Quite Frankly

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Hey Frankie,

This is one of those sappy relationship questions, but why do I like someone but dislike the feeling of liking them?

Sincerely,
Paradoxical Paramour

 

Dear Paramour,

Quite frankly, mood. As a chronic crush-haver, I’m completely empathetic to your plight here. You’re not alone.

I can’t precisely say why you’re feeling this way because I have little knowledge about your specific situation. I can, however, give you my best guesses and tell you where to go from there. If I’m way off, just disregard my advice.

Basically, this boils down to a few things. First, discomfort surrounding the whole scenario; second, you might not want to like this person; and finally, the fear of putting yourself out there with the potential of rejection. Let’s unpack each of these.

First, having a crush is, by nature, not a very comfortable experience. It makes you hyper-aware of your actions as you (consciously or not) make strides to impress the person you’re crushing on. Interacting with the person you like makes your everyday social foibles seem so much worse than they are. In short, interacting with someone you like causes you to put a microscope on what might already cause you anxiety.

Second, we don’t really get to choose whom we develop a crush on. You might like someone from an attraction standpoint, but not endorse their behavior. This obviously adds a layer of discomfort. Further, maybe you just don’t want to be bogged down by this extra amount of emotional effort right now. That’s a pretty normal response. None of these considerations invalidate your feelings, but they might cast your feelings in a more negative light.

Finally, whenever you like someone, a whole mess of other concepts follow naturally from that. What will you do? Act on it? Keep it to yourself? Either direction gives your brain plenty of fodder for agonizing overthinking. If you do want to make a move, then there’s all the added anxiety that goes with that territory. Recognizing you like someone is step one toward a process that could lead to rejection, and that’s a scary thought. No one likes rejection.

I’m hoping that by unpacking some of these feelings, you can begin to understand how you might want to proceed. It’s also possible that this is a passing infatuation that will naturally dissipate. Unfortunately, you really can’t make your negative feelings about the situation go away; I think the best course of action is to really try to look inward to find the source, and process your emotions from there.

Best Wishes,

Frankie

 

P.S. Remember that liking someone does not obligate you to pursue any particular course of action. Maybe you can’t control a crush, but you can control what you do with it.

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