Having a crush can be stomach-churning, and if you have a crush on a friend, it is indeed “crushing”! You are dying to know if they like you back but you are afraid to find out and finally, on a fine summer evening, you muster all the courage you have and confess your feelings. Sadly, they go unreciprocated, and that’s why you are here to find how to get over a crush on a friend, without having to terminate your friendship with them.

Things would have been so perfect, had they felt the same way about you. But, they don’t. And now you are in double the pain- your crush does not like you back romantically, and your friendship is on the stake.

Come on! Chin up. Don’t sulk and crib about it. You want to retain the friendship with them, but you don’t want to let out a sigh every time the pass by you. You know, why would you break things off with such a great confidante just because they don’t see you the same way? It’s just not fair. 

But hey, falling in love is a great feeling. Let’s not run or tarnish its image just because your romantic feelings became unrequited. You can still share a great bond with them without ruining your companionship.

Is It Possible To Get Over A Crush On A Friend?

Yes, it is definitely possible to get over a crush on a friend without telling them and even after telling them. You are feeling hurt and this rejection may even take a hit on your self-esteem.

But don’t worry. While it may take time and effort, many people have successfully moved on from such situations and maintained healthy friendships. Here are a few reasons why it is possible:

  • Believe that time heals. As time passes, the intensity of your feelings for your friend will likely diminish. With each passing day, you may find yourself thinking about them less frequently and experiencing fewer emotional fluctuations
  • Over time, your developing feelings and emotional perspective may change and gain a broader perspective on your feelings. You might come to realize that the crush was based on idealized or unattainable notions, and the initial attraction may lose its hold on you as you recognize the reality of the situation
  • Your focus may shift in life, such as personal goals, hobbies, or new social connections, you can create a sense of fulfillment and purpose that distracts you from the crush. Engaging in activities that bring you joy and growth can help in shifting your emotional energy

Everyone’s journey is unique, and the process of moving forward may vary from person to person. Meanwhile, you need to at least find out some effective ways to stop harboring romantic feelings toward them especially when your crush is already in a relationship.

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15 Helpful Tips On How To Get Over A Crush On A Friend

Friend. Co-worker. Mate. It’s not unnatural to develop feelings for someone when you’ve known them for a long time. You spend a lot of time with them and even before you know it, you have fallen for them. Head over heels.

Getting over a crush on a friend whom you see everyday can be challenging, but with time and self-reflection, you can move on and maintain a healthy friendship. Here are some steps you can take to let go of unrequited love and mend your broken heart:

1. Accept the rejection and pain 

You fell in love with your best friend but they don’t share the same feelings as you. Maybe they are in a relationship already or are not interested in a romantic alliance. Truly tragic.

You feel worse about yourself and your heart is burning. It’s normal. In fact, rejection in romantic relationships can evoke intense emotional responses, such as sadness, anger, hurt, and a sense of loss.

Research has shown that the emotional pain associated with romantic rejection activates similar brain regions as physical pain, highlighting the significance of emotional distress. 

So, allow yourself to feel the pain this heartbreak has caused you. This is probably the first step in your healing process. And always remember that rejection is often not a reflection of your worth as a person.

People have their own preferences, circumstances, and reasons for making choices. It’s essential to understand that rejection does not define your value or who you are as an individual. 

2. Give yourself time 

If you feel stuck and still have strong feelings for your crush, then give yourself some time. Don’t force yourself to hate them. Do not push your feelings down.

Try to take one day at a time and if worst comes to worst, then take one minute at a time. Time heals everything and days go by, the intensity of your feelings for your friend will likely diminish.

With each passing day, you may find yourself thinking about them less frequently and experiencing fewer emotional fluctuations. You are just another human being fully capable of getting their heart broken.

Healing from a heartbreak takes time, so do not get depressed that you can’t stop thinking about them on the third day after they said “No”! You will be sad and depressed for a few weeks but soon you will realize that even unrequited love has its own beauty.

So, allow yourself the time and energy required to heal from this rejection in love. And who knows, within no time you may have a new crush soon!

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3. Go through grieving process 

What has happened is truly an emotionally upsetting event. It is natural to feel stressed and depressed1. Instead of trying to push your feelings away, let your mind and body grieve for the loss.

The grieving process refers to the emotional and psychological journey a person goes through when dealing with a significant loss, such as the end of a relationship. Now that you’ve met with the pain of not being loved, you need to go through all five stages of grief which includes:

  • Denial 
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression 
  • Acceptance

It’s important to note that this process isn’t linear. Mosy people go through anger before denial and depression before bargaining. So, validate all your feelings. Don’t suppress them. Don’t use them as an excuse to do harmful things. 

when your crush is already in a relationship
Image by Freepik

4. Don’t force them to love you back 

This is one of the most important things to remember when you are crushing on a friend. You can’t force anyone to love because love is a genuine feeling based on mutual connection between two individuals.

