It’s one of the few lesbian stereotypes that actually does seem to affect most of us: The straight girl crush. Sigh. Maybe you’ve been best friends forever, or maybe you just met this girl and started planning your night (or maybe even your life together) just to hear her drop the dreaded B word:
Whoops. For most of us, that’s a deal breaker. And if your straight friend actually is straight, and not a bisexual girl you’re subconsciously erasing, it’s pretty much unlikely that she is going to leave her boyfriend and profess her love to you.
(Besides, even if she did, that wouldn’t really be the best way to start a new relationship.)
So, what do you do when you find yourself stuck in this situation? We found a WikiHow tutorial that helps explain your way out of this.
Step One: Think about your risks.
Consider the risk of letting her know. Before you act hastily, this is a good question to think about. Think: if she doesn't already know or sense that you have feelings for her, telling her may make her feel your relationship is "unbalanced." She may feel a burden knowing that you feel something for her that she doesn't return. If she's uncomfortable knowing, it may make your friendship impossible. Another thing you should probably do, is check if she's homophobic, or uncomfortable with homosexuality. You should also take into account whether or not she knows your sexual orientation. So there's a risk involved in making your feelings known to her; consider carefully if you want to take that risk.
If you tell her, what are the chances that she’ll be weirded out and not want anything to do with you anymore? While it’s usually not the case, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the chance that it will happen. Are you willing to lose her as a friend if she’s creeped out by your confession?
If your friend already knows that you’re interested in other ladies, she may be less likely to have a homophobic response. It’s still possible, of course, that she will feel uncomfortable with the confession. It’s best if you either:
- know her well enough to predict her reaction; or
- don’t know her well enough to care if she never speaks to you again.
That seems like a broad generalization, and it is. There’s no real clear-cut list of risks – it’s different for everyone. Sometimes, it’s best not to tell her.
Step Two: Cover yourself.
Set boundaries. Making sure you have clear guidelines in place for avoiding "bittersweet moments" will be key to getting over your feelings for your bestie. Having lots of chats about her love life, her feelings, etc., can really melt your heart - you listen to her problems and sigh thinking, "If only she felt that way about me." Does it make you feel more protective of her? Probably. Is it a good idea to have lots of sleepovers while having those "sensitive chats"? Probably not. More contact, more time together, especially in more intimate settings, means more chances that you will not be able to control your feelings. If you lose control, you may lose your friend. Stay in control by setting those boundaries.
Make sure you have clearly defined boundaries, the Wiki suggests. I happen to think this is a good rule of thumb for most things in life. You need to understand that your feelings do not automatically justify making a move.
If you’re concerned that you’ll take things too far, be very specific with yourself about what you will allow yourself to do. For example, if you feel particularly attracted to her when she’s gone for a run, try to avoid seeing her when she’s been running. This can be applied to almost any situation, as long as you can tell when to predict it.
It can also be helpful to give yourself a “breather” when your feelings are getting to be too much for you. Don’t put her off indefinitely, but perhaps postpone. You’re not her girlfriend, you don’t have to give her a reason why you say no – just give yourself a little distance until you can calm down a little.
You also may need to remind yourself what is appropriate when you are with her, because unavoidable temptations will likely arise even if you practice every “precaution”. Make sure you don’t intentionally engage in activities that cause deeper feelings on your part. If sitting close to her is tempting to you, leave a little space between you. If she’s a hugger and that makes your heart pitter-patter, avoid situations where she might hug you.
If you have already told her your feelings, you can explain what you are doing, but too much explaining (whether you give her the real reasons or not) can be awkward if you haven’t. This will have to be factored in.
Step Three: Split your time with other people.
Spend time with other friends! It's hard to get over someone when she is the only person you ever hang out with! Spread your time among others - chances are you've neglected your other friends since you and your bestie have been spending so much (too much, maybe?) time together (and maybe you have some apologizing to do...).
We already touched on telling her “not this time”, but it’s important that you spend time with other people – not just by yourself. If she’s the majority of your social time, it’s understandable that you will be more attracted to her – she’s meeting all of your social needs, after all.
Get to know your other friends closer, and make a point to spend at least as much time with other people as you spend with her. Of course, you can spend time by yourself too – it can be helpful to focus your mind and get your thoughts in order.
