A couple years ago, I set up two of my friends and — shocker — it didn't work out. I know you're not supposed to set up your friends and blah blah blah, but these two were PERFECT for each other. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, I'll tell you what went wrong: They liked each other. Like, a lot. So much so that they'd get all nervous and do weird shit to impress each other.
She purposely wouldn't respond to his texts to play hard to get. He would make weird, forced, not-funny jokes to try to make her think he's funny.
She'd try to make him jealous by flirting with other guys just because she read too deeply into one tagged picture of him with another girl. He'd get drunk and send her creepy texts at four in the morning that he thought were "sexy."
You get it. Two otherwise normal, cool people scared each other off by becoming absolutely insane versions of themselves.
The other day, I was talking to this guy about the same girl I set him up with so long ago. To be honest, I'd completely forgotten about the time I tried to set the two of them up and just casually mentioned that I got dinner with her the other night.
He interrupted me —
"I don't understand how you're friends with her. That girl is insane."
I retorted, "She's not insane. She just liked you."
It's one of those silly predicaments of life, isn't it? The more you like someone, the more you want them to like you and, as a result, the less they like you.
The more you like someone, the more you want them to like you and, as a result, the less they like you.
Of course, there eventually comes the time when you meet a person you like so much that you don't even feel the need to play games. You can't help but be yourself around them because you have this innate trust in them.
But before you meet that person and live happily ever after, you're probably going to scare away a handful of potential happily-ever-afters by becoming, well, insane.
My theory is that what makes us so incredibly insane around our crush is the uncertainty about how they feel about us.
When you're in an established relationship, the person likes you (maybe even loves you!) and you like (maybe even love!) them. No need to impress them because you're already their's to have and to hold.
But things get a little trickier in the beginning stages of dating, when you're trying to figure out whether or not you like each other... AKA whether or not you're going to bother with a real, established relationship.
When you're not that into someone, you don't care if they don't like you back because, well, you don't really care about them. But the minute you decide that you actually like the person you're casually dating is the minute you have the potential to start going a little bonkers.
Why? You have a lot more at stake now. You actually care about what this person thinks about you. Furthermore, you actually want them to like you.
So you start doing weird shit, like stuttering, laughing nervously, telling stories that you think make you sound cool but really kind of just make you sound obnoxious and braggy, and having your friends help you craft awkwardly-too-perfect texts asking him to hang out.
And you're doing all of this because you're nervous. You like him so much that you're trying way too hard to project this "perfect" image of yourself to ensure that he likes you back.
Unfortunately, all that really ends up happening is your attempts to impress him just come off as fake and sort of weird. And he never really even gets a chance to meet the real, awesome, normal you.
This is why your crush doesn't like you back.
It's not because he's gay, and it's not because he's not over his ex. Your crush doesn't like you back because you just liked him too much to let him get to know the real you.
Bummer, I KNOW.