And then, something does happen. They start going out with someone else, leaving you feeling like shit on a stick. What do you do? Well, if you’re like me (who happens to be the King of this particular situation), you do two things;
1) You inwardly scream “NOOOOOOOOO! WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO THAT FOR, YOU SUCKY MARE? YOU COULD HAVE BEEN MRS FUCKING SEEEEEEXXXX!!!”
2) You immediately fix the fuck up and look bastard well sharp.
Because although the natural reaction is to go all Emo and have a good mornge because someone’s inadvertently ripped your heart out and is currently wiping their arse with it, there’s a far greater emergency; preventing yourself from feeling any more of a twat than you already do. You think trying to snare someone is a bastard of a job? Try putting the brakes on your ardour. It’s like trying to pedal a penny-farthing backwards. That’s being towed by four rampaging elephants. On ice.
Whatever you do, you can’t win – but you can not lose. Here’s how I deal with it whenever the bouncers at Club Meaningful Relationship tell me my shoes are too casual, and they don’t like my face, and point me towards the Bus Shelter of Unrequited Love.
Now then; when shit like this happens, there’s two natural inclinations. The first one is to throw a massive sulk and blank said person. Which is a wrong ‘un: you’ll only prove they were right to cock their nose up at you in the first place, and I’ve lost more than one extremely brilliant friend this way. The second one is to go the other way entirely; to make out everything is cool, you’re completely alright about it, and nothing has changed. That’s even more of a wrong ‘un – you’ve still got a mard-on while they’re feeling massively brilliant about themselves, meaning that the balance of power (which was pretty skewed in their favour in the first place) is off the chart. Not only that, but you’ll be bending over backwards for them when you get the slightest hint that their new relationship might not be as brilliant as it seemed (been there, done that too – it’s fucking horrible).
First off, you take yourself out of the situation completely until you’re ready to deal with them again, because if you don’t, it’s gonna be an absolute train-wreck. Either you’re going to see them in the pub and be compelled to ease out of the place without anyone noticing (which’ll make everyone notice), or they’re going to come over and commence a conversation that’ll be as awkward as fuck. Not to mention everyone who knows about the situation will want to make sure you’re alright, which is the absolute last thing you want.
The only sane thing to do, I find, is to get away from the horrible soap opera that your life has become as soon as you can. I find sitting at home in my mankiest, ripped-at-the-crotch-so-my-bollocks-hang-out-like-clackers jeans and cramming takeaway curry into my maw whilst simultaneously playing Mario Kart, screaming “FUCK OFF AHT ME WAY, LUIGI!” and shouting along to this makes things better. You may want to try something different. It won’t be as good as my way, though.
When you’ve got all that out of your system, you’re ready to move on to phase two; re-establishing the relationship in light of the new situation, without making yourself look a total bell-end. This is a tricky one, because if they were worthy of your attention in the first place, they’re going to be as nervous about it as you are about letting you down, and worried that you were only being a decent human being because you were trying to get their knickers off. I find that smiling and nodding at them in the pub is a good start, followed by running off like a bastard.
Then, you pick up the conversation at a later date, but subtly omitting displays of outright affection. No more kisses at the ends of e-mails, overtly smoochy hugs at the end of face-to-face contact, or engineering chance meetings that end at your or their house at . Most importantly, you quietly refrain from offering your services every five minutes, especially when they haven’t really asked for them. Basically, you make clear that you’re going to remain a faithful friend, but you’re nobody’s bitch – and you have to keep a bit of distance from now on so you can move on, whilst not getting in the way of their new thing. But without saying it, obviously, because that’s a bit of a mental thing to come out with.
When all this is established, you can move on to stage three; the rest of your life. At some point – fuck knows when, but it’ll happen – you’ll be able to talk openly and have a laugh about it, and it’ll happen so naturally that you need no coaching from me, and you’ll be proper mates again.
(You may have noticed that I’ve left out a very important part of the equation – the other person. I can’t really offer much advice here, because if you’re anything like me, you’re never going to be able to like the cunt, no matter how decent and undeserving of ire they are. When you’re really into someone, they could be going out with Jesus, and you’re still going to be muttering “Look at that fucking beardy twat, going around like he thinks he’s summat” to yourself. Best thing to do is be polite without getting involved).
Of course, you could circumnavigate all of this mither by simply saying ; “Look, I think you’re fucking ace. I’ll never stop wanting to be your friend. I didn't want to fall for you and risk fucking up a brilliant friendship, but I'm only human. I’m very sure I’ll be an absolute mard-arse in your presence at the moment, so I’m hibernating for a bit. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to pretend to be someone in a cut-off denim jacket, a large nappy and a mushroomy hat, and throw shells at Luigi for a bit. Because that bastard has had it coming to him for too long now."
But who'd be so gormless as to do that?