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Anon_Imus's avatar

How can I get over my crush on my married friend?

Asked by Anon_Imus (158points) August 10th, 2010

I’ve posted this problem in a few different places. I’m trying to get a number of opinions.

I’m a 17-year-old guy, and I recently started working at a place where I’ve been volunteering for 2 years. I became second-in-command to a female friend of mine, who’s 23. We see each other every day, from 9 to 5.

I’ve always thought she was cute, but it never really occurred to me to have a relationship, because of the age difference.

Recently, I found out that she married her boyfriend and took his name. It wasn’t really a secret wedding, but they waited a few weeks to tell us.

Since then, I find that I’m crushing harder and harder on her, to the point where I’m feeling heartache.

I know that I can never pursue a relationship – she’s agreed to spend the rest of her life with this guy. I’ve met him a couple of times, and he’s a really good dude. They seem very happy together, and I should be thrilled with that. But I can’t help but feel bothered by it.

Personally, I think she’s a little young to be married – and I think her husband is in his 30s – but I know it’s none of my business.

I was also kinda shocked/confused by the fact that she changed her name. Again, none of my business, but it does upset me!

I’m not about to confess this to her – I would never want to sabotage their relationship. I think marriage is a wonderful thing.

She likes me platonically, and we share a lot of the same interests, and I think we could have a really great platonic relationship if I could just get over the awkwardness that I feel around her.

She just personally invited me to a “wedding celebration picnic” that happens in less than 2 weeks. I feel like attending it would either provide closure or make me feel a trillion times worse. I don’t know what to do.

It’s also a bit troubling that I only really started crushing on her AFTER I found out about her marriage. What does that say about me?

I’m 17! I shouldn’t be worrying about this stuff!

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47 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Is it possible that you’re crushing even harder because she’s married and, supposedly, less available? You simply must move on – easier said than done, I know but if they’re monogamous and she doesn’t love you, you’ve got nothing to go on and it would serve you better to find someone right for you that is available.

CMaz's avatar

Stay away from your married friend.

Whitsoxdude's avatar

There is no other option other than to move on. So you will in time.

silverfly's avatar

To quote you, “I’m 17! I shouldn’t be worrying about this stuff!”

… So, don’t. Get over it and find a sexy single girl.

Jude's avatar

Platonic friendship is not going to happen for you right now. It’ll be too difficult and you wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Tell how you feel and it will make things awkward and it’s pointless, she’s married.

Let it go, and move on.

Trillian's avatar

Do whatever it takes. Leave her alone. Do NOT complicate her life or try to mess it up for her. What do you think you can give her? You’re 17. You have no income, and no way to support her. She is in a committed relationship. Respect that. Respect yourself.

wundayatta's avatar

First of all, I don’t think there is anything you can do to control your crush. It has taken you over and that is that. However, that doesn’t mean you have to do anything about it.

Still, that leaves you with these powerful feelings that are driving you crazy with desire. Let me remind you as you have told us several times: you are seventeen. You are supposed to be feeling these crazy rushes of feeling that you call “crushing.”

I suggest you stop trying to control these feelings. In fact, let me suggest something that may sound very odd—I suggest you enjoy them—and in particular, enjoy the fact that you want something so much and you can never have it. This is a powerful feeling and it doesn’t happen all that often. It is precious.

Understand, however, that it is your feeling and has little or nothing to do with reality. It is your fantasy that makes you feel this way. Well, let it happen. So long as you don’t act on it, you are cool. It will play out.

This should be a relief to you. It means you don’t have to fight yourself any more. You don’t have to question yourself any more. This is an ok thing. The only thing you have to do is not let on to anyone else what is happening.

Now, trust me on this one. Eventually—maybe a week, maybe more—it will subside. You’re seventeen and you have a lot of energy but you don’t have that much energy. Still, enjoying the feeling of longing—of being Romeo—helps make it not as hard to bear as if you are fighting it.

One other thing that can help is writing. Write down every single fucking thought you have. Every single feeling. All of it. Put it on paper. You might want to burn it later, but you also might want to hide it in a place where you won’t find it until you are thirty or forty and you have enough perspective on the matter to be amused by it.

Hang in there, man. It’ll run it’s course. It won’t last forever. You can bear it. You can even enjoy it.

Cruiser's avatar

Do some push-ups it will go away!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

1. Why would it bother you so much that she took her new husband’s name? This happens more often than not when people get married; it’s tradition. When I got married, I abandoned my maiden name and I now go by my husband’s last name. That’s what people do and have done for years and years and years… I really don’t understand why that has your panties in a bunch.

