Recovering from the end of a situationship, longtime crushes, or other unofficial romantic dynamics is sometimes difficult to do because we struggle with the idea of being so badly hurt by something that wasn’t even committed. It’s one of those emotionally penetrating moments where we realize that matters of the heart are just that—matters of the heart, not the mind.
It’s okay if you come into the process of healing feeling embarrassed or silly about needing to get over someone you weren’t exclusive with. In fact, learning to not invalidate your feelings is half the battle and a pivotal step in ensuring that you don’t find yourself in a repeat situation in the future.
Ready to recover from this situation? Here’s how to get over someone you never dated—and come out stronger, wiser, and more emotionally intelligent in the end.
First off, validate your feelings about the situation.
One of the biggest reasons why we struggle with getting over someone we were never in a relationship with is that we keep selling ourselves the idea that the connection wasn’t real because it wasn’t official or committed. This isn’t true—stop telling yourself this story.
Dealing with situations the have us deep in our feelings is never as simple and clean cut as we’d like to be. Period. And it doesn’t help to downplay the connection or situation because acting like it wasn’t as big of a deal as it truly is will only make you deny your feelings instead of confront and accept them.
Do yourself a favor and be honest about what you two were, what happened, and why it impacted you so deeply. You don’t have to come up with wild scenarios or connect dots that have no business being connected to make your feelings anymore valid than they already are. You’re trying to get over someone you never even dated—and that’s fine.
Process the end of it like a real breakup.
Let’s say you just broke up with your long-term significant other and you’re really going through it. What would be your next step? Would you go looking for closure you never received? Would you hit the gym and get extra fine? Cry it out, eat ice cream, and then move on with your life? Revisit your healthy break up recovery habits and deep dive.
Notice that the keyword here is healthy. This means that you’re not going crazy with sad posts on social media, blowing up their phone, crying to your friends all day and night. If you’re really trying to heal and move forward, you can’t indulge in behaviors that’ll keep you emotionally stuck.
Recovering from the connection may even require you to do some real breakup stuff like, call the person up and tell them it’s over forreal. Or maybe you’ll have to delete their number, unfollow their pages, and avoid places they frequent until you feel strong enough to see them in person.
Whatever you need to do to process that the relationship is over, do it. Just make sure you make decisions from a healthy space, keep your dignity and self-respect in tact, and put your healing first.
Rethink how your actions aligned with your wants and needs.
When you find yourself in a place where you have to recover from a relationship that never really got off the ground, it’s important to ask yourself if that’s what you really wanted. Of course you didn’t want the connection to end with you disappointed or heartbroken, but that’s the reality of your situation. And because of that, there’s no better time to not only get clear on your wants and needs, but also to hold yourself accountable for not acting in a way that aligns with them.
Here a few questions to ask yourself and meditate on for greater insight:
- Do I want commitment? Did they want commitment? If you did, but they didn’t, and you allowed yourself to get emotionally involved with them still knowing that you wanted two completely different things, ask yourself why you decided to move forward.
- How did putting my desires over my needs negatively impact me? Sometimes what we want is not exactly what we need, and situations like these are sometimes proof of that. Really think on this. You may be surprised to find out that you wanted a person so badly that you let your needs slide a little too much.
- Do I want now what I wanted then? Endings and disappointing situations have the ability to change us. And sometimes that means that our wants and needs change. Revisit what you need to be fulfilled both alone and in a relationship—what has changed?
The best way to recover is by give yourself a break—and then trying again.
Simply put—it’s time to breathe, baby. You don’t have to jump right back into dating, think about reconciliation, or do so much self-work that you forget to live life. All you have to do is give yourself a much-needed break from the situation and then move forward when you’re ready. That’s all you owe you.
And then we’re ready and all recovered, chile go out there and date! One bad performance shouldn’t stop the show, so when it’s time, release it all and get back out there.