Love is great. Love is grand. But love is hardly ever reciprocated in the same way you’d expect. There are times when you love someone who loves you so much more. There are times when you love someone who doesn’t love you at all. But the worst form of middle ground in the whole love equation is when you love someone who’s into you, but isn’t quite in love with you.
The reason this is so frustrating is that he’s about halfway towards feeling the same way about you. He likes you, so that’s a good start. But he hasn’t quite crossed over to the realm of falling in love with you. There’s that sense of hope that he’d get there, but a part of you would start to wonder what it would take to get him to love you. What do you have to do to get him there? How long do you have to wait before he starts to feel the same way? [Read: 15 signs he likes you but isn’t all that into you]
The reality of falling for someone who hasn’t fallen for you
In this scenario, you can either just wait it out or give up. But of course, you already love the guy. So you’re more likely to wait it out for as long as you possibly can. Do this, and this is what you’ll be in for:
#1 There’s a whole lot of sign-watching involved. They say that when a person is in love, it shows in their faces. There’s a pep in their step. They bloom. They look like they jumped right out of a stock photo for happy people. The truth is, being in love isn’t as evident as, say, being happy or being anxious. Being in love isn’t a mood. It’s a blend of different emotions that may or may not be evident.
That’s why you’ll start to look for these signs that he’s finally ready to love you back. You’ll analyze his texts for clues. You’ll start to give meaning to otherwise meaningless little gestures of kindness. You’ll start to read between the lines when there’s nothing there to be read. To the rest of the world, you’ve gone stark-raving mad. But to you, you’re just looking for signs. [Read: 18 ways to decode his body language]
#2 The heartbreak of not being the one who calls the shots. They say that the person who holds the power in a relationship is the one who cares less. This is because the one who cares less can pretty much do whatever the heck they want, and the one who cares more will always chase after them. Obviously, in this scenario, you’re the one who cares more.
The big problem with this whole thing is that the person you love has the potential to take you for granted. Yes, they like you, and they care about you to some extent. But when something more important than you pops up, you’re the one who will probably take the fall. What happens is that you might end up being treated worse than you deserve, but you’ll gladly take it, because you think that being patient will finally grant you access to his love.
#3 You won’t expect much from him. He could take you to the sleaziest place in town with the intention of hopping into bed with you, and you’d still think it’s so sweet of him to go through the effort. In other words, your feeling of self-worth may be lowered, because any gesture of kindness, of sweetness, of anything from him will be received with graciousness and gratitude.
You know it’s not healthy. You know you deserve better. But because you love this person, anything he does, no matter how half-baked, will feel like winning the lottery. Why? Because each and every day, you’re hoping he’d finally realize that you’re worth more than this. Sadly, that time isn’t anywhere near. [Read: 5 clear giveaways of an emotionally unavailable man]
#4 You could lose him at any moment. Liking someone isn’t a tangible thing that you can visualize, like how much battery power your phone still has. Loving someone is an emotional investment. Liking someone, however, is a lot more flippant, and it can dissolve into nothingness with the blink of an eye.
You know that this is a painful reality. But while the pessimist in you sees that he might disappear all of a sudden, the optimist in you still grabs on to that shred of hope that he’ll switch from like to love. It’s a 50-50 game you’re playing there.
#5 You may need to re-evaluate what his love is worth. What would you give for him to fall in love with you? Your self-respect? The contents of your bank account? The keys to your car? Your youth? When he likes you, it seems like loving you can’t be that far off, and you’re willing to pay extra just to give him a nudge in the right direction.
Sadly, for those who are more impatient, they end up giving more than what his love is worth. For instance, you might think that if he didn’t have to worry so much about money, he’d finally be honest with his feelings and fall in love with you.
So, lovesick lady, what do you do? You spend your money on all his needs, until your wallet is flipped inside out. Yes, money may pale in comparison to finally being loved back, but when he starts to see just how far you’re willing to go for him, what’s to stop him from abusing this privilege? [Read: Is he into you for all the wrong reasons?]
#6 He’ll be one of the hardest people to get over. When a relationship ends, there’s some form of closure. One breaks things off, and the feeling becomes mutual. The thread that bound you together is severed clean. But with the guy who was never really in a relationship with you, there’s no tangible thread to be cut to show that it’s over.
Instead, what you’ll get is a gradually growing rift between you. You may be the one who’s stretching your means to keep him around, but he may just be going with the flow, which happens to be away from you.
And when he’s finally gone, there’s not much closure, because how can you formally end something that hardly ever started? And as much as closure is important to moving on, how can you get that closure from a “relationship” that never completely made it to fruition?
#7 All the what-ifs will keep haunting you. When he finally mans up and decides that he doesn’t want to continue with your sort-of relationship, there may be some semblance of relief, because he’s finally decided on how to proceed with your relationship. But afterwards, you might start to dwell on what might have happened between the two of you.
You may think back on the times when you could have done more. You might dwell on those moments when you should have asked him, urged him to stay. You might keep thinking about those times when you could have been more adamant about your needs to him, and he may have had it in him to provide them, had you asked. But alas, all they are, in reality, are what ifs, and they’re gone with the wind.