Girl likes boy. Boy likes girl back. Nevermind, girl doesn’t like boy anymore. What gives?
Having a crush on someone is almost like a drug — it makes you giddy and nutty, warm and fuzzy, nervous and eager. It’s almost an addictive feeling, with the emotional highs and excitement we feel after just a simple interaction acting as our fuel for the rest of the day (or week, if we’re being honest). There’s no doubt that having a crush is fun.
We’d imagine the whole point of a crush is to get the object of our affection to like us back, and eventually start a relationship, right? Well, oddly enough, it’s not always. Have you ever suddenly and inexplicably stopped liking a guy the moment he returned interest? Turns out, that’s pretty common. Here’s why we do that.
Sometimes, It’s about the Thrill of the Chase
We’d be lying if we didn’t admit that a huge part of why crushes are so exhilarating is due to the sense of mystery they provide us. We wait with baited breath to know what will happen next, revel in the details we can decode in his texts or body language, and daydream about accidentally bumping into him on the street. It’s thrilling to find ourselves in an unpredictable situation, exploring uncharted territory with someone new to us.
But sometimes, this ends up being the only part of the relationship we enjoy. Our culture tends to emphasize the enchanting, riveting parts of love. We’re encouraged to see relationships as only ever quenching our thirst for excitement, and made to believe that our significant other should invariably make us happy, when in reality, relationships aren’t meant to be perpetually thrilling, or dazzle us the way they did in the beginning. Relationships are supposed to mature along with the people in it.
We Always Want What We Think We Can’t Have
I don’t know about you, but every time I try to cut something out of my diet, I crave it like I never have before. It’s an unfortunate side effect of being human to want something with a burning passion when we think we can’t have it (and no, not because we’re masochists and actually enjoy not having access to what we want).
Much of the time, part of a crush’s appeal is their being just out of our reach. We tend to see the people who are harder to get as being of higher value and more worth our while than someone who’s too available to us. We enjoy the rush of chasing after coveted goods, and every small interaction with this person brings us a sense of victory. The idealized version of him we’ve made up can come crashing down as soon as he starts showing interest back and we get a closer look at him.
We Might Not Think We’re Good Enough
Raise your hand if you have seriously low self-esteem and constantly deal with the gnawing feeling that you don’t deserve that job promotion, that incredibly good friend, or to have a wonderful, doting boyfriend who loves you more than anything.
When we don’t see ourselves as being worthy of love, we might see someone who’s willing to love us and assume there must be something wrong with them, or think if they really knew us, they’d run because no one could ever want to be with us, right? This can lead us to approach our romantic relationships with an avoidant attachment style, pushing away anyone who shows genuine interest and care in an attempt to save ourselves from the heartbreak we think is inevitable.
It’s Possible That We’re Afraid of Commitment
Commitment isn’t exactly popular with younger generations. Marriage rates are declining as casual flings and no-strings-attached agreements are glamorized. Our culture looks at total commitment as a sacrifice of our independence, happiness, and youth. We think of the single lifestyle, where we can live only for ourselves, as far more fulfilling than giving up some of our freedom to be with someone long-term.
It’s not uncommon for us to be afraid to commit ourselves too seriously. When we’re faced with the option of being less emotionally involved by keeping someone at arm’s length, or jumping in head-first, ready to give a relationship our all, we’ll probably choose to keep ourselves safer by shutting down a budding relationship.
We aren’t all afraid of commitment or more interested in the thrill of the chase. There are countless reasons that we might stop liking a guy the moment he likes us back. But if that’s been a theme in our life, it’s worth looking into, understanding, and confronting.