How Do I Get Over My Unrequited Mega-Crush?

Dear Sarah,

I’m going to risk sounding like a lovesick little girl, but here it goes: I’m about to start my sophomore year of college and I always had this idea that when I went away to school, I would meet some charming guy and fall madly in love.

Anyway, I did go off to college, and I did meet someone. We like all of the same movies and bands and TV shows, he has a fantastic sense of humor, we’re both English majors, and we were a part of the same student organization. I’ve been crazy about this guy for almost a year now, and I finally (after a couple of drinks, truth be told) confessed to him how I felt this past May—just before I went home for the summer.

A couple of weeks ago, I went back to my college town to visit some friends for the weekend and I saw him at a party. Long story short, we ended up making out back at his apartment.

I haven’t seen him since that night, and we haven’t spoken at all except for a text he sent me the day after we kissed that simply said, “Are we cool?” Then I heard through the grapevine that he’s been seeing another girl. My friends all tell me to forget about him, that he’s a jerk, etc. And yes, I acknowledge that he’s actually not the greatest guy, but for some reason he still makes my heart skip a beat.

I’m stuck on him, and I would really, really rather not be. How can I move past this guy and meet someone else?

— Friend-Zoned in Florida

Dear Friend-Zoned,

I’m going to make you a solemn promise: crushes, even hardcore crushes, have an expiration date. One day, it dawns on you—poof!—”I don’t hurt anymore. . .I don’t even care anymore.” The hard part is, you can’t think your way out of feelings. While your brain might agree with your friends’ assessment of his lame, d.b.-ish behavior, your heart is still banging out, “ker-thump, ker-thump, ker-thump.”

Luckily, there’s a time-tested method for wringing out excess emotions: takeout, The Fault in Our Stars (or any other film that will trigger a weep-fest) and whomever friend or relative will hug you and fetch you tissues while you bust out your best cry face. Repeat as necessary. Its time to grieve that this dude wasn’t and will never be your dream guy. Let it rip and feel all the feelings. Like a bucket with a leak or an hourglass trickling sand, all the pain and anger will gradually seep away.

Once you are drained of the keen, piercing hurt, your brain might start obsessing. Over-thinking stuff will only perpetuate your fixation, so don’t cyber stalk him or endlessly badmouth him to your girlfriends. There’s a time for honoring your emotions, and there’s a time for moving forward. And, a super low-key, no expectations date with a nice guy might be a good reminder that Mr. “Are we cool?” isn’t the only boy out there.

Love, Sarah

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