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The Golden Rules of NC When You're Recovering From a Crush & Other Fantasy Relationships

Even when we have an unrequited crush or any other form of fantasy relationship, which can include an involvement that was primarily text and email based with little interaction, when we accept that whatever we had hoped for and expected is not going to happen, it is a loss like any other breakup. It hurts. What adds another dimension is that it can become difficult to differentiate between what was 'real' and what was mostly based on what you were projecting.

No Contact is needed with these involvements because if you don't limit your interaction with them, the 'imagination cycle' will continue and when reality finally becomes too difficult to ignore, it will hurt even more. It's also necessary because you are highly likely to sting from what you perceive as the rejection and then become trapped in your feelings and then try to escape them by seeking attention from the object of your affections. You may consider the amount of time you've invested in this crush, even if it's from afar, and feel like you're 'owed' or even that you've been led on and made a fool out of, and this is where you can end up doing things that you later come to view as at best embarrassing and at worst, humiliating.

Really, NC in this situation is about limiting any further hurt you can cause for you and coming back to reality.

1. Don't even think about starting a new crush or any other sort of fantasy relationship.

Tempting as it may be to avoid your feelings by finding someone new to fixate on, this is part of the reason why you're in these problems in the first place. All you're doing is a reset and....lather, rinse, repeat. It is avoiding your feelings and avoiding intimacy in the first place that is half of the problem here.

2. It is pivotal to keep a Feeling's Diary and use Day Tracker Sheets.

This is to keep you grounded, accountable, and aware of your feelings and urges. Get to understand where you are losing chunks of time on daydreaming or even giving you a hard time. Evaluate when you tend to feel most rejected - what is happening at that time, how are you feeling, what are you afraid of etc. Grab both resources from your course page.

3. Be accountable and responsible.

This is a toughie to face but the fact is, if you don't like where you are right now, you cannot put it all on the other person. This was your crush, your fantasy, your hopes and expectations and so while it's understandable to feel disappointed that it didn't come to pass as you would like, you cannot be angry with the other party for not meeting hopes and expectations that weren't directly communicated and were in fact your hopes and expectations based in your mind.

4. Hold that thought.

When you're tempted to confront them or fire off an email, delay doing anything for at least twenty-four hours no matter how tempting it is. I guarantee you that if you do anything off the back of your feelings, you will then not only be hurting from it not working out but will then have to deal with feelings of regret and embarrassment. Use the Unsent Letter guide on the course page and write out your feelings.

5. Set allocated time slots of 15 minute daydream breaks in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Outside of these times, you have to force you to refocus on something else. That means when at work you have to think about work or something else. Learn to recognise the signs of when your mind is drifting and do the equivalent of mentally pulling over on the side of the road after falling asleep at the wheel. You wake yourself up and you pull your mind back to the present.

6. Don't keep revisiting the s0-called 'rejection'.

It's the equivalent of repeatedly returning to your pain or in the crudest terms, going back to look at your own vomit. That's a pretty damn unpleasant image but it's even more unpleasant to relive the rejection over and over again. This is persecution. You don't deserve this.

7. Grieve all of your losses.

Sounds daunting but it's a must. When you have fantasy involvements, it's likely that you are carrying several suitcases of hurt from crush to crush or involvement to involvement. When each fantasy ends, it reopens the old wounds which you try to escape in a new crush or by going back to your pain source. Use Unsent Letters to write out all of your anger and write as many as you need to. Connect with how you feel each day and weep or get angry and get it all out of your system.

8. Spend some time coming up with several ways in which you could treat you with love, care, trust, and respect.

Fantasy involvements and giving yourself a hard time from rejection stem from low self-esteem and avoiding intimacy. It's all about loving and admiring from a distance to limit how close someone can get to you. You enjoy the feelings of the fantasy more than putting you out there but it's stopping you from enjoy life in reality. You're hiding from yourself and your hiding from intimacy and the world. Whatever it is that is stopping you from loving you, it's time to address it. If you're on the Build Your Self-Esteem course then there's plenty of help there. If not, try 100 tips for improving self-esteem on Baggage Reclaim, my book The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship, or consider therapy or support groups.