What I’ve Learned Regarding Infatuations with Unavailable People

As a Sagittarius I am prone to infatuations and unrequited loves. It just comes with the territory of being a brave soul who is always up for a challenge. I’ve had to get my heart broken by these infatuations or crushes and have come to learn a lot by them. If any of you have also fallen for someone that you couldn’t have, you may be in a pit of despair like I was, but don’t fret. You are not alone. More importantly, there is a light at the other end of tunnel, you just haven’t reached it yet. So, let us begin. Let me tell you the story about how I fell hard for one of my co-workers.

Like most of the men I fall for, they have abandonment issues, mommy or daddy issues, or both. That’s not to criticize too harshly, that’s just a fact. I too have the same issues and I believe issues are like cards, it’s not your fault for the hand you got dealt as a child. It is, however, your fault when you don’t play the game correctly. You got to know when to hold and when to fold, as my father would say, and you got to know when to drop the cards that are not healthy for you to have in your life. The issues that you have do not necessarily make you who you are for the rest of your life. You have free will. You can grow and change when you are self-aware and allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.

This experience was a mistake, for several reasons. But like all mistakes they are learning lessons. After you stop hating yourself or beating yourself up about the mistakes you’ve made, you’ll find solace in knowing that you are only human. You learn that you are not the only guilty party in the chaos that just unfolded, nor are you the perfect, innocent victim that you pretend to be in front of your family, spouses, or friends. You just realize that you are you, and that’s okay. The unique and f—-d up mess that you are is actually quite beautiful for those who deserve your love, attention, and affection. They will come to see you for what you are and love you despite your flaws.

Remember: not everyone deserves to be in your life and not everyone can love you for your flaws.

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My infatuation began probably before I was willing to admit it. Initially upon meeting this co-worker, I thought he was quite young, being that he was younger than me in age, but also in his approach to work and work relationships in general. He was a hard worker, but seemed to always want to be everyone’s friend, seeking approval rather than respect, and probably should have created a more professional distance and atmosphere amongst his co-workers. To be honest, he was flirty and friendly with just about everyone. When I first met him, I didn’t really like him all that much. I basically thought he was too young and insecure, and easily seduced by flattery.

I began to see him differently though when he sat across from me at lunch one day. We talked briefly about something I don’t even remember. Afterward, he seemed more open to talking to me and smiling at me around the workplace. He had a warm smile that was also mired by something like pain. You knew he was hiding a lot behind those coffee-colored eyes and you just didn’t know what. He was frank and simple, when he wanted to be. While we worked, we ended up making jokes, laughing, sharing stories, talking about life in general. At first, when I was in my relationship, I didn’t think of him at all in that way. I grew to respect him a little more and his work approach, that was it. But once my relationship ended, and very soon after it ended, I knew I had developed an attraction to him.

I immediately wanted to fight it off and did not want to admit it. Truth be told, I was probably always attracted, but didn’t really think about it. I am sincere in my relationships and a queen at compartmentalizing my emotions and feelings.

My previous relationship had been a slow death. For at least 6 months prior to me ending it, I knew I no longer loved the man I was with, and I knew all the reasons why. There was no hope for renewal, no saving grace. We had compromised and fought and compromised again, and I had sacrificed so much of myself in the process. The only salvation for both of us was to end it. Once my relationship was over, it did not take me long to feel a quiver in my chest, the butterflies in my stomach, or the weak knees for someone else. What shocked me and scared me, though, was I hadn’t felt anything for anyone in such a long time. It literally felt like a glass of cold ice water, and even some ice cubes, were being hurled at my face going at least 40 miles an hour.

My co-worker and I began to talk more, and every time I spent time with him or saw him, my soul would alight like fire. It was both feeling good and feeling terrible all at the same time. I stopped eating as much, I stopped sleeping. I was a slave to the limerence and endorphins at this point. It all sounds pretty common for falling for someone doesn’t it? Having a crush or infatuation–this is generally what happens. Some would say they feel this at the beginning of most of their relationships, so what went wrong? Why is this experience being considered a mistake?

