to stop this fixation.

Struggling with the desire to obsess over someone you can’t have? 

Here are 15 ideas that will help you curb your feelings for someone who isn’t reciprocating your feelings back and allow yourself to move on.

1) Remember that obsessing over them will not help your situation

It’s a dangerous, dangerous situation when these romantic feelings of yours for someone become an obsession, you will be:

  • Missing out on other potentially good relationships
  • Being obsessive and controlling
  • Becoming clingy
  • Creating drama for yourself

This is especially true if this person isn’t interested or is uninterested in you as a romantic partner, you’re only going to create tension and drama in your life by fixating on them like this, so really focus more on being realistic about things.

Your obsessive romantic feelings will only make the person aware of your feelings, and they won’t return it.

Research has shown that obsessing over someone you’re in love with who doesn’t share the same feelings for you only makes the inevitable sting of rejection worse. It’s much healthier to focus your attention on something else and take your mind off the object of your obsession.

When you become aware that these feelings are not healthy anymore, you can recognise them for what they are and take the first steps to moving on.

2) Take a hard look at yourself – there may be other reasons why you can’t be together

It’s human nature to want to blame others when things don’t work out. 

But you have to accept the reality that sometimes the world doesn’t work out as we want it to. 

It may be that there are other reasons why your feelings aren’t returned, such as:

  • Not communicating your true feelings to them, resulting in your feelings being unrequited
  • You not being a good match for their values and beliefs 
  • Who you truly are doesn’t match their idea of who they want to be with
  • You’re seeing something missing in them that you feel you can fill, rather than seeing things for what they really are. 

The truth is, you can’t change someone else, only yourself. 

It’s healthy to want to make another person happy but it’s not healthy if it’s at the expense of yourself in some way. 

3) Figure out where these feelings are coming from

What is it that’s causing you to obsess over this person? Are you feeling unloved or unwanted in your own life? Is there something missing in your life that you’re seeking for elsewhere? 

It may be that you’re focusing on the other person because of the void that exists in your own life and you’re feeling insecure.

Who wouldn’t want to improve themselves? 

I know I do.

The problem is that there are far too many fake gurus out there ready to sell you on unrealistic and ineffective solutions for improving your life by becoming a “better version” of yourself. 

They want you to meditate, radiate “positive vibrations” and visualize the life of your dreams. They say this will make it come true. 

Here’s the crazy thing:

Visualization and positive vibes won’t bring you closer to your dreams, and they can actually drag you backwards into time-wasting, idle fantasy and frustration. 

But it’s hard to feel insecure when you’re being hit with so many Instagram influencers telling you how a special kind of yoga, diet or incense will transform your life. 

You can end up trying so hard and not finding the answers you need that your life and dreams begin to feel hopeless. 

You want solutions, but all you’re being told is to create a perfect utopia inside your own mind. It doesn’t work. 

I want you to turn off all the noise for a second and get back to absolute basics. 

What are you here for?

Before you can experience a real change, you need to really know your purpose. 

I learned about the power of purpose from watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself.

Justin used to be addicted to the self-help industry and New Age gurus, who sold him on visualization and positive thinking. It left him lost and confused. 

That’s why he traveled to Brazil to meet the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, who taught him a life-changing new way to find your purpose and use it to transform your life and everything around you. 

After watching the video, I discovered my purpose in life and it completely busted through the issues I was having with loneliness and feeling useless. This new way of finding success by finding your purpose actually helped me to discover and fill in the voids in my life. 

Watch the free video here.

4) Remember the reasons you can’t be together

Not only will this stop you from obsessing over an impossible situation, but it will help you understand the reasons why it isn’t right for you and let go of the idea. 

The sad truth is, the chances of the other person being interested in you as a romantic partner are slim. 

As I have mentioned, there can be many reasons why the two of you can’t be together:

  • They already have someone or are seeing someone else
  • Due to cultural or family values, they are not allowed to be with you romantically
  • You’re in different stages of your life right now, perhaps at different points in your career
  • You and the other person don’t see eye to eye on some issues
  • You’re simply not compatible with one another 

A lot of times we get caught up in what we’re doing and don’t have time to think about what we’d like to be doing with our lives. 

When this happens, it’s easy to start dreaming about how things would be if you could be together.  

But that has no basis in reality, it’s simply an unrealistic fantasy. 

4) Be realistic about the person, not your fantasies about them  

The key here is to be realistic about the facts with this person. 

They may seem perfect for you on paper but are they perfect for you in real life?  

Let me be honest with you: people can be very different in reality compared to what we expect of them from afar. If you’ve got any negative feelings towards this person or they make you feel uncomfortable, then listen to those feelings and don’t ignore them.  

You need to accept that your feelings won’t always match up with how things really are in real life. 

If you want something meaningful, then think carefully about this person’s true character and see if it will suit your needs.

