It’s been two months since I found out about “Jill’s” FWB. We’ve cut off contact. Here’s a girl who I don’t know very well. Not only does she not seem compatible with me, but we’ve never even hit it off. Yet, I can’t move on completely. Is it because of my mommy issues? Do I lack self-respect? Am I trying to avenge my ego bruise? Perhaps it’s a combination of all these reasons.
Anyway, so-called dating gurus always preach boundaries and remove people who don’t reciprocate the same level of interest in you. But is that always the wise choice? Does it always mean you don’t love yourself just because you still have feelings for someone who doesn’t deserve it? I beg to differ.
Sometimes you enjoy a challenge. What you can’t get has more value than what’s convenient. (At least it appears that way) If anything, this indicates more self-confidence. Because you’re not settling for mediocrity. Uncertainty is exciting. Not being able to hold someone down gives the chase more meaning. By looking at unrequited love from this angle, you’ll realize that just maybe, your obsession with a particular potential lover isn’t a disease but a dangerous yet fun aspect of dating that tortures many, at the same time making many feel alive.
Of course, if someone cheated on you or betrayed you, curse them. But as for a little rejection, a person with healthy self-esteem won’t take it too personally. So if you generally feel okay about yourself, then there are a few alternatives to letting go.
See them a few more times so you can forget them
A big reason I still think about “Jill” so much is that distance creates beauty. The less access I have to her, the more scarce she appears. So instead of cutting off contact, I’ve decided to reconnect. Because then, I’ll be able to see her for the ordinary person she is instead of the idealized version that’s been stuck in my mind. However, if the fire relit after seeing her again, I’ll know I truly like her for who she is. It’s not a matter of making amends to my ego.
To truly move on from someone, meet them in person, allow them to remind you of how flawed and unfit they’re for you. After a while, their nostalgia will wear off. You might start wondering why you ever became so addicted. Perhaps you fell in love with the idea of that person rather than the person themselves.
What if you stayed regular friends?
Remaining friends with someone you like is tough. Seeing them with someone else triggers deep anxiety that makes you vomit. But just because you remove them from your contact lists doesn’t mean you’ve truly turned the page. You avoiding them actually shows how much you care. You’re afraid of them hurting you again. People with high self-esteem don’t need to take it to the extreme. They can handle rejection and are more forgiving of others because they’re forgiving of themselves.
Try going back to regular friends. Hang out, talk about life, talk about your who you’ve just met or whom they’re dating. See if you’re able to remain unaffected. You’re not sacrificing your self-worth. You’re not accepting their breadcrumb love. All you’re doing is saying, “you aren’t as important as you think. I don’t need to transform myself or hide from you. You don’t hold that much power over me.” It shows how big of a person you are.
Find out more about them
I couldn’t help but wonder about who “Jill” really was deep down. I wanted to know why she chose another guy over me. Was it my problem? Or her preference? How much did she actually like me? The more ambiguous the answers, the more I want to know, making me romanticize her even more.
A big part of your attraction stems from mystery. You aren’t sure what they think of you, who they really are, or what type of partner they seek, making you extremely curious. People often fear uncertainty more than the result itself. You want to get closer, but they won’t let you, so you become even more eager.
Whether it’s through their social media, mutual friends, or asking them directly, please find out more about them, it’ll reduce some of the infatuation and fantasy you have about them.
Sometimes it’s worth the fight
Online dating has made it more convenient to find replacement partners. But for this very reason, people are less invested in each relationship, knowing that there are always many more fishes in the sea. This mentality leads to many mediocre partners, unsatisfying relationships, and a waste of time and energy. Maybe it’s time to lean towards the risk of pain and go after the person you can’t get off your mind.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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