By Imani, age 15, South Africa
You finally get the courage to tell the boy you have been crushing on for ages that you like him and would like to be more than friends, and you are so positive he will feel the same way. But just as begin pouring your heart out to him, he stops you with an apologetic smile on his face and says, "You're a great girl, but..."
Or, is your problem (often like mine) what Taylor Swift sings about in her song "Teardrops on My Guitar?" You know, where you have a really close friendship with someone who possesses all the qualities you want in a guy - he's sweet, funny, a great listener, and he values your friendship just as much as you do his. You're always exchanging secret wishes, fears, hopes, and aspirations, and there is this "connection".
Then, one day he comes to you looking all excited, with that huge charming smile that makes your knees weak, to tell you some "good news": he's found a great girl whom he really likes.
"I'll bet she's beautiful
That girl he talks about
And she's got everything
That I have to live without."*
The smile on your face fades as you congratulate him on finding the girl of his dreams, as you try to fake a smile (since you are friends and you're supposed to be happy for him).
Then it dawns on you that your guy friend does not think of you in that way. All the text messaging till 3 am, sitting across from each other at the bench talking for hours on end, and smiling every morning you mistook as some kind of sign makes you wonder: Was I imagining all of this?
"He says he's so in love
He's finally got it right
I wonder if he knows
He's all I think about at night."*
We have all experienced it. I know I have on numerous occasions (which is quite sad, I know). When I first heard the song by Swift, I could relate to the lyrics. It is as if the song was dedicated to me!
Then I read a play by William Shakespeare - Twelfth Night - and my English teacher mentioned a word I had never heard before: unrequited love. According to the Merriam Webster Online dictionary, unrequited is "not reciprocated or returned in kind". In Twelfth Night, Duke Orsino is so madly "in love" with Olivia, but she did not love him in return.
Or, remember how, in the beginning of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo liked Rosaline, but she did not love him back? Oh, how heartbroken these men must have felt. And that is the sad reality of love (or crushes) - rejection. Ouch!
You are going to encounter situations like these and maybe more (it depends how lucky you are), but that is okay. Just because one guy does not like you, it does not mean you are "destined to be single for life." You just haven't met that special someone yet. Just like in the above mentioned plays, Romeo, soon after the ball, found Juliet, and Duke Orsino found Olivia.
It is not that simple in real life though. But we can dream, right?
* lyrics from "Teardrops on My Guitar", by Taylor Swift