For years now you may have been harboring a crush towards someone in your life -- a neighbor, coworker or even a friend you just haven’t been able to take things to the next level with. When the realization hits that your feelings are not mutual, letting go can be painful and humiliating. Finding a way to get over your crush, however, is the only way you will be able to move on and find someone who reciprocates your feelings.
Accept that your crush does not return you feelings of devotion and stop waiting for that to change. Holding out hope or fantasizing about the future will only prolong the painful realization that you and your crush will never be. Force yourself to recognize the reality of the situation now, and remind yourself of that reality every time you start to dwell on your crush again.
Consider the ways in which this crush may have held you back. Think about the other dating opportunities you have possibly missed out on because you were too busy obsessing over your crush. Clinical psychologist Henry Cloud, author of “Changes That Heal,” suggests taking an inventory of your life and taking steps to rid yourself of the areas which are no longer serving you. Harboring an unrequited crush likely doesn't benefit your life overall. Be realistic about how this crush has kept you from moving forward and think about how letting it go could actually help.
Remember that it is not about you. Not everyone is meant to fall in love with each other, and just because your crush did not return your feelings does not mean that there is not someone out there who will. Sometimes people simply aren’t a good fit; set your sights on finding someone who is.
Get out and keep yourself busy with friends and family. Isolating yourself will only increase your despair, explains New York City counselor Nathan Feiles. Instead, make fun plans and distract yourself with the exciting opportunities and friendships available to you.
Try not to dwell. Nothing you did or said could have changed the final outcome with this particular crush. Rather than obsessing, focus on starting a new project or engaging in new relationships. When you find yourself thinking about your crush for extended periods of time, get up and get out into the world in an effort to shift your perspective.
Remind yourself of other relationships you have moved on from in the past. Consider how hard it was to do at the time, but how over that person you are now. Remember that you will one day feel the same about this crush as well.
Take care of yourself. Self-care can sometimes be difficult to keep up with during times of distress, but now is as good a time as any to put that extra effort into you. Start up a workout routine or invest in a new wardrobe -- anything that might boost your spirits and get you feeling better about yourself.
Living in Alaska, Leah Campbell has traveled the world and written extensively on topics relating to infertility, dating, adoption and parenting. She recently released her first book, and holds a psychology degree (with an emphasis in child development and abnormal child psychology) from San Diego State University.