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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Dealing With Crushes or: How the hell does it last for so long?

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Author Topic: Dealing With Crushes or: How the hell does it last for so long?
ManOnWax
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I keep reading about people whose crushes last for a long time and they seem to have a hard time getting over them. How does that happen? Sure, I had that when I was 13, but it was my first. Is it the way I deal with it that makes it so much easier for me, or is my experience so bad that I became... immunized?

I had one big crush for three years, and I was an idiot and never really talked to her. There was another one who I did try to talk to, but always got the cold shoulder. It was pretty painful then, now it's just plain hilarious now. I had a few small ones on girls I could actually get close to (VERY hard to do unless you're funny), and to one I even confessed. I got rejected - I knew I would be, and it made me feel pretty terrible for a time but I got over it. I now have a current one that I'm in the process of getting over, too.

Basically, what I do is that I always think negatively of that person. That's what I learned from the girl who gave me the cold shoulder. That's what I did with the girl I confessed to - I always thought about her negatively, emphasizing things I don't like about her and actively searching for them. That's what I do with the new one and to any girl I'm attracted to. It makes things so easy. Maybe more people should try to see their loved ones' bad sides to get over them?

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Sans
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Hey, ManOnWax. [Smile] Welcome to the boards!

I was pretty much in the exact same situation that you are in now. I had a 4.5 year crush on my best friend. Each time I hinted to her regarding my feelings for her, I received in return only bewilderment. I thought that I would never get over her, since I had liked her for such a long time. But I got over my infatuation with her a few months ago.

With crushes, I believe, if we give them time, then we will eventually get over them. Personally, I don't think that it's necessary or ultimately beneficial for us to think negatively of the people that we're infatuated with in order to get over them. For me, I come to see more of the negative as well as the positive points of people as I spend more time with them, whether or not I have feelings for them. I think that, ultimately, it might just make things more complicated for yourself if you actively search for people's negative points. This is because if you constantly reinforce a certain way (whether positive or negative) of perceiving others, it becomes a habit that is difficult to break.

Certainly infatuation can have the effect of making us to see the person in solely a positive light. But seeing the person in a solely negative light is similarly problematic. Neither way is a realistic way of viewing people. I personally think that the best way of seeing people is to balance their positive points with their negative points. Then you can ask yourself, "is this a person with whom I can have a relationship in a realistic context?" For me, all of the answers so far has been "no". Do you think that such a method might work for you in terms of helping you get over your crush?

I agree that getting over crushes can be really difficult, especially if you've had a crush for a long time. But we will get over crushes with time. Why don't you try to give it a bit more time, and see if that helps? I understand that, when infatuated, we feel like we will be stuck this way forever but my own experience has proved contrary. And I believe that yours will too. [Smile]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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ManOnWax
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I wish I could even call her a 'friend'. The one I confessed to was a friend - still is, in a way, only I'm not putting any effort into it now.

I do balance my view of people. Only crushes are the exception - They get the bad treatment. It's hard to be attracted to someone who disgusts you, and by making them disgust me I get over it quickly. Even better - I can be more confident around them, thus being the stronger person in the relationship, if there will be one*


* Romantic relationships are about who hurts who sooner and gets away with less pain. Some of us are too unattractive.

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Sans
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quote:
Originally posted by ManOnWax:

* Romantic relationships are about who hurts who sooner and gets away with less pain. Some of us are too unattractive.

Oh boy [Eek!] . Well, if that is the way you view romantic relationships, I guess that I can understand your approach to getting over crushes. Mind telling me your reasons for feeling this way? Is it just the matter of attraction?

It's true that we wouldn't be attracted to someone who disgusts us, but....it rather concerns me that you would put others down in your mind in order to see yourself as the one who has more power in an relationship. Then again, given your view of romantic relationships, I can't say that your approach surprises me.

Again, if you wouldn't mind sharing why you view romantic relationships the way you do, I would very much like to hear it. [Smile]

[ 07-25-2012, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: Sans ]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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ManOnWax
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I think this way because I'm an unattractive person (This isn't just about looks. Attraction is more than that), and thus there is most likely a much more attractive person than me around and I will be quickly left for that guy.
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Sans
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Hmmm. I'm a bit concerned regarding the way you view yourself, to be honest. It's not exactly a healthy self-perception, you know? I'm quite certain that you have attractive points. [Smile]

If you don't mind saying so, why do you believe yourself to be unattractive?

I'm asking because I might be able to help you rethink some of it if I have something a bit more specific to work with.

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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ManOnWax
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It's not unhealthy. It's the plain truth. I'm not a particularly funny guy (And THIS IS very important if you want to attract woemen.), and I lack charm and conversation skills. Basically, I don't 'click'.
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Sans
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W-ell, everyone has their own individual standard of what is attractive and what is not attractive, so I don't think that it is helpful to generalize by making statements such as "humor is very important if you want to attract women". There are so many aspects of a person that comes into play when we are considering attractiveness. A sense of humor, charm, conversation skills, are only PARTS of the whole, know what I mean? Other aspects to consider are reliability, honesty, the ability to care, etc. Every person is attracted to different qualities in others. There is no set standard of what qualities are attractive/repulsive to a woman/man.

