Love letters from Ana: To the Infatuated

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The other day, my friend asked me if I regretted anything about high school. At first, I said that I didn’t, taking the Edith Piaf “Je ne regrette rien,” approach to her question. The more I thought about it, however, I realized that if there was something I had to do over it would be waiting as long as I did to let my ex-boyfriend know that I liked him.

I remember suppressing my feelings for two years being such close friends with him that I began thinking feeling anything was taboo. That was until I was caught red-handed and crying over him in a pathetic fit to one of his best friends who waited until I was done sobbing to notify me that my feelings had been reciprocated.

My fearing rejection so intensely that I deprived myself of happiness, is a symptom of infatuation. Infatuation involves liking someone so intensely that you lose some sense of reality.

There are two levels of infatuation I would like to discuss, one being the overgrown crush that turns into infatuation and then there is that “oh my God, I might love him,” type of infatuation.

The overgrown crush is often the type of infatuation that you have when you’re kind of bored and are obsessing over someone. This type of infatuation is most common.

Usually this infatuation is someone that you just need to get out of your system. Whether you explore a relationship with him or a hook up, he’s the guy you anticipate something inevitably happening with. Once you exhaust all the possibilities of any relationship you could have with this person, you usually feel satisfied. You’re usually not aching for more. If you are, well then you’re probably not really done with him.

Then there is the more severe case. There is the infatuation you don’t foresee leaving you unaffected for some time. This is often times someone you’re already pretty close with. You know his ins and outs, his flaws, and those small things that make him who he is.

My dear, you’re in deep. You’re at that point where making a move or revealing your feelings is do or die. You often find yourself thinking about him and fantasizing about vacations to the Cape with your two perfect children, boy and girl building sand castles together in matching white Ralph Lauren swimsuits.

First, I just want to put it out there that it is really hard to take practical advice when it comes to matters of the heart. We just aren’t programmed to take the easy route if it means the possibility of getting your heart broken. But, most of the time, waiting around for your man to get your oh-so-subtle hints, is more agonizing than being rejected by him from the get go.

There are a few ways to heal your wounds, my dear infatuated. And they all involve being honest with yourself and the person you would like to be your significant other.

The first approach would be making a physical move. Getting him alone and kissing him.

This is an approach most find extremely difficult. It is easy to be under the impression that the man must make the first move. That he must be the one to chase you. Although I will always be an advocate for the hopeless romantics, it is the 21st century and if you want something, you should feel empowered enough to try getting it.

Another, less bold way to make your feelings evident is dropping indicators of your interest. Flirtation is key. Establishing a connection is key. Making him feel that you treat him apart from any other guy is essential.

I think the best approach is probably the most terrifying one of all. It’s something that I myself have never been able to do. And that is telling him. Sitting him down like a mature adult and telling him you have feelings for him. This way, you’re putting the ball in his court. You’re saying, “hey, just thought you should know that I like you and you can do whatever you want with that information.” If he does like you, you’ll get a direct answer from him, and if he doesn’t like you, you’ll be let down in the most honest and private way possible.

Although a lot of people find it easier to have friends do the digging, these searches can often come up misguided and empty. It is so much better to find out for yourself. If you really want to start a true relationship with this person, an essential foundation is honesty. And what better place to start than at the beginning?