Why Do We Think So Much About People Who Don’t Care About Us?

Alternate Title: Be Still My Foolish Heart? (Anything to drag Hozier into my chats)

I’m not talking about unrequited love, I’m talking about how we create crushes on people we don’t *really* have an actual interest in. You might think you don’t do this, but I promise you know someone who does. People far and wide that I’ve talked to do this thing where we fixate on someone we know we can’t have. We harbour these little (or big) crushes on people who are long since gone. Maybe they live in another city, maybe they’re in a relationship. Regardless, we’re only interested because they’re off limits. So why do we think so much about people don’t care?

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Exhibit A: Me.

I only showed interest in my crush after I moved to Scotland. In fact, I was actively uninterested in them the entire time I knew them in Canada. Once I left, I found myself thinking ‘…actually they’re great. Wouldn’t they make such a great partner?’ In reality, there are a wealth of people around me who would also make wonderful partners. But I’m busy thinking about someone that doesn’t care, (and that I’m not genuinely interested in), to bother looking.

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This is why I re-downloaded Tinder.

It’s time for me to stop harbouring feelings for someone I don’t have a genuine interest in. I have one friend who I *KNOW* does this. As soon as I started doing it I texted her and was like “oh my god it’s happening.” But then as I talked more and more to other people, it turns out this is something we ALL DO. I realised it’s become the norm for us to spend so much energy thinking about people who don’t care that we do?

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Mostly, it’s a habit to kick

I’m confident that we spend so much time thinking about people who don’t care simply because it’s a convenient thing to do. A habit, really. Usually it’s someone where it would be weird or inappropriate now, a family friend or someone from a close knit friend group. It also gets complicated for us when we then start to date someone, and you’re forced to contend with this long-held habit of ruminating over someone you probably don’t actually like.

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Is this the adult version of having a crush on celebrity?

Do you remember when you were a teen and were convinced you would marry a Jonas Brother, (or whoever was really cool and hot to you as a teen)? As much as I joke about Hozier, I don’t do this with celebrities anymore. Apparently I just do it with people who I actually know? I think we’re just used to thinking about people who don’t care. So now we need to fill that gap. And we do it by thinking about crushes and wondering what they’re doing, or what it would be like if they were here.

So what do we do?

Coming clean about our feelings seems redundant. I’m 100% sure in my situation, and about 75% sure in the situations that my friends are in, that we don’t really have feelings for them. We’re just used to thinking about this person (even though they don’t care). My solution? Just catch yourself having the thoughts and try to quell the habit. Is it really a harmful thing? If it’s not holding you back from dating, or if you don’t want to be dating, is it okay to continue down this path of slightly confusing behaviour? Or, is it just an innocent form of escapism?

Have you been in this position and moved past it?

I imagine I could, but I think I would always remember in the deep of my subconscious this little inkling of feelings towards that person, or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’m just thinking this because last night I had a gin-fuelled dream that he married one of our friends from uni. And the queen was in attendance. And I was the only person there who was unhappy about the whole thing.


If you are harbouring this type of a crush for me, I have sad news for you, the person I am talking about in this article is probably definitely not you. Also, if we live on other sides of the Atlantic, it’s not going to work out. Also, I met someone here that I quite fancy so sorry, you should have come across the Atlantic sooner.

Have you done this? Do you have advice? Do you want to read more about my chaotic approach to dating? Feel free to browse around my ‘Carrie Bradshaw Series’.

Am I Getting To Know Someone Or Am I Leading Them On? | Hiking the Cliffs of Moher Vlog

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  1. Jsays

    I do this more than i care to admit – Scenario 1 – He chased me for years, nothing more than sex when he moved 7 hours away i was like oh wait maybe i should have given him a real chance! Scenario 2 – Man in uniform, married with kids and about 15 years older than me! I think it’s the uniform but we have definitely had an ongoing fling in my fantasy world! haha! loved this piece!!


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