We’re settling the score on unrequited love. It does not have to be so desperate.
The Nature of the Dilemma
It happens all the time. The quintessential drama that young, and perhaps not so young, women find themselves in. They encounter a man and they fall in love. For some it may happen instantly…for others, it may take weeks, even months to develop. But the final result is precisely that: she is in love, he isn’t—not with her, anyway.
Yes, it feels dire, desperate, and hopeless…particularly in this staunchly conservative culture where women are expected to wait till they are chosen, wooed, and courted. Sadly, a woman in love has no choice but to hide her heart and pine away, it seems. Or does she?
Or can she do something about it, and more importantly, have a hope of success?
Reason vs. Emotion
If you are, in fact, in love or simply in “crush” (it really doesn’t matter which), make sure that your reasons are, well…reasonable. It can’t be just because he’s a Ricky Martin look-alike or because he has great abs and pecs. The assumption is that you know your target well enough to believe that you and he will get along. You and he like the same things or his sense of humor is exactly like yours or he values his family in just the same way that you do. This is being rational, rather than emotional. Being rational will serve you well in your pursuit of his love.
Have good reasons for the state of your heart and you will achieve success.
A Matter of Male Cluelessness
It’s a matter of perspective. One way to look at it is this: It’s not so much that you are in love with someone who does not love you. It’s that someone does not as yet know that you are there for him to love.
Men can be sort of clueless about affairs of the heart and matters of compatibility. Like many species in the animal kingdom, they go for shiny objects, things that are brightly colored and move around a lot. They will incline themselves toward the objectively pretty, obviously attractive women. Many don’t even give a thought initially to personality—letting the physical attraction lead the way, often to dismal ends.
Look at it this way: All you’re doing is giving him a clue or two to solving the mystery of you.
All’s Fair in Love
The reason why many girls fail to get their guy to like them is they count on it too much. You might say like Renee Zellwegger said in the film, Jerry Maguire: “But I love him!” Truth is, you don’t. You are in severe “crush”—you do not know yet if you love him. You just think that you might be able to. An entirely different thing, trust me.
The mindset you should have? That all is fair in the game of love. In short: Don’t put all your emotional eggs in one man’s basket. The only way you stand a chance at winning him is if you will be able to stand it in case you lose him. This is not about your heart’s lifelong happiness. All this is is a sporting effort at making a guy see how wonderful you are.
Throw out the notion that this is the one and only man for you. Yes, this could be the one…or he could be just the one of many. On the offchance that he isn’t, there will be others. This has to be your frame of heart and mind before you embark on this quest.
There are no guarantees but there’s also no law against trying to win the affections of a seemingly indifferent man. What’s more, not a few women have succeeded and reaped rewards.
A Word of Warning
There are men out there who are especially suspicious of women who “like them first.” (They may even be reading this article). Some are even jerky enough to disdain the women and look down on them—a mark of insecurity, if ever there was one (“If I don’t need to make her like me, there must be something wrong with her.”). They want someone who is elusive. They yearn for the thrill of the chase. They don’t want a “sure thing.” Not all of them are like that: a few are painfully shy, nerdy, or torpe …but goodness knows, there are enough out there of the other kind. Which makes your safest course of action playing it cool. Yes, your heart may be skipping fiery beats…but as you go through the guidelines below, remember that all that’s going on in your heart and mind should never be apparent in any way, shape, or form to the outside world.
Bottomline: You like him. Give him the option of liking you back.
Here’s How: The Get-Him-to-Like-You Manual
1. Stay in his line of vision. Gina, 30, now married to her guy, told us what she did to “make him realize I was the one.” “I knew there were prettier girls than me—that wasn’t the issue. Kung saan siya, nandun ako—kunwari, pinakamaganda ako. At the same time, I also acted oblivious as though he wasn’t even there.” Gina’s point being, he can’t discover how wonderful you are unless he sees you. So be seen.
2. Let him see the nurturing you. We are the fairer sex because we are nurturing. It goes back to the fact that biologically, we can be mothers. Remember: all men first fell in love with their mothers. Very important: nurture like a mother, never act like one. Says Russell Wild, author of Why Men Marry (Contemporary, 1999), “Men consistently list nurturing as one of the prime qualities they look for in a partner.” Any man loves it when a woman pampers him, whether it’s by fixing him dinner or fixing his hair.”
