How To Get Over Someone You Never Dated

woman looking sad

It all started with that guy from your office.

The one you go out with for drinks after work. You both share all the same interests – that art podcast you both geek out over, that movie you both can’t wait to see. Hell, you both even have a subscription to The Economist.

You go home at night thinking about him – sometimes you end up texting or having phone conversations. It makes you smile when you imagine a perfect future together.

Except for one teeny problem…

You’re not actually dating! 

It happens. You fall for a guy even though there’s no real future – he has a girlfriend, he’s not looking for a relationship, or maybe he just sees you as a “friend” (ugh, f**k you universe).

But that doesn’t mean you get to wallow in self-pity. Nor does it mean you should hang on the sidelines waiting for your turn with this guy, all the while staring daggers at any woman you see him talking to.

Maybe he’s been leading you on, or maybe you misread the signals. But how you got here isn’t important right now: because when it comes to getting over someone, it’s your job to pick yourself up and begin the difficult process of moving on with your life.

So here are the next three steps you MUST take to move on from this one-sided romance:

Step 1 – Stop *playing* the role of a couple

couple on a date at restaurant

Thought you could get away with it? Going to late-night movies together, putting your head on his shoulder, convincing yourself all the while that it’s just a great friendship.

Well, it’s time to call quits on this couple behavior.


Because no matter how much you want to be mature and just see him as a friend, if you have feelings for him you’ll be in a constant fight between your brain and your heart.

Your brain wants to keep him around for the great company, but your heart (and other parts of your anatomy) want to jump his bones and eat pizza naked in bed together. It’s an impossible battle. 

So cut…it…off.

No, you don’t have to have a big dramatic conversation, or any conversation at all, but just decide to set new boundaries for this relationship.


  • Stop hanging out alone together
  • Stop doing “datey” activities
  • Lose the flirty banter and keep it friendly

It might feel a little bit like a breakup at first, but it’s better to pull this bandaid off now than be stuck in limbo for another 6 months waiting for something to magically happen.

Step 2 – Find happiness from new sources

woman having coffee together

I’ll be honest. It’s going to painful for a while. But that’s ok. 

Just because you never dated, doesn’t mean you won’t feel a ton of agony from accepting the loss of this guy. It’s normal if you had strong feelings for him. Don’t be ashamed of it or try to resist your emotions.

But once you’ve gotten past the withdrawal, you need to build back yourself up again.

Chances are you’ve invested a ton of your time and emotion in this guy, which has made you dependent on his company. So now you need to find OTHER big sources of happiness (this is one of the absolute keys to solving the problem of how to get over someone at any point in your life).

Go to environments that are totally different from the places you’d usually have gone with him. Get a support system of great friends around you who support you and make you feel appreciated. Take up some exercise and sweat out your frustrations for a month (getting fit in the process will just be a bonus!).

The sooner you derive happiness and fulfilment from new sources, the sooner you’ll be able to emotionally disconnect from your relationship with this guy.

And yes, you then need to start going on dates again. You don’t have to take it much further than a casual coffee or two, but it’s just great to remind yourself that you can connect with other guys, and it let’s your heart know that you’re moving forward in your romantic life.

Step 3 – Do the work on yourself

woman sat by a lake

Maybe you fell into this situation by accident, but it’s important to ask yourself: How did this happen?

Did you fall for this guy despite him showing you he wasn’t really interested? Did you pursue him even when you’re friends told you it wasn’t worth it? Was the fact that he was unavailable even more of a challenge for you try and win him over?

It’s crucial to question your own behaviour here so that you can ensure you don’t fall into the same pattern again in future.


  • You deserve a guy who really wants to be with you and makes an effort to show it.
  • Loving someone who can’t/won’t love you in return isn’t romantic, it’s emotional masochism.
  • If he’s not investing, the responsibility is on YOU to start walking away…

Take some space, surround yourself with the people you love, and resolve to be aware where you stand with the next guy before you get in too deep.

Getting over someone you’ve invested yourself in is always hard, but the sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll be back to your best again!

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56 Replies to “How To Get Over Someone You Never Dated”

  • Dear matthew, i have been following you and Steven for over an year. And i love your content totally. The daying tips and conversational skills.. everything that you guys have talked about.
    But there is one thing that you guys haven’t talked about much and we would like you to cover this area. Emotionally unavailable men. Cause we often encounter men, that keep up stringing along with no plans just for the sake of it.. And women fall for them and just hope that someday this guy would realize our true love. But in actual the guy just wants to be with someone for the time being leaving us hurt n damaged at the end.. when we realise this..
    Like just cover the warning signs, how to know if a guy is emotionally unavailable, the traits and how to deal with them.
    I once had to deal with a guy.. and even though i was reading all your content, i wasn’t able to do much.. because it took me an year and that too after breaking up to realise that he was emotionally unavailable. Had to do it on my own. I would like you to be there for us, like you always have been. We are grateful.
    Much love.

