What Do You Do if the Guy You Love Doesn't Feel the Same Way?

Accepting the feelings of the guy you love is the first step toward getting over your own.
... David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you love a guy who doesn't love you back, you are not alone. But knowing that your feelings are common won't help you overcome them -- and if this guy isn't serious about you, that's exactly what you need to do. It won't be easy, but following some tried-and-true methods will leave you healthier and happier in the long run.

1 Face the Truth

If you've told the guy you love how you feel, he's had the opportunity to enter into a romantic relationship with you and refused. You aren't doing yourself any favors by pushing the issue. Unrequited love relationships are associated with significant turmoil -- with little benefit to you, according to the 2013 study, "The Prevalence and Nature of Unrequited Love" in SAGE Open journals. The sooner you accept his feelings, the sooner you'll be able to get over your own.

2 Break the Fantasy

As great as the guy you love is, you are probably idealizing him. An inability to get over former boyfriends has a lot to do with reliving the past and comparing it to a lonelier present, all while ignoring the negative qualities of your relationship, according to the article "Lover Come Back to Me," by philosophy professor and emotions expert Aaron Ben-Zeév, featured on Psychology Today. But even if you are not head-over-heels for an ex, you need to break this fantasy by privately identifying his faults and reminding yourself that this guy is not superhuman.

3 Spend Time Away from Him

If you don't give yourself -- and him -- space, getting over this guy will be much more difficult. Taking time apart will show him that you are independent and won't always be there to hang on his every word. More importantly, it will help you to stop seeing him in a romantic way. If you want to transition into a platonic friendship, you will need to shed your attraction first. And if you don't see him as a friend, it may be time to cut him out of your life for good.

4 Spend Time on You

Focus positive energy on yourself. You should go on dates to remind yourself that there are other attractive guys, but don't stop there, suggests relationship advice columnist Judy McGuire in her online Idiot's Guides article, "How to Get Over Unrequited Love in Ten Easy Steps." Stay active and productive as you work through your emotions by devoting yourself to your studies, getting outside and staying in touch with friends. And above all, cultivate your unique interests and passions. Not only will this help you find the right guy, but it will also make you happier with or without a boyfriend in your life.

A graduate of Oberlin College, Caitlin Duke has written on travel and relationships for Time.com. She has crisscrossed the country several times, and relishes discovering new points on the map. As a credentialed teacher, she also has a strong background in issues facing families today.