All of a sudden, it hits you like nothing you’ve ever felt before — Oh, shit, you really like them. This is often someone you’ve known for a long time, even a friend, a coworker, or the dreaded SO-of-a-friend, and all of a sudden you can’t get them out of your head. It’s like they’re a totally different person, and every interaction you’ve ever had needs to be reconsidered, like there must have been some kind of hidden meaning in it. You try to get them out of your head, but there they are every morning, haunting you and making you happy in equal measure.
2. Weighing the possibilities
Maybe you should say something. Should you say something? How would you even go about it? Would the two of you just get drunk together and suddenly something would happen? Even if you could get enough liquid courage in you to make a move, how would it really play out? You have whole conversations with yourself in the shower, trying to plan out the perfect way to let them know that you’re totally in love with them… but everything you come up with sounds crazy.
When the time comes, as if there was any doubt, you chicken out totally. In the moment where a slightly drunk kiss would have made sense, you didn’t do it. When the two of you were alone and you could have said something, you restrained yourself. You erred on the side of caution, and now you are back where you started — in total silence.
You think about them night and day. You have stalked every possible place online where they have written something or posted a picture of themselves. You are beyond the point of just a crush, you want them, and you want them all the more because you know for a fact now that you can’t have them (either because you’re not brave enough, or because they’re not into you).
So you pretend that you don’t like them at all! Haha, of course I never liked you! How could you be so silly? You actually go over lists in your head of all the reasons why it’s not a good idea to like them, and how you could never like them in practice because they’re totally wrong for you. With all the time you spend trying to talk yourself out of liking them, you actually end up wanting them more, only because you know that if they really weren’t important to you, you wouldn’t ever have to think about it.
You accept that you like them, but there’s nothing you can do. You just exist in your perpetual state of wanting, and you get used to it. It’s like a muscle ache that won’t quite go away, and something feels a little bit off at all times but you know what it is, so you just accept it. There is a voice at the back of your head about how much you like them, but it gets easier and easier to ignore so you can go about your day.
You let it go, because you know that there is nothing that should really keep you involved anymore. And it’s not just that you wake up one day and say “I don’t want this person anymore,” it just slowly slips away from you bit by bit and you start to wake up without thinking of them first thing in the morning anymore. Your whole body lets you forget, bit by bit.
7. Occasional Remembrance
Months can go by — years, even — and everything will seem like it’s okay again. And then all of a sudden something will come up that makes you remember them in a way you haven’t allowed yourself to in forever. You will remember exactly what it felt like to dream about them, the details of the night where you almost kissed them over your beers, the endless way you would talk about them to your few trusted friends. And it’s not an entirely unpleasant feeling, it’s just one of pure nostalgia. It aches to remember them, mostly because there is so little of them to remember.