The answer is not surprising, but also not as simple as it would seem. He was a co-worker, but he also had a girlfriend. If he was around me, it was a great joy, but also a great sorrow. Being a Sagittarius too, my infatuations are not to be taken lightly. Some people can easily separate these feelings and reason through them eloquently. Sagittarius’ are not so lucky. Once our eye or heart is set on someone, that’s it. There’s no one else in the world, no other conquest to conquer, no other thing that can distract you from these emotions. We are the zodiac of the arrow and can only move in one single straight line. You are hooked, and the fishhook is deep inside your mouth. Every time I would pry my way from it, try to forget about it, try not to think about it or him, it just wouldn’t let me go, and because I always knew he had a girlfriend, I was tormented from the start.

I was extremely frustrated at myself for feeling this way and desperately wished it would go away, but it would not. I set up a Tinder account and found the two people I talked to on it boring and deleted the account. I talked to another co-worker about getting me hooked up with a girl or a friend or anyone to date, but she didn’t follow through—and after I said the words, I no longer really wanted to meet anyone.

My crush did not make it easy either. It was one mixed signal after the other. When he mentioned his girlfriend there was nothing very positive he had to say and he never mentioned her by name which I always thought was odd. They were clearly fighting/working out some issues, and he made that kind of known to most people in the work place. After we were opening up to each other more, I attempted not to talk to him and started to cut him off, which he seemed a little hurt by this. When I did start to talk and open up to him again, he gave me a torrent of new information about him as if he truly wanted me to know him as a person, reaching out to grab more human contact and attention. Once when I was having fun with some guys outside who were customers, laughing and what not, he also seemed way too interested in who those guys were and suddenly got protective over me getting in trouble over how I handled the situation.

I learned a lot about him in a very short time period. He opened up to me about childhood, religion, and other things and I opened up too.  I got the impression not everyone knew what I had known about him at the time, which made me wonder if he had feelings for me at some point, but I was never quite sure. As I stated in my previous post titled “Relationships,” knowing or not knowing doesn’t matter because actions speak louder than words, and frankly, he was still in his relationship so there was no point in guessing or wondering, you just had to assume the worst.

This is good advice for any woman who has ever experienced this. Ladies let us be honest. You do not want this man. He is with someone and more importantly, he’s using you, whether he knows it or not. You care and he doesn’t. You can grow to love him under the right circumstances, but he won’t ever grow to love you. He’ll claim he just wanted to be friends and it was you who got it all confused. The truth is, you just caught him at his worst—being a little lonely or emotionally needy and attention seeking. He wants to keep you as you are, interested in him. All of the actions you’ve taken, and even talking to him to the extent that you have, is because you are interested in him. If he shows he’s upset with you for not being there in his life, it is not because he has feelings for you. He just wants that energy, devotion, attention, or whatever, but doesn’t want to give you anything in return. He is selfish, ruthless, and cruel—or just another human being who wants his cake and eat it too, whichever you prefer.

Maybe he’d come looking for you later, but don’t waste your breath in that waiting spiral. You’ll just end up feeling foolish when the train you thought was coming doesn’t arrive. Any other reason a man would string you along or not tell you point blank he’s not interested is because he is interested, but wants a mistress which is just in poor taste and is extremely disrespectful to you. Letting him go and moving on is really the best thing you can do, for yourself, and for the girlfriend he has that is silent in the background who can’t defend herself.

I wish the story just ended there with a brief explanation about how I found someone else or got another job, but it doesn’t. Being tormented about my feelings for someone I knew I could not have, and chances are had no real feelings for me, I became very depressed. The acts of depression look and feel the same as an infatuation except for one new symptom, crying. I cried in the girls’ bathroom, out in my car, anywhere where I had a moment of privacy. I was able to fake the whole ordeal on the notion that I just went through a break-up. Most people who saw my change of behavior would not have been able to tell the difference and would not have noticed that the reason why I was depressed was because I had an unrequited crush on someone I worked with.