5) Get busy with something else

One strategy is to keep yourself so busy that you don’t have time to obsess over them. 

This can be very effective in getting you out of the obsessive state and into a more productive mindset.

And one of the biggest things you can have now is a distraction.

Do something that involves your time and energy, but doesn’t involve thinking about your obsession. You can help improve your life and do something useful with your time by spending it doing something completely unrelated to the object of your obsession. 

That might mean:

  • getting a new hobby 
  • learning a skill that comes in useful for future employment
  • taking up a new sport or hobby 
  • working on improving yourself as a person
  • learning some useful skills such as how to cook, drive, etc.    

This will help you feel more independent and give you something to focus on instead of your obsession

Get busy with something. Don’t let your obsession destroy you.

Being obsessive over someone is just a waste of time. 

I know it’s really difficult when you’re upset and desperate but just remember, the more you obsess over something that can never be, the more stressed out and unhappy you will become.

6) Accept that they may never return your feelings

Sometimes, they can’t feel the same way as you. They may not even be interested in you. 

We all have a romantic side, and we all have moments where we fantasize about someone, but for some people, those fantasies may never become reality.  

That’s why it’s important to be realistic about someone before you start fantasizing about them. Sure, things can feel great on a fantasy level, but you have to make sure it would work out in real life as well. 

The best way to do that is to talk to them, see what will be their reaction to your feelings and come to an understanding about what you want from them. 

But, don’t let it get to you too much. If the person you’re obsessing over isn’t interested in the same things that you are, then there’s no point wasting time and energy on them.  

If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out. You move on.

7) Put distance between the two of you

Putting distance between the two of you is an effective way to deter yourself from obsessing over them. 

It is a much healthier way to handle an unhealthy situation.  

Think about it: if the person you are obsessed over doesn’t even know that you exist, then technically they are doing nothing to harm your life in any way. 

You’re not doing anything either so, in all actuality, it’s a pointless situation.  

There is no point obsessing over them and having feelings for someone who doesn’t know that you exist because those feelings will never be returned by them.  

You can’t keep hoping for something that will never happen. So, it’s best to get away from them and find someone who will give you the attention you deserve. 

You don’t know how hard a situation is until you get away from it for a while.  

When you take the time to distance yourself from your obsession, then you’ll start to see things much more clearly and be able to think about them in a sane way.  

8) Focus on other people

Just because someone doesn’t like you back does not mean the world should end for it. It just means you have to find someone else to like you. 

It gives you a chance to have a fresh start with someone else, and get love from them. 

When obsessing over someone, it’s important that we don’t focus on them as the only possible person in our lives as we may end up being very much alone that way. 

Someone who doesn’t even know about us yet can come along at any time and sweep us off of our feet if we’re open enough. 

We need to accept this fact and stop putting all of our focus into one person who has no interest in us whatsoever. 

Go out and explore life with someone new, stay open to the potential of meeting someone special, and let go of that one person who is not interested in you.   

Look at your life right now and try to see which direction you want to go with it. 

9) Be optimistic that you will meet someone great

No matter how much you think there is not anyone else out there, eventually, you will always find someone who will make your heart flutter. 

Just look at the statistics: we are never truly alone, there is always someone out there for us.

The trick is to find that person who will support us and make us feel special every day.

There are so many other people out there who are also waiting for their love to come along. 

You just have to be more aware of them, go outside and be a part of the world around you, instead of staying at home hiding your feelings away inside yourself.  

You could meet them through:

  • a common friend 
  • a class, college or university
  • social events
  • a new hobby
  • through a random acquaintance

Be optimistic that one day you will meet someone great, it’s better than being pessimistic and letting all those opportunities pass you by. You never know who may walk into your life out of nowhere and sweep you off your feet.

The key is to find that person and start your own story with them.

But until then, we have to make the most of this life while it lasts and enjoy every moment with those who mean so much to us.

10) Have a look at your life before meeting them

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotions of the moment and forget what has led us to where we are today.  

Before you start obsessing over someone look at where you were and how it got you here. 

Remember how well you’re doing with your career or studies, with the people who are close to you, with your life, before meeting them. 

You got by alright, right?

You were able to sleep at night without thinking of them, you were able to get out of bed every day and do the things you wanted, all of these were so easy before they entered your life. 

You can make some of the same decisions again and get out of this rut you have fallen into with someone else.  

It won’t be quick, but it will be worth it in the end. 

Now take a look of your life right now and understand that you will be able to do all of the same tasks again one way or another. 

It’s better to be realistic and be able to look at your life with a clear head than to get swept into someone else’s trap and hope they will change your life for the better.  

So before you even start obsessing over anyone, step back and think about how you’ve been doing before you started thinking about them.

11) You will be okay even if they don’t like you back

It might not feel like it when you’re struggling through your broken heart, but you’ll be okay. 

