Imagine meeting a guy who has almost all the qualities you’re looking for in a partner. He’s easy on the eyes. He’s funny and clever. He’s into almost the same things as you. And to top it all off, there’s a slight possibility that he’s into you, too.

You get to talking and getting to know each other, and you find yourself slowly falling in love with him. But there’s a catch… He has a girlfriend.

You laugh at yourself for thinking that a catch like him would be single. But then, you also feel a slight twinge of pain in thinking that someone you’re really starting to like is off limits. What’s a girl to do?

If you find yourself falling for someone who’s already in a relationship, chances are you’ll find it difficult to stay away. You may tell yourself that you just want to be friends, but you might start to wish and hope that he’d leave his girlfriend for you. Not only is that unhealthy, but you could potentially end up hurting the person he’s with.

How to deal with liking someone who’s taken

So if you want to go the safe route and try to not be as into him as you should, follow these tips.

#1 Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s okay to like someone who’s taken. You’re not a home wrecker! It’s perfectly fine to admire the qualities of a guy, even if he’s already in a relationship with someone else. However, you have to keep in mind that you can only admire him from a distance. He can’t be yours, or at least he can’t be yours, unless he’s suddenly single.

Just bear in mind that admiring him from afar is very different from squeezing yourself into his life to steal him away. You have to know that if you try to make him fall in love with you, you might end up ruining his relationship with someone. Do you really want that on your conscience?

#2 Double check if he is indeed with someone. Social media can be the bane of someone who’s in love. You may be in each other’s social networks, and that’s how you learned to fall head over heels for this guy. If you see photos of him getting cozy with someone, try to do a little more research.

Who knows, those photos might be from eons ago! He might only look like he’s taking pictures with his girlfriend, but they’re just pictures of him and a close female friend. In addition to this, if you found out that he’s taken only through hearsay, find out for sure. It may appear like you’re a little too eager to find out, but it’s better than giving up on someone simply because you THOUGHT he was taken!

#3 In proving that he is indeed taken, keep his girlfriend in your mind. Whenever you have the urge to flirt with the guy, try to picture his lady. Put yourself in her shoes for a while. If you were in her position, would you like it if there was another woman blatantly trying to flirt with your guy? We think not.

Thinking of her helps keep you in check. You wouldn’t want to make an enemy of someone you barely know. Remember that there’s a reason they’re together. You wouldn’t want to be the reason they’re torn apart, would you?

#4 Try to put some distance between you and the guy. This may be the hardest thing you’ll have to do. You may really enjoy his company, but staying in it will just make you see just what you’re missing. It might make you do something completely crazy, like suddenly kissing him when no one’s looking!

If you’re in the same social circle, try to avoid being too close to him. Have someone else sit between the two of you. If you work in the same office, try to limit your interaction to professional matters only. If you have to, you can even unfollow him on social media, just so you can stop picturing him in your mind.

#5 Do what you can to fall out of love with the guy. Consciously falling out of love with someone isn’t as easy as falling in love. You genuinely have to put in an effort to convince yourself that you shouldn’t be in love with him. Here are a few things you can do:

– Eliminate all contact. We mentioned that you should keep your distance, but eliminating all contact takes it a step further. It means disappearing from his radar altogether. This is easy if you don’t see each other on a regular basis. All it would take is deleting him from your phone and social media sites.

If you do see each other regularly, try to do everything you can to avoid seeing him. This includes not talking to him, hanging out with other people or taking a different route around the office to avoid passing by his desk.

– Channel your feelings onto something else. Get distracted and reroute your passion for him onto something else. This can be anything from arts to sports to work. Try to push him out of your mind by getting involved in something that will keep you occupied, until your attraction for him wanes.

– Find a rebound. Though it’s not the best solution, it can be the quickest one. Go out there and be on the prowl for someone who’s single and interested in you too. It may feel like you’re using another person to get over someone, but a rebound attraction also has the potential to turn into a genuine attraction. Who knows!

– Think of what you don’t like about the guy. We know it sounds harsh, but try to nitpick at his faults and keep them in mind. He might not have a great sense of style. His fingernails might be dirty sometimes. He might not be as interested in Game of Thrones as much as you are. Whatever it is that has the potential to irk you about him, keep it in mind and use it to get rid of your attraction.

#6 If they break up, think your actions through carefully. First of all, you have to give the guy some time to recover from the breakup. You never know if this is a spur of the moment thing, where they’ll reconcile after a few days. During these times, he’d be very vulnerable, but you probably wouldn’t want to be the woman who snatches up a guy while he’s still reeling from a broken heart.

Second, show some compassion, but not affection. Be a friend to him by listening to what he has to say. He might open up to you, so it’s best to be a shoulder he can cry on. Just be there to make sure he’s okay. However, whatever you do, do not try to seduce him in his vulnerable state!

There’s a huge difference between being the girl with a crush on someone’s boyfriend and being the girl who snatches up the men in a relationship. The first one is perfectly fine. The second one has a really bad stigma that you will carry with you for as long as you’re with the guy.

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