Auntie SparkNotes: I Told My Crush How I Feel, But Now What?
Auntie SparkNotes is on vacay this week, so we're publishing a few of her vintage gems!
I finally had the guts to tell my crush that I liked him (btw he's one of my BFFs). We were talking online and then I told him that I liked him, but he wasn't like "OMG YOU LIKE ME OMG OMG BIGGEST SURPRISE OF MEH LIFE!!!!!!!" Instead he was like "Yeah, I already knew."
I knew he didn't like me because I heard him say to someone that he didn't like me, which hit me in the heart pretty bad. Anyways while we were talking online out of nowhere he said that he was going to study and then he left and I was just like, "What just happened, he left out of nowhere." But the problem was that it was late at night and he had all day to do it. And now I see him while I go to one of my classes and I don't know whether I should still hug him like I always do or just straight out ignore him. I also wanna still talk to him but I don't know how to approach him.
Ugh, and how unfair is that? I mean, when you've worked up the considerable nerve to tell someone that you like him—and his response is to say "I know," and then vanish from the convo like some kind of heartbreak Houdini—it seems truly unreasonable that you should be left holding the awkward bag.
But alas, you are. And so you will have to approach him, for no other reason than that the onus is on you to act. You told this guy how you feel, and he... well, did what he did. (Which, for what it's worth, is a fairly typical teenage boy reaction to an Uncomfortable Feelings Situation. I'm not saying it was great of him, just that it's not much of a mystery why he disappeared.)
And now, it's your move again.
The good news, Sparkler, is that as weird as things are right now, the power to make things not-weird is almost entirely yours. This is the basic rule of unrequited feelings between friends: It's up to the rejected person whether they want to continue the friendship, and on what terms. You just have to figure out what kind of relationship you'd like to have, now that you know a romantic one is off the table. And if you can be satisfied being just friends, then all you have to do is the following:
Step 1: Send the guy a message saying that you know it's been a little uncomfortable, but it's fine, you're not holding a torch for him, and you'd like to resume the friendship, assuming he's amenable.
Step 2: Assuming he is amenable, resume friending as usual! Just do so casually, without making a thing of the crush confession (or even mentioning it again), and drawing the line at any interaction that's not unambiguously platonic.
And please do note, the details of both these steps are important. For one, if you're still having a mess of romantic feelings for this guy, the best thing for both of you is to give yourself some time and space to let them settle. And for two, if and when you do start talking again, you really do need to keep it cool and casual, or that crush will hang in the air between you, and the relationship will get too awkward to function. A friendship in which one person has just confessed unrequited romantic feelings for the other is a friendship in which affectionate demonstrations like hugging, etc, pretty much have to be off the table for awhile -- not necessarily forever, but definitely for the foreseeable future, until enough time has passed that the crush is nothing but a distant memory. (You don't want him looking at you sideways every time you hug, wondering if you're getting something unsavory out of it.)
But otherwise, that's it! And assuming you want to stay friends, and that he does too, there's no reason why this awkward moment shouldn't be totally survivable. All it'll take is one more act of courageously putting yourself out there, and re-initiating contact, to get the ball rolling. But considering how much nerve you've shown already, I'm guessing that won't be a problem, you brave person, you.
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