We’ve all been there. You meet the seemingly perfect man at somewhere “meaningful” like Whole Foods or OkCupid and now you’ve planned your whole lives together, only to have your perfect fantasy start ripping at the seam. The agony of unrequited like can be quite treacherous so to assure you that you’re not alone, here are the four unavoidable and inevitable stages that we all go through (unless you’re one of the girls that couldn’t care less if a dude likes you or not, which in that case; I salute you strong warrior woman) when we realize; he’s just not that into us.
Stage One: Ignorant Bliss
This is the very beginning and usually the most dangerous phase. It is when our man dream is just starting to lose interest but it’s so subtle that we’re too busy picking out wedding venues to notice. Since dudes by nature would rather be stabbed in the eyeball than actually be direct about their disinterest, it is especially hard for us love sick balls of mush to even start to see the beginning of the end.
Usually, this phase is marked by extended gaps between text messages, a whole lot of “oh, lol” responses to pretty much everything you say and the most telling sign of all, the avoidance of saying any more than he absolutely has to because, God forbid, he actually has to have a substantial conversation with you. But if you’re like most girls, you will most likely excuse this behavior to him being super busy with that screen play he’s writing or he’s so scared of his overwhelming feelings for you that he’s starting to put “walls” up (right, and I just had Ryan Reynold’s baby).
Stage Two: Utter Denial
At this point you’re starting to get a clue but you just can’t get yourself to admit the gut wrenching truth. Your friends start to give each other the side eye when you tell them how long it’s been since he’s texted you and you’re starting to forget what his face looks like in person. But you just can’t fathom how he hasn’t realized that you two are a match made in Tinder heaven.
Those fleeting beginning days were so dreamy, how could he not be into you anymore? You haven’t even told him about your Nutella addiction yet! Did that deeply philosophical conversation about how your pets are direct reflections of yourselves mean nothing?? This stage tends to painfully drag on as you literally start to have debates with yourself about the fate of this non-relationship.
Stage Three: Acceptance (Read: Angry)
So now you’re pissed because the inevitable finally dawned on you. You keep looking at yourself in the mirror reassuring yourself that you’re still attractive, you tell your friends how he wasn’t that cute anyway (more side eyes from them) and you are conjuring up ways you can randomly run into him and try to convince your attractive guy friend to come along so you can make him jealous.
But mostly, you keep screaming angry questions at his perfectly filtered profile picture like “ why don’t you like me??!” This is the stage where the neurotic tendencies us girls keep meticulously hidden tend to make an appearance or two. Activities such as cyber stalking, overanalyzing possible causes for his rejection and good old fashioned bat #ish craziness is quite common.
Stage Four: The Pity Party
So this is where the Nutella binges tend to come in. You’re not angry anymore, just sad. You build this minor rejection into an ultimate truth about your entire love life. You start to think that love just isn’t meant for you and maybe that thought you had about becoming a nun wasn’t so crazy after all. You mope around, watch sad movies and pretty much convince yourself that there’s something wrong with you.
This is the time where your friends (if they are the ride or die kind like mine) will organize random “girls nights” to get you out of the house, pour over their contact lists for eligible guy friends they can set you up with and pretty much are more amazing than they usually are. But you can’t tear your face away from Love Actually long enough to notice. All seems lost, but then…
Stage Five: So Over It
Congratulations, you’re so over him! You wake up one day and realize that you don’t really care anymore. You have your summer Euro-trip to plan, your best friend’s surprise party is next weekend and that cute guy from the marketing department keeps chatting you up on your breaks. You start to settle back into your awesome life and realize that you were so caught up with what could have been that you forgot how amazing your life already is. Sure, he was cute and you liked how his man bun went so well with his beard but who cares? There are more man buns where that came from!
This stage is liberating because it feels like you emerged from a dark tunnel with a new lease on life. You want to do more, see more and be more. Your innate wisdom kicks in and you know that just because it didn’t lead to anything is in no way a negative reflection on you OR him (well, unless you were being a clingy, crazy stalker which in that case, you need to calm that down). He has every right to choose not to pursue you and you have every right to accept it and move on. God didn’t orchestrate for you two to end up together and that is perfectly ok. And the best part about it is that you know deep inside that love WILL happen for you someday but for right now, your life is exactly how it should be!