You can love someone you never dated because you don’t have to date in order to develop a deep connection with someone. You don’t have to date in order to kiss and share other intimate moments. You don’t have to date to discover that you have a million things in common, that you have strong chemistry, that you would make a great fit together.
You can end up in a relationship with someone and never develop strong feelings over the course of months or years. And you can end up staying only friends with someone who you fall madly, irretrievably in love with. Your heart doesn’t know the difference between labels. It doesn’t care whether you were in a serious relationship with this person, whether you went to the next level with this person, whether this person even knows that you were interested in them.
You should never feel weird about the fact that you fell in love with someone who you never dated. Your feelings are still valid. Your journey is still real. You’re allowed to feel disappointed about the fact that this person ended up with someone else, that they walked out of your world, that they never gave you the chance to prove what a wonderful partner you would be. You’re allowed to be upset about the way that they treated you, about the words that they have said, even though they technically didn’t owe you anything. You’re allowed to feel like you were strung along and used, like they took advantage of your feelings.
You don’t have to be in a committed relationship with someone in order to experience heartbreak. You don’t have to earn your pain. If you’re upset about whatever has happened between the two of you, that’s okay. You should let yourself feel. Let yourself grieve the things you’ve lost and the things you never even gained.
It’s okay if it takes you a while to move on from this person. It’s okay if you can’t stomach the idea of dating someone else right now, if you need some more time to adjust. Don’t let anyone make you feel uncomfortable about your emotions. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel. Your emotions don’t care about expectations. You feel how you feel. That’s all there is to it. You can’t stop your heart from aching, so you might as well accept what you’re going through and try to endure it the best that you can until you’re ready to heal. Because you will heal. From this. And from everything else that might hurt your heart.
You might not have dated this person, but you grew attached to them. You let yourself imagine a future with them. You decided that they were all you wanted – so it’s okay to be upset when those dreams never became a reality. It’s okay to wish things turned out differently. It’s okay to feel like you lost a piece of your heart, even though you were never officially together.