Why does it hurt so much finding out she doesn’t return my sentiments?


Hey itachi,

Thanks for writing in to us again at AlterHéros. So it looks like your friend let the cat out of the bag and told Jamie that you like her. If you are sure that she doesn’t feel the same way about you, then it’s great to hear that you’re okay with that. Now you must be wondering why you are experiencing this crushing feeling in your chest.

Sometimes when a person realizes that they have more than just friendship feelings for another person, it can have a great impact on him or her emotionally. You start wondering if the other person shares the same feelings, you feel some glimmers of hope when they do or say certain things that may indicate that they like you back, you wonder whether or not you want to risk telling the other person how you feel, and of course, you stress out about whether they will end up feeling weird towards you or even worse, reject you if they don’t feel the same way. This is a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions that can leave you feeling mentally and physically burnt out. However, now that you know that she does not share the same feelings as you, you are no longer on this roller coaster ride; you are now experiencing a new set of feelings: the crush (or crash) of disappointment.

When you discover hat the person you like does not like you back, you’re essentially dealing with disappointment. Initially, when you started liking Jamie, you had the hope of having her return your feelings. Now that you have found out that she doesn’t, you might be feeling pretty disappointed. The reason why our emotions can have such a big impact on how we feel physically is a funny phenomenon. You can compare this kind of disappointment with other moments in your life where you had high hopes about something, only to be let down. It’s like when you’re at school and you try out for something (e.g. a sports team, a school play, debating team etc…) but you don’t make the cut. You had high hopes, things didn’t work out and it made you feel really crummy emotionally which sometimes translate into physical pain. Unlike a tryout however, finding out that a person doesn’t like you back usually hurts way more than not making the team.

So what can you do? For the most part, it will take time for your chest to no longer feel like it’s being crushed. Try and think about other situations where you were very disappointed about something and remember what you did to get out of that funk. Many people try to move on from the person that they liked by focusing on activities that they enjoy and that they are good at such as sports or fun hobbies. Sometimes it helps to talk it out with a trusted friend or just to spend time hanging out with a group of friends. It also helps if you talk to someone else who has gone through a similar situation and can relate so that you two can rant about your experiences. All in all, it’s a bit of a waiting game. Who knows, in time, you might find someone new to have a crush on.

Hopefully you’ll be able to move on soon from this experience. If you have any other questions, please feel free to write to us again. Good luck and speedy recovery!

Sincerely,

K-Wo for AlterHéros


About Kay Wo

Kay holds a master degree in sexology. She has also been involved in public speaking to youth on fighting homophobia in schools, as well as working with youth living with HIV. Kay volunteers also for CAEO Québec (Gay Line, Gay Online and SILK).

Since I joined the AlterHéros team, I have greatly enjoyed my time as an “Tell the expert” expert. Not only do I enjoy writing up tid bits of advice to inquiring minds, I feel that I have gained a lot from hearing about the problems and inquiries of individuals from all different walks of life. This has afforded me to think outside the box, outside of my own context and to expand my understanding of people, sexuality and a wide range of other subjects. This monthly challenge has benefited me in many ways and I have always appreciated how easily it fits in to my schedule. Not only that, but the staff have always been friendly and flexible concerning my needs.

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