Moving on from loving someone you can’t be with feels like ending a relationship that never started. It is a different pain from that of a breakup. While someone that went through a breakup is letting go of the moments with that person, you are letting go of something you have never had the chance to experience. You mourn all the things you’ll miss out on in the future you created in your head.

There are replays of “what if” scenarios constantly playing in your mind. Seeing them awakens the hopes of being together one day. However, reality creeps in to remind you of the circumstances that will never allow you the experiences you’re dreaming of. Going through life with these thoughts can be consuming and draining. Read on to learn more about loving someone you can’t be with & letting go.

Consider The Circumstances Stopping You from Being Together

There are different situations that explain why you can’t be together. It may be because one or both of you is unavailable, lack interest, or have other barriers. Here are a few examples:

  • Different sexual orientations.
  • Loving someone who is in a relationship, engaged, or married.
  • Loving someone who has made it clear it will never surpass friendship.

Sometimes, the thought of being with this person becomes so consuming that the reasons stopping you become buried in the back of your mind. Although painful, once you remind yourself of the reasons, letting go becomes more intentional.

How To Move on From Loving Someone You Can’t Have

loving someone you can't have

You are intensely pulled to this person for a reason. The initial attraction you had for them may have morphed into something bigger or you are constantly in their presence when they perform a good deed. Regardless of the reasons that led to the immense love you hold for them, you’ve created an idea of who they really are. When you absolutely cannot be with this person, there is nothing left to do but move on.

Become Aware of The Imbalance You’re Creating in Your Personal Life

This person seems like a dream because you’ve only created a future of what you think it would be like together. The scenarios you form regarding this individual feels perfect, like a fairytale. By doing this, you may be unconsciously ignoring red flags.

What are they truly like in a romantic relationship? You have no idea. They may not measure up to the pedestal you’ve placed them on. This does not necessarily mean that they’re a horrible person. However, you need to consider possible incompatibilities. Also, make note of how this fantasy relationship has impacted your personal life.

Creating hope by being in love with someone you can’t have prevents the true experiences you can have with someone else. The best thing to do in this case is to repurpose your thoughts. In brief, be aware that this image you have created is not real, but only, something you wish to have. Let go of the person, but use those thoughts to create realistic standards, so you can experience love as you wish with someone else.

Differentiate Between Infatuation and Love

You can easily confuse the two, so setting clear distinctions can be helpful when letting go. So, what is the difference? Infatuation develops as a strong attraction and feelings, leading to fantasies about the ideal life with that person. On the other hand, love often thrives on a connection between partners that have taken the time to know about one another. That love exists beyond perfection, as you had the chance to see your partner for who they really are.

Infatuation can occur at the beginning of a relationship when you’re learning about your partner. It can also occur during the relationship. You feel the butterflies in your stomach. You start planning a fantasy life with this person because you initially experience that addictive feeling due to the dopamine high. People can also experience infatuation outside of romantic relationships. This could be with someone in their daily life or a TV character. The roles these individuals play in their lives can lead to the same intense feeling solely on the idea they have of them.

A great exercise to do is to make a list of things you like and things you don’t like about this person. If you are infatuated, you’ll realize everything is surface-level. In addition, you may completely be unaware of their bad traits or make excuses for them because otherwise, it won’t fit the image you created.

Things become more realistic when you love someone. Instead of wishful thinking created around the idea of that person, you plan a future with them.

Talk To a Therapist

how to heal from loving someone you can't have

The pain of being in love with someone you can never be with cuts deep. If it is a pattern, it could mean a lot of different things. You may be unconsciously making yourself unavailable by harboring these one-sided feelings toward someone else.

By focusing on a love that cannot happen, you’re unable to give someone else the opportunity to make you happy. It could also be the way love was expressed to you as a child. Talking through your emotions with a therapist can uncover things that could make sense of how you’re feeling.

It is also important to note that carrying these feelings can severely impact your mental health. When you love someone, you can’t have, it seems like you’re missing out on a lifetime. However, this person only makes up a small part of your life. In addition to talking with a therapist, practice emotional self-care, so you can better manage the feelings when they arise.

Create Distance, If Possible

dealing with loving someone you can't be with

You should not sweep your feelings into the unknown and hope to never think about them again because that is not effective. However, you should create distance to properly work through your emotions. Constantly seeing, being in the presence of this person, and talking to them will only reinforce what you’re feeling.

“Out of sight, out of mind” seems like just words, but it works wonders with time. During this time, you should focus on yourself. Time spent in your own presence will help you realize you don’t need this person to find happiness. Instead of the focus always being on them, it becomes about you. Truly with time, you’ll realize that you can still be happy if the future does not include them.

Learn To Be Happy for Them

Loving someone you can’t be with is difficult enough, but you should try being happy for them, regardless of whom they end up with. Even though their story does not involve you, you can still appreciate having met this person and how these feelings changed you.

Being obsessed with who they’re with and wishing it was you could make the pain worse. Accepting the situation and being happy for them helps you move on from what could’ve been. It takes your mind away from the hope of what the future could hold for both of you.

Knowing they are happy with someone other than you is a hard pill to swallow, but it’s better than waiting around for them to choose you. Happiness is for everyone and does not end with them; therefore, know you will also be happy. This is also easier to do when you think about how much more you deserve. Don’t place your heart in a difficult position or compromise the love you have for yourself because of the ideas you have of someone else.


Loving someone you can’t be with can pose challenges in your life. The idea that the person you yearn for is off-limits for one reason or another is heartbreaking. It can have an emotional impact, but it is possible to move on from the situation.

Essentially, you are in a fantasy bond with this person. The scenarios you create of the relationship with this person are ideas of whom you wish them to be. The experience you have with this person is internalized and balled into the feelings you attach to them. This helps you stay connected with this individual, creating a feeling of love. Although not easy, you can learn to let go.