What happens when you like someone and they don’t like you back? It seems like a juvenile question (and maybe it is!) but it’s relevant. Everyone has experienced unrequited feelings before. Everyone has been sure of something and then become totally confused by someone’s actions. You thought something was there. You could’ve sworn it. You even have the coy text messages to prove it. But then, poof, it’s gone. It was tangible one moment and then non-existent the next. Who’s to blame for this change in behavior? It has to be someone, right? Feelings don’t just evaporate for no reason!
Your friends will make excuses for your crush’s behavior because it’s their job. It’s their job to feed you the lies that will keep your sadness and feelings of rejection at bay.
“Maybe he’s nervous!”
“Maybe he’s shy!”
“Maybe he’s just really stoned or something!”
Yes, maybe. Sure. Uh-huh.
Or perhaps there’s a simpler explanation for all of this, an explanation that seems so obvious that it can’t be true.
You have nothing in common.
There’s no chemistry.
You’re just two very different people who are unable to bride the gap.
Sometimes opposites attract and sometimes… they’re just opposite. It’s okay! It’s no one’s fault. Chemistry is hard to come by. There’s a reason why so many people fail it in high school.
You see, I have this serious problem with crushes. I get them overnight and then I just project all of these desirable qualities on to them like they’re a blank canvas. I pretend that they’re funny. I pretend that we have so many interests in common. Then, when I get to know them more, I realize how delusional I was. I wasn’t even really paying attention to their personality at all. I just made them into my dream man without even asking. What an idiot I am! If I just slowed things down and actually focused on having one-on-one time with them, I would’ve realized much sooner that there was nothing there. I would’ve saved myself the excitement and subsequent disappointment.
Maybe it is my fault. To be fair, this happens all the time with me. I meet someone and am immediately like, “Oh, you’re my husband. Great. Can I be off the market now? I’m exhausted.” Then, as I get to know them, I’m like, “Oh, crap. You really aren’t the guy I thought you were. Oops! Can I take it back?”
Thankfully, most of these crushes never materialize into anything. I stop it before it becomes serious or they end up rejecting me. But sometimes I’ve actually dated people after realizing that there was no connection, mostly out of guilt. I worked so hard to land them, I wooed the crap out of them, and then when I finally got them and spent more time together, I understood that there was NOTHING there. I feel like such a jerk when this happens. It’s like, “I’m sorry. I know I just bossed you into being my boyfriend but I just discovered that you aren’t my dream man. Can we just shake hands and walk away from this mess?”
It’s clear that I’m bad at having crushes. I need to not jump the gun so much and also not act surprised when it doesn’t work out. Yes, there is such a thing as just having nothing in common with someone. It’s the most impersonal and personal rejection someone can get. “We don’t click. The conversations are forced. Next!”
In a way, this kind of rejection is a relief. By being honest with each other, you don’t need to sit there and think of a million reasons why it didn’t work out. You’re set free from the crush and you can move on.
And isn’t that what we all want anyway? To just move on from the crime scene and start over? Because haunting would-be relationships and failed crushes isn’t healthy for anyone. The sooner you can get real with yourself and see things for what they are, the quicker you can actually end up where you want to be.