  • Matthew thank you so much! Although I don’t have that exact same relationship with “the guy” and he’s not engaged or dating someone else, that makes it even worse. His attitude is kind of the same as he was 6 years ago when we met. We’ve had that little chem and all but nothing beyond. And also I laughed out loud when you said something about eating pizza naked, just because I’m really craving that in this moment hahah

    I got kind of late to all your videos and blogs, but I absolutely love them

  • Just started trying to get over falling in love with my “best friend” (ugh… cliché). The hardest part is trying to make myself go on dates when within a few encounters with someone I already feel like they don’t measure up or I don’t like them as much as ‘that guy’. Isn’t it disingenuous to try to date someone when you know you still have strong feelings for someone else?

    1. An excellent question, and I know exactly what you mean. I will be following in case Matthew answers :)
      IMHO, NO it is not disingenuous at all, definitely give other dudes a chance despite the feeling that they don’t ‘measure up’. The thing is they don’t YET measure up, it’s normal, they can never ‘compete’ with the other guy in the initial stages, because the history is not there. Give them a chance and don’t; waste your time the non-available guy as per article above. Good luck, warm hugs

    2. I’m literally going through the exact same thing. It’s like Stephen and Matthew read my mind when they posted this article. I’m trying to move past my crush by dating other people but my heart’s not in it.

  • Before anything, i’d like to inform that I am a guy.. and I’ve brrn following you for quite some time. I learn a lot about relationships from you and I often ask, is there any advices like this.. but for men?

    im having the same problem here.. This girl i met keeps giving me hope, i know she has a boyfriend and I just can’t stand seeing her looking depressed. I started to care for her more than just as a friend. Where is her boyfriend when she’s down? Her best friend told me she is still loyal to her boyfriend. I gave too much investment.. i worry her too much.. she suffers depression. I want to be there for her, but shes not telling me the truth. She acts as if she doesnt have a boyfriend. Im so upset and confused.
    I can’t take it anymore.. I want to respect her relationship.. I want to move on.. If she says she is loyal.. then who am I to steal her away..

    This article gave me that tips. I think it works for both men and women. I hope this will work. If anyone would like to help me on this, im open for it. Just know that im mostly an introvert trying to push myself to do stuff “normal guys” would do

  • I am very relieved to have read this post.

    You see, I’ve found myself in situations like these several times before and am actually getting over one of my best friends at the moment (f*** you universe, indeed). I guess the hard part about “break-ups” like these (for me at least) is the fear of losing such a close friend and going through the realization that however easy it is to continue down this unhealthy path, all the what-ifs and whys going through my mind won’t actually change anything.

    It’s a hard reality to face. A harder one to face several times. A stinging one to feel like you’re facing alone. That’s why I’m relieved to have read this post. It tells me I’m not the only one this is happening to (obviously, but a heart can feel quite dramatically lonely sometimes) and therefore it tells me I too can continue to get through this.

    Thank you.

    1. Thank you! I’m a week out of a painful 2 years where I wondered and questioned myself.. this article was perfect and you touched on something so important: you are not the only one! You feel very alone but the reality is other people have experienced the same thing!

  • Mathew!!
    This article is exactly what I needed !!! I can’t tell you how much it has helped! Especially the bit where you say it’s not romantic but emotional masochism.
    Thank you!

  • I have been going through that for the past 2 years ….a year where I have been with him not knowing I was falling for him and another year after cutting the ties and picking myself up till I finally made it. It has been a very difficult journey …every part of it ;the early confusion ,then knowing it has no future then setting the painful boundaries which was the hardest thing to do….I have always been looking for an answer about that very specific issue in your articles and videos ….finally you adressed it….I have got out of the situation with a lot of effort ,it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do specially when you value the person and specially that a conversation has been made and I had to remain in proximity after that….and that he didn’t mind being close to me after it which wasn’t doing me any good ….and I must admit that your advice generally about self worth have helped me through the whole journey …it was a painful experience that taught me a lot …it taught me that we shouldn’t mind the pain, we shouldn’t lose ourselves in someone else and the secret is always to value ourselves more and not to attach our happiness to other people
    It taught me that love has to go both ways other wise it’s an unnecessary source of pain…. I never thought I would ever say so but I am grateful for that painful experience that taught me a lot about people and myself and that it’s possible to come out of any dark situation again….
    As always thanks Matt! :)

  • Hey Matt,
    It’s pretty strange but I don’t know how your nails come at the correct moment when things are happening exactly the way you narrate, and I’m happy I’m always a step ahead dealing with it the way you guide.
    I’m so happy I have started following your guidance at the much needed stage in my life. It feels good to know that I’m on the right path already n you validate it unknowingly.
    Can’t thank you enough !

  • Thanks for this topic. This give me more power to continue getting over him.