Some people knew though. One of my so-called friends I worked with at a different location prior knew I had a crush on him, but neglected to tell me she too must have had feelings. She began to tear me down in front of him and act quite jealous, wondering where he was at all times, etc. I soon stopped talking to her regarding anything personal. But more people probably were figuring it out too because office gossip. People love speculating about other people and their lives, it’s human nature.

What made the situation incredibly unbearable (and it was already unbearable enough mind you) was the fact that my crush was an extremely observant individual—and so was I. I watched him tell another co-worker he thought I had feelings for him, or at least I can guess by what pieces of the conversation I overheard.  I also kept feeling like other co-workers were trying to figure me out and what was going on. Whether it was because of him or their own personal agenda I cannot tell. I felt like I had an audience to my humiliation.

To make matters even worse, he began to start mentioning his girlfriend around me and others when he hadn’t mentioned her like that prior. The oldest trick in the book, right? Place a person in the friendzone without talking to them directly by leaving subtle clues.  A couple of times I knew he was staring at me while he did this trying to see me react because he had caught me react to the mention of his girlfriend once before, which was initially how he figured it out in the first place. Once I even thought I saw a smirk. I tried to be okay with this. I even gave him one of my paintings as a peace offering, a poor attempt to try and be friends and return things back to normal, but it was no use. I could not love myself or take care of myself and stay there. At some point, the levee is just going to break, and I broke.

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After I got another job, still seeking closure, I let him know why I left, because he kept asking me why I wanted to leave when I first mentioned it weeks prior and he also seemed genuinely upset that I was going, thinking it had something to do with him in some way—which of course it did. We did not talk in person, which was the worst. I had to send some sort of cryptic, cliché series of texts. He never cleared the air with me either to explain what the hell was going on from his point of view.  If he really wanted to be friends or he respected me in any way, he would have done so to at least give me closure and peace of mind. Instead, he left an open door for communication which I refused to use except once regarding some career advice. It was probably not even genuine, just something someone feels they have to say just to be nice. I don’t even know if he fully understood what happened or why.

Weeks after I left, I still had feelings for a ghost and shell of a man no longer in my life. Like a gust of wind, it would come to me all at once and then be gone, as if it never was there in the first place. I have told myself I will not linger where I am not wanted. I will find someone else and not hesitate to explore other options that are offered if there is some semblance of chemistry there. I feel the right person can come into your life like a slap in the face. You don’t expect it and maybe you don’t even want it, but there it is. I won’t rush into though, I think it would be best to take my time because I want to make sure any lingering emotions regarding this situation is officially over and put to rest.

Maybe I was just super sensitive to the situation because my relationship of four years had just ended prior, or I was just super lonely. It doesn’t matter. What matters is I realized when to hold and when to fold. You can’t give back the cards you got dealt in life, but you do need to learn when to let those darn things go. Loving yourself is knowing yourself and knowing when to hold and when to fold. Infatuations come and go, but real love lasts a lifetime. I know this because I’ve also felt real love before, but that is for a different post at a later time.

Yes, it sucks when an infatuation is still-born. With no life to it, all you can do is mourn your loss and it takes time to accept it. For me, I’ve had too many infatuations be born without a life and have now grown accustomed to it. Like any loss, it gets easier to let go, but it still hurts. It always feels like someone has ripped your heart out and just thrown it away like unnecessary home decor that once lined your walls. But there’s always a new adventure around the corner and a new person can step into your life at any moment. So don’t wallow and waste away in your misery because someone just doesn’t feel the same way as you do. For learning to truly love someone is about learning to love yourself and learning when to just let some things go.

Picture taken by Senay Ustunel. Follow @senayustunell on Instagram.

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