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Relationship

How to Get Over Someone You Never Dated

The Unspoken Attachment

What is a “situationship”?
Have you ever found yourself deeply connected to someone without the official tag of a relationship? Welcome to the world of “situationships”. A situationship is that undefined zone between friendship and a romantic relationship, where feelings are real but unspoken. The term might be new, but the feelings? As old as love itself.

Why it hurts so much
You see, the lack of closure in a situationship can make it as painful, if not more, than a breakup. With no official start or end, the ‘what could have been’ thoughts circle your mind endlessly.

Understanding Your Emotions

In the intricate dance of human connections, understanding our emotions becomes the foundational step in navigating through the tangled web of feelings, especially when dealing with a situationship. Delving deeper can offer clarity, closure, and a roadmap to healing.

The weight of unexpressed feelings
Imagine a backpack you’re forced to carry around every day, and with each unexpressed emotion or unsaid word, a stone is added to it. The burden becomes heavier and more cumbersome, often leading to emotional exhaustion. Not voicing our emotions, especially when they’re potent, can have an impact on our mental health, stress levels, and even our physical well-being. Over time, this accumulated weight can turn into resentment, sadness, or even depression.

Fantasizing vs Reality
Our minds, in their quest for comfort and hope, often paint pictures brighter than reality. This idealization process involves taking the positives of someone and amplifying them while conveniently sidelining their flaws. It’s like watching a movie with rose-tinted glasses where the hero can do no wrong. But herein lies the danger; the wider the gap between the fantasy and reality, the harder the fall when reality comes knocking. Recognizing this can be challenging but is essential for emotional well-being.

The Power of Naming Emotions
Sometimes, we can feel a tumultuous storm inside but can’t quite put a finger on what we’re feeling. Is it sadness? Anger? Frustration? Jealousy? By taking a moment to name our emotions, we give ourselves the power to address them. It’s like turning on a light in a dark room; suddenly, everything becomes clear.

Emotional Vulnerability is Strength
Contrary to popular belief, acknowledging and expressing your emotions doesn’t signify weakness. In fact, it takes immense strength to be emotionally vulnerable, to confront your feelings head-on, and to seek help or closure if needed. Embracing this vulnerability can pave the way for profound personal growth and deeper, more genuine connections with others.

By taking the time to truly understand our emotions, we not only offer ourselves the gift of self-awareness but also equip ourselves with tools to face future emotional challenges with grace and resilience.

Steps to Moving On

Moving on from a situationship, especially when emotions run deep, is a journey rather than a destination. This journey involves recognizing the pain, processing it, and finding ways to grow from the experience. Let’s explore some steps that can assist in this healing journey.

Acknowledge your feelings
The very first step towards healing is validation. By acknowledging and accepting your feelings without judgment, you give yourself permission to heal. Remember, it’s okay to grieve even if the relationship was never “official.” Your feelings are valid, and by facing them, you open the door to recovery.

Limit social media exposure
In today’s digital age, moving on can be complicated by the omnipresence of social media. Seeing their updates, pictures, or even mere online presence can reopen wounds and delay the healing process. Consider taking a social media detox or, at the very least, mute or unfollow the person temporarily. Create a digital environment that fosters your well-being.

Seek support from friends and family
There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Your loved ones can provide a much-needed safety net during this tumultuous time. Sharing your feelings, getting diverse perspectives, or simply having a shoulder to lean on can make a world of difference.

Dive into hobbies and self-improvement
Distraction, when constructive, can be therapeutic. Dive into activities that you love or explore new hobbies. Whether it’s painting, hiking, dancing, or learning a new instrument, these activities can serve as a positive distraction and boost your self-esteem. Plus, they offer an opportunity for personal growth and rediscovering yourself.

Re-frame your mindset
Often, the stories we tell ourselves can impact our emotional state. Instead of seeing the situationship as a painful memory, try to view it as a learning experience. What did you learn about yourself, relationships, or love? By changing the narrative, you empower yourself to grow and find better, more fulfilling connections in the future.

Seek Professional Help If Needed
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, moving on can seem insurmountable. In such cases, seeking professional help from therapists or counselors can offer tailored strategies and coping mechanisms. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Moving on is a personal journey, and each individual’s path might look different. However, with determination, support, and the right strategies, it’s possible to heal and find happiness again.

The Healing Process

Healing, particularly from emotional wounds, is a complex and multifaceted journey. While everyone’s process is unique, there are commonalities and stages that many undergo. It’s important to remember that healing isn’t linear; there may be setbacks, but with persistence and support, progress is inevitable. Let’s explore the nuances of this journey.

Time: The Ultimate Healer
It’s often said that “time heals all wounds,” and while this might sound clichéd, there’s profound truth to it. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the intensity of the pain tends to diminish. Memories fade, life introduces new experiences and challenges, and slowly but surely, the weight of the past becomes lighter. But it’s not just passive time that matters; it’s what you do with that time. Engaging in introspection, self-care, and personal growth during this period can significantly expedite healing.

The Importance of Self-compassion
During the healing process, it’s crucial to treat oneself with kindness and compassion. There may be moments of relapse, times when memories flood back, and the pain feels fresh again. During these moments, avoid self-blame or criticism. Remind yourself that healing is a journey with its highs and lows, and each step, forward or backward, contributes to the broader process.

Embracing Change and New Beginnings
Healing often involves change, both internally and externally. This could mean adopting a new mindset, changing certain habits, or even introducing alterations to your daily routine or environment. Embracing these changes, rather than resisting them, can be vital for growth and recovery.

Physical Health and Healing
Never underestimate the power of physical well-being in aiding emotional recovery. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and practices like meditation or yoga can have profound impacts on one’s mental state. The endorphins released during physical activity can act as natural painkillers, and maintaining a healthy routine can provide a sense of purpose and structure during chaotic emotional times.

Finding Meaning in Pain
One of the most transformative aspects of healing is the ability to derive meaning from pain. This doesn’t mean romanticizing the hurt but rather understanding its role in your life’s journey. Maybe the experience taught you resilience, made you more empathetic, or even led you to discover a new passion. By finding a silver lining, even in the most painful memories, you can turn a negative experience into a stepping stone for personal growth.

Conclusion

Getting over someone you never officially dated can be tough. But with understanding, self-love, and time, you’ll emerge stronger and ready for genuine love. Remember, every experience, good or bad, prepares you for something better.

FAQs

Why does a situationship hurt as much as a breakup?

Because the feelings involved are real and deep, even if the relationship isn’t defined.

How long does it take to move on from a situationship?

Everyone’s healing timeline is different. Some might take weeks, while others might take months or even years.

Is it okay to talk to the person about how I feel?

Absolutely, but be prepared for any answer. It can offer closure, but it might not always be the answer you hope for.

Should I cut off contact with the person completely?

It depends on your comfort level. If maintaining a connection hurts, it might be best to distance yourself.

How do I know when I’m ready to date again?

When you can think about the person without pain, when you’re genuinely excited about meeting someone new, and when you feel healed.

Angelica Jackson a therapist at Denver Couples and Sex Therapy

I’m Angelica Jackson, From Denver Couples & Sex Therapy PLLC. I graduated with a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate also involved at the local and national level of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. I have dedicated myself to building a practice committed to providing extraordinary, expert client care.