1. Whether or not this person likes you is not a reflection of whether or not you are a desirable human being.
Regardless of how charming, together and attractive you absolutely know yourself to be, it throws you for a loop when someone does not reciprocate your feelings. It just does.
But turning to self-criticism and over-analysis is the last thing you need to do right now. One person (out of seven billion) not wanting to be with you is anything but a reflection on your character. In the words of Dita Von Teese,
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
So you found yourself a peach-hater. Lucky for you, there are billions of peach-adorers out there. And you are still every bit as attractive and desirable to them as you were before this one person didn’t love you back.
2. Whether or not someone likes you often has very little to do with you.
Think of all the people you’ve rejected or been disinterested in throughout the course of your life. Now, think about how many of them were perfectly kind, attractive and wholly loveable people.
Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there with someone. Sometimes it is, but you’re not ready to be in a relationship. Sometimes you’re still hung up on an ex or a crush or a circumstance that makes dating other people seem insincere.
There are an infinite number of reasons why someone may choose to not be with you and many of them actually have very little to do with you at all.
3. There are (many, many) other people out there who would be absolutely thrilled to be with you.
A cool thing to remember is that for every one person who is not interested in you, there are a plethora of others who probably are (or who could be, if you’d turn your attention their way).
Running into someone else’s arms is not necessarily the healthiest method for overcoming unrequited love, but it never hurts to remember that dating other people is still an option. For all you know, you may even have someone pining unrequitedly after you right now!
4. Literally everyone has been where you are (including the person you’re pining after).
Being in unrequited love makes you feel small and desperate and pathetic. But a cool thing to remember is that literally everyone has been where you are. And I mean everyone.
Your friends have been there. Your parents have been there. Your boss has been there. Even the person you’re endlessly pining after has been there. So the last thing you should feel is pathetic – you are going through the most basic of human experiences and as much as it sucks, you are very, very far from alone in it.
5. Chances are, you’re craving the feeling of being in love more than you’re craving the actual person.
The thing about unrequited love is that, more often than not, it is an idealised version of love. You are picturing the sunshine-and-roses honeymoon-esque kind of love that you would share with this person, not the nitty-gritty, down-in-the-trenches kind of love. Not real love. Not actual, day-to-day love.
So of course you are hung up on them. You are hung up on a beautiful, shining idea of love. One that reality would inevitably squash, if it were given the chance to. But because it is not given that chance, you go on idealising your love interest. And it’s all up to you to be conscious of the fact that the love you are picturing is not the love you would have, even if you actually did get together with this person.
6. In order to find the love that’s right for you, you have to stop holding onto the love that’s wrong for you.
Too often, we remain hung up on unavailable people because it’s easier than moving on and focusing our attention on people who could – and would – love us back properly.
But if you actually want to find that healthy, nurturing, reciprocal kind of love, you have to first let go of the unhealthy, one-sided, idealistic love that you are holding onto. Someday, the person you’re much better suited for is going to be extremely glad that you did.
7. This, too, shall pass.
Intense infatuation is not sustainable in the long-term. Even if you were to fall in love with this person, marry the shit out of them, pop out twenty-five of their offspring (or vice versa) and live happily ever after, you’d get tired of them.
You’d get tired of the way they part their hair. Of the way they prepare their eggs. Of that annoying way they laugh or grind their teeth or take three hours to text you back. You would not stay perfectly enamored with this person even if you got to be with them and you definitely won’t remain perfectly enamored with them from afar.
You’ll move on. You’ll evolve. You’ll outgrow them. And you will, eventually, forget them.
Even if right now, that seems like the most unlikely thing on earth.