You know the feeling: You like someone so much it almost hurts, and you frantically check your phone every 30 seconds for a text that has the power to make or break your entire day. You -- an otherwise mentally stable human being -- have become an insecure psychopath because you can't stop thinking, “Does he even like me?”
Because that's all it comes down to, right? You just want to know if the crazy, intense feelings you have for this guy are mutual. If you knew for a FACT that he liked you back (and obviously I don't mean casual feelings -- I mean the sort of visceral, from-the-bottom-of-your-heart feelings that you have right now), you could just relax, right?
You wouldn't have to worry when he took a bit longer than usual to respond to your text or when he had to leave super early the next morning. You and your friends wouldn't have to overanalyze every little thing he ever did for clues about how he really feels. If you knew for a fact that this guy liked you back, everything would be OK and you wouldn't feel so insecure in this relationship … right?
Obsessing over the fruitless task of trying to understand how someone else feels about me makes me feel stupid. It makes me feel small. It makes me feel pathetic. It makes me forget about how I feel about myself. And for the most part, I feel pretty f*cking good about myself.
Have you ever spent 45 minutes asking your best friend to analyze a thread of text messages and come out of that conversation thinking, “Oh my God, I'm so happy I did that. I feel so confident and complete and sure about how this person feels about me”? Maybe you have, but I definitely have not.
So, in an attempt to make myself (and other girls around me) feel smart and big and awesome as opposed to stupid and small and pathetic, I've created more important questions to ask yourself if you're insecure in your relationship.
"Do I like me?"
Hate to be the most cliche person alive here, but it's TRUE: You can't like anyone until you like yourself. So think long and hard about this one.
Do you like yourself? Do you think you are someone worthy of being liked? You should. You are a fantastic human being, and in your own special way you bring something so unique and cool to the table. Figure out what that thing is, and remember that before you ever try to even question what someone else thinks about you, you are WORTHY OF BEING LIKED.
Now, even if you do like yourself, think about the person you are in the context of your relationship: Do you like yourself when you're around him? Take an objective look at the girl who sits across from him on your dates. Look at the girl who sends the texts in the blue (well, green when his phone is off and your brain goes into full panic mode) bubbles on your phone. Do you like that girl? Is she you?
"What do I like about him?"
Sometimes we get so caught up in the idea of a person that we forget all about the actual human being who lives behind that idea. You know what I'm talking about. It's the reason you look at your pathetic loser of an ex and wonder, "What did I ever see in him?"
Well, the problem was, you didn't see him at all. You fell deeply, madly and passionately in love with the idea of him. But now that it's over and the feelings are gone, you see him for who he truly is and always was: a loser.
Now let's take a look at your current love interest. What exactly is it that you like about him? Really think about this, and don't be afraid to be critical of your own responses. Do you like him because he's nice and funny? Well, news flash: There are about a million other nice and funny guys I could find for you in a second.
The point here is to find out if the connection you feel with this guy is something real or just something you built up in your head. Does he bring something to the table that you truly believe no one else could? What is that thing? Pinpoint it.
"What do I deserve?"
"And am I getting it right now?"
Sure, he may be the greatest thing since sliced bread. But never forget that you're also great. You are the only YOU out here in this big, bad world, and he was lucky to have found someone so wonderful and unique -- someone who really can see and appreciate how special he is. He is lucky.
But does he make you feel lucky? Is the type of relationship you have with him right now enough for you? Is it what you want? How is it that you think you deserve to be treated? Think about it. Maybe even write yourself a little list. What do you, an awesome, unique human being, deserve in a relationship? And does your current relationship give you any of this?
"Would I be OK without him?"
This one's huge, and I'm just going to say it right here right now: If the answer is no, break things off. Break things off right now.
I'm not saying to break things off forever. But cool it off. Take some time to yourself. Take some space. Remind yourself that you are a fully functioning human being and that there are plenty of other people out there who love and support you.
At the end of the day, any person who comes into your life should be a happy addition to -- and not a vital part of -- your well-being. It's important to remember that though you might be sad without him, you'll be OK. If you're having a hard time remembering that, take some time to remind yourself.
"Could I tell him how I'm feeling right now without being embarrassed?"
Yeah, it's vulnerable and scary to put yourself out there in front of a person who literally holds your heart in the palm of his hand. But if push came to shove, could you do it? Could you tell him how you really, truly felt? Could you air all of your deepest most vulnerable concerns without fearing his judgment?
This guy is lucky enough to hold your heart -- YOUR awesome, fantastic, genuine heart. The least he could do is handle your feelings with care and, most of all, respect. Do you trust that he would do that?
"In general, have I been more happy or sad since I met him?"
Let's get mathematical here for a second. When did you meet him? How long have you guys known each other? Like, how many hours? (Yeah, I was serious about the mathematical thing.)
And now answer this: How many of those hours were happy ones? How many were miserable ones that were spent trying to figure out if he even liked you? Now calculate your happy/sad ratio. During your entire relationship, have you found more joy or misery?
And, most importantly, do the happy hours make the miserable hours worth it? Are the highs as high as mountains and the lows as shallow as puddles, or is it the other way around? Really think about how you feel when you are just hanging out with him. And then think about how you feel when you're apart. Be honest. There's no point in lying to yourself.
"What else makes me happy?"
Time to gain some perspective here. When you like someone who brings such pure joy into your life, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that this is your only source of happiness. Sure, your favorite TV show can't take you on a hot date, and your best friend can't give you the best sex of your life, but you have to remember that there are other things in the world that make you smile. And don't forget about those things in your pursuit of him.
If he makes you happy, let him be a part of your life. But also make a list of all of the other things in life that make you happy. And give those things just as much attention as you give him.
"Do I like him?"
You obviously have some sort of feelings for him. But do you really like him? Do you like him in the way you want him to like you? If you do, he's a lucky guy. If not, then BYE to him and on to the next.