The ultimate betrayal: A friend steals your crush

I actually experienced this firsthand in the 5th grade. The apple of my eye -- the girl whom I'd pined over since meeting her three years earlier -- was ensnared by, of all people, my best friend. If that's not the ultimate form of betrayal, I don't know what is.

I was partly to blame in that I was so shy to make a move that the girl likely ran out of patience. She tried dropping hints as often as she could: staring at me in class, asking me whether I had a date for the dance, giving me cutesy cards on Valentine's Day. She even told me one day that I was #2 on her list of guys she liked the most. When #1 transferred to another school in the 3rd grade, I was suddenly well positioned to win her heart. Unfortunately, however, I never had the guts to ask her to be my girlfriend.

Still, she could have hooked up with anyone who wasn't my friend, let alone my closest buddy. I don't know if it was payback for giving her false hope, or whether she did it in hopes of getting me jealous enough to break out of my shell and claim her for myself. If the latter was her intent, it still didn't work. I didn't overcome my paralyzing shyness around girls until high school. 

Still, what she and my best friend did was unforgivable. I never got the sense that they even liked each other that way. Needless to say, my friendship with him was no more, and though I saw and spoke to the girl a couple of times in middle school and high school, I never saw her in the same light ever again.

The reality is that these kinds of situations aren't limited to young children. I haven't experienced it personally as an adult, but I know plenty of 20- and 30-somethings who have, and it can be just as devastating -- if not more so -- for the person stabbed in the back. 

It taught me a valuable lesson: If you really like and care for someone, never be afraid to make a move. What's the worst that can happen? If he or she isn't interested in anything beyond friendship, you'll at least know that you gave it a shot. There's nothing worse than spending your life wondering what could have happened if you'd only tried. 

You have to go for what -- or whom -- you want in life. Mr. or Ms. Right isn't going to fall in your lap. If the person rejects you, think of it was their loss; it can only mean that someone better awaits.

For more posts, please click here: How to Understand People

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