    As now i’m trying to get over a guy I have never dated, it’s been 3 weeks already! I’m oblique to see him almost everyday. Anyway, here are some examples of my responses.
    1. Unfollow his Facebook and all other his active social media. I do sometime visit his timeline, but less and less often.
    2. Be always unavailable to all of his after work meal. To be true, this is So Hard, but I did it.
    3. Be more serious and focus on exercise and nutritions. Give more time to the gym.
    4. Be nice and give useful feedbacks or suggestions when he talks about his personal issues, but no help offering or make the discussion long. We still need human touch, right?
    5. Never ask about details of his plans for dinner or weekend, even he talks about them.
    6. Skip some activities or environment that I used to do with him like restuarants, coffee shop. It’s like I skip any place that has high chance to see him. And also, try new menu at new place.

    He ask me out less. Still talk about his personal issues, but just surface, less serious nor in depth. He doesn’t try to even ask or figure out why i do this. He just let it be. Similar to when he has never invested to do anything to be more close to me. It’s been just me who always be available and follow him.

    Thanks to myself that I did this.
    Thanks for empowering me.
    Thanks to let me review what I have responsed, this helps!!

  • Matt
    Would you please explore the reasons why a man “can’t” love you or be in a relationship with you.
    I’ve had this on again off again relationship with this guy – right now we are just friends. Sadly because he “can’t” he doesn’t have the energy to give me. Self employed – money issues (run right – i know) kid draining his every energy/wallet.
    I kept waiting for him to “wake up” but he’s not. He’s the one I saw myself growing old with but the reality hit when he can’t give me a hug good bye. How sad is that!!! And when you realize that you haven’t had your back rubbed in years!!!
    I also wonder if men don’t want that old comfortable shoe. Too much history? I hope for him that someone new walks into his life and all those emotional feelings he has buried come back.
    I have had my first date in too many years. He never crossed my mind and I got hugs!!
    One small step…but on huge step for me!

    Thank you…. how do we get so messed up and how in the hell at this age did I!

  • I agree with you but it’s really difficult because when there is a fight between brain and heart you always listen to your heart.

  • Is this the first article ever written on this particular subject? Thank you thank you thank you!!! It’s exactly where I’m at and what I needed to hear. I’ve got a ways to go toward getting over him but it’s good to know I’m on the right path.

  • This is perfect. The further along I’m coming in this process, the easier it is to walk away and disconnect from guys who won’t/don’t invest in me.
    How many chances are they worth giving when they don’t show potential or I’m not really interested?
    Sometimes, it’s still hard but it’s an active and conscious decision based on what people show and tell.

  • Thank you so much for this advice as I am going through something similar right now. I am on step 1 of the 3 steps that you have mentioned. Like you said it’s damn painful but I have the belief that I will get through this with the support of others including yourself.

  • I needed to hear this. Straight away I knew we would get on. We always seemed to understand each other, but it stayed on the fringes of friendship because mutual attraction was obvious and we’re both otherwise involved. (No funny business).
    At a time when I was at my worst and needed support, my BF was nowhere to be found. I felt ignored and abandoned. Until HE stepped up. He Didn’t do much, but it had a massive impact in helping me out. I can’t forget him, and it’s painful.

  • Exactly what had happened with me as well! I felt so connected that I thought he really was the one! I felt so comfortable and at peace with him than with any guy that I even dated. I felt confident, I felt beautiful! We flirted back and forth and I was starting to get jealous coworkers because they saw how into me he was. It’s like I couldn’t be separated from him because its like something in both of us clicked. Or maybe it was just me lol and I just loved how down to earth he was. He was sweet and treated me with respect and was my shoulder but he never ever told me about his girlfriend. Every time I tried to bring it up casually, he would hesitate and change the subject as if he was ashamed. Mind you, this guy is sexxy as hell. But I never wanted to overstep the boundary because I felt like he had his own issues too.. maybe he had girl problems? But he lit up every time he saw me, he gave me random hugs, he looked deep into my eyes as if looking for answers. I also found it cute and funny how unknowingly mimicked everything I was doing. I am a very optimistic person and I love to cheer people up or buy them a snack to those who I knew that could use it and maybe that’s what made him closer to me? I didn’t feel like he was a player, I would’ve gotten that vibe but later I found out that he does have a girlfriend and I felt so relieved that I didnt do the things I would’ve but I felt sad how it happened. Why did he flirt?! Why did he lead me on and act the way that he did?! I knew he had plenty of other girls he could’ve messed around with and I feel even worse because I had flirted with an unavailable man. As soon as I found out, I backed away because it is wrong. It’s not marriage but it’s still someone’s love. I didn’t want to be a home wrecker. I never heard from him ever since I stopped.. but it’s like I miss him deep inside my heart. It’s as if I lost the closest person to me………

    1. I guess my question is.. before I even knew if he was in a relationship, why did we have this chemistry?! I wouldn’t say it’s lust but it’s like our souls clicked. I never could look into a guys eyes like I found myself doing with him. And I know that that really always doesn’t mean anything… or does it?! It takes time for me to open up to a guy and fall in love with him and with him it’s like connection from the moment he said “hi” and I was gone.

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