The crush after a break-up *swoon, swoon*

Hey guys! I’m back! With bad news, I guess, that my LDR boyfriend and I did not survive, and so we have broken up, say, approximately 2 months ago? (Or rather, he broke up with me, and then I agreed, with a lot of crying on both sides. Sigh.) I’m not doing as horrible as I thought, although it does have ultimate suck moments. And also knowing (against my will) that he is already in another relationship (ALREADY. Dang.) does not help. I’m feeling quite inadequate. But, I already vented this out on another forum, but I sort of feel like I am murking up the vibe there, and don’t want to be a burden, thus, I’m turning to you wonderful people for some solid advice on something silly.

(Reading back on this, I now realize that me having a crush makes me sound like I’m 13. I apologize. I’m romantically underdeveloped..)

I have a crush! Isn’t that weird. It feels weird, after a couple of years of being in my first serious relationship. Just some background, I’m 20, in college, and really had the confidence of a plastic bag during high school and had terrible experiences with ALL my crushes. Mostly because I would build them up in my head and then be overwhelmingly disappointed when it didn’t turn out like my fantasy. (It rained a lot in my fantasies. And there was always a well placed fire and blankets and Lionel Richie CD near by..)

Anyways, I’m terrible with crushes. I don’t want to be. I want to be proactive! The thing is, this guy I have a crush on is SO incredibly good looking. I have never positively interacted with someone this good looking. I am sort of convinced that he is so good looking, that I am not good looking enough. (Though, with the help of therapy, I know that not to be completely true. But still. He is supremely gorgeous.)

On the plus side, through a few interactions, I know he finds me funny, and we also exchanged phone numbers. But that’s about how far it goes. I was introduced to his friend group, and now we all hang out in a group. He and I rarely text each other. (There isn’t really a reason to..? If there’s a hangout, someone else arranges it? Also, I think he hates texts? He always calls me instead of texting. Odd.)

Well, after Christmas break, I plan to invite that same friend group (with him included) to my apartment for a movie and dinner night. Not exactly my “ideal” on how I want to spend time with him, but I like that group of friends, and I want to cook for them. So win. (I also had the idea of pretending that everyone cancelled and he just showed up, and then I’d be all “Oh, goodness, well, want to share this blanket and watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang?” But I don’t think that would go over well..)

I think, in general, I am just asking how to interact with a crush. I have had (now that I look back) quite the opportunity to hang out with him one-on-one, but was wayyyy too nervous because he is JUST SO HANDSOME.

I act like I’m interviewing him sometimes, I’m so nervous. But when it comes to his other friends, whom I am not attracted to, I am so normal. (Which, I realize, is normal.)

Ok, since I’m rambling, I’ll put this into TL;DR questions.
1) How do you act normal and be yourself around someone so attractive?
2) I mean, we hardly know each other, but in the back of my mind, I wonder if he even knows I exist, since he rarely tries to contact me. But I don’t either, so…
3) I don’t think I’m looking for a relationship this soon (though I sort of want one to spite my ex. Not a good idea, I know), so if it comes down to it, how do you demote crush-brain to friend-brain?
4) I keep comparing him and interactions and really every interaction I have with guys to how my ex and I first started dating, and nothing feels right. I guess I’ve got it pounded into my head that the way it went down first is THE way to date someone. I have no clue. Help?

Thanks guys, sorry for the long blurb. Have a wonderful holiday!

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4 thoughts on “The crush after a break-up *swoon, swoon*

  1. BrittanyMunrollio says:

    [Ok let me just say that having a crush is a fantastic, bubbly, nerve-wracking, stomach-turning, giddy feeling! You can have a crush on someone when you’re 13, 20 or 72! In my opinion, having a crush is less about your crush and more about you. How you are feeling, how you perceive them, how much you’re attracted to them. A crush is not a relationship. You cannot put expectations on a crush (they don’t call/message/talk to you enough, etc.). As ridiculous as you may feel sometimes, enjoy the crush-phase! As long as you’re respecting yourself and not acting like a lunatic (stalking him, taking pictures of him while he’s not looking, stealing his shoes…) a crush is just good fun!