2. She’s married now and quite a bit older than you so leave her alone

3. Repeat #2

4. Repeat #2

5. Seriously, you’re only 17 years old and you have a lot of life in front of you. Get over your crush on the older, married lady and play with single girls your own age.

6. Repeat #2

Dewey420's avatar

sounds like you want her **** her. why else would you be interested in her most now that she’s married and not date-able. Just think about her in your room at night under the sheets. You said she don’t like you more than a friend anyway, so you don’t want to look like an asshole. Your only human and the more time you spend with someone. especially if they are pretty, the more feelings will grow..good or your case good. Um, Don’t be a home-wrecker it might get you beat up or worst case relieved your mortal coil. YOu’ll find a new obsession soon enough.
And why can’t you believe she took his name? I think that’s what most married women do.

wgallios's avatar

You’re only 17, and shes 23. I got married at 22 and divorced at 24. After going through that at a young age, I can honestly say now, if it were me. Go for it, why not. It’s sad but true.

Anon_Imus's avatar

Wow! I never expected that many people to answer that quickly! Thank you!
Just to clarify, though, I KNOW it would be wrong to muck around with her marriage. I’m not going to. The problem is entirely on my end.
And regarding the name change… I don’t know. It’s just strange to me. I think I liked her old name better (it was alliterative) and a couple of friends I was talking to agree with me.
(No, I didn’t tell them I was crushing on her. They started a conversation about how weird marriage was in general, and we happened to be in the park that my 23-year-old friend got married in).
Personally, I don’t like the idea of taking a spouse’s name – it seems kind of archaic and weird. And I realize it’s her decision and she can marry whoever she wants, but she’d be one of the last people I’d expect to take her husband’s name. (We’re all varying degrees of hipster where we work).
Yeah, it’s very petty of me, but it did bother me, so I felt I had to mention it.

marinelife's avatar

You really need to get away from daily contact with her. You need to switch charities or something.

There is a chance you can have a platonic friendship with her, but it will have to be after you are over your crush.

By all means go to the wedding celebration. You will see her together with her husband and let the reality of that sink in.

Then work on getting out of working with her every day. You need to move on emotionally, and you won’t be able to if you are with her all the time.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Get a new crush on someone actually available to you.

Dewey420's avatar

ya, but if noone took someone elses name we’d all have names like:
Dewey Smith-Jones-Hamilton-Jacobson-Martinez-Herrera-O’Reily etc.

Frenchfry's avatar

Yeah.. I would move on.. I mean their is ALOT of other women out there. ... Look at all those dating sites. Not that you should go to one. Just my point though. When you look at her now.. Think MARRIED. HANDS OFF.

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir. It is simply the fact that she isn’t available is what makes her suddenly attractive. You probably felt that she was your friend and you valued her relationship. Now you feel her husband may come between your relationship and so you want to hold on tighter. I know you didn’t have a b/f, g/f relationship before but she was a friend. You probably see her more as someone to possess than really love. You’ll get over it once your realize she was never yours to possess or her husbands to possess.
I call it the children with their toys syndrome. Ever notice how kids may want a toy, get it, loose interest withing minutes of having it. Then some kid comes along and grabs it and, all of a sudden it is the best toy out of their whole collection.
You’ll get over it the moment another toy that is more up to date comes along.
Bye the way, I am not picking on you. I believe everyone goes thought this over something or someone at some point in their lives. It can be clothing, food, cars, toys, women, men, pets. There will be something you just don’t want to surrender to someone else. Not because you really want it. You just don’t want someone else to have it. Especially if they act like its the best thing since slice bread.

perspicacious's avatar

I can’t understand why you are posting this question in various places. You must think someone is going to tell you to go ahead and pursue her. Well, that won’t be me. What she does with her life is her business. If you have to quit your job to be able to get over this, do it.

charliecompany34's avatar

i know the feeling. about all you can be now is “little brother” or “big brother.”

