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University Crush - Please can I have some help/advice with this?

Hi folks,

I've only just joined the site, really as a way to get advice for this situation I'm posting about. I'm not going to use names or anything just to protect my confidentiality and those who it may concern.

So, trying to keep things as concise as possible. I'm in my final year doing a Masters in Arts & Creative Tech and I've been feeling a lot of ups and downs emotionally lately with moving on from university and particularly towards a certain young lady that I met here.

There was this girl on my previous course who I've always been friends with (and we are still friends) since the moment we met really. She is the same age as me, but she started the course a year after, so she was always a year below academically. The first time I met her was at a quiz event my tutor set up in my second year, and a small girl took the vacant seat next to me, so she'd only just arrived at uni and we had a fun time in a little team together. Since then, we were friendly acquaintances. I started seeing what she was up to on like social media like her sports clubs and how she was adventurous. I just thought she was really cute, you know, and we always smiled at each other if we passed by each other, and then later that year, we were both working on the film project that a mutual friend was making, so I used the opportunity to talk to her and we got on like absolute fire. It was a really great experience, and, since then, I've regularly kept in contact with her and every 2 or 3 weeks I started to message her and keep talking to her, and it turned out she lives in the same city as a relative of mine, and we just kept chatting, talking about what we were up to or thinking about, supporting each other, and eventually we started sending long paragraphs of text and lots of laughing emoji's. Very chill indeed.

At this point, with all the texting paired with the times that we spent around each other physically working on films and such, I started to develop a more serious "crush" on her - a desire to be he boyfriend or an urge to interest her romantically. I just really cared for her a lot, and she gave me so much warmth, joy and laughter. It all felt very exciting.

I was always too nervous to ask her out though because my housemates were advising me that she's had a difficult time with guys pursuing her at university, and so I just wanted to see where the cards fell and take it all as it came, but I really just fell for her to be honest, I just really really liked her a lot. There were times where I asked if she wanted to go library or something, but I don't think that she really took the hint for it being a date or anything, since it's a very casual thing. Her replies were just that she was extremely busy to be honest, but if she was going library, she would let me know.

So, here's the deal. She's got a boyfriend. I know, it's a classic scenario. I'd be lying if I said it hasn't hurt though. There's nothing worse than seeing your crush seeming quite happy in a relationship with someone else. They've been seeing each other for around a year now too and it didn't hurt me too much initially, but I recently bumped into her and it really reminded me of how much she meant to me and how much I liked her.

I've been spending a lot of time reflecting on it lately and it's not really a situation that I've dealt with to the same extent before, and so I know there's no normal way for me to deal with it. I think the main reason I've been getting upset is because of thinking about what could have been. We've always had a very natural chemistry, and I can certainly see parts of my own self in her personality too, and so I think the distress has more come from the fact that it never quite materialized and feeling quite depressed that I'm not going to see her around anymore. The thought of that has been really upsetting me to be honest. I've been very up and down emotionally where some days I work on myself more and what makes me happy, and that's great, but there's always a lingering thought that I fell for her and it really pains me. I enjoy taking myself out for walks to relieve the minor stress from my university work and I can't help but imagine what it might feel like if I was just holding hands with her, or I look at the strangers passing by in the park and maybe start imagining that it's her who is walking towards me. It's just a feeling of melancholy in a place where there once was more happiness.

I've been thinking about ways that I handled it, and ways that I can learn from it to improve the future. In retrospect, I think it probably wouldn't have hurt if I struck when the iron was hot and she was definitely single. I was fearing the unknown I think, and I could have perhaps benefited from pursuing her a little more actively. I don't feel it would have hurt to have told her that I thought she was an amazing person and asked if we could go on a date but just made sure she's aware that if she said no, I'd be cool with whatever boat she was in.

To be honest, I'm trying not to blame myself too much over it. At the end of the day, I'm still young and I was figuring it out at the time. I didn't necessarily know that I'd definitely be staying on to do a Masters at the time, meaning I would be around for her final year, and I suppose we were at slightly different stages of our lives because I was eventually going to graduate and go on, while she was staying there at university. Also, just showing love to her via text or via our friends is different to being in a relationship where you're living with someone, and so, really, who knows what really could have happened if we did get together. Also, let's be honest, a global pandemic certainly didn't help matters at all. It meant that we weren't physically around each other much anymore, and it was difficult to think of things to talk to her about via text, since you couldn't really do anything much at all, if you get me.

So, right now, we're still friends and I talked to her just recently to ask if she wanted any help with her dissertation or anything. As i think I have mentioned, I just happened to bump into her in the street one day. Oh my goodness, it was so amazing to finally see her again, and to see her face lighting up and the fact that she just stopped from whatever she was doing to talk to me and ask after me. It really made my day 100%. A few days ago, she posted on Instagram that she's finished all of her work, so I just sent her a congratulations. She seemed very relieved and was saying she couldn't believe she's made it through. I told her that she's done really good and she should be proud of how far she's come. I just acted in the moment and added a "Keep in touch x " on the end, and she said thanks and that she will. So, we're still much on good terms and there seems to be a lot of mutual affection, care and heart for each other in there.

