Should one pursue a relationship that shows no hope of success?

tessa asks: I like this guy and he’s moving across the country. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like me. I’m not sure what to do. I think he knows I like him but I’m not sure. I don’t know if I should just try to forget about him or ask him out. My friend also offered to try to get us together. What should I do?

Hi tessa –

Okay, you’ve probably read enough of my posts here to know that I usually try to see both sides of an issue, and point out different ways of going about things.  This answer will be an exception to that.

Give Up.

Yes, I said it, in a blunt, harsh way.  Because I want you to be kind to yourself.  Because you’re one of my Pack Girls and I want you to be happy and proud.

In your letter, you offer the following problems with this relationship:

First, he’s moving across the country.

Second, you’re pretty sure he doesn’t like you.

Third, you don’t even know if he knows you like him.

tessa, I’m a total romantic.  I’m all for following your heart and giving your all for a risky romance.  But this one has nothing to offer!  In a best-case scenario, where you told him you liked him, and he asked you out and you two really hit it off… he’d leave and you’d be miserable and lonely!  Way better to skip it.  Let him go, say “Bon Vo-yajee” like Bugs Bunny, and move on with your life.

And be glad all this happened.

What?  What did I just say?!  Yes, I said be glad.  Why?  Because:

a)    You know you can love.  That’s a great thing.  And the heart that was so into him can fall in love with someone else, more available.

b)    You’ve had no loss of pride.  Sure your friend knows about how you felt about him, but there’s no big embarrassing event where everyone at school sees you as the girl who a guy rejected (and even your friend hasn’t seen you that way, since the attempted meet hasn’t happened).

c)    You weren’t rejected!  Rejection hurts like getting your tail shut in a car door, over and over and over!  This is so much better!

d)    You’re free.  You’re available to anybody you want to go out with, or who wants to go out with you.  And last but by no means least…

e)    He’s perfect.  He will always be perfect.  If you dated him, you’d find out all sorts of boring or stupid or even scary things about him.  Instead, you get to spend the rest of your life envisioning him as perfection, the way other girls might look at Justin Bieber or Channing Tatum.  But yours was real!  You knew him!  That’s so much cooler!

So tessa, I’m not offering any other suggestions.  Be strong, be cool, wave him off with a tear and a wink, and move on to a joyous rest of your life.

And here’s my great wish… that you meet up with him, years from now.  Maybe in an airport, or even at a school reunion.  And that you, graceful, beautiful, stunning adult that you are, smile at him and say “I had the biggest crush on you back then!”  Do you have any idea how good that will feel?  To you AND to him?!

Be Strong!



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