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I met a girl in high school and started to have strong feelings for her. We fell out of touch, and I felt quite depressed. I should have tried to get counseling then but didn't. Anyway, a few years later I met her again but she seemed distant and din't show any interest in getting to know me then, which was hard for me because she was friendly in HS. After college, she got into a relationship with someone. I felt quite badly about the whole thing and decided to cut all ties with her. Five years later, we are now both in our late twenties. I have been in a couple of serious relationships since and have been quite happy through those, but have never been able to really get her out of my mind. I am plagued by the worry that I will never be able to stop thinking about her, that I never liked anyone else as much, and that even after I get married, this will keep haunting me and interfering with my life. I recently thought there would be no harm in trying to reach out to her and sent her a Facebook request, but she deleted it. Is there any hope for cases like mine?

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Sorry, but she is clearly not interested. Stop placing her on a pedestal and clinging to the thought of

being with her. It's a little disturbing why you are so invested in your mind over a girl you haven't even dated,

or any sort of real relationship with.

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I think a lot of people have someone that they will always carry a torch for. It's definitely not weird.

 

That said, the fact that she deleted your friend request is a clear sign that she is not interested. (It's kind of strange that she did not accept it, but let's leave that aside). I think what might help you is to realize that what you're pining for is what you think being with her would have been like, rather than what it actually would have been like. Other than physical attraction, you're only projecting your ideal relationship on this woman - she's only a canvas.

 

You're going to meet someone someday who will be the real deal. I guarantee it. And when you do, even if you don't forget this person, her role will change - she'll just be this former crush.

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I also have a man from my past whom I think of, feel that I'll always love in some way, and who I might always think of. It sucks, for lack of a better word. It sucks and it's hard, to say the least. In the end I realized I never knew him very well, yet I miss him.

 

What's true is that you have an image in your mind of what being with this girl would be like, as a previous poster said, even though you have no idea what a relationship with her would be like.

 

It's also true, apparently, that we can train our minds to stop obsessing about something. We sometimes daydream and dwell on a particular thing, and we allow ourselves to do that. When you find yourself thinking about her, make a quick and conscious decision to think of something else. If a song comes on that reminds you of her, it might be tempting to listen, but switch the station. When you catch yourself thinking of her again-switch the thought to something else. Over time you can train yourself to dwell on it less. This has helped me somewhat-simply not allowing my mind sink back into those thoughts. Such thoughts and fantasies and 'what ifs' are useless-they go round and round and in the end no matter how much you want it to be different, you'll still end up with a girl who isn't interested.

 

I still think of that man once in a while, but rather than wishing I was with him, I just think 'I hope he's doing okay, I hope he's happy.' Imagining him as being happy turns my negative emotion into a positive one, then I can let it go. I'm sure that girl is happy, so if you care about her let her go & be happy.

 

Best of luck meeting someone who will love you as much as you love them. The little quirks of a real relationship are better, and more fun, than a fleeting fantasy of a girl you never really knew.

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Thank you all for the great advice!

 

I draw hope from the reflection that these thoughts did not bother me much when I was in relationships with other people. Perhaps the real problem (or at least part of it) is that I'm not in one right now. Perhaps unrequited first loves, over time, come to symbolize some unmet need that periodically manifests itself. I have also been told that once a person has children, issues such as this one lose their sting. I hope that is true. My worst fears relate to the possibility that this old nuisance may still trouble me after marriage, when I should instead be whole-heartedly focused on my family which would have had nothing to do with all of this. The consensus of opinion that I have received here and elsewhere is the issue is alleviated after marriage and/or becoming a parent. I hope and pray that this is true.

 

I very much appreciate LadyAbbey's view that the best approach is to let her go, knowing that she is happy and there is no place for me in the narrative of her life. I also have been reasonably happy, most of the time. Perhaps one day, destiny will show me a way. I am reminded of something a friend said: "suffering lies in holding on".