To tell the truth, the reason why it's particularly hit hard with me in the past few days is because I bumped into her boyfriend the other day... and then ended up sitting by him on a table outside the student bar for a few hours... My housemate was doing a live music event there, and apparently he's a regular. I just politely smiled and said hi, I was just genuinely interested to find out who he was, so I said that I used to do the old course to see if he would pick up on it, before I said he looked familiar and asked him if he knew the girl. I just wanted to keep it non-threatening because I didn't know him and so I couldn't make any judgments or blame him for anything, and I just said that I knew her because of the old course when he asked. He seemed okay-ish.

In the meantime, I hope to surround myself with friends and start talking to my old friends again, and focus on my career after graduating from the course. That way, I can help to develop myself and start meeting other girls. That way, if I meet someone else, great. I can use this experience and learn from it to pursue that. If not, that way, if some bizzare turn of events leads to me getting another chance with her, I can approach it with more confidence and that way, I'm bringing something new to the table if she were not out for the count yet or again, if that makes sense.

I think the overarching issue here is that I'm having personal issues with the feelings of leaving university. One moment, I feel more positive, and, the next, I feel like crying of sadness because things feel a bit empty and I'm trying to figure out how my "old life" and how the friends I've made from the university life, like her, each factor into things. I think it's easy to have an expectation that you'll have a huge bunch of friends, meet your partner, have a ball at university from the media and American high school comedies, but, to be honest, It all feels strange to see my friends moving on and getting boyfriends, while I feel much more uncertain about how my future will look or feel like. I just know that I'm not really feeling "alright" about it all, you know, and I don't want to just never speak to the people I've met like her ever again because she is one of my favourite people. The same attachment goes for a lot of my friends I've met here, and so I feel like I've just been struggling with my mental health a bit overall and there's a sense that I've outgrown the surroundings because they feel very empty when I'm wandering around the campus and stuff, although the girl situation seems to be the main thing bothering me now.

So, yeah, I was just wondering: What advice would you give me for this? Sorry for taking up so much of your time, I hope you have a great day! :)
LorryTrucklovemimoon

Comments

  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 964 Part of The Mix Family
    Hi @BBCRadio6MusicFan_34 and welcome to the Mix! Hope we can help you here 😊

    Hindsight can be a really painful thing and sounds like you are feeling some regret, particularly because you are leaving uni soon and feel you will not see her again, am I understanding that right?

    It sounds like you are a very reflective and self aware person, like you said there is lots to learn through each experience and if something like this happens again you would do things a little differently. I just wanted to say this is a really positive thing to pick up on and notice, I hope you know that.

    You’re so right too, there are a lot of unknowns - would she have said yes or no to a date / then would you have enjoyed being with her ‘properly’? I guess you won’t know, but I’m glad you said you are trying not to blame yourself and seeing it as a learning experience. It’s the way we grow!!

    Sounds like you have a good plan surrounding yourself with friends when you graduate and focussing on yourself. I think you have a really good attitude towards yourself with the reflection you have done, did it help writing it out here too?

    Maybe the situation with seeing her and also seeing her boyfriend has taken away focus a little from what you are feeling about leaving uni? It’s a very big change and I think you are having some really natural feelings about it. There are so many expectations or things you think you ‘should’ be leaving uni with (like a girlfriend and 100 close friends) but rarely does that happen in real life…

    I remember feeling very bittersweet when I left uni - like you, I felt like I had outgrown it but at the same time didn’t want to leave the people behind. I guess one of the things I can say is that the friends you want to keep or are worth keeping will stay in contact with you. I lost some friends when I left uni that, in hindsight, weren’t very good friends anyway and were probably more friends of convenience.

    This could also be a really positive part of your life - the next chapter if you like! It will be a big change, there’s no doubt about that, but to me it sounds like you are strong enough and self aware enough to feel some excitement along with the natural worries. Is there anything you think might improve when you leave uni?

    Take care 💜
    Lucy
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • BBCRadio6MusicFan_34BBCRadio6MusicFan_34 Posts: 2 Newbie
    Lucy307 wrote: »
    Hi @BBCRadio6MusicFan_34 and welcome to the Mix! Hope we can help you here 😊

    Hindsight can be a really painful thing and sounds like you are feeling some regret, particularly because you are leaving uni soon and feel you will not see her again, am I understanding that right?

    It sounds like you are a very reflective and self aware person, like you said there is lots to learn through each experience and if something like this happens again you would do things a little differently. I just wanted to say this is a really positive thing to pick up on and notice, I hope you know that.

    You’re so right too, there are a lot of unknowns - would she have said yes or no to a date / then would you have enjoyed being with her ‘properly’? I guess you won’t know, but I’m glad you said you are trying not to blame yourself and seeing it as a learning experience. It’s the way we grow!!

    Sounds like you have a good plan surrounding yourself with friends when you graduate and focussing on yourself. I think you have a really good attitude towards yourself with the reflection you have done, did it help writing it out here too?

