The following post originally appeared on Queer Spinster.
You're probably wondering when they're going to text you today.
It feels like lately, all you do is hit them up. They're the first person you think of when you wake up, the first person you want to talk to when something happens in your day, and the last person you want to wish goodnight before you go to bed. You don't want to be annoying, because you're afraid you'll push it. You need that validation.
Just love me. Love ME.
That's all you want. You wonder if they adore you the same way you adore them. Could he possibly be in love with me? Secretly? Deep down? Way down? Why can't he show it the way I do? But he does. I think he does. I think it's the way he looks at me. I catch him sometimes. Looking at me. It makes me nervous so I always look away and avoid looking directly at him. It's subtle but I see it. Maybe he's not ready. Maybe he's not ready to commit and needs time to figure out his life. That's it. He loves me, he is just scared to ruin our friendship, I get it. There's no use in trying to rush something, I suppose. I think the best thing to do is to let him live his life and let him discover how f*cking amazing he is before I expect something. But at the same time, I torture myself with impatience, with more reasons to want it now.
Just love me. Just f*cking LOVE me, already.
But it's not going to happen. I have to get over it. I had to get over it.
I consider myself an expert on falling for your best friend. After all, it's happened to me twice already and both times I confessed my feelings (and both times it was unrequited). Here are a few of the things I gathered along the way . . .
Speak it out loud.
Chat with your friends about your feelings. Chances are, they've been there before and totally know what it feels like. Talk to your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, whoever it is you may trust. Get it out there so you can say it out loud, let the words breathe and float around you. As you continue to do this for a while, you begin to get tired of it anyways and you'll realize that while talking about it didn't change the way your best friend feels about you or how you feel about them, you were able to unload some of the burden of carrying that around. It also releases the romanticism you've built around your friend, and the mystery that you've been clinging to.
And admit it, at the end of the day you just want your friends to tell you he likes you back, huh? YEP, I feel you on that. They can also tell you when he does NOT like you back. But no one really knows though . . . right?
Create a good playlist.
Sometimes you need to get your life and listen to some sad tunes. There are plenty of songs out there about unrequited love. Sinking into tracks like this is the best therapy. You feel like you're not alone and the artist totally captures exactly how you feel. It's a beautiful connection. Also, if you're an artist yourself who feels the need to create and get out all your feelings through art, then please do that as well.
Distance doesn't always help the situation.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. This is something I know to be true.
I would tell myself, "Run away from him, run away from him!"
But no matter how fast or how far, my feelings didn't go away.
One would assume placing distance between you and your best friend would help the situation but that's not always the case. If they are a toxic friend who doesn't deserve you in their life, then by all means, stay away. If you confess your love to them and they so clearly want nothing to do with you because of it, take the hint and go home. But if they are a good friend, a friend who cares for you deeply and wants you to be happy even after you confess your feelings, I encourage you to make it work. With the first guy, I would go months at a time without seeing him . . . I thought distance would be good, I thought it would help me get over it, but instead it just made me miss him more. It made me romanticize him. I placed him on a pedestal, immortalized him and transformed him into a lead character in a tragic indie love story that I would tell over and over again.
Compare that to guy number two, who I had to see, who I had to be around. We were so close that it was impossible to avoid him. And it actually helped me get over him in a more efficient way. It hurt way more, being in the trenches . . . but it was necessary. I was there to hear about every guy he was into and every date he went on. A friend said to me that I was torturing myself but I was actually healing by accepting the TRUTH and not continuing to live in a fantasy.
You must change your mindset and accept what is.
This my love, is the most important.
I didn't quite understand what my friend Penny meant when she said I must change my mindset about the friendship. I've done mindset work before, back when I was dealing with depression. Instead of fueling negative beliefs about myself, I would think positively and let my good thoughts manifest into something much more powerful. You can actually do the same thing in this friend situation.
You can't help who you like, right? Of course not, but you can at least start by removing notions and theories about your relationship you continue to believe in. With guy number two I tried this. I would tell myself, "Nah, we're just friends" or "We are friends and that's pretty great. I don't need anything else." The more I told myself these things, the more I believed them to be true and I truly do believe it now. It also lessened my expectations in our relationship.
Think about all the times you take little things your friend does and analyze them and give these small actions meaning. And maybe what your friend is doing does show legitimate signs of romance and they are just lying to themselves. Does that mean you wait for them to realize their feelings and keep hope alive? HELL NO. Why wait for that? You go out and live your life. It amazed me how much I subconsciously avoided talking to guys because I was still stuck on my best friend. You can't live your life that way. So whether or not he loves you back, most of the time you'll never know the real answer and you have to be OK with that.
You must accept what is and continue to do YOU.