In a recent post, we talked about the difficulties of having feelings for someone who may not return them. Today, we'll focus on the specifics of what to do.
The best solution to the dilemma is not to get put into that position in the first place. You do this by making your interest in someone known as soon as you recognize it.
When you wait too long, it feels unexpected and weird. You also lose credibility points for hiding your intentions for so long. It's a subtle dishonesty, but it DOES--consciously or not--erode trust and comfort.
Don't make a big production out of your feelings--no flowers, showing up under their balcony, or professing undying love. Such gestures are counter-productive in this situation.
Avoid putting any pressure on the other person. Make it clear if they like you back, they like you back. If not...you aren't going to think any less of them.
Usually the other person will react in a number of ways. None of them are a big deal...not even the dreaded Let's Just Be Friends speech
If you get this, don't give the speech anymore weight than it deserves. All the person is doing is saying how they feel RIGHT NOW. If you overreact by getting upset, despondent, or arguing, they will a) feel less comfortable being honest with you in the future b) start to feel that they are responsible for your feelings.
Neither of these things is good.
Someone honestly telling you how they is a good thing even if it's feelings you don't like. It's an opportunity for you to show you're okay with ANY feeling they have.
If you allow them freedom to feel anything around you, you may quickly learn something else about feelings.
As we said in Part 1, most times they won’t. But it CAN happen.
In the meantime, you have a question to ask yourself.
Am I able to be this person’s friend, whether we are romantically involved or not?
A conditional friendship is not a friendship. If you are being this person’s friend because you‘re hoping to change their mind, you are not really friends. You are trying to get something from them and that’s going to lead to trouble.
Also, do not stay in the friendship for the sake of the other person. You may think they need you. They may even SAY they need you. But they don‘t, and even if they did, your first responsibility is to yourself.
When we have feelings for someone, it is normal to want to do things for them we might not normally do. But for your own peace of mind and self-respect, don‘t invest anything in them you aren‘t okay with losing.
If you’re going to stay in the friendship, stay because you LIKE them.
- Thou shalt not hide your attraction from yourself or the other person. It’s dishonest.
- Thou shalt refrain from attempting to convince, manipulate, win over, or in any way control the other person‘s response.
- Thou shalt not stay friends in the hopes of changing their mind. Be their friend because you want to be their friend, not because you’re trying to get something. Anything else is not a friendship.
- Thou shalt take care of yourself. If you need to take time away from this person do it. They do NOT need you, even if they say otherwise.
Throughout the day, experiment with saying you feel out loud--whether you‘re by yourself or around other people. Do it in the same matter-of-fact way you would talk about the weather, only instead of saying “it’s raining” you are saying “I’m hungry,” “I’m happy,” or “I’m frustrated.” You aren’t looking for any particular response. You don’t need to go into depth as to why you’re feeling a particular way or what needs to happen for those feelings to change. Just practice saying what you feel.
-May All Beings Be Sexy
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