For personal reasons, I have made the decision not to get into a relationship for a while— “a while” most likely meaning until I get into college. (I’m currently a junior, so I’ve still got a little way to go). Instead, I wish to consciously take the time I have left in high school to freely become the person that I am meant to be without having to concern myself with how another person may feel about it. Since making this decision, it has turned out to be rather difficult to adhere to. Don’t get me wrong- guys are definitely NOT all over me. I know that I’m not the “prettiest,” smartest, or funniest person. However, I have had a few rather messy and occasionally awkward encounters with fellas that were looking for something–whether it was romantic or sexual–that I was not interested in. By sharing some of these experiences I hope to give a little guidance  to anyone who might be going through a similar situation.

  1. 1. Make it clear from the beginning. 
    1. A friend of mine (let’s call him Jason) kissed me earlier this year. I made it clear that– although I cared greatly for him– I was not looking for a relationship at the time. Sure, it may have made things a bit awkward, but if someone truly cares about you and wants to be in your life, he/she should respect your decision. Hopefully they will then take it upon themselves to deal with their feelings in a healthy way.
  2. 2. Upon persistence, get some distance. 
    1. Jason contacted me again a few days later saying that he understood my position, but he wanted a relationship and he wanted one right then. (It is highly likely that he simply wanted to hook up, and thought that the word “relationship” would make me more willing to do so.) We talked it out, but were both resolute. I then decided that it would not be healthy for us to continue talking. I wanted to be friends without continually feeling uncomfortable from his advances. I waited longer to respond to his messages and politely kept my distance in social settings by surrounding myself with friends and activities. He has a girlfriend now, and we hardly talk. Nonetheless, I know that I made the right decision for myself.
  3. 3. Do NOT feel bad!!!!!!!
    1. “What is wrong with me?” “I’m not like the others.” “Why won’t you give me a chance?”
    2. These are common responses to rejection. When Jason spoke like this, it immediately put me on the defensive. Purposefully or not, he made me feel as if I was in the wrong for refusing to date. His understanding words completely contradicted his relentless actions. Let me tell you right now that your feelings are your feelings. They are completely valid, and no one should ever shame you for your lack of romantic feelings toward another person. Be adamant about doing what is best for you. If you aren’t ready for a relationship, do not be in one!
  4. 4. However… Don’t lead them on, either.
    1. Regardless of whether I have known a person for five minute or five years, I will ask them about their greatest fears, deepest loves, and so forth. I crave to understand humans in their most honest form. I am also very naturally affectionate toward my friends because, well, I love ‘em. :^) However, take it from me. Within the last few months, I have had a total of three encounters in which friends have developed feelings for me that I could not return. I tried to keep the friendship going as if nothing had happened. I did not feel awkward at all, but the problem laid in the other half of the friendship. I did not take my own behavior into consideration when interacting with those friends. My friendly behavior was mistaken for flirtatiousness, which was not my fault, but did exacerbate the situation. I did not mean to, but as a result I have lost some very good friends. So, if a friend confesses their feelings for you that you cannot return, respectfully communicate with them. Ask them if you need to get some distance, or not speak as much. This does not mean that you have to stop being friends forever, but maybe just until the situation smooths over and feelings are dealt with properly.
  5. So, when you’re caught in a sticky situation of unrequited love, be confident and be kind! Do not let your feelings be swayed unless they are genuine. Otherwise, you will only make yourself miserable. Instead, be resolute in what you know is best for you by communicating your thoughts maturely and respectfully. I hope my experiences may prove of some use to you if you are ever caught in a similar situation.

Love & light,