One of the hardest truths about relationships is just because you like someone doesn’t mean they will ever like you back. My fifteen-year-old daughter has been tortured by this truth for a couple of years now. He was her first, real crush—but he chose to like a close friend of hers instead. To look at my daughter you would think she didn’t care, but I’ve lived with her long enough to know what her long stretches of silence mean. She’s pretty chatty until she’s upset, then she burrows deep inside herself until she’s ready to come out again.
I wish I could promise her this will never happen again, but I can’t. Other people’s hearts can’t, nor should they, be controlled. When I think back to my younger years and all the pain I experienced for liking boys, part of me thinks it might be better if she stayed burrowed inside herself forever. But then I think of my husband, and the joy I’ve had being married for these last twenty years. Yeah, a lost first crush is never a reason to give up entirely—not even the second or third. Really, if you don’t want to be alone forever then you can never give up. Risking your heart is the only way you’ll find the person who will appreciate and love the real you. Once you find that person you’ll know for yourself it was a risk worth taking.