Crush bringing out my inner high schooler.
July 26, 2012 7:52 AM   Subscribe

I have a crush on a pub trivia friend, and its bringing out the worst in me.

There's a guy in one of my friend groups that I'm developing an unhealthy crush on. He's charming and flirty, but I feel like I'm maybe his 4th or 5th choice -- if there's a new girl playing with us that week, he'll act way more interested in her and I'll get jealous of the attention she's getting. I don't know where this is coming from, since we don't have any romantic history. Meanwhile the whole time he'll be telling these really funny and self-deprecating stories about how he's radioactive with women and can't keep a girlfriend. (Red flag. I know.)

I feel like I'm regressing back to high school: I'm pining for guys that don't notice me, who are in turn pining for girls that don't notice them. I don't want to stop seeing these friends (and really, this guy) but I'm feeling bummed out every time we hang out. How do I get over this crush?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So tell this guy you have a crush on him. Either he's open to seeing if it can turn into something, or he doesn't see you that way. If he doesn't see you that way, no biggie, you can shrug it off.

The thing that's doing you in is the secretive, pining stuff. That's where your brain takes a normal guy and distorts him into a bigger-than-life romantic figure.

A couple of dates with the regular guy should let you know if there's anything there to build on, but you'll be disappointed because now your crush isn't on this guy, it's on the imaginary dude in your head.

Here's how I'd do it (and have done it): "Dude, I have a total crush on you." (once I gave the guy flowers. Did I mention he was TEH GAY, I knew he was TEH GAY and I knew he'd never reciprocate.) See what he says, if it gets awkward say, "You don't have to do anything about it, I just thought you should know." If he seems interested in having a date say, "Cool, I can get to know you better, you might actually live up to my fantasy of you."

Understanding that it's a crush, treating it with the respect it deserves (nearly none) and being good natured and willing to roll with it if you get rejected, or worse, he's willing to see where it goes, will be the best way to either get over it, or have a new boyfriend.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:01 AM on July 26, 2012 [6 favorites]

The only real way to get over a crush is to give yourself a little time and space. There's no way to make these feelings just sort of change all at once (not saying that it can't happen, just that there's no way to make it happen). Now, note that I said a little time and space - you don't need to disconnect entirely or anything, just give yourself a bit of elbow room. If you go to pub trivia every week, try going every other week. That sort of thing. Keep yourself busy in the meantime. At first it might seem like it's just building anticipation but sooner or later there'll come a point where you haven't seen him in two weeks and you've been so busy that it feels like it's been months and you're like, oh yeah, this guy, and you feel maybe a twinge of the crush you used to have and then that's it.

Alternately: Assuming you've presented all relevant details (that is to say that he's single and you're single), I'd say that his acting more interested in the new girl is a kind of normal thing that happens, but basically I'd say to stop trying to guess at his motivations and maybe just ask him out in a casual way. The worst that happens is he says no but he sounds like a cool enough guy that it wouldn't be a catastrophic thing if that happened.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:02 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just ignore it and have fun. Don't give it the power to bum you out. There is no reason to stop seeing a group of friends just because you have a (probably unrequited) crush. You'll get over it eventually.

Or you'll be like me and it will turn out that the guy from pub trivia on whom you had an unrequited crush liked you after all, and you'll marry him eventually!
posted by amro at 8:03 AM on July 26, 2012

You get over the crush by making sure that trivia night is not your only regular social outing. You also make it a point to speak to and flirt with other men. Men who do not joke about being incapable of having relationships/holding douchey opinions/being undesirable (because really he's insulting any woman who would be interested in him. He's saying such a woman must have questionable taste, so you're spot on that it's a red flag!)

You need to meet more people. Whether you do that through online dating or hitting on guys at your local--someplace-- is going to take some practice on your part to figure out.

Continue to be cordial, but don't stare or fawn or hang on his every word. Answer if he asks you questions, but don't grill him or go out of your way to sit so that he's in your line of sight.
posted by tulip-socks at 8:11 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Easiest way is, you get some distance from this situation or you get involved with somebody else. If those aren't options for you you've got to work on your own head.

