The difference between a crush and unrequited love
A crush you can get over easily and it lasts for a few weeks or months, unrequited love on the other hand can stay with you for a long time, even years and hook your brain to fantasy world. Heart pulsing, palm sweating and the attraction that knocks your socks off. It’s all good, but the other person doesn’t feel the same way. Ouch! I remember being madly, deeply in love with a guy who was not interested in me. I will doodle his name on my notebooks, put his last name after mine in my diary and draw hearts with our names intertwined in red ink. I had volumes of notebooks with Mr and Mrs written in them and the names of our children. Mastering the far away, dreamy, wonder look that you see in art paintings, I was so totally in love with him.
He led me on
The guy didn’t try to extinguish the flames I was burning for him, he blew a horn on them. He would tell his friends who told my friends that he liked me as well. Just picture Ross on Friends sitcom in love with Rachel in high school and you get the picture. He would sit right next to me wherever we gathered together, take me to his friends’ place as a friend, smile that jagged tooth smile that took my breath away and hold my hand ever so slightly. Oh, the electricity jolts in my body. Ooh la la! Just to keep me hooked, you know. He was friends with the boy next door and I would exhibit the same behavior of a wild animal in heat whenever he was there. It was like I was a fish and he was dangling a worm in my face. How could I resist?
I didn’t have eyes for any other man
I would think of him all the time and when I saw him with a girl, it broke my heart. He was my obsession and my dirty little secret. A dirty secret because I didn’t want him to know or anyone else whom I deemed as judgmental. Only friends who encouraged me on my crush were well received. Everything I was doing was for him and he kept me treading waters. I wanted him more than anyone else. He was the one my heart desired so I rejected a lot of boys in high school. When he walked by, I would bite my lip ever so seductively, cross my fingers, wishing and hoping each time that he had come to confess that he felt exactly the same way I felt. I could not dream of a future without him in it. He was it. Ah, the allure of forbidden love. I wanted him, did I already said that? There was no mountain too high and no ocean too deep for the love I felt for that boy.
It was one-sided love
It was unrequited love on steroids. When I look back at it now, I laugh at the delusion I had towards that boy. It was a pathetic mess. Teenage years are a minefield. It was all in my head and he played with the strings of my heart to the tune of his own song. Unfortunately, it was not a love song. It was not meant to be. In a way I am thankful that nothing physical happened with that unrequited love of mine. There are other people who get to the physical part only to realize that it’s still not two-way love. It’s like a mind puzzle and your mind does nothing to stop the delusion, it feeds on it. I would know.
The object of your affection
Its love gone crazy because only you feel it, the object of your affection doesn’t feel the same. The sad fact is I am not the only one to have found myself in this conundrum. For most people it is a high school crush that they usually get over after high school. However, there are grown-ups who are caught up in this nightmare. It might be an obsession with the guy/girl from work, a neighbor, pastor from church, a boss, sometimes a celebrity and in some cases, an ex-lover. The situation is sad and one needs to look at it very seriously.
It can lead to a dark path
This obsession if left to continue burning, it can lead to some dark paths. You hear about it all the time, the girl/boy who started stalking someone, rape, behavioral misconduct and in extreme cases, murder. In your head they are your lover and if they don’t respond the same way, you go crazy. So, how do you get over the one who got away, this one sided matrix of love? Below are 8 ways to get over unrequited love:
- Ask yourself why him/her?
There is usually a trigger that made you fall head over heels for someone who doesn’t feel the same for you. What was it? I will give you my trigger point; I had lost my father and that boy sort of reminded me of him. It’s sick, I know. He made me feel safe in a bad world for some twisted reason. For some people, it’s just loneliness. Nothing else interesting is happening and your mind goes a-wandering. In other cases it’s because your object of affection is the only person who has shown you any care or sympathy and you confuse their good-heart for romantic love. What their good-heart is, is humane, what I call Agape kind of love and you mistake it for romantic love. It is misplaced passion. For celebrity obsession, they are the perfect idol idea we are feeding on from the media frenzy. They are like the optimum forbidden apple and you are in love with a fantasy. In the case of an ex, I think we are just holding on to a dear past that never existed. I call it looking in the rear-view mirror with rose-tinted glasses and seeing what we want to see yet it was never like that.