Forcing your crush to love you undermines the authenticity of the relationship. It’s important to have a love that is freely given, where both you and your lover genuinely care for each other.

In addition to that, your crush has the right to choose their own feelings and decisions when it comes to love and relationships. Respect their personal autonomy and allow them to make their own choices and decisions regarding feelings, emotions, and romantic interests. Forcing someone to love you disregards this autonomy and undermines their personal agency. 

5. Talk to a trusted friend

If you all belong to the same friend circle, then you can benefit from sharing your feelings with a close friend whom you can trust and rely on. Your friends can help you get over this trauma.

However, you need to make sure this doesn’t become hot gossip for people to listen and pass judgments, so make sure you are not telling your heartbreaking story to everyone in your friend group. If you don’t have a trusted friend, then vent it out with a close family member. 

Expressing your feelings through verbal communication can contribute to your emotional well-being. Sharing your emotions allows you to release pent-up feelings, reducing stress and promoting a sense of relief.

Studies have found that bottling up emotions can lead to increased anxiety, depression, and difficulty managing your mental health. It can even lead to development of cardiovascular diseases. 

6. Don’t badmouth about them 

Badmouthing a person who rejected you shows more about yourself than about them. You are just putting yourself down by talking trash about your unrequited crush. It shows that your bruised ego is fragile and lacks self-esteem and self-confidence.

Deal with your unrequited feelings by maintaining emotional and physical distance from them, not badmouthing them.

Even if you belong to the same friends group, it’s best to have a one-arm distance while wishing the best for them. Remember, you have been good friends before Cupid struck you. Honor the basic rules of friendship and don’t let negativity consume you.

Showcase a great sense of maturity by still sharing a cordial and amiable relationship with them moving forward. This will also positively impact your mental health. 

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7. Stop daydreaming about them

When you have a crush on a married friend or a friend who is single, your love hormones will start acting crazy. You imagine having a healthy relationship with them. You create scenarios in your head. You fantasize about them. You daydream about sharing your life with them. Don’t go on this route. It will only bring endless pain and suffocation when reality hits you.

You have to stop crushing on them, not be obsessed with them. Constantly daydreaming about the crush you can’t have can lead to emotional distress and dissatisfaction. It can also create a sense of longing and unfulfilled desires, which can be mentally draining and emotionally painful.

And the worst part about fantasizing about a world with them is that you begin to harbor unrealistic expectations. It’s essential to differentiate between fantasy and reality. Dwelling on an unattainable person can distort your perception of what a healthy and fulfilling relationship should be like.

8. Avoid social media

In today’s time and age, social media can be both a boon and bane. While you are sulking about your unfulfilled love, you see your crush having the time of their life with their partner or with their friends.

You may feel overwhelmed by their happiness and you may begin to think that they don’t care about you and your strong feelings. And this could incite feelings of jealousy, envy, and even resentment. 

Avoid spending time on social media. Instead of scrolling your feed every ten minutes, get up and do something productive. Go ahead and clean the house. Yes, you read that right. Cleaning the house can make way for happier and more productive thoughts. Consider cleaning an act of emotional catharsis.

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Research has found that household chores such as washing the dishes, mopping the floor, and doing the laundry can positively impact your well-being by reducing negative emotions, such as frustration, anger, or sadness, into productive actions. Scrubbing, dusting, or decluttering can be a way to release pent-up energy and experience a cathartic effect, leading to emotional relief. 

How To Get Over A Crush On A Friend

9. Don’t get jealous of their relationship 

When your crush is already in a relationship, you need to be more cautious about how you conduct yourself in front of them and their partner. Don’t try to get cozy with your crush just to create problems in their relationship.

This shows how insecure you are and displays your own sense of inadequacy. Understand that you are the third person here. If you try to ruin their dynamics, it will poorly reflect on you. Plus, we all know how karma works. 

In addition to that, this petty jealousy can strain or even ruin the possibility of maintaining a friendship with your crush. It’s important to value and respect their choices, even if it means accepting that a romantic relationship may not be possible between the two of you.

By shifting your perspective and focusing on friendship, you can maintain a positive connection and support each other’s happiness. 

