Just FYI- I refuse to believe that I am the only one that has experienced this. But you know when you’ve developed certain feels for someone and it doesn’t cross your mind, not... even…once that they may not feel the same way back. You pluck up the courage, and tell them how you feel and they hit you with the “sorry, I don’t feel the same way.........” ?? Yes- logically we know that they don’t have to feel the same way, but our egos refuse to accept what has been said; so you’re left to spiral into an internal dialogue because of what you thought you knew for sure (which is that, of course they like you) isn’t the case at all and you’re left completely thrown off. And so the psycho-analysis begins, “How did I not see this?” But what exactly did you base your perception of the situation on? How was your decision informed? Body language, time spent on the phone/social interactions, private jokes or familiarity in each other spaces. This can all be true, amongst other things, and they still may not feel the same way.
Feelings, especially those that go on unchecked and have been encouraged (once again, through that internal dialogue) can distort the reality of the present situation. What you thought could evolve into a romantic relationship, is simply just a really good friendship. So in essence, you romanticised it all in your head.
Feelings are valid and very much part of the human experience, but feelings are just that, feelings. They are primary indicators, that a pivotal shift has taken place, at least, from your perspective. So manage accordingly, knowing that you can only speak on what you feel, and not where the other person stands.
And so, if this is you, know that it happens. Often. Many have (myself included) misinterpreted signals or words spoken. The intentionality and active pursuit of relationships means that vulnerability is required. At some point, you have to take a leap and let the person that you have developed an interest in know how you feel. Remember that the certainty lies with yourself. You cannot speak for or guess another person’s emotions. The only way that you will know for sure, is by having a conversation, and not relying on preconceived assumptions but actually listening to what the person has to say. Reading endless blogs or articles, or speaking to your friends about the situation, allowing yourself to run around with unchecked assumptions, will not bring about any certainty. Vulnerability requires taking chances. It means that you have to be willing to risk rejection for the sake of clarity.
So what do you do if you have laid it out all bare, and it has not gone to plan? Take some time (but not too long) to accept, what is essentially, a rejection of a romantic relationship, but not of you as a person. Hopefully you can maintain some sort of a friendship, though your feelings may be hurt, this will pass in time. Please bare in mind, that this is not a break-up! The prospect of a romantic relationship was rejected, not the conclusion of a friendship. Understand that the person of interest has agency, and feelings do not have to be reciprocated.
Remember, if at first you don’t succeed…dust yourself off and try again. Get back in the game. You want a relationship, so you need to be intentionally proactive. Someone, will come along and see that, and want you!
Grace and Peace,
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