There is a new warmth in the air. As the trees begin to bud again, summer flings and new relationships are also blooming. I see countless couples, doe-eyed and hands interlocked, wandering the streets and sharing a secret smile with each other. This does induce a pang of jealousy in me, even though I pride myself on not wanting a relationship.
Except, that is, for the one person I’m pathetically into who does not view me the same way.
Unrequited love — one-sided, unreturned love — is painful, a concept spanning old literature like Don Quixote and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” At one point in your life, you will be head over heels for someone who does not reciprocate. New romance in the air coupled with unfortunate love endeavors inspired me to pull together advice I’ve received on how to get over unrequited love in the modern age.
1. “Find someone else,” my playboy guy friend said.
I get it. If you focus on another person, you won’t be as focused on the person you want who doesn’t want you back. In theory it’s a solid plan, though perhaps a little manipulative. You might make a conscious effort to seek out another person instead of waiting for your feelings to fade. I have done this in the past, and I will say it’s quite effective to transfer your attention to someone else. This also requires a certain amount of charm that I sometimes lack. Warning: It also reeks of emotional suppression which may come back to hurt you.
2. “Focus on yourself,” my most mature friend said.
This is the advice we all strive to follow. This is the no-internet-stalking or no-accidentally-running-into-them mindset. After a bad break up, so many people begin their hot shit: gym grinds, healthy diets, constant studying. The all-around glow up. This advice involves letting go of others and prioritizing yourself — loving yourself as you are, alone. It also requires the most willpower because it’s not simply denying your emotions. It’s changing your way of thinking and not giving in when that one person calls you at 1 a.m. Easier said than done.
3. “Stop being delusional; this is embarrassing,” my (almost overly) honest friend said.
This advice really drives the shame factor home. When we are enamored with someone, we read into every little message: every joking yet flirty comment, every extra “y” in a hey, every single “wyd” text. Sometimes, we really do need someone to practically slap us and say, “You are overthinking!” It could be a text to toy with your emotions — or just something they’d send to a friend. Either way, you probably are starting to sound a little crazy every time you talk to your friends about how cute he is and how he just might be flirting with you. Just watch the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Come on, you live in New York City! You don’t want to be embarrassing yourself over someone who probably has daddy’s money and a serious disdain for therapy.
4. “Distract yourself,” my sister said.
This advice is also a method I’ve attempted. Sometimes putting a certain person on Do Not Disturb and going out is what you need to do. When you make the conscious effort to not continuously mention the person you like, you will soon notice that they consume your thoughts less and less. Go out and have a night for you. Don’t check their social media or messages to you. On effectiveness, I would give it a 7/10, until you see the person you have feelings for and they strike up a conversation or text you. Suddenly, you are reminded why you have feelings for them. But even if you think you’ll inevitably spiral, doing this once a week actually does make a difference.
5. “You can do better; have more self-respect” my hot-as-shit best friend said.
Unless you appreciate yourself for who you are, you are going to continue to chase after people who don’t treat you with respect. You genuinely deserve better. Why is it we put so much effort, time and thought into people who blatantly disregard us? My best friend was equally as confused. She emphasized that I deserve someone who actually finds me attractive, respects me and cares about me. Sometimes, I feel like it’s easier for her to say, considering she does seem to really love her body and herself. She understands she deserves respect because she respects herself.
Hopefully this will help you overcome how stuck in your feelings you are. At the end of the day, the person you are thinking about really isn’t the right person for you. But, believe me, as someone who preaches this more than she practices it, I get it. Unrequited love sucks.
Contact Ava Duchin at [email protected]