If you’ve ever Google searched “how do I get my crush to notice me?” this read is definitely for you.

A few years ago, I found myself having an unrequited crush on someone. It was so bad that at one point, I would just stare at my phone, hoping desperately to get a text from ‘Mr Obnoxious’, as I’d come to know him.

Having a crush on someone new can be one of the most thrilling experiences in the world. I felt like I was floating on cloud nine as I thought of the object of my affections, my tummy woozy whenever I’d bump into him at university. Even hearing his name mentioned would send shockwaves down my spine. We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t experienced that yearning desire to be with someone you find really special, you’ve probably witnessed friends or family members being infatuated.

But what happens when, like me, you find out the person you like doesn’t like you back? There are a number of factors that could prevent two people from being together: perhaps he/she is in a relationship, maybe they are focused on other aspects of their lives, such as school or building a career, or maybe – which is what happened in my case – you’re just not their type.

It can be painful to have the love you feel for someone not reciprocated, you may even feel rejected or think that you are not special enough to be loved by anyone. These feelings of despair and anguish are normal, but what you need to understand is that you are special, you are loved and there was probably a good reason things didn’t work out with that person. You’ll be okay. In time, you’ll be just dandy and even stronger than ever before.

Below are a few tips for getting over unrequited infatuation:

1. Understand your feelings

There are actually a few different types of crushes. These include, the forbidden crush that often occurs with someone you can likely never be with, or the romantic crush, which occurs when you are really infatuated with someone and even fantasise about starting a relationship with them. Other crushes include, the passing crush, which is momentary, physical attraction to someone, the admiration crush, where you hold someone in high esteem and the friendly or platonic crush, occurring when you really enjoy being around certain friends you trust. There are many reasons you may be infatuated with someone and sometimes you may not even understand your attraction to the person you like. However, introspection is very important, as sometimes we confuse admiring someone very deeply with loving them.

The feelings I had for ‘Mr Obnoxious’ were mainly fuelled by the empathy I felt for him. My crush had been abandoned as a child and suffered many trials on his journey to success. I am a really warm person and hearing about all he had gone through melted my heart and before I knew it, pity and admiration turned into a full-blown crush.

2. Give yourself time to heal

After telling your friends or family members about your unrequited crush, they may simply tell you to ‘get over it’ or ‘move on’. This can be very frustrating advice and you may even feel like your feelings are being trivialised. While it is important to overcome the despair or rejection you may be feeling, you most definitely have the right to cry or feel the various emotions that come with romantic disappointment. In my case, I started writing down everything I felt when I was in my darkest state of mind. Journaling can be a great stress-reliever. It’s important that you don’t drown yourself in sadness. After all, life does go on and you’ll be alright in the long-run.

3. Keep as busy as you can

A great way of getting over your one-sided crush is to keep busy with constructive tasks, which will, in-time, help you to forget about your heartbreak and actually aid your personal growth. Set aside a couple of hours a day where you exclusively focus on your studies, work, or even household chores. Put all your energy into the task you are completing and before you know it, you would have realised that you spent two, or even three hours without thinking of your crush. Even taking time out of your day to do a 30-minute workout or yoga session is a great way of distracting yourself and releasing feel-good hormones at the same time. You can monitor your progress, and who knows, the heartbreak may actually lead to your taking control of your heath. Focusing on your overall wellbeing can also help you realise that you have so much to live and be grateful for. When I was getting over my crush, I threw myself into varsity work and ended up passing my first year of Journalism with straight As, which subsequently opened up so many academic doors for me.

4. Try staying away from social media

Now I know that with the outbreak of the coronavirus and South Africa being under lockdown, you may need to complete many work and school-related tasks through social media, but please do not spend the entire day checking your phone, waiting for a text from your crush. When the wounds of unreciprocated love were still raw for me, simply seeing a picture of ‘Mr Obnoxious’ would have me feeling puppy-eyed and sad again. If you have to be on social media and seeing pictures of your crush triggers you into texting him/her, or falling deeply into despair once again, my advice would be to block them completely from all media platforms. It may seem rude to cut ties with a person who did nothing other than not return your feelings, but there is nothing more precious than your mental health and peace of mind, so don’t be afraid of letting go.

Getting over a crush can be hard, but by focusing on productive tasks and remembering why you are special, you’ll start to regain your confidence and realise what a catch you truly are!

Read about one writer’s journey to finding love online here


Tell us: Have you ever had feelings for someone who didn’t feel the same way? How did you deal with it?