I remember being young and in the inevitable situation where a friend likes me, but I don’t return the affection. It’s an awkward experience for an empath because I can feel their disappointment, rejection, and sadness. Never in my wildest dreams do I expect the person to openly admit they have feelings for me, and my shock at their admission is more-than-likely obvious on my face. I recall thinking, “How did I miss this?”
Then, the guilt starts. I have to own that I hurt them by not being happy that they’ve been honest concerning their feelings towards me. It is not my intention to rebuff their romantic gesture, but I also can’t be untruthful. In my heart I know it’s not right to lie or lead the person on. So, naturally, I try to go above and beyond to help them see that I’m not right for them.
Why do we do this, though? Why is it our natural inclination to talk down about ourselves when someone we don’t have romantic feelings for approach us with amorous expectations?
The truth of the matter is this: we are not obligated to magically have feelings for someone just because they have feelings for us.
Love is meant to be a feeling of unity by people who both have feelings for each other. Hell, even sex is meant to be an act between people who have feelings for each other. No matter the arrangement we’re discussing it’s meant to be a situation where everyone wants to be there and is happily attending.
Your interest in someone doesn’t automatically equal endearment on that person’s part.
A younger version of myself heard people say things like, “Give him a chance,” or, “You won’t know until you get to him,” and, “At least someone is interested,” to friends and we’d have to sit down and discuss these comments. Having people tell you how to feel about a person you don’t have romantic feelings is probably the worst. You don’t want to hurt someone, obviously, but at the same time you don’t want to put yourself in the position where you’re having dinner with someone you feel no connection with.
So, the plea from this blog post is for anyone who has feelings for a person but isn’t sure the other person reciprocates. Don’t be upset if the feelings aren’t returned. Don’t judge your worth on the fact someone tells you they have feelings for you. Be honest; if the feelings aren’t there then they aren’t there. Don’t be discouraged. Wait, patiently, for the person who returns your affection and then shower them with all your love!