Okay that title is a slight exaggeration, because duh, we can’t entirely avoid catching feels. What we can do, however, is learn to use our head over our nether regions. The emotionally unavailable one; the one in a relationship; the just-a-friend; the one who lives too far away; the one who you thought gave a f*ck but actually doesn’t - I’ve been there. We can’t help who we take an immediate fancy to, but we can help whether we get in too deep.
First off - don’t fool yourself. Don’t pretend you’ve magically escaped feels. The first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem: denying it will only annoy the fuck out of your friends (we can all tell). Be open about it: I like this person, oh fuck, what now? Well, ask yourself, should you be avoiding catching feels in the first place? If the person you’re keen on isn’t suss in any way, and there’s nothing really preventing you two from kindling the fire, why the fuck not? Could it be fear of rejection, or maybe fear of commitment? If that’s the case, then seriously, ignore the rest of this article and go for it. Worst case is you get rejected, and you’ll learn to bounce back a little tougher. However, if there’s some pretty real reasons why you should be concerned, be honest about those too.
However, let’s say the scenario is different: your amore is barely aware of your existence...puts in 0 effort...seems kinda super intense...is only in it for slays while you’re sliding into feels valley...etc. Every situation begs a whole different inspirational pep talk, but as a blanket rule, if somebody’s into you, they’re going to act like they’re into you. They’ll keep a conversation going, make an effort to associate themselves with the pleasure of your company, and they won’t fuck you around. It’s honestly that simple. I hate to break it to ya, but anything that suggests otherwise means they’re either playing games, or they’re simply Not That Into You. If that’s the case, fuck ‘em - move on.
You set the precedent for yourself. If you allow people to fuck you over and get away with it, they’ll continue fucking you over and getting away with it, because that’s the behaviour that you’ve allowed - you’ve confirmed for them that it’s okay to treat you kind of shittily, because your standards aren’t that high. They’re simply meeting you at your standards, however low or high they may be. Maybe you have some underlying insecurity or low-key desperation going on (ha, don’t we all?) that’s causing you to allow yourself to be treated that way, and that’s where you need to do a lil’ self-work. Value yourself enough to say adios to anybody who’s treating you that way. With more practise, it won’t be so difficult to recognise a red flag a mile away the next time - sure, it might hurt when all you wanted in the whole world was the attention of this certain someone, but letting your partners treat you like garbage will hurt a hell of a lot worse in the long term. If enough of us had the self-respect to avoid allowing players to play, then well, the players would be out of a job. Don’t get the damn ticket to the damn game.
I know you feel it. That urge to stalk them and their family back into 2011, ditch your mates in town yet again to go chase after them, or to just message them again...this is the angel on your shoulder telling you fuck no. Your desire might be going harder than Sub Focus & Dimension at a party on Greensboro, but you’re going to have to learn to reel that sucker in if this person ain’t right. That gnawing in your stomach is more likely a result of boredom or lack of spice in ya life than it is because they’re The One (which is pure bullshit anyway).
You don’t love them, you’re just horny - so get yourself off, this isn’t the friggin 17th century. Get out there and meet more people; don’t restrict yourself to the same old ones who always treat you like second-class. Actually find shit to do with your free time, instead of just scrolling your phone or thinking about how lonely and bored you are. Spend more time with your mates, especially those who can relate with the aforementioned loneliness and disappointment. And if you’re still pining? Give yourself a mental slap across the face, remind yourself that you’re the shit, there’s more fish in the sea, and just wait until the next crush comes along to up those anxiety levels once again and do it all over. Ah, the cycle of life.