How to Get Over Someone You Never Dated

You still remember him.

That guy you loved throughout high school, even though he never noticed you.

The guy who played in your favorite band, even though you never met him in real life.

The guy with the incredible dating profile who stopped replying to your messages.

Whenever you’re feeling lonely or nostalgic or bored, thoughts of him come to mind.

You wonder what he’s doing now.

You wonder what would have happened if you’d had the courage to make a move.

You wonder how your life might have turned out if you’d ended up together.

Will you ever meet someone like him again?

Or was he the one, and you’ve lost your chance forever?

A Guy You’ve Never Met Can Break Your Heart

It can feel embarrassing to admit to having feelings for someone you never met or never had a relationship with.

How can a guy you never dated break your heart? It’s silly, right?

Not at all.

Those feelings of loss and sadness are real. You’re not making up your heartbreak.

As humans, we have the unique ability to make ourselves feel emotions through imagination alone.

Think about the last movie you cried at. Or the sorrow you felt at coming to the end of a beloved book series, knowing your time with the characters was over.

Just because it’s fictional doesn’t make it less moving.

In some ways, the loss of a fantasy can be harder on us than a real-life loss.

Just talk to kids who’ve learned that Santa Claus isn’t real.

Our fantasies matter. They give us comfort, add a dose of magic to our lives, help us envision new possibilities, and remind us how it feels to be desirable and wanted.

If you want to get over this man, then it’s your job to find out what that fantasy is telling you about what’s lacking in your life—and go after it.

Why We Fantasize

Fantasizing isn’t wasted time. It’s an essential first step in building a relationship.

You see a guy, and you jump to conclusions about how amazing he is.

You don’t know him very well, but you can just tell he’d be the perfect boyfriend. You dream about what a relationship with him would be like.

Those fantasies serve an important purpose.

They give you the courage to brave the fear of rejection and strike up a connection. Your certainty that you’d be great together keeps you trying despite the obstacles in your way.

In real-life relationships, the fantasy stage is destined to come to an end.

Either you get the brush-off from this guy and realize it won’t work…

Or you get into a relationship and realize he’s not as perfect as you thought.

But what happens when you never get to find out if you’d be good together, because you don’t see or talk to him again?

You never get closure, and the fantasy stage never ends.

Your Dream Man Never Lets You Down

Without a reality check, your dream guy remains perfect in your mind.

You never get to see his annoying side. You never get to see what he’s really like in a relationship.

This is one reason why it can be harder to lose a fantasy than a reality.

Your dream relationship beats all the relationships you’ve ever had hands down.

Your dream man treats you like a queen. He says the things you’ve always longed to hear.

The real-life men you’ve been with don’t measure up.

When a real-life man breaks your heart, you can remind yourself of his flaws. You can convince yourself it would have never worked out by listing everything bad about the relationship.

But your dream man never let you down. He never hurt you or disappointed you.

That’s why it’s so much harder to let him go.

How to Break Up with a Fantasy

If you can’t take action on your dream man—because he’s no longer in your life or he’s unattainable—then recognize that your fantasies have hit a dead end.

They can’t inspire you to do something about your attraction, so it’s up to you to find a new use for them.

What are your dreams about this man telling you about your own unmet needs?

Maybe you need more adventure, spontaneity, or romance.

Perhaps you’re craving connection or validation.

Is there a way to get what you crave in other ways?

Could you schedule more nights out with friends? Could you treat yourself with flowers and chocolates? Could you post affirmations to remind you how beautiful and special you are?

Remember, your dreams should inspire you. They shouldn’t hold you back.

If you’re holding back in real life because of an unavailable man, get back out there.

Real life is messy and imperfect and sometimes disappointing, but it’s the only way to find the love you’re looking for.

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