Loving someone evokes the most powerful and wonderful feelings but being in love might also hurt people almost unbearably. As they say, love is an intense feeling that cannot be tamed. The heart will love anyone it chooses, even if it’s the person you cannot be with.

Anyone who has developed an attraction and fondness for another person might have gone through this painful experience of loving someone they can’t have. A thousand love songs have been written about unrequited love.

According to a study in the Sage Journals, unrequited love is someone’s idea of romantic love and not true love. The pursuit of unrequited love is a high-stakes gamble that often yields unsatisfactory results like embarrassment, failure, and lowered self-esteem.


Unrequited love commonly happens during one’s teenage or young adult years. The pain of this love can be truly intense. However, even mature adults experience the same intensity of rejection and frustration of loving someone they cannot be with. So, how can release yourself from this pain?

10 Ways To Release The Pain Of Loving Someone You Can’t Be With

“It’s hard to admit when you have fallen in love with someone who can’t be yours.” – Unknown

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1.    Don’t deny the pain, but allow yourself to grieve.

It’s common to feel like you’ve lost someone when it finally hits that you cannot have that person in your life. Loving someone who cannot love you back is still a loss, even if you’ve never had a true relationship in the first place.

So, give yourself the time to grieve, not just for the love you’ve never had but also for the ideals, hopes, and aspirations you formed when you thought this person would be with you. Everything you’ve felt for this person, including the pain you’re going through now, are real, normal, and healthy human feelings. Don’t deny your grief even if you sometimes feel pathetic by falling for someone you can’t have.

You’re likely going through the grief of unrequited love more than once in your life but don’t fret. You’ll be more positive and much better for it because unreciprocated love can teach you a lot about yourself. It can shape you into the best person you can be for someone who will deserve the kind of love you give.

2.    Protect your heart by not giving your all.

If you’re still running in the same circle as this person who cannot love you back, the chances of getting over them might be more challenging. You might tell yourself you can still be friends and keep a platonic and civil relationship. But you must muster the strength to protect your heart and save your sanity.

You might be willing to do anything for this person you cannot be with because of your immense love. It’s understandable to want to show this person that you care for them as a friend. You want to be available if they need a listening ear or when they want to unload their frustrations.

But if all you talk about are the things going on in their life, you’ll open yourself for more pain and hurt by being too accessible. For instance, it won’t be healthy if you’re planning a birthday surprise for the love of their life. It’s like you’ve laid your heart on the road for a herd of animals to trample over.

So, protect yourself and give boundaries. Don’t be too available for this person you cannot have. They will surely not be available when you need them the most.

3.    Avoid situations that will hurt you.

One way to protect yourself from this unrequited love is to avoid situations that you know will hurt and make you unhappy. If you’ve been invited to a dinner party and you know that the person you cannot be with and their paramour will be there, you can choose to turn the invitation down.

If you’re not ready to face them together, why subject yourself to the agony and torture of seeing the person you love with the person they love? There will be other dinner parties you can join if you’re no longer vulnerable about this situation.

You’ve got to isolate yourself from this bubble and limit your interactions with this person. Try to do the following:

  • Stop checking their social media account.
  • Short of unfriending them, you can unfollow or hide them from your feed.
  • Don’t ask common friends about them.
  • Don’t be in places where you know you’ll run into them and their partner unless it’s unavoidable (if you work on the same floor, for example).

Isolation will help to keep them out of your sight. If they’re out of your sight, then it’s easy to keep them out of your mind.

4.    Find a creative outlet to divert all that energy.

The pain of loving someone you can’t have might drive you crazy but you can use that energy in productive and positive ways. Why not look for a hobby or a creative outlet to focus on and keep your mind off the ideals of love running through your head? Instead of hopelessly wallowing at home, wishing things would be different, pursue something you’ve had been planning to do.

Your heart might be crushed to pieces but you can divert your mind to a process that will help with your healing. Some people turn to writing or journaling to process feelings of rejection. Others immerse themselves at work, improve their performance, and impress their bosses.

5.    Accept the situation and give up finding closure.

Sometimes, some things are best left unsaid and unresolved. Your best option is to accept the situation and move on from it. As Grammy-winning singer Adele sang in “Chasing Pavements,” finding closure will be pointless.

It’s difficult to accept that love is unrequited. You naturally want to look for hints that the person was into you. But what if you can’t find the proof? What if there’s really no evidence they loved you? You’ll end up getting crushed again, as the song’s message stated. Choosing to accept this can help you move on.

6.    Look to your support system for comfort.

In times of despair, it helps to surround yourself with a solid group of friends who will lift you up. Friends can bring a positive vibe to your temporary sad state. They help empower you when you’re feeling vulnerable.

  • Talking to your friends about what happened will ease the burden and the pain.
  • Hearing their encouraging words can help you gain life lessons or advice to rationalize what you’re going through.
  • When you understand the situation from other people’s perspectives, you’ll gain more knowledge and insight about yourself and your own experiences.
  • Sometimes, you might not even have to talk about what happened. Simply having your friend’s company helps you not to feel alone.
  • You will also need to experience the crazy antics of your friends to make you laugh.

It’s easy to descend into anxiety or depression if you don’t have a sound support system. It will be hard to release the pain of loving someone you can’t have if you isolate yourself from other people.

Which brings this next tip…

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7.    Go out on a date.

Going on a date might be the last thing you’d like to do after getting rejected but this is actually a good time to explore your options without feeling the pressure.

You know you’re still vulnerable and not yet ready to get your heart crushed again, so this date isn’t about finding a lifetime partner. Rather, it is about enjoying yourself and having a good time with a new person who could potentially be in your life for the long haul.

Why mope at home when you can have fun? Loving someone you can’t have hurts but your life will truly change if you see this new opportunity as a door to a possibility. You might find your one true love if you opened yourself up to date other people.

8.    Realize that it was not really worth it.

If you’ve already been involved with someone you can’t be with and the affair ended for good, consider this a blessing. The secrecy of your “relationship” might have made it feel right then, but that is not necessarily true.

Passionate sparks can and do fly in relationships that are illicit and forbidden. But what if they decided to pick you and make your relationship permanent? Chances are you could get cheated on too and be in despair all over again.

Besides, if you’re in love with someone you can’t be with, this unavailable partner will unlikely introduce you to their friends or siblings. If you can’t be open about a relationship, then it’s not worth keeping. You won’t be satisfied and happy with this arrangement long-term. It’s a good thing it’s over because the uncertainty of this kind of relationship will hurt more than any heartbreak you’ll experience.

9.    Stop with your harmful self-judgment.

You’ll feel a spectrum of rejection, shame, and maybe even guilt for loving someone you can’t be with. However, choose to let go of the self-judgment so you can heal from this experience.

You might have learned a lesson the hard way but realize that nobody makes perfect choices in their life. So, go easy on yourself, and don’t blame your heart for loving someone.

10. Practice self-care.

Amidst all this, you’ve got to give yourself “me time.” Be generous with that self-care. This will help bring back the positive feelings and confidence that might have been lost when self-judgment took over. Self-care is a great coping mechanism for letting go of the pain.

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Final Thoughts On Ways To Release The Pain Of Loving Someone You Can’t Be With

Is there hope at the end of the tunnel? When you’re down about love, it doesn’t seem like there’s a bright future ahead. But this isn’t a hopeless situation if you really think about.

Bigger things can still happen when you let go of that person you can’t be with. Now there will be room in your heart for the true love of your life you’re yet to meet.