10. Rebuild your self-esteem 

Rebuilding self-esteem after rejection takes patience and self-compassion. Here are some tips to elevate your self-worth and move on from a crush: 

  • Challenge negative self-talk because it can often lead to negative self-talk and self-criticism. Become aware of these negative thoughts and consciously challenge them. Replace self-defeating thoughts with more positive and compassionate self-talk. Remind yourself of your strengths, qualities, and past successes
  • Practice self-care and prioritize activities that make you feel good about yourself. Engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Take care of your physical health by exercising, getting enough sleep, and eating well. Engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy and boost your confidence
  • Surround yourself with emotional support. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist who can provide a safe space for you to express your feelings and offer guidance
  • Focus on personal growth and use this time to invest in your personal growth and development. Set new goals, pursue your passions, and learn new skills. Celebrate small achievements along the way, as they will contribute to rebuilding your self-esteem. Engaging in activities that build your confidence and expand your horizons can help you move forward

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11. Don’t do couple things with them 

Couple things such as: watching a romantic movie with them, platonic cuddling, flirting with them, sharing vulnerabilities, bedroom fantasies, and touching them in sexual ways. This will only make it difficult for you to move on.

Your strong feelings will get stronger and when you finally come back to reality, you will be shattered. So, avoid things that are romantic. Avoid spending time with them as much as you can. 

Lola, a 28-year-old freelance writer from New York, says, “I built a solid friendship with a former coworker who was married. Right after I sent my termination letter, we got a lot closer. We frequently texted each other and we had our cute couply moments.

“We went to the movies alone, and shared secrets and vulnerabilities. It was never physical but definitely emotional. One day, his wife read our message and he said he doesn’t want to break her heart. Boom. That was it. We stopped doing such couple things alone and maintained our distance.”

12. Keep yourself busy 

Keeping yourself busy can help you stay productive and it can take your mind off negative thoughts. Try to create a schedule or to-do list to organize your time effectively. Prioritize tasks based on their importance and deadlines. This structure will help you stay on track and ensure that you have meaningful activities to keep you busy throughout the day.

Get over a crush by engaging in activities that you enjoy and that bring you fulfillment. Whether it’s reading, painting, playing an instrument, gardening, or any other hobby, dedicating time to your interests will keep you busy and provide a sense of satisfaction.

You can also take advantage of the opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills. Also, stay in touch with your close friends and family members. Building and maintaining relationships is essential for emotional well-being and can keep you occupied with meaningful interactions.

get over a crush on a friend
Image by gpointstudio on Freepik

13. Meet new people 

Don’t feel obliged to just have one friend circle, especially if you have the same friend group. You will feel trapped meeting the same people, at the same places, talking about the same things. This can affect your emotional well-being and you may become a loner.

Make other friends and prioritize other friendships. Go out and have fun with them. Just do not look at them as your partners’ anymore. Convince your mind that  they are off limits.

When you feel better, start dating again. Download dating apps. Go on blind dates. Try speed dating. Focus on taking measures to strengthen your future relationships.

All of this can be done when you are trying to get over a crush. You have your whole life ahead of you and you simply can’t waste the best days of your life sulking over something you can’t have. 

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14. Pamper yourself 

Spend time on your own. Pamper yourself and show yourself some love and appreciation. So what if your crush doesn’t love you? You still have yourself. Crushes will come and go but you are your own constant.

Hence, self-love matters more than anything else in this world. Pamper yourself by giving your skin some extra attention with a skincare routine. Cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. Or engage in a new hobby.

Whether it’s painting, gardening, playing an instrument, or cooking, immerse yourself in something that nurtures your passions and creativity. These self-improvement exercises will take your mind off the disappointment for a little while.

Go work out at the gym. Sweat it out. Take a day off from your hectic life and get a massage. Explore relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Take time to clear your mind and find inner peace. You can also try activities like yoga or gentle stretching to release tension and promote relaxation.

15. Seek professional help 

When nothing helps and your strong feelings are taking over your daily life, it’s time to seek professional help. Your emotions matter and they need to be looked after. No better person for this job than a certified counselor who will help you deal with your low self-esteem and move on. They will also help you in getting over your crush. 

Key Takeaways

  • It can be difficult to have a crush on a friend who doesn’t share your strong feelings. You can limit your interactions with them if you want to move ahead in life
  • Don’t trash talk about them and don’t try to make them feel jealous. This screams how insecure you are 
  • Try to engage in hobbies and keep yourself busy by meeting new people 
  • If you find it too overwhelming to deal with, consult a good clinical psychologist to help you get past this

It can be hard to imagine in the moment that you will ever move past crushing on your best best friend, however it’s not impossible. One-sided love can be excruciating but remember such is life. You don’t get everything you want anrd rejections are part of life, and everyone experiences them to some extent.

So, never lose hope and maintain a healthy perspective. Separate your worth from external judgments, and nurture a positive self-image based on your own values and strengths. Embrace such unrequited feelings as opportunities for growth, learn from them, and continue to define yourself based on your unique qualities and aspirations.