Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Anonymous asks: What is the best way to deal with unrequited love on the part of the person who is in love?
Good question. I was hopelessly and utterly in love with a girl from the ages of 14 to 17. It took me about 30 seconds to decide that she was the woman I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, and about three years to figure out that it was literally never going to happen. As they say, love is blind, but it's also blinding – so much so that the glaringly obvious can be invisible before our eyes. The problem for me was that we were basically best friends. We'd spend hours talking on the phone, we'd hang out all the time and when we were alone it felt so right. The other problem was that she had a long-term boyfriend.
I can only imagine that it was a perfect situation for her: She had this other guy who would drop everything and run whenever she needed it, and who would give her unwavering attention when things weren't going so well with her boyfriend (yes, I'm cringing while I write this).
I expressed my undying love for her countless times, and she would gently push me away with lines that would keep me hanging on: 'Maybe when you're a bit older,' or, 'You just need a bit more life experience.' She was used to dating more mature guys (who could do manly things like grow facial hair), and I was extremely underdeveloped for my age.
Then one day I started talking to this extraordinarily intelligent girl who was a mutual friend of us both. When I told her about my obsession with the other girl, she looked at me and said, 'You're such a cliche. You would be obsessed with her. But give me three good reasons why.' I racked my brain for a while and eventually came up with three superficial things I liked about her. 'Grow up and get over it,' she said. It took me a while, but that's exactly what I did. I stopped hanging out with her, stopped calling, stopped running at the drop of a hat, and within a few weeks the infatuation was gone.
So to answer your question, the only way to deal with unrequited love is to quit dreaming. It's literally a case of it's not me, it's you. People don't just suddenly fall in love with that person who has been waiting in the bleachers the whole time. Sometimes they'll cut their losses and settle (forget Mr Right, settle for Mr Good Enough), but that's by no means an aspirational position to be in. Accept that it's never going to happen and move on. Cut your losses. Cut them off. Cut them out of your life. If the guy or girl is a huge jerk, they'll quite likely chase after you once you pull away, but rest assured that the love will be just as unrequited when you go crawling back. And I guarantee this: Once you've had a bit of distance from the person and you can think a little more clearly, you'll realise that they were horribly wrong for you anyway.
Best of luck.
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