Hi Madison, I have a friend who I have confessed to (more than once).
We have been very close friends since the start of university life, and we have very good chemistry when it comes to working on projects and class. Sometimes we even spend time out of school, from eating lunch and dinner together, to even travelling out of SG during term breaks.
However, he has placed me in the unfortunate friendzone on both occasions. He's still friends with me. In fact, we're still working together on projects. However, sometimes I still feel attracted to him and even hinted at him during our usual banter. Our mutual friend that we hang out with sometimes sees this and just side eyes but he doesn't seem to care.
What should I do if I'm still in love with him? Should I even still be friends with him?
I’m glad you reached out to me instead of facing this emotional turmoil on your own. What it sounds like you are saying is that you share a good friendship with him but would love for it to develop into something more. In this case, I do not believe that ending the friendship is the only way to resolve the issue. Good friendships like these are not so easy to come by, so it is important to cherish them as much as possible. However, a little bit of space and a distraction will help you move past this a lot sooner than non-action.
It appears to me that you and your friend spend a lot of time together outside of school - this may isolate you from other people and new adventures. While it is important to cherish this friendship, don’t be discouraged from gaining fresh experiences with other people as well. Try to make new friends or work on building bonds that you have not explored yet. Since you and your friend have so much fun together, it may be easy to forget that you can still have fun without him. Gaining new friends and experiences is the perfect way to distract yourself from this crush while still having an enjoyable time. Perhaps you can make a conscious effort to spend more time with family and other friends as a way to regulate your life in a way that does not involve the object of your affection as much.
Moreover, if being around him is too difficult for you then do not be afraid to express that you need some space to get your own feelings in order. Loving someone who doesn't love you back the same way is doing a disservice to yourself. Always remember that it is your responsibility to look out for yourself, so just know that it is perfectly alright to put yourself and your feelings first. Another sisterly advice for you would be that you deserve someone who feels the same way about you as you do them and values you the way you deserve to be valued. Do not settle for less when you still have a whole world that you have not yet explored. For all you know, you could be moments away from meeting your soulmate.
Maybe now is also a good time to do some self-reflection. Why has it been difficult for you to move on? What makes him special? Could it be loneliness? Or maybe a specific character trait? Research shows that oftentimes we obsess over certain people because romantic rejection stimulates parts of the brain associated with motivation, reward, addiction, and cravings. It may help to take a step back and look at matters impartially. You could start by making a pros and cons list of continuing to attempt to win him over and decide whether it is truly worth the effort. If you find it too hard to be unbiased in this scenario, reach out to a friend who knows about your situation and let them help you with an objective perspective. Don’t be scared to talk it out with someone. Sometimes, putting into words your feelings and explaining them to someone else may clarify certain confusions within yourself.
Regardless of everything that has been suggested, the only person who knows you well enough to know what the best course of action is you! You are the best judge of your own life. Despite everyone else’s opinions on this topic, what you feel is best is what you should do. Nonetheless, always prioritise your own well-being over all else. I will leave you with one final piece of advice, if it is meant to be, it will be. Don’t try to force a relationship that may not be right for you because of an infatuation. Trust that whatever is meant for you will find its way, so you should focus on loving yourself and living your life to the fullest. And remember, good things come to those who wait.
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