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I had spent the entire afternoon hanging out and chatting with him at the bar where he worked, thinking maybe, just maybe, this would be the day he revealed that he felt the same way about me. So I spent the night alone, crying, and wrestling once again with the heartbreak of being rejected by someone who liked me — a lot — but not the way I wanted them to. I was in my late twenties at this point, and this was an unhappily familiar feeling. You suffer, you cry, you write poems, and then eventually you move on. You want them to stay in your life. And because you know them better, your feelings for them have deeper roots and take longer to die down.
It hurt when I was thirteen, and it hurt when I was But I did learn a lot of things that made the hurt bearable, and enabled me to have relationships with the people I loved that were healthy for both of us. It is normal to feel grief, anger, denialand all the other things a person might feel after loss. Your feelings about the person you love are real, and the hopes you had had are real.
And neither of these are healthy. When the person you love is a friend, the fact that they clearly like you can make it even harder to process as a loss. You may end up going through the grief process multiple times. The important thing is to remember that these feelings are normal — and healthy.
They take you toward healing, even if the road seems impossibly long and twisted. Extra space could mean cutting in half the time you spend talking to them. It could mean taking a few weeks or even months off from seeing them at all. It could mean setting aside certain days and times where you focus on other relationships, other activities, anything but them. Pick what seems to work for you — but do something to create some space. In the last few decades, neuroscience has given us a little more insight into why we feel those things.
For me, for example, my feelings tend How to fall out of love with your best friend be expressed in obsessive, intrusive thoughts rather than surging rushes of emotion or impulsive actions. But when you look at the neurobiology of lost loveyou can see a lot of common thre in the thoughts, feelings, and actions that unrequited love tends to create. The feelings are just as strong and real after we have names for the hormones that contribute to them as they were before.
But knowing the biological basics can give you hope, though. In those moments, it can be helpful to remember that my feelings are related to How to fall out of love with your best friend surges of hormones in my brain, and that it is completely normal and expected for those hormones to show up under these circumstances. It just puts them in context. Another helpful insight that neurobiology gives us is this: Romantic, passionate love tends to burn brighter and longer when there are obstacles.
In the normal run of things, in a happy and healthy relationship, the butterflies and thrills of new love will fade away in anywhere from six months to two years, with 18 months being the most typical lifespan. There are so many good things in life that have nothing to do with either romance or sex!
I make playlists of songs that are about other things. I stay far, far away from movies and books that center around a romantic plot. So many of our romantic stories paint an unrealistic view of love. They show someone persistently pursuing the object of their affections and finally winning them over. They show unrequited love as something that haunts your life forever.
If your feelings for your friend were a person, what kind of person would they be? And then they say something that makes me feel again how wonderful they are and how great it would be if they loved me the way I love them, and—hey look! My other pal, Feelings, has ed us! It changes the dynamic, almost as if an actual other person came over and sat down with us. As a third party in a relationship, Feelings is pretty high-maintenance. Whatever the subject of conversation, it finds a way to connect it back to what it wants and what it thinks is important.
It gives an intensity and a focus to your time with them. It helps me deal better when they show up. Maybe, someday, Feelings will go away completely and leave your friendship in peace. How to fall out of love with your best friend time will tell. As big and needy and disruptive as unrequited love can be, it is also a tremendous source of energy. For me, a lot of the pain of unrequited love comes from feeling that energy wasted and meaningless. It can also drive me to accomplish other things. To learn a new skill. To seek out new experiences.
To travel and expand my world. For months, most of my free time was consumed in studying and practicing for the LSAT. I had my sights set on a top school, and I wanted to get a score that would make it attainable. Also, I am hilariously unsuited for a career like law. Fortunately, I figured all that out before actually going to law school. But I have a really impressive LSAT score to show for all those months, and more importantly, a boost of self-confidence in what I can achieve if I set my mind to it.
But try listening to them and seeing where else you might be able to channel their energy. While I was getting over Shea, I made a hat. I spun the yarn myself and knit it in a de that reminded me of one of the things I loved most about him. While I was working on it, I let myself really dwell on my feelings for him, my sadness, all the things that were wonderful about him that made me want to be his partner. When I set down the knitting, I tried to set aside the thoughts, too, and work on building other good things in my life.
The hat was done before my feelings were. When I see the magic and beauty in a person, that never really goes away. But the intensity of desire does. Now when I talk to Shea, my happiness is straightforward, not mixed with longing and pain.
Ginny Brown is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism, as well as a speaker and educator specializing in sexuality and relationships. She writes for various publications and has her own blog here. She lives in the Philadelphia area with her poly family and three cats. Follow her on Twitter lirelyn. Used by hundreds of universities, non-profits, and businesses. Click to learn more. Unrequited Love for a Friend? Here Are 6 Ways to Deal. Source: iStock. Our online racial justice training Used by hundreds of universities, non-profits, and businesses.
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