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An Advice Column for Humans by One Human. We want to hear what you’re struggling with these days. Relationships? Breakups? Family? Friends? Jobs? Mental health? Anything.
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I am 16 years old and I am really attached to this one friend, who is a guy. I have liked him from the heart from when we were in grade three. We have had so many moments together and I can’t imagine my life without those moments.
He got to know how I feel for him when we were in 7th grade. I was so happy, but being scared about the teachers, I denied the relationship. But my teachers somehow found out and we were put to different classes. We haven’t spoken since then but I really miss him and there has not been one day where I haven’t thought about him, where I wanted him back in my life. And I have deteriorated in my studies and many more places.
He seems to be very happy and I am happy for that. I feel he made me a better human. He stood by me all times and I did it for him too and now I can’t accept the fact that he is not a part of my life. He even seems to have moved on and doesn’t care about me. But I am not able to move on or concentrate on anything else. I sometimes think that I have moved on, but it is like a part of him is in me and that part is so strong that I can’t help but feel hurt and go through the pain all over. If I tell my friends they think it is joke, and the pain I feel is internal, like a pit in my chest and brain and stomach. I feel helpless and need a big hug from him at least once.
Dear Human Attached to their Best Friend,
I want to start by normalizing how you feel. It sounds like you’re struggling alone. I know what that’s like and it can make heartbreak even more difficult.
Some people worry that relationships will distract you from your studies or work. The truth is that although it can, good relationships of any type help you excel in other parts of life. The same way a supportive family or friend group can help, so can a partner. The opposite is also true: when a relationship deteriorates, the rest of your life can also feel like it’s deteriorating. It can be hard to concentrate. It can feel like something is wrong with you why you can’t get over someone the way it appears they got over you. And even though it’s in the head, you can also feel heartbreak in the body, as you said, like a pit in the chest or stomach.
All of this is to say that is sucks. It really, really sucks. But it’s normal. It means you opened yourself up enough to feel something. Even though the situation didn’t work out as you want, you should be proud you’ve exercised that muscle of opening up and accepting love. It makes you more loving and open for the next person who will appreciate it.
The fact you’ve been dealing with this feeling for so long is probably because of a few things. It’s probably your first experience of really liking someone. It’s also probably difficult to move on when you still see him all the time.
It’s worth asking yourself, is there a way you can get some closure? Is it possible to have a conversation with him? If not, is it possible to create more space? In other words, seeing him less could help you fully heal—for good. Seeing him too often, even in passing, can make it difficult for wounds to heal.
It can also be helpful to resign to the feeling: You care, you might always care, you’ll just have to learn to care differently. I think a part of someone you love will always stay with you. The part just becomes easier to carry and less disruptive of everyday life. And one day, you probably won’t think about it at all.
Perhaps a big part is accepting that you’re more sensitive than other people. Loss and endings affect people like us more. It’s not nice your friends think it’s a joke. Sometimes when you feel so deeply for someone, you might wonder why nobody else seems that impacted. Why can’t anyone else see how hurt you are? When the people in our life don’t support us through something, sometimes we have to validate ourselves. Try to have some self-compassion. Talk to yourself as you would a friend if they were going through a similar situation (and I know you’re a good friend!). It sounds like you’re such a caring, loving person and like you’re handling this the best you know how. You should be proud of yourself for that and for being honest about how you feel.
Also, consider trying mindfulness, like doing a mindfulness meditation on YouTube. It sounds weird, but over time, meditation can help us control our thoughts. So instead of thinking about this person non-stop, you more easily acknowledge the thought and move past it. It takes time to build this skill but it can help the invasive thoughts grief causes.
When all else fails and you just want love, for me, it helps to imagine myself with someone different in the future. When the time is right, envision how nice it will feel to have a proper relationship.
P.S. It will never equal a hug from him, but here’s a hug from me to you 🤗
A Human ❤️
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