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Anon_Imus's avatar

Perspicacious, that is not what I’m trying to do. I’m sane enough to know that a romantic/sexual/whatever relationship is completely off-limits. We’re six years apart, and I’m not even an adult yet. That would be weird and creepy.
What I’m trying to do is get a number of opinions on how to get over a crush that I don’t want to have, on a person whom I value as a friend and is married.
...And a few opinions as to whether I should go to the wedding celebration that she invited me to, in person, because she wants me to be there.
And my job actually ends in two weeks – it’s for the summer. But it’s at a non-profit org that I’ve belonged to for over 2 years, and all the other members/staff constitute an entire circle of friends for me (they don’t know any of my family or my friends from school). I can’t give it up just because I’ve got a crush on one of them. I would be sacrificing several real, meaningful relationships to escape an unrealistic one that will only ever exist in my head.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I vote for you to attend the ceremony. It may be painful to your heart to see her so happily with her husband, but in the long run, it could help you get over her.

This is a slightly different scenario, but it might be worth sharing: I met a guy who was temporarily assigned to help us at work. We got along really well, and I soon had a crush on him. I knew that he lived with his girlfriend, but since they hadn’t taken the trip down the aisle yet, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope.

One day, his GF came down to visit, and he introduced us. A group of us went out for the evening, and getting to know her and seeing them interact together somehow made a difference in how I felt towards him. Their love for each other was obvious. I attended their wedding and stayed friends with them throughout the years.

I still adore him, but now that I’m engaged, if I could choose between him and my SO, I’d choose my SO in a heartbeat.

perspicacious's avatar

@Anon_Imus You’ll get over the crush when you have no contact with her—and that’s what you need—no contact.

Anon_Imus's avatar

I decided I’m going to the wedding picnic. I guess it’s going to be…
...Well, maybe cathartic isn’t the right word. That would mean I would spill my guts, or crap my pants. And neither of those are going to happen. (At least, not the former).

Thanks for all your help!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thanks for letting us know about your decision. I’d also like to hear how it goes. Be strong young man. This is one more step towards adulthood.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
mattbrowne's avatar

Draw a picture of her husband wielding a baseball bat aimed at you. Whenever you get up in the morning stare at this picture for at least 30 seconds. Then go to work.

I read something like this a couple of years ago in some other forum.

CMaz's avatar

“This is one more step towards adulthood.”
Or, one step closer to the grave.

THAT being a helpful statement. Want to lust and desire another mans woman?
Call it a crush is you want.

The risk of a beat down or worse is possible. Play with fire, expect to get burned.

Trillian's avatar

“What I’m trying to do is get a number of opinions on how to get over a crush that I don’t want to have, on a person whom I value as a friend and is married.” Truly? If this is truly what you want, I will tell you the same thing I told another person who was missing an abuser, because the answer remains the same; time. Time is what it will take. You will get over it but it is a process through which you must go. There are no shortcuts, no overnight “cures”. You must spend the time required to go through any process which ends in growth. A year from now, look back and ask yourself whether or not it was time well spent.

CMaz's avatar

Or the nose was worth having broke.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Anon_Imus's avatar

@ChazMaz, I have already explained that I have no intention of pursuing her. She’s married to the man she loves and that’s that. I’m not going to hit on her or flirt with her or anything of the sort. I’m treating her like a friend, as I always have. Her relationship with her husband is none of my business.
I am trying to deal with my feelings, which are only in my head and have no basis in reality.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
CMaz's avatar

“I have already explained that I have no intention of pursuing her.”
I understand that.

This is one of those, “to think the thought is to commit the act”, type of things.
Your feelings have been strong enough to post them here.

I am just giving you advice. :-)
I have known guys that if they get a hint of it, you will get a beating.

Winters's avatar

Similar situation here. How I got over it (it took a while) was that I simply was able to accept it as it was, we’re only merely human, we can’t control everything, and somethings just slip by. Eventually, I was glad to simply have her as a friend, at least she was still in my life, and I’m content with that now. And you’ll eventually find another, you’re young, and it may have just simply been hormones. Life goes on, you can’t stay stuck at one point, you’ll just become bitter.

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Anon_Imus's avatar

@Winters, that is what I was getting at. Thank you. :)

And @ChazMaz, having strong feelings is a far cry (literally! Ha!) from acting them out. For example, I can imagine a fictional situation in which I confess my love for her, but I also have the ability to not act that out in the physical world.
This reminds me of the George Carlin bit in which he explains how lusting after a girl, according to the Catholic Church, constitutes multiple acts of sin at once – not only is it a sin to feel up Mary, but it’s also a sin to want to do that and to think about doing that – and this is presented as absurd and irrational. Thoughts are thoughts, and while they can be manifested, they don’t have to be.
I’m at work right now (no one can see what I’m typing), but I have to get to actual work. I don’t want to get into an argument.

zenele's avatar

Get over it fast. Or do what @ChazMaz said.

