My HS crush — I’m 29!

I can’t stop thinking about my old high school crush and can’t stop Facebook stalking him. Help!

Our elder has some tips for a letter writer whose 14-year-old heart is ruining her life.

Dear EWC

I have had feelings for this man since I was 14 years old. He showed some interest in me in high school. I never acted on my feelings for him. My heart would beat so fast that I could barely breathe when I was around him. I would think about him all the time. Here at 29 years old, I still think about him. He has a long term girlfriend he has been with since high school. I found out they moved in together. I need to remove my feelings for him out of my life. I want to get over these feelings. I have been Facebook stalking him for years. I keep having dreams about him. Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I rid myself of these feelings? I know that I need to just move on and forget about him. I want to emotionally forget about him. Please help.

PicklesMarie replies

You know how if I told you not to think of red shoes, all you would do is think of red shoes? You’re not going to forget him; however you don’t have to spend a lifetime thinking he’s one for you just because he attracted you at 14. You’ve built some bad habits of thought about him that you have practiced for 15 years. It will take some time to stop those bad habits of thought and accept that he is not ‘the one’ for you.

You’ve grown up and changed a lot since high school. However, obsessing about this boy as ‘perfect’ for you has probably resulted in no other guy having a chance. You never really knew this guy, except in a very general public sort of way. You didn’t know what he was like in private because you never knew him privately. There is much about him, therefore, that you just can’t know… and you’ve filled in those parts with your own fantasy. So you don’t really know him.

At 14-15-16 we are attracted to pretty simple versions of males. By that I mean a guy can seem perfect to a naive girl because she doesn’t have very many boxes on her check-off list of perfect-for-me-guy. However, as a girl gets older the number of boxes on her check-off list increases. She’s no longer naive and she wants more of a man than a boy. She adds traits like ambitious, hard-working, health conscious, or knows how to manage money to her list.

So you don’t really know him and you can’t really know whether he’d have the traits needed to check the boxes on your grown up list. You only recall him as a boy and don’t know him as a man. You can only imagine he grew into the perfect man, but he might not have. You’ll never know.

As I speak to you about him, realize that my crush was the boy next door. For a long time I thought he was the ‘one’. As he wasn’t interested in me, I gradually gave up. I realized he wasn’t ‘smitten’ with me… even though he had had plenty of time to get to know me. This alone should have told me it was hopeless!

I did give up on him. He married. I married. I met him some ~50 years later. There was no rush of emotion. He was just someone I’d known.

Your 14-year-old heart is not a good predictor of who is right for your 29-year-old heart! Some tricks to try to let him go… you’ll never ‘forget’ him. Each and every time you find yourself thinking about him, remind yourself that he’s taken and he’s gone. You’ll probably never get a chance with him. Eventually your logical mind telling you to accept he’s gone will win out over your illogical hard-to-convince heart. You’ve dwelled on this for 15 years, and it may take as long as seven years for your stubborn, smitten heart to let him go. Be patient. Do not think, however, that thinking of him means he thinks of you.

I hope I’ve provided you with some help becoming realistic-of-heart about him. It seems you’re already realistic-of-head about him. Write again anytime.

Letter #: 402483
Category: Dating/Relationship

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