It sounds horrible, but I've been able to overcome crushes by working on my awareness of my crush's flaws. When I'm crushing on someone, my imagination is working really hard to make her not a person but a concept of what's attractive to me. I don't imagine her farting, or picking her nose or whatever; I don't notice how she snorts when she laughs, or how she is really kind of impressed with herself or how she misuses this one word a lot. I'm not really into her, I'm into a sketch of her, so much so that I've tuned out who she really is.

If I can overcome that, I can start to notice that she is a picky eater and not at all punctual and her face is actually a little lopsided and suddenly I'm not all that into her anymore. Not that there's anything wrong with being a picky eater or not punctual and really everybody's face is a little lopsided, it's just that suddenly my awareness of someone's flaws helps me to not focus on my mental sketch of how adorable they are.
posted by gauche at 8:13 AM on July 26, 2012

Crushes, like mold, grow in hidden places. It becomes this big secret pining thing the longer you hold it. If you want to get over it then tell him or ask him out. If you don't want to go that route, then agreed with above that you should try to distance yourself from him a bit and maybe put more effort in to dating. Nothing cures a crush like finding someone else to think about romantically (or at least that has been my experience).
posted by gwenlister at 8:13 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Smile, compliment, eye contact, light touching. Get his attention. Don't worry about "getting over it." That comes with time.

I say go for it.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:32 AM on July 26, 2012

But how is it bringing out the high school dramz? I mean, it isn't like you scrawled some poor woman's name in the bathroom stall saying that she likes to give sloppy bj's after gym class. Okay, you're pining. And getting jealous when he pays attention to someone else. Okay. Instead, it sounds like what you are REALLY saying is "I am ashamed of these feelings." So, in translation, your question is actually, "I like someone, and I am ashamed of liking them. Help me get over my shame enough to do something about this."

Why are you ashamed?

Identifying WHY you are ashamed of your feelings is a great first step toward processing them in a healthy way. Are you afraid you'll muck up your group dynamic? Are you afraid of being rejected? Do you believe that you don't deserve to be liked back? Identify your concerns, and then neutralize them. Your friendships will survive your confession of your crush. Sure it is risky when two folks from a group get romantically involved. You're an adult. He's an adult. If things don't work out... big freaking deal. You will survive rejection. When I was younger, and upset about being turned down by someone, a friend took me out to dinner, laid his hand on mine and said, "Newsflash, kid. Not EVERYONE is going to like you. And that's okay." It was so stupid and simple but it was so right, and it really helped me get over myself. So. Newsflash, kid. Not EVERYONE is going to like you. And that's okay. And finally, you deserve to be liked back. Maybe not by this guy. But by someone. I don't know you, specifically. But I know plenty of people who have been in your situation. And all of them have a lot of love to give, and really deserve someone to give it to - and someone who will return it to them. There's nothing to be ashamed of there.

I know this isn't the answer you came here to get. You just want to know how to stop writing his name in loopy scrawl on your Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper so that you can focus on nailing those questions about the discography of U2 and/or the proper taxonomic name for animals belonging to the Order Pholidota. But I really think that you should consider talking to a therapist about this.

Crushing is a VERY comfortable place. It may feel awkward to you, and you may detest who it turns you into, but it is VERY SAFE. Because it is all inside your head and you are ultimately in complete control over the situation. Let go of some control over the situation, and allow yourself to be vulnerable. The rewards are great if you work for them - and even if you are hurt in the process, you'll amaze yourself with how strong you can be. Recognizing that you're being lazy by staying in the safe crushing space, may give you the momentum you need to get out of it.
posted by jph at 8:37 AM on July 26, 2012 [15 favorites]

The best advice that I ever heard for getting over a crush is: "imagine him pooping"

If you do that, and still have a torch for him, and there's no reason why you shouldn't date, I say you should just ask him out.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Agreed with advice above. I've asked a guy out before under similar circumstances. We've been together 3 years now.
posted by Quincy at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2012

He hasn't asked you out or looked to find more time to spend with you. He doesn't want you. Your asking him out might intrigue him, but you should probably find someone new to crush on or find a new trivia group.
posted by discopolo at 1:38 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

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