It’s important that your “time apart” doesn’t really count as time apart if you’re messaging each other the whole time, though. In the age of SMS and IM, anyone we want to talk to is just at our fingertips, all the time. Don’t give into the temptation to give her your “apart” time, too.
Remember, this is for your own emotional health – falling for the straight girl is hard!
Step Four: Get a hobby.
Try learning/doing something new. Pick something that you and your best friend haven't done together, and that she doesn't do by herself. Pick something completely untouched by her, and try to keep it that way. (But don't push her away from it if she asks... just don't invite her if she does!) It will be good for you to do something that doesn't remind you of her (most likely, everything else will). Maybe you want to try to listen to a new type of music or try out a new restaurant.
It’s a cliché, but it helps in most situations where your emotional health is in jeopardy. You should devote some time to a new hobby, learning a new skill, even reading a book. Do something that keeps your mind occupied and distracted from thoughts of your future with her. (Most likely, that future isn’t going to happen – let it go.)
Whatever hobby you decide on, make sure you don’t associate this hobby with her somehow, or it’ll just make it harder to move on. This shouldn’t be something that you’re doing to appear more attractive to her. It should be something that makes you feel good about yourself.
If you find that it’s hard to get her off your mind, fill up more time! Ask your other friends what things they enjoy, and give some of them a shot. This is you time – learn about what you like, what you want, and what you enjoy.
Step Five: Be true to yourself.
Beware of becoming the "anti-you"! Trying new things, meeting new people, and moving ahead with life does not mean you stop being the person you have always been. Don't do things simply because your bestie doesn't do them - when trying new things, pick things that you genuinely do enjoy and/or are open to!
The risks associated with trying new things can tempt you to lose sight of who you really are, but make sure you don’t fall for that trap. If you genuinely don’t like something, don’t stick with it. If you start to dislike yourself, your emotional health will suffer for it – and it’ll make your situation seem more hopeless.
Instead of changing yourself to fit the new things you’re trying, let go of any that don’t bring you joy. If you really like who you are changing into, that can be fine, too. Just make sure you stay genuine and you understand the things that influence you.
If it’s not having a positive impact on you, it’s not worth your time.
Step Six: Work on your self-confidence.
Boost your confidence! It can be a real ego-killer trying to subconsciously impress a girl that you know you can never be with. Go work out! Go after that goal of yours that has been on the back burner for so long! Volunteer at a local food bank or homeless shelter, or at Habitat for Humanity ! Feel good about yourself! Really, exercise will do you wonders! Not only will you look better, feel better, but you can finally fall asleep without spending hours of obsessing over your crush.
Any form of rejection is bound to hurt, even if it’s minor. Whether we want to think of it as a rejection or not, the realization that your “dream girl” isn’t into you can definitely affect you almost as much as if you had actually dated and broken up.
Consider taking the same steps you would take after a break-up (assuming, of course, that you handle your break-ups in a healthy way). Work on things that make you feel good, and things that you are good at. Don’t try to challenge yourself by “turning” the straight girl – this almost always ends in disaster. (If you have a situation where it didn’t, let me tell you, that girl wasn’t really straight.)
We have a number of articles on KitschMix dealing with self-care after a break-up; feel free to work through those templates in order to bring yourself to enlightenment on the subject.
Step Seven: Love her as a friend.
Love your best friend. Just because you are getting over your crush on her does NOT mean you should stop loving your best friend. Love comes in many forms. Remember that just because your best friend might not feel the same way about you romantically, it does not mean that she doesn't care for you at all! Not only is she your best friend, but you are hers. Cherish the fact and be glad for what you do have.
Just because you’re not allowing yourself to be attracted to her (as if that really works) doesn’t mean you can’t love her as a friend. It’s an important distinction between the two, and the lines can become blurred – so make sure you regularly evaluate the situation to make sure it’s working for you.
Chances are, this woman cares deeply about you, even if she doesn’t reflect your romantic and physical attraction. Love comes in many forms, and you need to find the form that works best for your friendship.
