Falling in love with someone can be overwhelming. Learning how to not fall in love with someone takes persistence and perseverance, especially when you feel unable to control your emotions. Perhaps you are trying to resist falling in love with someone you are into or you are trying to steer clear of love in general. You can try avoiding the person you are attracted to and closing yourself off emotionally from the person so your feelings don’t get the better of you. You can also focus on your own needs and interests as a way to distance yourself from the person you may be falling for.
Method 1 of 3: Avoiding the Person You Are Attracted To
Keep your distance from the person. One way to avoid letting your feelings get the best of you is to maintain a safe distance from the person as much as possible. This may mean staying away from the person in social situations, such as gatherings with friends or coworkers. Or you may avoid the person when you are sharing the same space, such as at school or at work. Keep your distance from the person so you are not tempted to interact with them, as this can lead to a deepen of your feelings for them.
- For example, you may try to avoid going to the same meetings or gatherings as the person, especially if you know they are going to be there. You may plan to just miss seeing the person so you do not have to be in close proximity to them.
- You may also avoid adding the person on social media so you are not tempted to look at their profile or their activity. This way, you cannot get sucked into looking at the person’s activity on sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr.
Establish clear boundaries for yourself when you are around the person. If you do end up having to be around the person, you should set up clear boundaries so you do not let your emotions take over. Perhaps you avoid touching, hugging, or sitting close to the person when they are near you. You may stand at a fair distance from them with closed body language so you do not appear friendly or welcoming to the person. This can signal to them that you are not interested in them romantically.
- For example, you may maintain closed body language around the person by keeping your arms crossed over your chest and by avoiding eye contact with the person when you speak to them.
Do not accept romantic gestures or gifts from the person. The person may end up giving you gifts to show their affection for you or they may make kind gestures towards you. Avoid accepting or encouraging this behavior. Accepting gifts or kind gestures from the person can encourage them to pursue you, which you may not want if you are trying to avoid them.
- For example, you may politely say, “No thank you” and decline a gift they try to give you. Or you may say, “No, I can do it myself” or “No, I’ll take care of it” if they try to do something nice for you.
Method 2 of 3: Closing Yourself Off Emotionally From the Person
List the person’s negative qualities. Closing yourself off emotionally from the person may be another way you can avoid falling for them. Try to control your emotions so you do not feel overwhelmed or out of control around the person. Make a list of the person’s negative qualities. Read them over and let yourself feel discouraged or disengaged from the person because of these negative qualities. This may help you avoid falling in love with the person.
- Be honest and think about qualities of the person that may be bothersome or an issue if you were in a relationship with them. For example, you may write down about the person: “too career-focused, quiet and introverted, hard to talk to in a big group.”
Sarah Schewitz, PsyD
Sarah Schewitz, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist by the California Board of Psychology with over 10 years of experience. She received her Psy.D. from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2011. She is the founder of Couples Learn, an online psychology practice helping couples and individuals improve and change their patterns in love and relationships.
Don’t lose sight of the reasons you need to keep a distance. Love and relationship psychologist Dr. Sarah Schewitz says: “If you’re trying not to fall in love with someone, there’s a reason, so just remind yourself of that as often as you need to. If the person is with somebody else, for instance, you might remind yourself that it’s against your morals and ethics to date somebody else’s partner. Do whatever you need to get your mind off that person by doing fun, fulfilling things that make you happy.”
Determine why you and the person are incompatible. You should also think about why you and the person are not suitable mates. You may make a list of their negative qualities and then write down why these negative qualities mean you and the person are not meant to be together. You may also write down specific instances where you and the person did not seem to mesh or jive well together. Focusing on your incompatibility could help you close yourself off emotionally from the person and see them as nothing more than a friend.
- For example, you may write down: “we are incompatible because they are career focused and I would prefer to travel” or “we would not work out because they are intent on settling in one place and I plan to move around often.”
Focus on the friendly aspects of your relationship. If you are already on friendly terms with the person, you can try focusing on your friendship with them over any romantic relationship. Perhaps you and the person get along well as friends. Remind yourself that pursuing the person romantically could lead to hurt feelings and ruin your friendship. You may then reason that you are better off maintaining a friendship with the person rather than a romance.
- For example, you may sit down and write out all the fun times you have had with the person as friends. Then, you may consider if it is worth risking your meaningful, fulfilling relationship with the person to pursue a romance.
Method 3 of 3: Focusing On Your Own Needs and Interests
Distract yourself with a hobby or activity. You can avoid falling for someone by devoting your time to your own needs and interests rather than to them, or thoughts of them. Distract yourself from your romantic yearnings by pouring your energy into a hobby you love. Or take up an activity that will be all-consuming and leave you little time to focus on your romantic feelings for someone.
- For example, perhaps you pour your energy into a hobby like painting, writing, playing music, or singing. You could also take up an activity like sports or join a team at school to fill your time.
Confide in friends and loved ones. Though you may be tempted to keep your romantic feelings to yourself, you may try talking to those closest to you about your emotions. Tell close friends about how you are trying to avoid falling in love with someone. Speak to a close family member about your conflicted feelings. Often, talking to someone who will listen to you about how you are feeling can make you feel less alone and confused.
- You may also be able to get some perspective on your situation from a friend or family member. They may also offer advice or suggestions on how you can avoid falling in love with the person.
- For example, you may say to a friend, “I have feelings for someone but I do not want to fall for them. What do I do?” Or you may say to a family member, “I think I’m falling in love with someone but I don’t think it’s a good idea. Do you have any advice on what I should do?”
Consider talking to the person about your feelings. If your romantic feelings for the person are overwhelming and undeniably, you may want to consider telling them how you feel. Though the conversation may be awkward, being honest about your emotions and telling the person can make you feel better. It can also open the door to the possibility that the person may feel the same way about you.
- If you do decide to talk to the person about your feelings, you should ask them if you talk just the two of you in person and in private. You may then tell them, “I think I am developing romantic feelings for you. I’ve tried to deny these feelings but I think it may be better to be honest with you about how I am feeling.”