    Maybe the situation with seeing her and also seeing her boyfriend has taken away focus a little from what you are feeling about leaving uni? It’s a very big change and I think you are having some really natural feelings about it. There are so many expectations or things you think you ‘should’ be leaving uni with (like a girlfriend and 100 close friends) but rarely does that happen in real life…

    I remember feeling very bittersweet when I left uni - like you, I felt like I had outgrown it but at the same time didn’t want to leave the people behind. I guess one of the things I can say is that the friends you want to keep or are worth keeping will stay in contact with you. I lost some friends when I left uni that, in hindsight, weren’t very good friends anyway and were probably more friends of convenience.

    This could also be a really positive part of your life - the next chapter if you like! It will be a big change, there’s no doubt about that, but to me it sounds like you are strong enough and self aware enough to feel some excitement along with the natural worries. Is there anything you think might improve when you leave uni?

    Take care 💜
    Lucy

    Hi Lucy307,

    Thank you for responding to my post. I know that it's been a few days since you replied. I did see it earlier, and I just wanted a little more time to gather my thoughts on things and be kinder to myself.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head with the Hindsight comments. In this case, I feel like, since I'm naturally one to be a worrier, I was maybe overthinking the situation. As you said, there's not really a natural closure to my friendship with this particular girl, and so I'm still feeling a lot of unknowns, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about her right now. At the time, I was told by my old housemate that they had a conversation with her about boys once, and she told them that she wasn't really looking at the time, and so I just wanted to be kind/considerate towards this, and see if she would slowly come to me. I think the fact that we were in different years meant we were at very slightly different stages of our lives, and I think the pandemic was a problem. I was away from the campus for a long while to isolate with my family, and so that also meant that I wasn't going to see her around much. I feel that I didn't really get my "chance" properly with her. However, we still developed a friendship as we talked regularly enough and our rapport was very lively. We had a lot in common, and I think, in the future, I should just "go for it" and let the logistics work themselves out mutually, rather than waiting for the jigsaw pieces to fall into place. Sometimes, I think that it's never the right time, and that sometimes you need to make it the right time. I also used to think the fact that she lives in the same town as my sister was too good to be just coincidence. I'm worried about never seeing her again, but since we are both interested in the media industry from our course, you never know :) I have never had a girlfriend, so at one point, I got very excited and thought that it was "my time", you know.

    I felt an acceptance a few months ago that she had a boyfriend, but I think that it is the feelings of leaving Uni that have got me particularly upset, and leaving people behind. I think it was because I also hadn't seen her in a while, and when I bumped into her along the street one day recently, I was very chuffed that our faces lit up when we saw each other and had a chat that felt much like old times. I think this brought out the memories and triggered the mental health issues in the past few weeks about leaving uni, because it was a nice reminder of a good friend that I'd still made in these times. It's not known what happens to her now, however, we are still on very friendly terms, and we have mutual affection at the time being.

    The last time we spoke was through an Instagram chat where she posted that she's submitted all of her work. I congratulated her, she said she was glad it was over, and then I replied to be proud of herself and added a Keep In Touch at the end. She was very thankful of this, added an "Aww thanks, I will". So, there is that. I think I would like to keep in touch with her because I still care a lot, and it would be nice to know what she's up to. I need to be careful, however, that I keep it casual since she has a boyfriend now, and that I don't upset myself from it.

    A time may come when she's broken up with her boyfriend and maybe then (but not too soon) if I'm still single and there for her, I don't think there would be anything wrong in keeping her comforted and, eventually, see about trying things again. I've only grown and developed from this experience and the rest of my young adult life to follow. However, I need to be wary that I don't hold my breath for this, and that if it did, she may not be interested in that.

    It's a nice thought to think that, perhaps one day, I may get to fulfill my "unfinished business" with her and, with a mix of new and old, find out how things may have been or can be. I think I would tell her about how I really liked her during Uni, and suggest meeting up with her for a day, perhaps even just as friends the first time, because things would be different. We may need time to reconnect and get to know each other more intimately again. However, I also need to be careful that I don't expect this to happen. She may end up staying with her partner forever now, and I would need to learn to be happy with that, and be supportive of her decisions regarding that. For the most part, I think it was probably just a crush, and it's with a very heavy heart that I think this, but I'd say that it may be best to just be friends for the foreseeable future.

    It did really help to write all this out. I'm still thinking about her 99% of the day, and I'm making sure to keep myself busy so that I'm advancing other aspects of my life for a more healthy balance. I'm feeling more excited and prepared now, and I just keep telling myself that if she's happy, that's a good thing. It's ultimately what I always wanted for her. I think it would be good to give it a good six weeks, or two months, before I perhaps just say hello to her and ask after her results. Gives her time for her life to pan out, and time for me to continue processing my emotions and re-calibrate who she is, in my life. She did seem very happy to keep in contact, though, and that's touching.

    Generally, moving on from university is a big change for me. I think I'm a little worried about, since I live in a fairly quiet village, making old friends and meeting new girlfriends potentially, but, these days, it only takes a message to contact people, and it's perhaps natural for some friends to drift apart from you, and you've got to let that be sometimes. However, I think that with pursing exciting opportunities and making an effort to stay in touch with people like her from Uni, I'm sure a new normal can be established. Hopefully, with a little more time, a little more success will be reached.

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