You as a person are comprised of your own unique set of qualities that may be attractive to someone and unattractive to someone else. But that is no reason to label yourself unattractive. In the end, attractiveness is a matter of opinion. And something that is based on opinion has no set standard, know what I'm getting at?

What do you think?

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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WesLuck
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And also, a funny thing is that people who view themselves as attractive and lovable, are viewed as more attractive and lovable by other people too! There's just some "feel-good" quality about people who feel comfortable with themselves, that makes other people view them more as more attractive and lovable. And combined with that, the way we learn to love others is by learning to love and accept ourselves, it's kind of hard to do the former before the latter. [Smile]

I'll hand the floor back to Sans and anyone else who wants to contribute! [Smile]

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ManOnWax
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There are standarts. There people who are more popular and people who are less popular. This is why there are guys that girls always chase after and vice versa.

The qualities you mentioned are considered good - but they do not make you automatically attractive.

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September
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May I ask how old you are, ManOnWax? I'm just curious, since you mention popularity as a measure of how attractive someone is. And, well, the thing about popularity is that it is a concept that tends to reach its peak in high school. As you get older, other things start to count more, and plenty of people who were unpopular in high school go on to be very popular in their own niche. It's a pretty natural process: we grow into ourselves, we meet new people, we focus on new and different things. Other things become more important than popularity, especially since it's such an arbitrary concept to begin with.

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Johanna
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ManOnWax
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Woops that came out wrong. I meant to say that just like there are more popular people than others, there are more attractive people than others.

Popularity can be an attractive quality, but being popular doesn't necessarily mean attractive (just very social).

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Sans
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quote:
Originally posted by ManOnWax:

The qualities you mentioned are considered good - but they do not make you automatically attractive.

Hmmm. But wouldn't you say that depends on the individual person and opinion? By utilizing the phrase, "automatically attractive" you seem to believe that there IS a set standard for attractiveness that applies to EVERYONE. And generalizing is not really realistic because everyone has a different opinion, know what I mean?. For instance, I personally believe that a reliable, honest, compassionate character is very attractive. Appearances, charisma, etc., are lower down on my list of priorities when I evaluate a potential partner.

I respect the fact that you have your own personal opinion, but I disagree with your assumption that everyone adheres to the same belief regarding attractiveness because it's not true.

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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ManOnWax
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Everyone says they're attracted to honesty/compassion/reliability. I don't buy that. These things make you like a person, but attraction is a whole different thing - and it's generally surface qualities.

Manner of speech, sense of humor, looks - this is what determines how attractive you are.

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Heather
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Well, all of these things are arbitrary, and generalizing about them is always problematic.

So, anyone saying all people are attracted to (which, in and of itself is a very murky term to the point of often being meaningless) honestly, compassion and reliability would be in error, just like you saying how someone talks, sense of humor and how people look is what everyone is attracted to is an error.

The how and why of people's attraction to each other -- what makes people feel interested in someone, drawn to someone, and/or compels them to stay interested -- is highly complex and diverse, and what we know about it so far, if we know anything, is that: that it is highly complex and diverse, and there is nothing we can say everyone is attracted to, nor anything we can say no one is. We can also say that it's pretty clear that much of the time someone talks about what people are attracted to in a broad way, when not referencing research, they're usually either a) voicing what THEY are attracted to or b) voicing what others have or have not been attracted to in them.

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ManOnWax
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I'm waiting for another explaination why every guy that makes everyone laugh also happens to be the one girls always chase after.

This is going off-topic though. What I'm asking is: Why is it so hard for people to get over crushes and other people they're romantically interested in? Am I the only one who always actively hates the ones I'm attracted to?

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September
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Everyone has different strategies for dealing with unrequited feelings. Some try to move on from them as quickly as possible, others struggle with them for a while.

Can you clarify what you are asking here? Would you like to change your behavior? Are you bothered by it? What are you hoping to hear from us?

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Heather
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Again, I think going to "every" is flawed thinking, but I do think it's safe to say that most people tend to enjoy feeling happy and joyful, and laughing tends to make most people feel that way.

I think we have to be careful to differentiate between crushes -- romantic or sexual interest in someone based more on an idea of them than actual interaction -- and between situations and feelings where people have truly interacted with one another, gotten to know one another, and developed feelings based on knowing people with some depth. Because really, they're different.

I'd also say that how hard or easy it is for people to get over either of these things is very situational and individual, but for more, getting over the former tends to be a lot easier than the latter.

