Santiago Salinas is a student at The College of New Jersey pursuing a degree in Public Health, Psychology and Social Justice.
My Experience with my Crush and how it Ended
Most of us are intimidated by our crush because we are afraid to make a fool of ourselves in front of them. The reason is because we want our crush to like us and sometimes we desire their validation and attention. I have had a recently experience with my crush and how his rejection hurt me. But I thank him for teaching me a valuable lesson about myself and about dating.
I had a crush on a guy, who I'll refer to as Edward, after spending a lot of time with him. We met on a dating app and we started texting a lot and even exchanged phone numbers. We met up one day in person and we started to really get to know each other. He told me that he had to leave school to help his family and take care of his elderly grandmother who is suffering from arthritis, he is interested in a career in cyber security, how he is a manager at a Spencer's and about some of his intimate thoughts about how he hoped his future would turn out. To me he sounded perfect. He was everything I wanted in a man. Family-oriented, driven, optimistic, and most of all caring. In turn I decided to share my inner most thoughts with him as well. After months of back and forth conversation, he told me that he really liked me and I admitted that I liked him to but that I wanted to wait until I was ready to be in a relationship again and he said that we can move as slow as I was comfortable with. It was a great way to move, and when we had our first kiss my heart melted. His lips were warm and soft, his hands were gentle and he smelled of a nice cologne that tickled my nose when I was near him. Unfortunately, it went down hill from there.
After we went into quarantine, however, I noticed that he had started to grow distant. I tried to keep the conversation going but he just didn't respond to me at all on some days. I would get the occasional "hey" from him but nothing more. It eventually got to the point where I saw he was receiving my messages but he didn't really bother to respond. As I contemplated why, I began to ask myself, is this guy really worth my energy and time? I brushed it off and just assumed that he was just dealing with something at home or he was having trouble adjusting to being on lockdown for a large amount of time. Regardless I decided to ask him what was going on and I asked him to be honest with me. What he replied had completely shocked me. He had told me that he had met someone else and started seeing that person exclusively. I was overwhelmed with shock and sadness as I read his subtle rejection. He went on to say how he didn't want to hurt me in any kind of way and how he hoped that we could still be friends. I was shocked when he asked this because I was confused. If you had been someone's crush or crushed on someone else, would a friendship work after that temporary flare ended?
Being Friends after Rejection
Distraught and misled I ended up venting to my good friend Tina and she helped me avoid falling off the face of the Earth. She reassured me that I am enough and that I bring so much to the table. She also explained to me that being friends with a crush after you have been rejected isn't a great idea. I was skeptical about this, however. In this time of sexual revolution and the impact of technology on relationships, I wondered about the NSA mentality.
NSA stands for No Strings Attached which means that your emotions stay out of the picture when you are sustaining any kind of relationship with another person. It applies to many things such as hook ups, friends with benefits, and even sometimes friendships. Many people have admitted that they were able to maintain a healthy relationship with their exes and not let the awkwardness of what happened in the past affect it in any kind of way. This is where the mentality of NSA comes in. If your crush is an NSA crush, then you really have nothing to lose because your emotions are not present. This was the reason why so many people are able to be friends with their former crushes and sustain that friendship with something stable. But it made me wonder about two things, are we able to build a friendship with the person we used to crush on or was Tina right? Is building a friendship with your crush a bad idea?
With the answer that I gave to my crush, I came to my own conclusion. During this period of time when he utterly rejected me. I simply told him that I can't be friends with him because of the fact that it was too soon. I had to put my own needs first and I told that I need time to process my emotions and cope with how I am currently feelings. I reassured him that I would not hold a grudge and that I would not block him because he really did not do anything wrong to me and he was honest with me all the way until the end. The important thing about getting over your crush is that you should never want to rush into a friendship right after and you should always put yourself first no matter how it ended. If after some time you feel that you can handle a friendship with your former crush then go for it. But if you come to the conclusion that you two should go your separate ways, then that's okay as well because it you put your needs first.
Don't Give Up on Yourself or Others
Rejection sucks and will always be painful no matter how it goes. But, that does not mean that anything is wrong with you and nothing is wrong with someone else you may meet eventually. I used to think that maybe I wasn't good enough and that I wasn't what guys were looking for. But I have met some amazing men who have given me the time and energy in one form or another and that just proved to me that I am enough and that I am beautiful. The one thing is though that I need to find the right one. And that means for me and for everyone else in the dating world that we should not give up on looking for that someone special because we have had one or more bad experiences.
We have all heard the phrase, "Men ain't shit," but that is not true. Just because one guy was a rotten apple and didn't value your relationship as much as you did, it does not mean that all men are this way. It is very unfair to compare one bad man to all men. I will learn from this experience with my crush, but I will not allow it to generalize all men for me.
© 2020 Santiago Salinas