His name was Jake and we worked side by side for two years. On Fridays, he loved surprising me with Starbucks, although after a while it was always expected. He was strong, well educated, from a good family, and cared about his job. He was my reason to get up every morning.
Going out with Jake broke all my rules. I refused to date any man I worked with, no matter how hard it was. The last thing I wanted was to create work drama, but Jake never left my mind – ever. There were times when we’d share a glance, a wink, or a happy hour drink. We became the butt of everyone’s jokes – the “happy couple” they called us. I thought it was cute. I wasn’t sure how Jake thought of it.
On the Fourth of July, I threw a party at my apartment. I decided it was time to tell Jake how I felt – I didn’t invite anyone from work. He arrived looking sharp as always, and after a couple hours of people drinking and eating, we were finally alone in my room. I had a few drinks in me, which raised my confidence and allowed me to sweep in for a somewhat unexpected kiss, but something even more unexpected happened. He pushed me back and said, “What are you doing…?”
I was devastated. Though I tried to play it off as some kind of accident, it was pretty clear I was upset. I confessed my feelings to Jake, watching him nod his head and look away. He said how sad he was to tell me my feelings couldn’t be reciprocated. We hugged it out, and for a moment it felt as if my heart dissolved into a thousand pieces.
We’ve all had experiences when a man we crush on doesn’t like us back. It’s difficult because we have to then repress all the feelings we’ve let acquire through the weeks, months, or years. We feel idiotic because of all the wasted time, which could have been better spent. But the thing is you never know what might happen if you don’t speak up. Where there are questions, you must seek answers; otherwise the feelings will grow into expectations that are heard to reverse.
It’s impossible to know without asking. A crush feels good temporarily, and it’s usually tied to lust or mystery. But the more we let these feelings accumulate, the more likely we’ll turn them into love – not the romantic kind, but the kind that makes us obsessive. Real love is exchanged between two people. If only one of us is sending it out, unbeknownst to the other, it has the potential of doing more damage than good.
I learned the hard way that life is too short to live in fear. You can’t be scared of what might happen should your crush discover how you feel. No one has ever gotten anything they wanted by daydreaming, which is why it’s probably best to limit the emotions for a while – at least until you know how he feels.
At the beginning, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Enjoy his company without allowing tension to grow. Where there’s tension, there’s always going to be countering – in other words, he’ll distance himself when he feels awkward. That will hurt even more.
You like him, that’s great! Let him know by giving opportunities for him to see how amazing you are. Don’t run and hide because you have a crush. This isn’t Elementary school anymore. You need to keep your head equally as high as your confidence, and the rest is sure to follow. If you remain intact, you will unconsciously send messages he can only interpret as peacefulness, which opens up a vessel for him to start redirecting his perspective on you.
It sucks liking a guy who doesn’t like you back. For the most part, we can’t help who we like and don’t like – our chemistry usually does that for us. The most important person you need to be concerned for is you. Don’t give your heart in exchange for nothing. It’s going to be hard, but you have to keep your emotions tucked away until you know where his stand. If you don’t, you risk more than you think you do.
Consider it an answer rather than a slap in the face. When you hear through the grapevine, or, by him alone, that your feelings aren’t reciprocated, it’s okay to be upset. A dream has been pinched away. But you can’t let this define who you are as a person nor let it take away from the light you give to people around you. You are too precious. Just because one guy isn’t ready for it doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty like him who are. Trust me, there are more Jakes to choose from. Save your heart for the ones who deserve it.