- Look how uncomfortable you are making them feel
The sooner you realize that the other person is not interested in you that way, the better. It’s an obsession on your part. I would compare it to being hooked on coffee or drugs. You know they are bad for you but you can’t stop. The person becomes like a drug to your mind, an obsession that you start to think about to make yourself feel better. That person does not feel the same way. You might actually be causing them to feel very uncomfortable. In close places where they are with you, you will be sending some very weird vibes. Remember that over 50% of our communication as humans is body language. Look at it from their point of view and imagine a stranger obsessing over you. Stop making them uncomfortable.
- Avoid them, if you can
Unrequited love is a dangerous game. If you can avoid meeting them, please do so. The reason being the more you see them, the more that obsession stays put. Be careful, because you will want to run into that person all the time. That’s like an ignite point for stalking behavior, so steer clear as much as you can. Out of sight, out of mind might just be what you need. You are hoping that they will fall in love with you when they meet you but they won’t. Go cold-turkey on eyeing them. It’s hard when you are in high school with them or live in the same area, but do try to avoid them at all costs. Don’t follow them on social media or obsessively, look at their pictures online. You are only hurting yourself, avoid them physically, emotionally and these days, electronically.
- Open your eyes to true love
Your unrequited love, is just a shadow. Let go of their influence on you and open your heart to true love. There are people who are actually interested in you, in every sense of the word. If you keep chasing this shadow you are missing out on real life and real people. What if you miss your soulmate while chasing a shadow? Can you live with yourself later on knowing that you let the best person for you walk away? I remember refusing to date other boys in high school because I only had eyes for my crush. What a waste that was?
- It’s a mind game
Unrequited love can become a game of cat and mouse. It’s like Tom and Jerry all over again. Sometimes, that obsession and hurt you are feeding your mind, becomes a game you don’t want to let go. If you do something for too long, you are bound to make it a habit. You become scared of venturing out of your ‘weird normal’. You become okay with being not okay, that’s why I call it a game. Don’t let your mind control you to that extent. You are in charge of your mind, change it. The good news is, it starts in your head and you can kill it in your head.
- Grow up
Ooh, boy! I am sorry I had to go there. It’s time to grow up. Most people refuse to grow up and want to continue playing high school games. It’s not worth it. Acting like a grown up means being able to see things for what they are, assessing the situation and knowing when to let go. Crying yourself to sleep because your unrequited lover didn’t look up at you when you were asking him/her about something or that they went out last night without you or they have a new lover that you saw on social media, that doesn’t help one bit. Assess your situation in all honesty and see when you lose or win someone. Also, grown-ups don’t have time to waste. You are wasting your time and energy on someone who doesn’t care. Do you want to find yourself old and alone because you had blinkers on for one person?
- Make them a love yardstick
A yardstick is something you can use to measure up all upcoming new things in your life. You know the qualities you are looking for now, so look for those qualities in someone who will respond in kind. In a way, count yourself lucky because now you know what floats your boat, so to speak. Some people will grow to old age never knowing. Just do yourself a favor and don’t try to turn your real lovers into the unrequited love. A yardstick is only used to measure not to rule. Its’ never going to be the same as the fantasy you had in your head so cut your real love some slack.
- Obsess on making a better version of yourself
As hard as it seems when you are in these unrequited love scenarios, you will get over it. It’s a phase, well, most of the time. You won’t get stuck in limbo forever. Just remember that there is a trigger for it and do all you can to get over it. I was lucky enough to move from the country where my unrequited love lives so it was over. If you can’t move, just concentrate on making your life better. Put your obsession on things that will build you up like better grades in school, work hard for that promotion, exercise and surround yourself with true friends. The more you concentrate on things that build you, the more you will forget about that person. You will get over it, I promise.
Don’t get used
Finally, a word of caution, don’t get used. When you are crushing hard on someone and they know it, maybe due to your googly eyes, they might take advantage of the passion. Just know that, not all people you fall for will be decent people. If the person you are crushing hard on knows about it, they may tell you to do certain things, sometimes bad things. Because you are in an unrequited love, you might think, if I do what they are asking then finally, they will love me back. It’s a slippery slope that you need to run away from. They might ask you to do really unethical things or even commit a crime in the name of ‘love’. Don’t do it. They won’t visit you in jail.