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Having a crush on someone is an awesome feeling, as it gives us eternal hope that, just maybe, there’s someone out there that we’re really interested in getting to know. And, who knows, when it all comes together, you could end up dating that crush of yours.

Unfortunately, as great as having a crush is — where it makes us giddy and excited and even younger anytime we might see that person — if things don’t go as you hope, it can be crushing. Sure, you two may not have ever dated, but finding out that your crush isn’t interested or, worse, already taken can be a major bummer, leaving you wondering how you can move on.

We’ve all had this happen to us before, but, personally speaking, a few years ago I met a girl at a music festival. I was awestruck with how pretty she was, and, while we talked a bit, I never mustered up the balls to ask her for her number or anything. She requested me as a friend on Facebook the next day, but, even after a few DM messages back and forth, we never actually met up. We both went our separate ways — with me dating another girl and, eventually, her getting married — but, oddly enough, we still exchange messages on Instagram, building some unique friendship that came from one time we met five years ago.

It’s wild how that happened, but it’s strange considering I had a major league crush on this girl for awhile. And, whether she ever knew that or not, I had to find a way to move on, get over it and realize that it just wasn’t in the cards.

For those guys who can relate to something similar and found that having a crush led to more disappointment than happiness, take some of the below advice to help you the next time you might find yourself in the same situation. Trust us, your future self will thank you for not being so hard on yourself about missing out.

Having a crush pop up on social media is a bad reminder

There’s a good chance that this crush of yours is someone you already follow on social media. That might be great when you’re hopeful there’s a chance you two can date, but when things go south, that’s when it’s time to unfollow her stat.

For instance, last year my buddy had a crush on a girl who he semi dated for a couple months. They weren’t yet at a point of taking the next step or really knowing each other too well, so, when she stopped showing interest, he was pretty hurt. When asked about what he liked most about her, everything pointed to physical attributes — which is about as close to the definition as ones gets.

It wasn’t but 48 hours later that I suggested he unfollow her on Instagram so not to be tempted to check in on her or remind himself of what she looks like. No matter what type of relationship, if any, that you have with your crush, the minute it’s over and you’re left to move on, do yourself a huge favor and stop yourself from checking in on her. While it’s fun during that time of having a crush when there’s hope and optimism, it’s not so cool when you realize she wasn’t interested in you.

Focus on someone new, finding a new crush instead

If you’re one of those people who absolutely needs to have a crush, then go ahead and get yourself another girl to focus on — but remember to learn from any previous mistakes so not to end up being burnt again by another crush of yours down the road. This means taking initiative and trying to get her attention early on, otherwise you’ll fall into the same trap of checking in on her without any progress.

Assuming you and this first crush of yours never actually dated, you shouldn’t feel weird moving on to someone else to help get over that weird feeling you have of rejection. Similar to you having a crush on a celebrity, you need to understand that most of these types of girls are just strange fantasies, and that, in the end, you just liked the look of the more than anything else. This is why refocusing on someone else is a good idea.

Be honest with yourself about having a crush on someone

As briefly mentioned above, having a crush on a celebrity is something we’ve all done. There’s a reason why Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell has long-been mentioned as the “it” girl from back in the ’90s — because we all wanted that type of girl. Thing is, don’t confuse reality with fiction when it comes to having a crush.

That means that you should set realistic and achievable goals, setting yourself up for success rather than disappointment if things don’t work out for you. We all want to end up with the girl that everyone wants, but that’s not always attainable for us — but that shouldn’t get you down if it doesn’t work out.

Remember that there are plenty of other fish in the sea, so stay positive

It’s easy to say this, but can be harder to actually see it through. That said, it’s important to remember that having a crush might be fun, but it’s not doing you any good if you’re not actually able to date the person, which leads to more disappointment for you.

Everyone always says that you end up with something when you’re not looking, with random stories of perfect timing occurring for two people. It might be cliche, but it’s true, and you need to remind yourself that, just because you didn’t end up with that one girl you’ve been crushing on forever, doesn’t mean there isn’t someone else out there for you.

Having a crush is a lot of fun because it gives you hope. But don’t let that hope turn to negativity because you’re too far ahead of yourself or put too much pressure on yourself to try and meet her. Play it cool and, just maybe, it’ll happen. If not, oh well, you’ll find someone even better.

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