Is she single, or does some other lucky person get to share a bed every night with your unrequited crush?
Almost everyone on earth has had an unrequited crush.
What can we do to change things around so that our unrequited crush finally gives us a real chance?
My lesbian client (who I’ll call “Nicky” for privacy purposes) called me up last week because she just found out that Alexis, her unrequited crush, is breaking up with her long-term partner.
Nicky knew maybe it isn’t nice to be celebrating another person’s pain, but Alexis had been her biggest unrequited crush for over 10 years, and she was so excited to hear that Alexis is now going to be single again.
Nicky wanted to strategize with me about how to get Alexis’s attention, to see if her unrequited crush would finally show her some interest, after all these years.
The strategy that I shared with Nicky is highly effective, but also counter-intuitive.
I want to explain it here, in detail, because it’s really important.
The most important thing I ever learned, when it comes to unrequited crushes comes from my favorite teacher in the world, Eben Pagan.
Eben often says “attraction is not a choice.”
What he means by this is that if you meet a woman, and she doesn’t feel attracted to you, there’s almost nothing you could ever say or do to change her mind. Because attraction isn’t a “rational” thing. Attraction is primal , and the mechanisms that cause us to feel attraction aren’t controlled by our thinking.
That’s why, even when we’re single and lonely, if there’s someone who “seems great on paper” who wants to date us, but we’re not “feeling it” there’s nothing we can do to make ourselves desire her, even if we wish we could.
And that’s also why it’s so hard to get over an unrequited crush. Because once we feel attracted to her, there’s almost nothing we can do to stop feeling that way.
Because attraction is not a choice.
But even though we can’t control the fact that we have an unrequited crush, we can control how we behave around her when we see her.
And learning how to master this can make a profound difference in the success we have in dating.
All human beings, when we interact with other humans, create what are called “boundaries.”
Boundaries are the “limits” we place on how much distance we want to keep between ourselves and other people. And this applies to physical space as well as mental/emotional space (or the amount of attention we share with others.)
When someone is standing too close to us at a party, we can create a different boundary by taking a step back.
And if a stranger is being more conversational than we want in that moment we can create a different boundary by looking away and responding coldly, with short, abrupt sentences.
It makes us uncomfortable when people stand closer to us than we want them to be and when people continue to talk to us, even when we are trying to cut the conversation short.
People who don’t respect our boundaries come off as annoying (or in extreme cases, even creepy.)
It’s almost as if we have to push those people away, in order to get them to leave us alone.
We recoil from them.
We have to be extra-careful about respecting the boundaries of our unrequited crush.
Because when we like someone we can feel a strong urge to gaze at her (or stalk her on social media) or try to hang out with her as much as possible
But if we look at our unrequited crush more than she looks at us, or if we initiate conversation more than she tries with us (or if we linger in our conversations more than she wants to be there) or if we tell her “we should hang out!” when she’s not saying those kinds of things to us, then we are trespassing on her boundaries.
And that’s creepy.
And so instead of just being a “neutral person” (who she’s simply not thinking about or interested in at all), we can risk becoming someone she actively wants to avoid.
And in a small social environment, like queer female communities tend to be, we don’t want to get a reputation for being annoying!
Well… it turns out that there is a simple technique anyone can use to make people feel more comfortable around us.
This technique (called “matching and mirroring”) is used by professional therapists and counselors when they want to build trust and “rapport” with their patients.
The reason this technique works is because scientific studies have revealed that people who are very close and comfortable with each other tend to "sync up" their movements and mannerisms and voices when they spend time together.
So by purposely syncing our movements and mannerisms and voices with the person we’re talking to, we can make them feel more comfortable and open with us (subconsciously.)
That’s what “matching and mirroring” is... The trick is to notice what the other person is doing and subtly mimic their movements, mannerisms and tone/speed of speech.
If we want our unrequited crush to feel more comfortable and open with us, the best thing we can do is “match and mirror” her behavior.
Admittedly, if she’s paying no attention to us at all, this means we have to do the same, and withdraw all our attention from her.
And this might feel counter-intuitive.
Because if we’re trying to get her to give us a chance, and neither of us are paying attention to each other, then nothing can really progress between us.
But at least it will prevent us from being creepy and annoying to her.
The important thing to remember is that attraction is not a choice.
And since our crush is unrequited, there is nothing we’d be able to do to change her mind anyway...
The one thing we know for sure about our unrequited crush is that she’s not the right woman for us.
Because women who are good for us, are just as excited about us as we are about them when we meet.
If you’re currently single and wanting to find someone to love, then the important thing for you to understand is that you will eventually find the passionate relationship you long for. And that woman (who you will eventually end up with) is out there somewhere, right now, missing you just as much as you miss her.
The only things in the world that can really keep you from finding her are self-sabotage and wasting time on the wrong women.
We deserve better, and so does the woman who is waiting to love us.
Be strong for her.
She’s dreaming about you, and she is going to be just as psyched to meet you as you are to meet her when that day finally comes.
And I’ll be psyched for you too.
So until next time keep remembering that hot lesbians are everywhere, that love is real and that the woman of your dreams is on her way into your life in perfect timing.