Anon_Imus's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer “I’d also like to hear how it goes.”

…Just so I know, should I tell everyone how it goes, or just Pied_Pfeffer?

Anon_Imus's avatar

Hey there. The thing was today, and it went super well. In fact, I think I’m getting over her.

For the purposes of this post, I will call my female friend “Caitlin” and her husband “Don”. These aren’t their real names.

I was the first guest to arrive at the picnic site, and it was raining. Don was there, and so was Caitlin’s sister. (Caitlin and her mom had gone off to get firewood for the barbecue). Don and I hit it off really well, and really quickly. We were joking around a lot, and he’s a super nice guy. Already, I felt better.

When Caitlin and her mom arrived back with the wood, I didn’t feel the same heartache that I had before. I think it might have been the fact that this was the first time I had talked with Don without Caitlin already being there. I saw him for who he was by himself.

More guests arrived… some I knew, some I didn’t. I acted completely naturally, and I didn’t really have to exert myself to do so. I met her family members, and some of their friends, and I didn’t let on that I was crushing on her. In fact, I’m not sure that I really was anymore!

I did talk about how weird it was to find out that they had been married, but in a polite, funny way. No one was offended, and I made sure that I talked about it in a way that was relevant to the conversation (meaning I didn’t bring it up out of the blue).

I did actually ask Caitlin why she changed her name, and she was not offended at all. She said that it was because of something her mom told her when she was young: when she got married, she was able to, in a way, choose her last name instead of having it given to her like when she was born. I’m not sure I agree with that reasoning, but what’re you gonna do, eh?

As I left, I have the two a cartoon drawing that I had done of them that day, and I said to Don, “You are a lucky man.”

And he is. They’re happy together, and I think I’m glad.

You still have to understand that if we were closer in age, and if she were single, I would romance the hell out of this girl. She is my type. But in reality, I feel lucky just to be able to know Caitlin. She probably sees me as sort of a “little brother”, and I think that’s for the best.

Thanks for all your help, guys! I think I’m going to sleep well tonight.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thanks for getting back to us. I’m glad that you went and that all went well.

Anon_Imus's avatar

To add:
Well, I can’t say that I’m over her, I guess, but I still feel a lot better. I even Facebook-friended her husband, and he accepted. He was really cool.

And the name-change thing still bugs me… In fact, I think that’s what I originally felt bad about. But I think that’s just my own stubborn neurosis.

I probably wouldn’t have cared if I had met her after she changed her name. I think it was because she was changing her identity when I already knew her.

Gawd, I worry about the dumbest things.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

A crush is not a ‘dumb’ thing. The issue over a name change probably is. It is her choice, and she made it. What if you and your future partner decided to marry and they wanted to change their last name to yours? Would you object?

Anon_Imus's avatar

I wasn’t saying the crush was dumb. I was talking about the name change thing.
I realize, intellectually, how much of a non-issue it is, and that I really shouldn’t care, but it’s the one thing that still bugs me.

I think it’s because of the following factors (it’s about to get a little ranty in here!):
1) The obvious one: because I like her.
2) It was all very sudden and unexpected. It kind of felt like “Hey, everyone! You all have to call me something different now! Surprise!”.
3) There are actually two “Caitlin“s that work there, and as I got to know them, I would distinguish them by their last names. One of those last names changing kind of put me off-balance.
4) As a very liberal person (and so is her husband), she’s one of the last people I’d expect to take her husband’s name.
5) She’s fairly young to be making this kind of decision. I’ve been brought up to believe that marriage is something best left until mid-to-late 20s.
6) Her marriage seems like kind of an elephant in the room, in a way. She’s a very easy-going person, but it seemed to me like a heavy thing that no one seemed to talk about that much.
7) I like her old name better… yeah, I know.
8) Personally, I think that the idea of taking your husband’s name to be very archaic and unnecessary in this day and age—even though every woman in my family took their husband’s name (and, weirdly, I think my aunt kept her husband’s name, even after the less-than-amicable divorce).

The worst part is, these are all selfish reasons and it’s only my opinion. And one of my greatest moral objections is forcing one’s own opinion on someone else.

That’s why I would be put in a very awkward position if my future wife wanted to take my name. I would still be trying to get her to do something she wouldn’t want to do.

Anon_Imus's avatar

…Oh jeez. That’s still bothering me. Damn.

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