When you’re in a relationship with someone, (be it romantic or platonic), the most comfortable arrangement is to feel like they like you just as much as you like them. I used to think that most times that’s how it pans out if you’re careful, but I know now that oftentimes feelings in a relationship are uneven regardless. Most times the way the scale is balanced is unclear until key events slap you in the face and make this clearly known. Like maybe he decided that flirting with the waitress while you sit alone at the bar is an acceptable way to start a date, or you realize on a night out that this girl’s laugh is a little too obnoxious for you and if she mentions the word literally one more time you’re going to literally connect your knuckles to her face.
Well, every now and then you get into a relationship where it is blatantly obvious that this is the case from the beginning, and you’re on the disinterest receiving end.
You want with all your heart for them to be as interested in you as you are in them, but you can tell that the attraction is lopsided, if not one-sided.
You’re sitting there having this intense amount of intrigue in the person, but you can tell that they are only mildly curious about you at best. You can’t quite figure out what about you is serving as a complete turnoff to the awesomeness that is you and this bothers you. Eventually, you’re left there ruminating so long about how you can change their level of interest in you that you start thinking things that should never even enter your mind. You actually begin thinking about what ways you can change yourself to fit the desires of the other person, (which is crazy because you’re you and that’s amazing and no one in the world should make you feel otherwise).
The brainstorming starts turning into crazy talk: “Why don’t they like me? Is it my style? My hairdo? My love of all things yellow? Ohmigerd, no. They figured out my left leg is half a centimeter shorter than my right one didn’t they? I knew someone would figure it out one day! What am I supposed to do now? That’s not exactly fixable. Well…maybe if I nick a piece of my heel off here…” Then you realize how ridiculous you sound so you start to reassure yourself that you’re lovable the way you are, but then you start to remember things that went wrong in past relationships, and you begin thinking maybe your ex’s dislike of your Disney plushie collection and penchant for singing along with television jingles isn’t all that unreasonable.
That’s when the worst question sets in.
“I’m lovable aren’t I?…Pssh, of course I am…
Now, it’s not always so severe of a case. You may not question your worth to such an extreme degree, but the self esteem questions come tumbling in nonetheless, if not crashing in. It really sucks. My advice to you when you’re faced with the possibility of these obviously lopsided relationships:
Run the other way.
No matter how fantastic the other person really may be, they’re not worth losing your mind over.
And if you’re on the other side of the equation where you’re seeing that some person is latching onto you that you really don’t care to engage with, let them down easily but clearly to spare them some grief. Or better yet, take the time to genuinely look them in the eye before you do. It just might turn out they could become one of the people you love most in the world if you just stop holding yourself back and be honest with yourself.