Does this mean you should nurture him? Definitely not. Simply show that you are nurturing by being caring towards everyone—your friends, your family, him included.
Says Lulu who won the heart of her college crush: “When it was raining, I was genuinely concerned about whether he had an umbrella or not to go to class in another building. You know naman how guys are. So I lent him mine. If I had baon and I was eating in our org, I’d ask him and his group if they had eaten yet.” Naturally, it’s got to be sincere. Fake nurturing is nothing but fake and will not get you anywhere.
3. Show your assets. You have a talent. A clear strength. You’re a great dancer. Or you’re a good communicator. You might be an athlete. Find that and don’t make it a secret. Nothing turns a guy on more than a girl who’s good at what she does: whatever it is. Jam, 28, shares how she won the heart of her crush when their office had caroling. “It was a lot of fun because I love singing…and modesty aside, I’m rather good. After a while, I knew that he was listening to me. After a week, he told me I sang like an angel. Four weeks later, we were dating, and he was calling me his angel.”
4. Act and be beautiful—for the world at large. As world renown makeup artist and head of her own cosmetics company, Bobbi Brown says: Confidence is the great beautifier. So do all you can to be beautiful…then act as though you are. Says Trina, 30, “You may not be the most beautiful girl in the world, but who says you can’t act like it? When you consciously radiate beauty, it soon becomes unconscious. Think of it as casting a net for the world and if he chooses to fall for the bait, then great.”
Mara, 23, agrees with this. The best part, she says, is when guys other than your guy start venturing near you—then he sees it and thinks, wait a minute, who’s this? “Parang, wow, it’s so powerful to be a girl.”
5. Act completely unaware of his existence. A follow-up on #1, just because it’s so key. Like Gina, you must be oblivious. You don’t see him. You don’t know he’s watching. And as you go about your business, whether it’s work or play, give your best. Remember…oblivious, elusive, mysterious. Ninety-nine percent of the time, act like he does not even exist…then every now and then, flash him a “look-at-me” look…a mixture of surprise and pleasure that he is there after all.
6. Always have a lot of carefree fun—and look it. Men are scared off by women who are out for a serious committed relationship with the promise of a wedding ring after two years. Besides, girls, all you want is for him to fall for you: You don’t really know if you want the whole banana. Take it one step at a time. You are out to show him how much fun it is to be with you. Says Josey Vogels, author of Dating: A Survival Guide from the Frontlines (Adams Media, 1999), “The more fun and carefree you are, the more likely you are to be noticed by men with that same mindset.”
7. Be feminine but be a friend. Keep within the lines of being friendly like a pal but still being feminine like a woman.
Mona, 32, a freelance writer, fell for her client and at first, she was painfully conscious of it. Her prim-and-proper, Catholic school girl mode kicked in. “I was suplada, professional, and totally uninterested. I remember after our first meeting, he offered to carry my stuff to my car and I hurriedly said, no thanks—I can do it.” No surprise, the guy treated her like a freelance writer.
“When he called me to do a second project, I changed my tactics. I was friendlier…and I was feminine with just the lightest touch. After we wrapped up that project, he asked me out.”
8. There are other guys in the picture. Even if there are no other guys in the picture, you should be a busy woman with people to see and places to go. He doesn’t have to now that you’re nights out with Carlo are mainly food trips to his boyfriend’s restaurant. Remember, guys cannot help but want someone who is wanted, who has stuff going on. If all you are doing is hanging around him…well, that’s not going to get you anywhere.
9. Stake out common interests. Treat him like a real person and not the man of your dreams. In other words, use every conversation to get to know him better, the way you get to know any other friend. You find out you both like the same music: ask to borrow his latest CD. You find out he watches tennis the way you do: offer him your taped video of the last Wimbledon match. If he reads the way you do, bring in your copy of the latest Stephen King and wave it in his face. He’ll ask to borrow it, you’ll tell him: “Not till I’m done with it.” Afterwards, talk about it over a cup of coffee the way you would any other friend.
10. Don’t forget your passion and never neglect your life. Do not drop your life. This is a goal you have set for yourself much like deciding to eat healthier or deciding to revamp your career. Other aspects of your life should not fall to the wayside. You are you because of all these things. He will not want you if you drop your life for him.
The Bonus Tip: As Ally McBeal says, it’s really all about attitude. In everything you do, act like you are loveable and you will be. And should this guy fail to notice…toss your head and look elsewhere. Some other guy just might.
By: Sara Elias