No one is telling you to force your feelings. But still feel something. Feel grateful and blessed that someone saw something in you, something so special that they were willing to fight for you, forgive you and put aside all the nonsense about “not being ready” for a relationship to be in a relationship with you. Let them know how grateful you are for everything they did, tried to do and are probably still willing to do because to them, you are worth the chase.
We only come across such a person once in a lifetime and sometimes not at all. So maybe they weren’t your person, but understand that to them, you were theirs. You hold a place in their heart, a place you didn’t ask for and perhaps not even want. But don’t brush them off. Appreciate them for wanting to shuffle around what was once important so they could make room in their heart for you. For taking the time to understand you and be there for you even when you couldn’t be there for them. Simply because they weren’t “the one,” that does not mean that they were nothing at all.
They are not your ego-boosters.
It is flattering to be around those who are charmed by you. It gives you confidence and perhaps even gives you back the confidence ex-lovers took from you. But don’t stick around them so they can make you feel better if you know you are only going to make them feel worse. Even if they become a very good friend, all friendships are a give and take. Sure if one friend catches feelings for the other, they are willing to give more, but if they mean anything to you as a person, you shouldn’t be selfish to take everything you don’t need knowing that you won’t be able to give them everything that they want. Don’t continue to pursue their company if your only reason for doing so is to gain the praise of how great you are. A person who is truly amazing doesn’t use others who they know have feelings for them in order to feel amazing.
Don’t lead them on.
And make them hope for something that was never there. If you already know they have feelings for you, stop flirting with them. Keep from sending mixed signals that to you are empty words but to them are words filled with promises. Never say you are not in the stage of your life for dating when you actually are. This will only make them hold on and wait for someone who will never come to them. Don’t ring him or her up to remind them of you if you are only going to forget about them. Don’t tell them you care and miss them if you still don’t care and miss them enough to want to be in a relationship with them. If you miss the sex, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Don’t say “let’s try to be friends again” when real friends respect and understand each other instead of leading their friends on.
Accept your mistakes.
It’s not your fault if he or she was not what you were looking for. But that doesn’t mean that you didn’t intentionally or unintentionally lead them on. Be a grown up and deal with the fact that you screwed up and made mistakes that could have possibly screwed up another person’s view of life. Realize how you affected them especially in the ways they are too proud to admit. Own up to your faults even if it hurts your ego. Real men and women are not the ones who don’t make mistakes but are the ones who accept them.
Say you are sorry for hurting him or her because they would never do anything to hurt you. Try to see their broken heart from their stone face and try to understand that because of you, they may never look at another person the same way again. You can’t change how you feel about them, but you can still change how they feel about themselves. Right now they are questioning their self-worth. You don’t have to love them. But you still have to respect them. Let them know their self-validation is not dictated by who can and can’t love them. Let them know what they did mean to you, if anything, as a person or a friend. Don’t walk out of their life leaving them with the thought that no one will ever love them just because you couldn’t.
Don’t walk away trying to fool yourself that they never meant anything to you only to realize after it’s too late, that they actually did.