Being in a relationship where your friend later turns out to be your crush but isn’t into you can be devastating. You mustn’t stop being friends with such a person just because the feeling wasn’t reciprocated. It takes a lot of maturity to be able to get over a crush and still be good friends. It’ll be important to know what ‘crush’ means.
Crushes are defined as temporary but powerful feelings of attraction that often incite a fair amount of yearning. Your cheeks flush. Your stomach flips. Your heart races. No, you’re not having a medical emergency—but you do have a pretty serious case of the crush. If your feelings are reciprocated, this can be an intoxicating experience. But an unwanted or unrequited crush can leave you feeling confused, miserable, and helpless. Mild crushes can fade within a few weeks. Serious crushes are generally limited to the early stages of a relationship, or two years if no relationship develops.
You probably won’t get over a persistent crush overnight, but there are steps you can take to manage your desire and hasten your recovery process when rejected.
How to get over your crush and still be friends
1. Accept your feelings
The first step is to recognize that you have feelings for the other person because you can’t get over something you’re not aware of. It’s common to deny romantic feelings at first, especially if you’re crushing on a good friend, your mentor, or anyone you consider out of reach.
Acknowledgment and acceptance are important first steps in the healing process. Crushes are normal, even ones on people you know you’d never pursue. Pushing down your feelings can prevent you from working through them in productive ways. Instead, they might linger, causing more heartache.
Accepting your feelings enables you to heal emotionally and gradually let go of the person.
This might be a good time to draw back and reduce excess interaction. If you tend to spend a lot of time together, explain that you want to stay friends but need some space for the time being. This is a healthy response, one they’ll likely understand.
You might feel frustrated, annoyed, and confused over why they can’t give it a shot with you, especially if you’re close friends. Remember, you can’t force attraction or love, and they can’t help their feelings any more than you can.
The more you go into close contact with the person, the more you keep hurting yourself, knowing fully well that the person can never be yours. So it’s better to give the person space and get over the feeling with time. You must be careful not to let the unreciprocated feeling thwart your friendship.
3. Allow yourself to grieve
It is normal to feel grief, anger, denial, and all the other things a person might feel after a loss. Your feelings about the person you love are real, and the hopes you had are real.
Don’t be afraid to cry or show how hurt you are. You’re human, and it’s totally expected. It’s okay to cry. When the person you love is a friend, the fact that they clearly like you genuinely can make it even harder to process as a loss. No matter how many times you’ve said that you accept they aren’t interested in you romantically, moments of warmth and closeness can bring the fires of hope flickering back to life.
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.
4. Communicate with your friends
Share your feelings with a friend who has possibly gone past your phase and will understand you. Talking to people who have experienced similar issues can reduce your stress, so choose a friend who’s recently gotten over a crush themselves.
Sharing with your friends helps you heal faster, and it brings to your consciousness that you’re not the only one going through that phase. Your friends are there to always encourage you when you’re down and becoming overwhelmed with the season. That’s why it’s very important to have a healthy circle of friends that one can always run to.
5. Give it time
Sometimes it’s not so easy to just get over a crush, and those periods might seem like a whole lot, but be strong for yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself to heal.
Fortunately, crushes usually don’t last long, although you might feel like you’ll be miserable forever. It’s pretty common for the strength of your feelings to decrease within a few weeks or months. The amount of time it takes to get over a crush can vary. Be patient with yourself.
6. Meet New People
When you feel ready, consider meeting and hanging out with new people. There’s no pressure to start dating, of course, but even putting yourself out there and being open to new possibilities can do wonders for healing your heart and giving you hope that you will be able to develop feelings for someone else.
You can join groups with the main aim of connecting with people on a platonic level, or even join a local club or volunteer group to meet new, like-minded people in your community. When you make new friends with time, the feelings fade off faster with time because you’re not giving room to nurse the hurt and your new friends become what’s in your mind.
7. Never Think Less of yourself
Don’t make the rejection make you feel you’re not worthy of love. Always positively confess to yourself how beautiful you are, smart, intelligent, wise and privileged you are. This person is not the only person in the world. YOU, however, are the only you. If your next crush is truly worthy of you, they’ll be attracted to all of your talents, virtues and encourage you to be the best you can be.
8. Get It All Out In Your Journal
Journaling has proved to be a great stress reliever. Write down exactly how you feel. What you can’t say to your crush, pen it down and let the words flow. As you write, you can truly see the basis of your emotions and be truly honest with yourself. You’re free to keep it after writing or you might choose to throw it away. The aim is to get out every feeling inside of you expressed in your journal.
9. Give yourself a nice treat
Love mustn’t be shown by another person, you can also show yourself much love. Being busy with all the things you like doing is a great way to not even have time to dwell on a lost almost-love. Treat yourself to a day at the spa or an impromptu shopping spree.
Keeping your mind distracted with things you like to do—and giving yourself room to treat yourself with kindness—will put you in a better headspace for your next relationship. And it’ll remind you exactly who you are and what you want from your next crush.
While healing, this is a good time to be indulgent. Buy yourself things you like, eat foods you enjoy, be around people that make you smile, but in moderation. Don’t spend all your savings or engage in unhealthy behaviors just because you’re hurting. Enjoy yourself without creating another, potentially more complicated, problem.
10. See a Therapist or Counselor
When you notice you’re always sad or tending towards depression, that might be a good time to consult a therapist. Don’t feel you can get by with it on your way. This might be the only chance for your complete freedom.
One of the ethics of a counselor or a therapist is to keep whatever is shared to them safe. So don’t be scared of expressing exactly how you feel to them so that the adequate support and advice can be given to you.
In conclusion, having a new crush can feel fantastic. You look forward to seeing them and feel energized, even euphoric, when you spend time together. Depending on the situation, there might even be a chance that the feelings are mutual. But when it isn’t reciprocated, please don’t stay on the ground for too long. Just assure yourself with ‘The best is yet to come’ because you truly deserve the best.
No matter how much your heart is hurting, know that the feelings won’t last forever. You will move on from a crush. Feelings are often temporal. It might appear like you won’t be able to get past it but no with time, you’ll be standing firmly on your feet, strong like you never even got down at all.
You should be careful not to allow your feelings to ruin your friendship, especially if it is one that pushes you to become a better person. Know that you can’t always have what you desire. Suppress your feelings and move on with your friendship. It’s quite sad because some ruin great friendships because of improper ways of handling their unreciprocated feelings. Remember, ‘If you’re strong enough to love someone then you’re strong enough to get over them’.