Q: I’ve had a crush on this guy for a couple of months and finally decided to do something about it. When I told him, he said he “doesn’t like me that way.” And though I’m glad I know for sure, I’m still disappointed. Dwelling won’t help, so how do I get over it and move on?
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A: First of all, high five for being brave and speaking your truth. You may not realize that by being direct, you’ve already started down the path to being over him. If you still weren’t sure if he’s interested in you, you’d be wasting all kinds of time and feelings trying to read his mind. It’s emotionally exhausting to like-like someone.
That’s a big part of what makes a crush: the idea that it might be reciprocated. So in this case, it’s not. That’s fine. Think of all the cool, attractive people you like being around but don’t have a strong romantic interest in. This guy not being into you is not some grand judgment of your worth. Hearts are complicated.
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Fill your free time up with friends and activities so you don’t dwell on what could have been. Focus on yourself, first and foremost. Is there some hefty novel you’ve been wanting to crack into? A craft project you’ve been thinking about tackling? Now’s the time to do something that makes you feel confident, smart, and worthwhile, which you are.
Whatever you do, don’t retreat. If your ex-crush is someone you see regularly, don’t hide behind a locker when he passes by. It’ll only make it harder for you to stop seeing him as a daydream and start seeing him as just some dude. Normalize it. Your next crush is coming soon, and you’ll want to be over your last by the time it arrives.
If you need advice, ask your question in the comments, and it may be featured in an upcoming column.
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