Falling for someone can feel like being under a spell, where your emotions take over and override your common sense. That's exactly what happened to me when I fell hard for a guy and slowly disconnected from reality, allowing myself to be deceived in these ten ways:
1. I believed that something so intense could never be one-sided
The most difficult part was coming to terms with the fact that having intense feelings for someone doesn't guarantee that those feelings are reciprocated. I convinced myself that my strong emotions must have been mutual; he had to feel the same way. However, years later, I finally accepted that while there may have been some signals from his end, they were not romantic. They were simply vibes from a guy who was feeling bored but flattered to have a younger woman admiring him.
2. I saw hidden signs everywhere
My infatuation made me feel like everything in life was connected to my crush in some way, as if there was a grand love conspiracy happening all around me. I became so fixated on him that I neglected my own needs, my work, and even the people in my life who cared about me. Every thought and action was tied to my crush in some way.
3. I misinterpreted his gestures and intentions
I would overanalyze every little thing he did or said, convinced that it was all intentionally romantic, no matter how subtle. I obsessed over our encounters, replaying them in my head and searching for hidden meanings. However, I was too inexperienced to realize that flirting doesn't necessarily mean anything without action.
4. The certainty that it was meant to be kept me from moving on
As a hopeless romantic, I longed to discover my soulmate, "The One." I grew weary of waiting and searching, and believed that he must be the one I had already envisioned spending eternity with. I was determined to hold onto this mental picture of our everlasting togetherness, and was unwilling to let go.
5. When he pulled away, I kept making excuses for him
Despite his disinterest, I found myself making excuses for him and placing blame on myself for our lack of progress, even though it was his responsibility to take action. His behavior was exacerbated by his attitude and the way he would pull me back in as soon as I began to distance myself.
6. Deep down, I believed I was entitled to his love
I expressed my feelings to my crush in various ways and avoided playing any mind games with him. However, I developed a sense of entitlement to his love, believing that my sincere emotions and pleasant experiences with him meant that he should reciprocate my feelings. Despite feeling confident that he would eventually realize I was the one for him, it never came to fruition.
7. The red flags were there but I turned a blind eye
Reflecting on the past, there were numerous indications that we were incompatible, yet I deliberately disregarded each one, assuming that love could overcome any obstacle. I was drawn to the challenges and excitement he brought to my life. Furthermore, I became addicted to the emotional highs and lows that my own feelings for him produced.
8. I used my friends as a way to justify my obsession
I'm certain I was a major annoyance to my friends during that period. My conversations were centered around that guy and our relationship. I repeatedly attempted to elicit the responses I wanted from others, and eventually, they gave in... just to get me to stop talking about it.
9. I took whatever BS he said to me seriously
As with many men, my former crush felt flattered by the admiration and respect I showed towards him. He took advantage of my feelings by leading me on and enjoying the attention, even though he was aware of my affection. Instead of rejecting me outright, he encouraged me to linger around him for his own amusement and self-esteem. In hindsight, I realize that he had significant personal problems and was manipulating me by exploiting my emotions, only to later reject me and keep me waiting in the wings.
10. I believed we were going to have a Hollywood-level romance
In my distorted imagination, I envisioned a romance like Carrie and Mr. Big's from "Sex and the City." However, given that it has been over a decade since our last encounter, it is evident that this was never the case. Regardless, I am fortunate to have found someone who genuinely reciprocates my feelings and likes me in return.