When we get hung up on someone, we end up liking that person even more — not because we have a real emotional connection, we might, but most of the time we fall harder mainly because we consistently try to look for bullet points to add to our why-this-person-is-the-one list to create this “perfect” image of the ideal partner. By doing that we voluntarily allow their hooks to sink deeper into our hearts.
If this story seems familiar to you, and you absolutely feel like you can relate, then I would like to give you a hug, because you deserve it.
You two have been friends for years, you and he are in the same group of friends, you see him almost every day, you two hang out a lot, sometimes you even walk home together, because of course you two live on the same street, what are the odds right?
You two have had a normal, chill relationship for so long and everything seems to be running smoothly as any normal friendship would.
Until one day you start to notice the little things about him — the way he laughs, how charming his smile is, his humor, the way he dresses, the way he walks and talks.
You seem to notice the little things more and more and find them attractive in a way you never really noticed before. In this stage, while you’re noticing the little things, you don’t really realize the trouble you are about to unconsciously fall into.
Trust me, if you catch yourself thinking about how good he looks in black, or how he likes to bite his lower lip before he says anything, stop baby girl, just stop.
If you are lucky enough to be in this stage and are aware of it, try your hardest to deviate from these little feelings of attraction towards him and try really hard to look for reasons to not like him instead.
After a while, you start to ask yourself, “Would it really be such a bad thing if he and I dated?”
Yes, yes it would.
You are now starting to daydream and fantasize about how you would be as a couple. You do not necessarily admit to yourself that you just might have crush on this person but you seem to be in the stage of: “But if I did like him, why not?”
You don’t acknowledge the thought that maybe you might actually like this guy for more than what he is to you, which is just a friend — emphasis on “just.”
You begin to wonder what if you two were a couple, how would you act? How would you treat each other? Would it really be such a big deal? I mean you two are practically just as close as a real couple would be, right?
Wrong. Don’t do it. Do not feed your fantasies and wishful thinking with something like a romantic relationship with someone you are really good friends with. It just opens up so many doors to heartbreak, rejection, awkwardness, etc. And these are doors you do not want to enter.
Now, you start denying with every bone in your body that you are developing feelings for him.
Every time you are with him, every time you see him, you know you feel something but you want to deny it, and with all your heart you really, really try to.
You might even try to give yourself pep talks every night like, “Okay self, no matter what, you WILL NOT talk to him first, nor will you be the one to start any type of conversation.” Or “If he tries to talk to me, I’ll just play it cool and pretend I don’t really care about what he has to say, because I have more important things to think about.”
But in reality, every single time you try to push him away, if he even just smiles at you, let alone actually talks to you, you don’t even think twice about deciding whether or not to give him your full and undivided attention.
Because at the end of the day, no matter how much you push yourself to believe you are not falling for him, a part of you already knows you are.
Seek and you shall find. At this point you start to observe everything he does and says and you try to find even the slightest sign that he just might be into you, too.
“Let’s walk home together.”
“Want to grab some lunch?”
“I didn’t see you yesterday, where were you?”
In all these statements you find hidden meanings and feelings where there are actually none. You reject any action that obviously states that he is not into you and accept even slightest sign that he actually might.
During this stage you try to justify your feelings with the idea that he probably has the same feelings for you, too. In some cases he actually might, but in most he probably doesn’t.
All you are doing is building your wall of admiration higher and higher, brick by brick, which will eventually be the reason it’ll hurt even more when that wall comes crashing down on you.
Usually, in most processes, the acceptance stage comes in last and is usually the stage that gives you the most closure, but in this story, it doesn’t give you any closure with yourself or him.
You have fully accepted the fact that no matter how much you wish you didn’t like him, you do.
And what makes it worse is the fact that you two are close, and have been for a long time before everything got messed up by you and your feelings.
You have lunch together sometimes, you have inside jokes with him, the whole cliché “best friend” package. You have also accepted the fact that you have fallen for someone whose friendship you value so much.
And you have accepted the fact that in one way or another, things will start to change. It may be for the better or for the worst. But you have to be ready for any and every change that will most probably happen.
And the one reason not to fall?
Protect your friendship, protect him, and protect yourself. It would be too much of a risk to base your whole relationship on this feeling you have.
When you start feeling all this for someone, it does not necessarily mean you are falling in love with that person. Let’s all be realistic — you can’t fall in love instantly.
The feeling you may be experiencing all of a sudden might just be infatuation, or at least let’s hope its just infatuation. And infatuation, as much as it feels like an inescapable wall of passion and love for someone, will eventually break down and fade away.
So hold onto that thought, and push through it.
I wish this ended on a more positive and more hopeful note, but it doesn’t — and life doesn’t always have happy endings. Sometimes what you believe you really feel in your heart is just not enough, and it might not be worth the risk.
Condition yourself and hold yourself back from making a move, because at the end of the day, would you be willing to risk it all and open the possibility of losing him for good?