At least once or twice in our lives, we meet someone who seems absolutely perfect to us, but to them, we’re just an option. Almost definitely we’ll tell ourselves things like “Well, I can bring her around,” or something to that effect – and we end up hurt in the process. Sometimes, it happens repeatedly – and unfortunately there’s not a lot that we can do about it.
I’ve definitely been through my fair share of this type of pain, and admittedly I’ve put others through it as well. (If you haven’t yet, you probably will.) One of the many mantras in the gay and lesbian community is “you can’t help who you’re attracted to” – and sometimes this attraction can cause pain!
A few years ago, I found myself in this situation. Some friends of mine set me up with someone who I fell inexplicably hard for. She wasn’t a dream boat or anything, she was just average – but that’s a lot of what I liked about her. We weren’t exactly “in a relationship”, but we talked every day for several months. I can’t tell you why I fell for her, as all signs told me I shouldn’t.
One day, I did the stupidest thing you can do to someone who’s only sort-of into you:
I told her I thought that I loved her.
I wasn’t really sure if I did, and she definitely gave me no sign that I should say it – so of course she was taken aback a bit. I knew I definitely wasn’t in love with her (as there’s a world of difference between the two), but I wanted her in my life.
I believe her exact words when she responded were, “I might see something with you in the future.”
At the time, I thought that meant that she saw a future with me – but that’s not what she meant by it. That was just her nice way of saying, “I don’t feel that way about you right now.”
I got so hung up on her that I shut other girls out of my life (including the woman I’m actually with now) and focused on her. I really thought we were going to be in a relationship soon.
Then, she dropped a bomb on me. I heard from one of my best friends that she had been saying mean things about me – things like I was crazy and obsessive, and some particularly hurtful things that my friend never fully disclosed to me. All because of a simple misunderstanding.
Let me make myself clear: I wasn’t messaging her all day like I was when we first started talking – I sent her a “good morning” text, and waited for her to text me when she got off work. We’d text for awhile, and then she’d either go out with some friends or go to bed. I never came to see her, I always waited for her to come see me. I knew where she worked, and occasionally offered to bring something by to her – but she declined, so I never showed up.
But she thought I was obsessive, because she didn’t feel the same way I did, and I thought she did. I had all these thoughts that were really just thoughts, and they were influencing the way I felt.
For quite some time, I was hurt by the things she told my friend – but I still had feelings for her, so I kept talking to her. I explained my misunderstanding, and we continued as “friends”. She knew that I still had strong feelings for her, but she made me aware that she didn’t. Occasionally we’d entertain the idea, but she’d always put things back in their proper place before we stopped talking.
She liked me enough that she would get jealous when I was talking to someone else, but she didn’t really come to see me, nor did she make any real effort to form a relationship. My feelings started to diminish.
After awhile, we started talking less often, and she offered me some advice. She was actually the one who pushed me towards the woman I’m with now – and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s not that the other girl was a bad person, but we weren’t a good fit. She encouraged me to talk to my partner, and she often asked curious questions about how things were going. Occasionally, something I said would end up bothering her and she’d disappear for a few days, but she’d come back and apologize for being unsure of herself.
Admittedly I was initially quite hurt about her pushing me towards this other woman. It felt like she was just shooing me away! But as I took her advice and started talking to the other woman more, I ended up finding out that she had all the qualities that the first woman was missing… And I had to thank her.
I wasn’t able to actually tell her thank you; at some point in time while I was developing my friendship with my current girlfriend, we had drifted apart the rest of the way, and I hadn’t even realized that she wasn’t on my friends list anymore. I don’t even know what happened – I was too busy moving on!
If you find yourself falling for someone who isn’t falling for you, you have to understand that, most likely, they’re not going to budge. I’ve joked before that my partner and I are a rarity. Our relationship started when a girl I was chasing pushed me towards a girl I was running from.
More likely, your “love interest” isn’t going to react like I did and suddenly give you a chance. More likely, your love interest is going to be like the girl I was chasing – she’s going to do what she has to do to get you to realize that she’s wrong for you. It’s important that you’re able to realize the difference.
The only person you truly have control over is yourself. Don’t count on someone else doing something simply because you want them to, or you’ll end up hurt, nine times out of ten. If it’s meant to be, it’ll somehow find a way – but if it’s not, that’s okay too.