    Alright, now I will answer your actual questions and stop making silly jokes.
    1) I struggle with this too. I am pretty confident in myself, but there are still certain people who make me feel like a pimple-faced mumbling high school freshie. TRY to make direct eye contact when you talk to them. Become familiar with their features, look for a hair out of place. Remember that everyone is human and while looks are a huge part of attraction, they’re not the thing you should be 100% focused on.
    2) You mentioned that he calls you instead of texting. That means he knows you exist! Even if he does hate texting, he would send you a generic text if he didn’t really know who you were. If he is taking time to call you, even if it’s only a 5 min conversation, it’s a good sign.
    3) Spite or rebound relationships are never good, you’re right about that! If you do decide you don’t want to crush on him anymore, don’t spend one-on-one time with him, don’t creep his facebook (c’mon, we all do it), and take up a new hobby so you have something to distract yourself with.
    4) This is normal. I dated a really terrible guy for almost a year, and after we broke up I couldn’t get him out of my head, and it made me act like a crazy person towards a new, really sweet guy. The best way to get over this is to be alone, spend some quality time with yourself. Analyze your past relationship, write down your feelings about why it ended (you mentioned you have done this on another forum – even though you did it once, you probably still want to talk about it. That’s ok! Maybe write your post-breakup thoughts somewhere that’s just for you. Eventually you will get tired of writing about it and thinking about it and it will be easier to let go). Read a book on healthy relationships, so you have other models to learn from, not just your personal experiences. Consciously tell yourself that this crush is NOT your ex. Do things a little bit out of your comfort zone – maybe tell him how good he looks one day! Honest compliments are always appreciated.

    I hope this wasn’t too rambly. It sounds like you’re being careful not to rebound with this guy, which is good. Maybe your crush will turn into a romance, maybe it will fizzle out to nothing, maybe it will become a valuable platonic friendship. Guard your heart, but don’t be afraid to take a risk now and then 🙂

  2. MitziM. says:

    [I’m with Brittany! Crushes are awesome, regardless of age.

    In the past I’ve had success forcing myself to ignore a person. Not full on acting like they don’t exist, but when you’re out with your mutual friends, find reasons to walk away from him and talk to other people. I know it’s tempting to go out of your way to interact with him, but if you don’t it will 1. Make you look like you’re playing hard to get and 2. Take your mind off of him so you can act normal. Soon enough you’ll feel as comfortable around him as the others. It also doesn’t hurt to pay close attention to his flaws. If he laughs weird or has an addiction to shiny shirts, that will be something that can help to humanize him to you.

    Even if you’re not looking for a relationship, don’t be closed to one. If someone is gorgeous and interesting and wants to date you, don’t make silly rules up that force you to turn them down. (Definitely no spiteful relationships, either. Ick.)

    Don’t second guess yourself and have fun with your crush. Writing Mrs. (guys last name) on your notebook is totally acceptable, even at 20.

  3. rice_croquette says:

    [Thanks guys on the helpful replies!! Brittany, what stuck out most to me were “having a crush is less about your crush and more about you” and “A crush is not a relationship.” WOAH. Never really thought about it that way, and it definitely helps in not making it this full blown thing in my head. I’ll try to have as much fun as it as I can, with no expectations (I’ll try! Stupid brain likes to attach to everything!) and not get so caught up that I get hurt if I get rejected. I doubt I’ll even do anything out of the box to garner rejection.. (Which sucks! I want to try to be flirty with the crush!)

    MitziM, thank you also for replying! So, just to clarify, is your advice on how to turn crush-brain to friend-brain if it all goes to crap? Like, ignoring him and such? Because I have been doing a beautiful job ignoring him, but I really do want to interact with him on some level. Just some talking! I don’t want him to think I’m a snob and hate him, but I don’t want to go crazy either.

    But, as far as physical flaws, that’s hard haha.. Well, he does where these weird teal pants with a hunter green sweater, which makes me think he is roleplaying as the earth. Or trying to be an off-brand J.Crew model. No clue.

    Ok! I’ll try to have fun with it, in general, and try to not have all the ex-stuff muddle it up. Phew. Ok. Here goes!

  4. lilredbmw says:

    [Crushes are awesome. Hey, I’m married and I still get little crushes. The thing about a crush is, they are really just and idea or facade. You don’t ever need to really act on having a crush. Like, you can have a crush on Ryan Reynolds, and there is really nothing else that will happen.

    So you have a few options here. Act on your crush, or just enjoy the idea of it casually and see if anything develops. In reading your blurb, I am tempted to believe that you think too much. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I remember that was my biggest downfall at your age.

    I’m going to address each question:
    1) You don’t act normal around your crush. It is just that simple. It is virtually impossible. I have found that I start acting a little bit more normal about 5 min in to a conversation. Try to stay on topics that you have a lot to say about or find something he is interested in so he does all the talking. Think of questions to ask him before you see him next.
    2) He knows you exist.
    3) Good luck trying to re-program your brain. If you figure it out, let me know.
    4) Stop comparing. Comparing really just takes away from fresh experiences with new people. Take what you learned and move on, when you are ready. The fact you are comparing might mean you are not yet ready to move on to a new relationship.

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