Auntie SparkNotes: My Crush Is Using Me for an Ego Boost
I have a major crush on a good friend of mine, but he's straight and I'm a gay guy. That's the first issue, but the bigger one is that I think he knows I like him, and he's using me.
He has a big ego complex, he's a bit of a narcissist. I think he's using my crush on him as a way to boost his confidence further, assuming that no matter what he does, I'll support him because I like him.
I need to get over him or confess my feelings, but I don't know how to take action towards either choice. Please help!
In that case, Sparkler, it is my pleasure to inform you that you're off the hook: you don't need to make the difficult choice between getting over the guy or confessing your feelings!
Because, uh, you don't have a choice. I mean, you said it: your feelings are not a secret that requires revelation. Not only is your crush already aware of them, but according to you, he is happily manipulating them to make himself feel like the King Stud of Douchebag City.
Which totally sucks, of course, and I'm sorry. But the nature of this situation's suckiness is that it leaves you with exactly one good option, which is to put this crush in your rearview like a bank robber fleeing a heist. By your own account, your friend is a self-centered jerk who not only doesn't return your interest, but doesn't care about your feelings and keeps you around primarily to fluff his ego. Why would you trust a person like this with the additional power that a confession would give him? Even before you get to the part where his heterosexuality makes your crush arguably hopeless, the part where he's a total jerk should make your solution obvious. A guy who's capable of behaving the way you describe is not a guy who deserves your romantic attention—and more to the point, the fact that you even think he's capable of it is the reddest of red flags. You have to value your own heart more than to hand it to someone who you fully expect to be careless and cruel with it.
And starting now, you have to value it enough to step back and start actively working not just to get past your feelings for your friend, but to address whatever's going on with you that led you to invest yourself in an emotionally unavailable narcissist to begin with.
In practice, that means focusing on the (egregious, in this case) flaws that make him an unsuitable match for you, refocusing your energy on the friends and passions that fulfill you, and setting healthy boundaries—especially by quashing the idea that you'll let the guy get away with all manner of bad behavior just because you like him. From now on, if he does something you object to, you must speak up—even if it's just to say, "That's not fair," or "That's messed up." Not because it'll change his behavior, but because it'll change yours.
Which is the real point of all this, sweet pea. You need to overhaul your standards when it comes to what kind of person you deem worthy of your time and affection, you need to believe you deserve better than a friend who uses your feelings against you, and you need the courage of those convictions to be your guide in matters of the heart (and hormones.) Any person you seek out for intimacy should be someone who cares for you, respects you, and treats you like you matter—and really believing that is your first step not just toward getting over this guy (who apparently doesn't do any of those things), but toward choosing someone more worthy of your interest the next time around.
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