How to get over an inappropriate crush

RedEye's sex columnist

If you like a girl who's dating a good friend of yours, what do you do? They started dating about two months ago and I couldn't say anything because of my bro-code obligation. And now, I like her even more and I can't just forget about her or stop liking her since she is a permanent member of the social circle. I can't claim my feelings because she is head over heels for this guy and I doubt I have a chance. Not to mention it would make every interaction with her awkward. What would be the best option in this dilemma? —Bro by the code

I love questions like yours, where you essentially answer it yourself. It makes things so much easier on my end. However, it makes meeting my word minimum far more difficult. Hence, allow me to elaborate by quoting some soothing Phil Collins song lyrics. Just kidding. You've been agonized enough for the moment.

You're not going to confess your feelings to this girl, if for no other reason than she is happily in a relationship, or head over heels, as you said. With a good friend of yours to boot. No possible good could come from you pulling the dating equivalent of a Kanye, though it would do wonders for pissing off and alienating your friends. What you do in this dilemma is realize it ain't gonna happen, suck it up, and move on.

You say you can't just forget about her or stop liking her, but of course you can, and you must. Even if she is a fixture in your social circle, that doesn't mean you have to hang out with her, especially if you find it tormenting. So that's step one: Be around her less. Step two is to recognize that crushes are often just fantasies, distorted manifestations of how we think people might be. We crush on the idea of someone, on the possibility, but after some time and distance, you'll realize that the snow globe of glitter and happy stars you've built around her is actually filled of super-absorbent cat litter.

Find someone else to fixate on. Or, even better, fixate on something else entirely. I assure you it will minimize whatever puffed-up feelings you have for this unrequited crush. Getting over someone is only as hard as you make it out to be. You're already armed with the tools to kick this girl from your system. Now you just have to f**king do it. Let go of the envy you have for your friends' happiness and focus on cultivating some of it for yourself. Even if you have to fake it for a while. You deserve to be with someone who is both available and wants you back. If you settle for anything less, then the only one you're selling short is you.

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