What hurts the most about trying is that even after you did your best, even after you allowed yourself to be vulnerable and let them in, even after you replied to their messages in a timely manner, didn’t play mind games and showed that you cared, it still wasn’t enough.
When you don’t try at all, you can find solace in the fact that they didn’t really get to know you. But that isn’t the case when you’ve known them for months, is it? They got to know your quirks, your favorite movies, your family history, the fact that you love tea — and yet, they still don’t feel the same for you.
You fell for their attentiveness when they were on a trip and brought you back packets of tea from the hotel because they remembered how much you love tea; when you were not feeling well and they asked you about it; when they watched your favorite movies; their smile when your eyes met; the fact that even when they were away on a trip, they still had time to message you throughout the day. And yet none of that was enough, all those signs weren’t signs at all.
Your friends pushed you into doing something, being brave for once and letting that person in because they too thought this time it would work out for you. “Why would they talk to you so often?”, “Why would they bring you little gifts from their trip?” were the questions that resurfaced every single time you questioned why they wouldn’t do something about it if they felt the same.
And then you did something about it and your darkest thoughts and doubts were confirmed: they don’t like you. Your defense mechanisms were alert and you chose to not listen to them, but now that you have lowered them, you need to start rebuilding, stone by stone, until that wall is finished. You need to re-learn how to move on, how to not talk to them every single day, how to not read into what seemed like such obvious signs.
Hope and longing can be embarrassing sometimes. You feel ashamed that you actually thought things would turn out well in the end, and how bad you are at reading people. You feel guilty that you thought they liked you, and that you let them in so easily, because it turns out, you weren’t good enough.
There might be a million reasons why someone doesn’t like you back, but when you constantly get rejected, you start to wonder whether there is something fundamentally wrong with you as a person. That you aren’t interesting, funny, or smart enough for anyone. Because if they knew you that well and still didn’t like you, who will?
Most of the time you may trust that you’re deserving of love and that someday someone will see your worth. But it’s so hard to let people in, and when you do, what happens is this maybe-but-not-really, and then cycle re-starts.