Crushes are harmless, but only in hindsight. When you look back, you could probably laugh away recounting the things you did to seek someone’s attention. Having a crush might have a recipe to it, but it often seems like the flu. You catch it, hope for it to pass but it almost always over-stays.
If you’re unlucky enough to face this person almost every day like in your class or your office, it sure doesn’t help. Distance is the cure when it comes to curing a heart suffering from a one-sided love affair. But sometimes, this distance simply vanishes. What do you do when a crush returns and makes you realize that you haven’t moved on, or that you aren’t doing as well without them as you thought, or that underneath all that bravado and defense mechanism built with humor, you still hope that you might just end up with the one who got away?
Having loved, lost, loved again and lost again on repeat for a number of years to finally know what the deal is all about, allow me to help you with whatever I’ve learnt along the way.
Remember Why You Distanced Yourself
In case you consciously moved yourself away when things didn’t seem to work out, as most of us do, this is the time you remember why you did it. When that ‘someone special’ springs back for a moment in your life after all those months or years, you’re thrusted back into that gleeful mood where everything is nice and shiny. You remember how amazing this person really was and how good they made you feel. Remind yourself that these emotions, no matter how euphoric they might be, are a trap. Just like a junkie jumps up with joy after the high that comes after a month of not using, you jump up too. But just like the junkie winds up at the bitter end of his obsession, doesn’t stop before it is too late and realizes things are beyond his control again, you’d probably end up feeling the same way too if you lose yourself in that initial high. I don’t want to be too cynical here, maybe things are meant to really work out this time and maybe your crush really does have feelings for you too. But all I’m saying is that you must not lose yourself in the first few moments of joy. Stay grounded, call it nostalgia and put that excitement away.
Remember That You Don’t Need His/Her Admiration
Crushes have a habit of making us stoop down to embarrassing levels in trying to seek approval from the person we desire. We would get that perfect haircut that frames our face, wear those new shoes that we never take out, match them with our shirts and hide everything that makes us feel embarrassed about ourselves. I remember frantically shaving my beard off before I would meet my crush worried that she might think I have a pre-pubertal mustache or something. After all these years, I feel that all I needed was a care-free attitude. We give this ‘crush’ an unspoken sense of power over us that makes us too vulnerable. Being vulnerable helps you fall in love, yes, but only when it is reciprocated. One sided love affairs usually happen because the one in love bares all, while the one not in love does not. When this person you admire or used to admire makes a comeback in your life, remember to be confident as you are. There’s no need to put in any work to impress this person. If they like you, they’ll like you for who you are. If you put in hours to get an image up, they might or might not fall for it. But in either of those cases, you’ll grow tired of wearing a mask. And who knows, you might just charm their socks off with your carefree two-day old beard sporting attitude!
Remember What Being Taken For Granted Felt Like
Okay this is me taking a shot in the dark here, and it might only be valid for only a few of you. But I have a feeling that this happens more often than it is talked about. I’m assuming this crush you would’ve had must be a friend or at least an acquaintance you frequently talked to. If it is anything else, it’s gotta be infatuation. When you’re a friend caught in the quagmire of the friend you like knowing that you like him/her, things do get weirder. In some cases, they’re the ones who distance themselves from you. Trust me, if they’re not into you, it’s the best thing to do unless it’s one of those unique scenarios when you’ve been friends for long but Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na or My Best Friend’s Wedding is not manifesting in your real life. However, there are those of us who do get the wrong end of the deal. This is when your crush leaves you hanging by not completely writing you off and not accepting you with open arms either. These people unknowingly turn this whole drama into a game show where you wait for every new episode with them to happen; with chances of something completely unexpected happening. If you’ve been through something of this sort, you might just be nodding your head in agreement by now.
You had to cut off from this person because the relationship had grown toxic. You finally had arrived to the point where you learned that self-respect is not overrated. And also that you did not want to be a part of the game show any more. Remember what made the friendship toxic. It could be the lack of distance because you were too head over heels for this person or maybe just that this person was a bad friend who wanted to keep you where you were; making it difficult for you to move on with your life.
Remember How Far You’ve Come From That Person You Used To Be
In the end, remind yourself of the progress you’ve made through all that time you spent away from him or her. Remember all those articles you’ve read about moving on, all the things your friends would’ve said to you, all those times you scolded your own self to get back on track and all those nights you spent telling yourself that never again would you let yourself go like that. Also, remind yourself of all this drama you put yourself in for that one person who, maybe, didn’t even deserve it in the first place. You are awesome as you are, and you need someone who lets you be that way. If this crush or this ex-girlfriend that’s returned in your life is meant to be that person, they will be irrespective of what you do. If your crush does have genuine feelings for you, he/she will do everything you did for him/her to like you.