Sometimes, moving on from someone you were really into, but never quite made it into formal dating territory with, can be really difficult. Knowing how to get over someone who was never really your boo is tricky because we love to beat ourselves up over becoming too invested in someone who wasn't on the same page. The truth of the matter is, if you never actually ended up in a relationship with someone, but you were really hoping things would move in that direction, it's easy to get trapped in what I like to call honeymoon purgatory. Instead of things naturally unfolding as they would have if your relationship had blossomed, revealing the real, potentially less attractive sides of that person, they remain forever preserved in your mind as the seemingly perfect match who got away.
However, the truth is that there are hundreds — if not thousands — of compatible partners out there for any given person. Some of them we may never end up crossing paths with, and some we may end up falling for, but due to bad-timing or a host of other complicated life circumstances, things just don't end up working out. Although this can be really hard to accept at first, there are some steps you can take to make the healing process a bit easier.
1. Accept That Things Didn't Work Out
The hardest part about moving on from a kinda-sorta relationship is really accepting the fact that things didn't work out and probably won't in the future. Although it can be totally tempting to cling to the hope that they might change their mind later down the line — as someone who has been there, please believe me when I say that this is one of the worst things you could possibly do to yourself.
More often than not, things don't end up making it to the next level, not because of anything you did or didn't do, but because of the other person's behavior or lack of interest. This can feel really personal, but one of the biggest reasons relationships fail to grow between two people who have an initial connection is timing. And while timing is something that can be orchestrated in some areas of our lives, love usually isn't one of them.
2. Let Yourself Feel Sad, But Only For A Bit
Just because you might not have been in a full-fledged relationship with someone doesn't make letting them — or rather, your idea of them — go any easier. It's totally OK to feel sad over what feels like a missed opportunity, but it's also important to acknowledge that if the other person wasn't as attached, things probably wouldn't have worked out in the long run anyway. Would you really be happy with someone who doesn't feel nearly as strongly about you as you do about them?
3. Reflect On Any Positive Takeaways
The best part about life is that every single time something doesn't end up how we planned, it is an opportunity to learn. Maybe you let yourself fall too fast without gauging where the other person was at. Perhaps you stopped seeing other people too soon and ended up feeling like they owed you something because you ended up in a one-sided monogamous relationship. Maybe you tried to seem aloof and totally cool with their wishy-washiness when really you wanted something more committed, hoping that it would keep them around longer. However things went down, it's never a bad idea to reflect and adjust your approach in the future.
4. Start Seeing Other People ASAP
Look, after the disintegration of any relationship, it's totally normal to take some time to heal. That being said, it would be a huge mistake to take yourself out of the dating game to mourn the loss of someone who never gave themselves to you fully in the first place. After all, you could end up missing out on another awesome person who might be looking for the same things you are.
Letting go of someone who was never really yours can be feel chalk full of coulda, shoulda, wouldas. But just remember that there are so many amazing individuals in the world who would be a great match — all you have to do is put yourself in the right situations to meet them.