There’s nothing quite like the excitement of having a crush on someone new. They’re cute and funny and maybe you guys even share the same taste in movies or TV. Sometimes you thought maybe they were looking at you, or maybe they complimented your hair.
That thrill of “maybe they like me, too” tingles just under the surface, for as long as you’re willing to ride this one out. It’s kind of a drug, the “will they, won’t they” you see in romcoms and on tv but finally brought in your own life.
What do you do when that hope is gone?
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
Maybe you’ve already talked to them, and you already know the answer. Or maybe you just have the feeling, that inkling that if they did like you they’d do things differently.
The baby crush part of things can feel fun for a little while, but after a time it does just that: it crushes you. It’s too much to allow yourself to faun and pine over the same person for months and months, especially when they’re not directing the same sort of time and energy your way.
The fear of rejection is probably very much on your mind. But its time to have a realistic talk with yourself about what you want out of this relationship. Are you content with being friends or amiable strangers?
The closer you are with this person, the harder this decision may be. If you are best friends, this can potentially ruin that relationship.
Or it could make things even better. It’s all about risk.
When Shooting Your Shot Fails
The first guy I ever loved was one of my best friends. I was terrified of telling him, and did everything but say those words to him, hoping he’d take the hint and act.
He told me, in retrospect, that if I had acted upon my feelings and asked him out that maybe he would have said yes. Instead, he went out with someone else.
I took those words with me to my next crush. When I liked this guy I decided I was going to act on it. I told him I liked him on Valentine’s Day, and he very gently let me down.
I left, and cried about it, saw the movie 500 Days of Summer and got a Zooey Deschanel haircut. (which he had the audacity to tell me he liked, by the way).
In the wake of another heartbreak, I was more than a little hurt and confused by the conflicting advice I was given.
Act, don’t act. Dress this way, act that way, bat your eyes five times, cross your fingers, hope to God…
What’s a single girl to do?
He’s Just Not That Into You
It’s no coincidence that unrequited love is a huge theme in literature or films and TV…we can all relate to that poor soul who is smitten with someone who clearly doesn’t feel the same way.
While you can feel so very stupid for liking someone or believing that they could like you back, it may help to know that even they have been in this position before (or if they haven’t yet, they will soon).
There’s no question about it: rejection sucks.
Whether it’s an outright “No” or you wind up ghosted by your crush, it can feel totally devastating to realize that they don’t actually like you back.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard on crushes is that if someone likes you they will let you know (especially if they’re a guy, but this is not limited only to men).
They may not let you know in so many words, at least not at first, but they will show it in their actions, in how they prioritize you.
I’m not here to diminish your own very real current heartbreak, but to say that when you do find that special someone you will know.
Picking Yourself Up And Moving On
It can be hard to have any sort of positive thoughts about this person or even yourself after being rejected. It’s not the loss of a relationship always so much as the loss of an ideal, the loss of a fantasy, something you’ve put your dreams and hopes and expectations into.
I’m hardly going to tell you to get yourself back out there right now, not when the wound is still fresh.
People like to say that you’ll find your “one” when you’re not looking for them. Whether or not you believe in things like soulmates or true love, I think this can be true. Prioritize yourself this upcoming season.
Journal, hang out with friends (other friends, not them). Even if things ended on an “okay” note between you two, give yourself enough time to heal and move on or else you’ll end up right back where you started.
When you’re smitten with someone they can become your whole world. It’s okay if it takes you a little time to build your own world back up again.
Get a crazy heartbreak haircut if you need to, do a little retail therapy, get a heartbreak haircut. Believe me, I’ve been there. Just don’t stay “there”.
Give yourself the time you need and then let life start back up again.
Have you ever had an unrequited crush before? How did you get over it? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Frdj333dsuY
Lauren West graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English and Digitial Journalism in December 2018. She is a Southern California native, an INFP with anxiety, and at any moment trying her best.