I’m telling you again, it will take time to get over them, but you’ll be alright in the long run.

Some people are not meant to be with us and it’s best if we let them go.

It’s important to see the good in all people so we don’t hold a grudge against them for something they can’t change about themselves (and this time, their feelings toward you).

There are so many other people out there who are also waiting for their love to come along. 

This may be hard for some people to hear, but I assure you that if it doesn’t go the way that you want, there is someone better out there for you. 

You will find them and, when that time comes, they will notice how wonderful of a person you are and fall in love with all of your quirks just as much as you fell in love with theirs.

12) Don’t ever be afraid of losing them

Thinking of a future with someone else is always scary, but not as much as the thought of losing them. 

When we’re obsessing over someone, we tend to think of a life with them and how it will work out in the end, but the sad truth is that there could be an end that we are not prepared for. 

It’s very hard to understand a person’s intentions when we are not with them and looking into their eyes, but definitely it’s a necessary step in the recovery process. 

When you’re obsessing over someone too much, you may end up thinking of ways to change who they are so that they can fall in love with you.

If you stop thinking about what may happen when it’s all over, you may find your mind is much more open to new opportunities.  

You won’t be so attached to one person and you’ll be more open to the idea of meeting someone new.  

We need to approach dating with a positive mind and realize that we have many options and this is not our only chance at love. 

13) Don’t let other people make you feel bad about yourself

They might say hurtful things, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the truth and it doesn’t reflect on our character. 

As hurtful as it may be to hear how they talk about us to other people, there is usually a reason behind it. 

We have to remember that there is no reason for anyone to talk badly about us unless we actually deserve it.

They are probably jealous of us or just don’t want to admit that they are not happy with their own lives.

Don’t focus on what they think of you, how they look at you, or talk about you with other people.

Now if someone doesn’t like us back then why let them control our emotions? If they’re not interested in us then why let them bring us down? 

Nothing worthwhile ever comes from dwelling on what other people think of us. 

We will never know how they really feel and it’s much better to live our life without worrying about what they might think of us.

Don’t let it affect you because you’re better than them and their opinion means nothing.  

You’re the one living your life, so make the most of it!  

14) Surround yourself with supportive and positive people

This may be hard to do when you’re so focused on a specific someone, but it will help you get back on your feet in no time!  

Supportive and positive people can help us by getting us out of the house and doing something enjoyable, they will motivate and inspire us even through the simplest of conversations.  

When we take a step back from all of this we can see that maybe our life is not as bad as we thought it was and there are always people out there who are more than willing to help us get where we want to be.  

I’m not saying that lonely people aren’t great, I’m just saying that there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. 

Also, it takes a certain amount of courage to realize that sometimes you need to spend some time without the people you love and go do something on your own.  

We like socializing and being around people, but we should also give ourselves some time to be alone with our thoughts.  

15) Seek professional help if you’re having a hard time getting over someone

In severe cases, you may need to seek help from a professional – either through individual therapy or, if you have enough money, from a full-blown treatment facility.

If you think that it’s time to seek help then now is the time to do it.

Don’t wait too long and try to get over them on your own when getting help might be the better option for you.  

It’s never easy to let someone go, but stopping a phase should not make you feel like you’re losing everything in your life.  

There are so many amazing things out there waiting for you and one person will never change all of that.  

You need to find yourself again and accept how great of a person you are and what a great story you can write for yourself.  

Therapy for obsessions

If you’re having trouble getting over someone, you may want to try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A CBT therapist can help you see how your thoughts are keeping you trapped in the past and prevent you from moving forward. 

The first step is to reveal how your obsessions and fantasies about the person are playing out in your mind. The second step is to learn how to stop your negative patterns (like intrusive thoughts) and replace them with more positive behavior.  

A third step may be identifying what your “booze,” “mood,” and/or “drug” of choice is, like alcohol or sugar. By getting rid of the negative behavior and replacing it with more positive ones, you’ll be on your way to bettering yourself and having a happier life. 

Fantasies, obsessions, and hallucinations can cause us to feel very down. They can also make us feel like we aren’t good enough or that we aren’t worthy of someone coming into our life. 

When we’re obsessing over someone too much it’s important to learn how to build a better life with or without that person in it.  

You may have a lot of trouble getting over someone you obsess over, but there are people all around you who love you and are ready to be there for you.

Final thoughts

Stop obsessing with someone who you can’t have and start focusing on you and the things that will bring you true happiness. 

You have so many great qualities, so many things to be proud of, and no one can take those things away from you unless you let them.  

I know that this can be a difficult time in your life but it doesn’t have to remain that way if you’re willing to let go of your past and embrace the future.

Dating takes practice and it’s important to try new things, but don’t give up too easily!  

If one person doesn’t work out, then who knows? Maybe there’s something great waiting for you right around the corner! 

Have faith and keep going until you find what you’re looking for.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.