If you have already confessed your feelings for her, reassure her that you will not act on those feelings unless she initiates it. (Your exact wording should be tailored to suit the possibility of it actually happening – generally speaking, you can simply say that you won’t act on it, and it’ll imply that you’d be down if she came up with the idea.)
Be careful with this, though. There are some people who may use your affections against you. Of course we would hope that your friend won’t do this to you, but it would be naive to assume it never happens. Keep yourself on guard, and don’t let yourself get taken advantage of.
Step Eight: Keep your jealousy under control.
Be happy for her. You will need to rejoice when she rejoices... even if that's upon her finding her true love. Resist the temptation to spend all your time with her moping because she's found someone to love. Don't try to sabotage or talk trash about him. These things will only drive a wedge between you If you need some space, simply take it by being less available. Don't say things like, "It's just too hard for me to see you with him." ... Awkward.
As her friend, it is your job to be happy for her when she is happy, and to be sad for her when she is sad. If she’s just been through a break-up, don’t try to swoop in and take advantage of the situation – just be there for her. If she’s just found her true love (even if you think he’s a dweeb), congratulate her on her new romance and leave it at that.
Don’t say that she’d be better with you – even if that’s the case.
Don’t let your jealousy control your opinions of her boyfriend. If he’s a good guy, give him credit.
Of course you should let her know if you notice that there is legitimately something about him that’s not good for her. If you catch him cheating, for example, you should let her know – but without your implications. Don’t give opinions unless she asks. And never try to trap him in situations to make him look bad.
This will just come across as you being jealous and petty, and it runs the risk of losing her as your friend. You’ve worked this hard to keep her comfortably in your life, why would you try to ruin it now?
Step Nine: Be willing to keep trying.
Realize that this friendship is worth the effort. And also know that things get better in the end. Be grateful you have such an amazing best friend though! (Really though, SHE is awfully lucky, too - YOU ARE AMAZING for going through such hardship for her!)
All relationships require effort, and a friendship is no different. Understand that you will need to put a significant amount of effort into the friendship in order to ensure that it’s not going to be awkward. If you have shared the burden, it may be a little easier on your end, but realize that it could make it more difficult for her.
In some cases, when we share our feelings with someone who doesn’t feel the same way, she may feel pressured to accommodate you. As the one who developed feelings, you should do whatever you can to minimize the work on her part – after all, in most cases, it’s not her fault you fell for her.
It’s not exactly your fault, either, but the less awkward you can make it, the better the chances of keeping the friendship intact.
Step Ten: Give of yourself.
Give. You know what the best thing is about forgetting about the girl you can never be with? It is YOU GIVING! Give of yourself - try to make someone else happy. Stop thinking so much about what you are (or aren't) getting, and think about what you can give. Go volunteer, get a pet, take care of something! Invest in something that needs you! There are so many causes/projects/people out there that need you - NEED you. Go find one!
No, not to her – to something that will make you feel better about yourself. Maybe this ties in with the hobby you’ve found, but if your hobby doesn’t give back, consider picking up another. Some good options include volunteering at a local shelter, or a soup kitchen, or even adopting a rescue pet. Find another type of love to help you get over your crush.
Not everyone is into volunteering, but it’s scientifically proven that helping others makes us happier. Think about the people you know who are selfish – don’t they seem miserable? The opportunities to volunteer in your local community vary widely, so there is bound to be something that actually complements your life.
It will take time, and in some cases money, to help others – but what you get in return is a feeling that can’t be matched.
Of course, the path toward getting over any unrequited crush can be a difficult road, but it’s important for your own sanity if you get over it before you’ve invested too much of your heart and soul into it. It might be difficult, but it won’t get easier if you wait longer – it’ll get harder.
You also need to make sure that you don’t get the idea that “getting it out there” will increase your chances with her. As mentioned previously, if she’s confident in her heterosexuality, nothing’s going to change her mind, and by pressuring her otherwise you are attempting to manipulate the situation in your favor – never a good idea with someone you care about (or even slightly respect).
Lastly, you should never beat yourself up over your friend not returning your feelings. We have no control over who we do and do not find attractive, and just as you are not able to stop yourself from wanting her, she can’t just force herself to want you, either. Don’t be upset – just focus on the positives of your friendship.