How do I lose feelings for someone?

magnitorepulse asks:

So I asked my crush/friend if she felt the same way, and she said no. However I decided to continue being her friend because she’s just really likable, and very similar to my personality. And we both really enjoy each other’s company. Known each other for 3 months but we’re already really close/best friends.

She’s my favorite and funniest friend, and the most fun I have is when I’m with her. But it also brings me a lot of sadness to know we won’t be together romantically. And anger..or sadness… or annoyance – Or maybe all three – when she seems overly excited to meet some of her male friends. Or when she tells me how she’s kissed some people, or her friends in the past, even though she always follows up with a ‘But I’m not interested in them’. Maybe so she doesn’t hurt my feeling? Maybe its just the truth

Anyways, what do you think I should do to help lose these feelings so I can get over that she’ll be with other guys. I’d really prefer not just stop being friends with her because it’s hurting me, because that’s a large portion of my life to cut out. We text everyday for hours, and see each other 4-6 times a week (we don’t go to school together or anything, that’s just how often we hang out. I’m M[20] she’s F[22]

Demetrius says:

As far as I know, there isn’t an on/off-switch for feelings. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t lessen or strengthen feelings for someone through hard work.

The basic concept behind The 36 Questions That Lead to Love is feelings of love can be accelerated. Surely if you can quickly develop feelings for someone, the opposite can be true?

To be clear, this is a layman’s advice for how to lessen your feelings for someone. The 36 Questions were developed based on a psychologist’s work. So you know, caveat lector. Here’s how to lose (though more likely, lessen if we’re being honest) feelings for someone:

Spend less time together. If the most fun you have is with her, what you’re doing each time you see her is strengthening your attachment to her. Less time spent with wont make your feelings suddenly disappear, but it wont make you develop new or stronger feelings. I absolutely do not think absence makes the heart grow fonder on its own. Absence with a promise of reuniting will, but absence followed by more absence wont.

Spend less time in contact. This part is important, because you’re seeing her frequently AND you’re texting her frequently. It sounds like there isn’t a day that doesn’t go by without you seeing each other, or talking to each other, and that’s just way too much contact. Stop texting her everyday. At the very least, stop texting for hours.

Spend all that new free time doing something. That “something” can be whatever you want it to be. Hang out with friends (NOT HER), make new friends, actively date, basically, spend time with other humans (or dogs, they’re cool too). Find a new hobby. Go back to an old hobby. Read the dictionary front to back. Occupy your time, and you’ll occupy your mind. Occupy your mind, and she’s less likely to be on it. Got it?

Remember, she’s great, but not great for you. In your heart of hearts, you want to be with her. It’s clear why, and I can sympathize with you, but no matter how great she might be, she’s not great for you. Primarily because she’s not interested in you. Whether or not someone is a good fit for you has a lot of factors, but the critical one is their desire to be with you. Everything else is made inconsequential if that’s missing. She’s great, she’s charming, she’s funny, she’s smart. Awesome. Is she into you? If the answer is no, she’s not a great fit for you. It’s a painful truth, but one to keep in mind. Every-time you find yourself thinking of how great it would be to be with her, remind yourself that she isn’t into you.

One last piece of advice here, though I’m iffy on whether or not you should take it. You might want to be honest about why you want to spend less time with your friend. I’m not sure that a 20-year-old and a 22-year-old can discuss this without it turning really negative though, so maybe take this advice, maybe don’t.  It’s a tough conversation to have. It seems like you’re mature enough to know that your friendship isn’t tenable in its current state, so maybe you can do it. Good on you for recognizing that the fact that your feelings aren’t being reciprocated gives you a mix of anger, sadness, and annoyance. That part is really hard to recognize, and really important to keep in mind.

I don’t think that you can remain friends with the way your friendship is currently structured. Too much time together. Too much texting together. Most importantly, you’re growing to resent your friend. I’m not even sure that you can remain friends even after making changes, if I’m being honest. Resentment is hard to overcome, especially in a situation where one party has done nothing wrong. She’s been a good friend to you, and she seems to be going out of her way to make sure you feel better about her potentially pursuing other men. The fact that you’re growing to resent her simply because you can’t be with her isn’t a good sign.

I think spending less time in contact, and less time together will help. Fill your time with other people, places, or things. And keep in mind that, as great a friend as she is, she’s not right for you. Dwelling on her being right for you will leave you less likely to find someone who is right for you. But, if after all of this you still feel anger, or sadness, or annoyance toward her, it’s possible that you cannot remain friends.

It’s possible that time will change things, or dating someone will change how you feel. If it doesn’t, or worse, if your resentment only grows, you’ll need to end this friendship.

Good Luck Out There.

Also published on Medium.