 

Conceptually, I'm less convinced by the "canvas" argument made by Doofus and seconded by LadyAbbey, since the only indications we have of how a relationship might go are based on what we know of a person beforehand - using this argument, any failures in one's personal or even professional life can just be ignored by saying, "well there's a chance it may not have been that great". I fully acknowledge that first crushes can be irrationally powerful. Its just that reacting to a failure in one's personal life by denying it is somewhat tantamount to a student reacting to a Harvard rejection by going "oh well, maybe Harvard isn't so great after all".

 

LadyAbbey suggests a CBT type approach to suppressing these thoughts. I'm afraid my approach has been more brute force, more akin to crushing undesirable thoughts with a rock - but it is better than nothing.

 

I just wish though, that there would come a time when I would not have to avoid these thought patterns - when they would not arise at all, when I did not somehow believe that this one person magically has qualities that the other 7 billion people alive today and 42 billion people who are dead don't.

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People often idealize crushes and childhood sweethearts because they don't know really them and it reminds them of happier, more innocent times. It's not about her, it's about voids in your current life and relationships.

I met a girl in high school.I am plagued by the worry that I will never be able to stop thinking about her, that I never liked anyone else as much, and that even after I get married.I recently thought there would be no harm in trying to reach out to her and sent her a Facebook request, but she deleted it
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I am with a man now whom I adore and am fully committed to. That other man from my past still crosses my mind, but now that I'm in a good relationship, it's less often and less 'intense'. I think being in a good relationship will definitely help, even if you're never able to stop thinking about her completely. I share your hope that if I ever have a child this will all cease to matter.

 

Also, it seems that my occasionally thinking about him has over time become more of a strange, masochistic habit than actually wishing I was with him. If that makes sense. I just got so used to wondering about him that even when I happily moved on with someone else, the habit of thinking of him kept on in an annoying, lingering, stale kind of way, which is less powerful.

 

I'm happy if you find my 'let her go and be happy' approach helpful. I sincerely loved and cared for this man, so when he popped into my head I just sent him some happy thoughts, wished him well, then went about my day. It means that I can smile at the thought of him being happy, rather than crying about the thought of him not being with me.

 

It's okay if you're not convinced with the 'canvas' idea, it's just a thought after all, a perspective, and personally I grasped onto any little theory or advice at I thought might help me change my thinking & get this person out of my head, and you should do whatever helps you as well. Although....if someone were to say 'oh well, maybe Harvard isn't so great after all', it would mean they had the chance to experience being a student at Harvard before forming their opinion. You never got a relationship with this woman, so you're not able to form an opinion of what a relationship with her would be like. Hence the fantasy. If you had the experience of being her boyfriend, who knows, you might have ended up with an 'oh well, maybe being with this girl isn't so great after all" type of opinion. I don't think that blaming Harvard for a bad grade is exactly the same as being rejected by a girl and blaming the girl mind you, I'm just trying to use your Harvard example to get my canvas point across! But like I said, just find any advice that works for you personally

 

I know I'll see this man again at some point, and I'm hoping that when I do, I won't shatter into a million pieces on the floor in front of him. I hope I'll be fine. I hope I'll be indifferent. I hope the same for you, if you ever run into her again. Best of luck to you in healing by whatever means you can, and in finding happiness in whatever way you can

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  • 3 months later...

It's ok to have a crush, but don't 'pursue" her. It's creepy.

we are now both in our late twenties. I recently thought there would be no harm in trying to reach out to her and sent her a Facebook request, but she deleted it.
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It's ok to have a crush, but don't 'pursue" her. It's creepy.

 

I did not "pursue her". She is here to finish her education. She was fully aware of everyone who was going to be at this meeting, including me, and had every opportunity to decline participation. If you are implying that I should have refused to go because she would be there, I did not get the impression that that was what she wanted either.

 

It is not wise to jump to incorrect conclusions from incomplete information.

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I had (still have?) a crush on a guy since I was 12 up to when I was at least 30!! I still see him and sometimes it's awkward. It does suck!! During my first relationships I even judged the seriousness of them depending on how I felt when I saw him again. If I still had butterflies, it meant that my current relationship wasn't strong enough. Note that nothing ever happened between us more then a sensual hug? If that makes sense.