Are you the only person who has employed a strategy of making someone into the bad guy so you don't like them anymore? I think it's very safe to say no. But I'd also say that certainly is not the only way to let go of attachment to those feelings or wants, and it's probably not one of the healthier ways to do it.

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ManOnWax
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I know the difference between the two. I experienced it. I noticed that the more you spend time with a person you're attracted to, the easier it is to see through them and into their flaws.

How is it not healthy? Developing those negative feelings prevents me from becoming a sucker to these people, it also turns the game - instead of me trying to impress her, now I am the one who needs to see whether she's good enough to even talk to me.

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Onionpie
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Hi Max. The attitude that you're expressing is unhealthy because interacting with people and forming bonds and relationships with them is not a "game", healthy relationships do not require someone being "a sucker" to someone else. In healthy relationships, both people are equal and do not take advantage of the other person, each person respects the other and their opinions/wants/needs/etc. It sounds like the mindset you are expressing towards this is something that could really prevent you from making deep or meaningful bonds/connections with people you might have romantic feelings towards.

I'd also like to pose a different position on your first statement. Getting to know someone and seeing their flaws and imperfections isn't seeing "through" them. Flaws are just as big a part of people as their good qualities are, and with anyone we care about or are close to -- be it friends or romantic interests or family members -- recognizing/being aware of someone's flaws isn't a negative thing and doesn't make us dislike them. Since being human is to be flawed, people who care about one another care about the humanity of the person -- that is, they care about them flaws and all.

Here's an excellent article with really important insight into what makes a healthy relationship. I really think it'd be useful for you to read it:
Hello, Sailor! How to Build, Board and Navigate a Healthy Relationship

[ 08-01-2012, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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Heather
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What would it mean -- what does it mean to you -- to be a "sucker" to someone in this context? How does how you feel about them -- positive or negative -- impact them at all if they're not involved with you?

Also, is there anyone, really, who isn't good enough for any of us to even speak to? I ask because I don't see people and life that way, so I'm trying to understand how you do.

[ 08-01-2012, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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ManOnWax
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Relationships are, in many ways, a power struggle - especially if there's romantic/sexual interest involved (I'm not talking about friendships here). The relationships I currently have with my friends are excellent.

This will not prevent me from making bonds with these people. I am still aware of their good qualities. I am just making sure they're not worthy of romantic attention from me - they're just people, just nobodies.

To be a sucker to someone is to always be the one who initiates, and the other side never puts effort into the relationship. By thinking negatively of these people, I simply lose any desire to try to make them like me - I become free around them. I also stop putting effort in the relationship and let them carry it (Which is the part where it either dies, or I can turn it around to make them the sucker).

By thinking of them negatively and not good enough, it's much easy to lose them. It's so much easy to throw away someone who's not good enough for you.

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Heather
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You know, ManOnWax, here's what I've observed in my 40+ years on this earth and my 15-ish years of working specifically with people with sex and relationships. Obviously, you can take it or leave it.

I've observed that when people view relationships or human interactions as games, games tend to be what they get. Same goes with viewing them as power struggles or fights with power. Same goes with viewing them as partnerships, or ways to grow, what have you. In other words, how people view and frame relationships tends to highly influence how they experience them and what kinds of experiences they have.

For sure, if someone is in a relationship or interaction where it's all give and no get, where they are expending all the effort and the other person isn't expending any, it's totally time to move on. But I don't think that doing that without demonizing the other person makes someone a "sucker." In fact, if we've earnestly moved on and severed those ties, how we feel about that person isn't even something they'd know, so it won't color their view of us in the slightest. Know what I mean?

I think -- and I know it's possible, plenty of people do it -- we can think of someone well while concurrently thinking or knowing that a given interaction or relationship with them either isn't possible, isn't wanted by one or both sides, or isn't the right thing for us.

Just like, say, a diabetic can know that sugar can make lovely things, tasty things, but that eating sugar isn't sound for their bodies.

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ManOnWax
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How do you explain that, ever since I adopted this view, I became better at it all? More friends, more confidence, slightly more success with women (Not a lot, but enough for me to get to know them and then write them off.)

'Demonizing' (I prefer the term 'minimizing'.) that person is a great way to get over our feelings for them. This is why it's so hopeful. I know I'm safe from heartbreak because I will never really be romantically interested in a girl without thinking that she's not important to me. This is about protection.

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Heather
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Not knowing what "success" means to you, or how those relationships/interactions with women have been going for everyone involved, I'm not sure I could answer that.

You know, it sounds to me like you feel whatever you're doing now is working out for you. If it is, and it doesn't hurt anyone else, it's certainly not something I have an issue with, even if my view is there are likely more beneficial, healthier ways to interact.

But if you feel this is working for you, then I'm not sure what you're asking us for? If this is just about you feeling your strategies work for you and you're suggesting other people should try them, then you've made that suggestion, and obviously people who read this thread can then opt to try what you're suggesting or not.

[ 08-01-2012, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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