 

Point is, I was "in love" with the definition of a perfect man I had in my mind;growing older I not only realised that, but since we were in different cities after some point, the more we met the more I saw that I could never form a relationship with him. You are comparing future jobs and universities in an effort of debunking the "canvas" argument, and the only thing I get from it is that you have the same mentality (idolizing?) in other aspects of your life. If you find yourself constantly disappointed in your life, this might be the reason. Yes, Harvard can't be perfect for everyone and yes, a job that seems like heaven can be a huge disappointment down the road. It is though an unreasonable comparison to begin with, from the mere fact that you have access to reviews on both jobs and universities while you can't really have them about a person. Still, it doesn't matter what another person's experience is, if you're not a match, you're not a match.

 

Since you tried to reach out and she deleted the request, I'd put this to sleep and really try to take her off the pedestal you've placed her. It's not really her, it's the perfect girl you have in mind. Once you let that go, this will stop bugging you as much. I can't guarantee that it won't be awkward when you meet again, but you will definitely not feel depressed about it nor will you find yourself wondering if she's the one, because she's not. There is no actually "one" to begin with. As I stated in the beginning, I still feel weird when I meet my crush, but this time I think it's because he's married with children and sees me as a "what if". It's definitely not because I think he's perfect anymore, I just think there was chemistry between us and we just never acted on it; plus the fact that I rarely see him anymore to work on it.

 

CBT isn't about suppressing thoughts, it's about changing our thoughts that occur when triggered and it's possible.

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I had (still have?) a crush on a guy since I was 12 up to when I was at least 30!! I still see him and sometimes it's awkward. It does suck!! During my first relationships I even judged the seriousness of them depending on how I felt when I saw him again. If I still had butterflies, it meant that my current relationship wasn't strong enough.

 

This so reminds me of myself :)

 

Point is, I was "in love" with the definition of a perfect man I had in my mind;growing older I not only realised that, but since we were in different cities after some point, the more we met the more I saw that I could never form a relationship with him. You are comparing future jobs and universities in an effort of debunking the "canvas" argument, and the only thing I get from it is that you have the same mentality (idolizing?) in other aspects of your life. If you find yourself constantly disappointed in your life, this might be the reason. Yes, Harvard can't be perfect for everyone and yes, a job that seems like heaven can be a huge disappointment down the road. It is though an unreasonable comparison to begin with, from the mere fact that you have access to reviews on both jobs and universities while you can't really have them about a person. Still, it doesn't matter what another person's experience is, if you're not a match, you're not a match.

 

I'm only saying the following: the sole means we have of evaluating how anything *will* go is what we know about it in the present. It doesn't bring me solace to write off every failure with the argument that it would not have lived up to expectations. When taken to its logical conclusion, this can be used as an excuse to shirk responsibility and perennially do nothing. I have no idea how a job would have gone if I wasn't offered it. This cannot be an excuse to avoid responsibility of failing to get the job offer.

 

"the only thing I get from it is that you have the same mentality (idolizing?) in other aspects of your life. If you find yourself constantly disappointed in your life, this might be the reason."

 

I don't think (don't know if?) I have the former, but perhaps I do have the latter. I don't seem to draw as much excitement from career successes and other things as I should. I see, so you posit that I tend to idealize things I cannot have, and use them to argue that life is disappointing, while ignoring everything that I do have. I agree with this to some extent. Its not reasonable to fixate on one thing you didn't get and use it to complain about everything else.

 

Since you tried to reach out and she deleted the request, I'd put this to sleep and really try to take her off the pedestal you've placed her. It's not really her, it's the perfect girl you have in mind. Once you let that go, this will stop bugging you as much. I can't guarantee that it won't be awkward when you meet again, but you will definitely not feel depressed about it nor will you find yourself wondering if she's the one, because she's not. There is no actually "one" to begin with. As I stated in the beginning, I still feel weird when I meet my crush, but this time I think it's because he's married with children and sees me as a "what if". It's definitely not because I think he's perfect anymore, I just think there was chemistry between us and we just never acted on it; plus the fact that I rarely see him anymore to work on it.

 

CBT isn't about suppressing thoughts, it's about changing our thoughts that occur when triggered and it's possible.

 

Thank you :)

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