What To Do (And Not Do) When You Feel Invisible To Your Crush

Oh, the unrequited crush. Nothing can be more devastating and heart-wrenching than having feelings for someone who doesn't even seem to notice that you exist. Even the prettiest, most outgoing and self-assured people will run into this dilemma from time to time.
In a situation where we don't have a lot of control, there are a few self-care things that we can do to make it a little easier (and, as a bonus, potentially even attract someone in the process). We can learn how to be more confident, how to be kind to ourselves, and where to draw the line between enjoying our crushes and going a bit overboard with our feelings. So, here are a few do's and don'ts for when you're feeling invisible to your crush.

Dress like (and for) yourself

While it may be tempting to start dressing a certain way to attract your crush's attention, the short answer is: don't. Just because your crush is a huge basketball fan doesn't mean you should just start wearing basketball jerseys for the sake of it, or wearing mini-skirts in the middle of winter and end up freezing your legs off. If you like jerseys and dressing sexy, by all means, do it — but don't do it for anyone other than yourself. You are the most attractive when you're comfortable, and you'll be most comfortable dressing in the clothes that you like and that make you feel the most confident.
The other downside to dressing just for your crush means you might get stuck wearing this same kind of wardrobe if they start to take notice, pigeonholing you into one kind of look that you might not even like. Portraying an unrealistic or inauthentic version of yourself through your clothes is so no way to start a relationship. If they're going to like you, they're going to like you for who you are, and they might even end up noticing you more if you're feeling comfy and sexy in the clothes you're in.

Don't play it too cool

In a world where loud, confident and powerful women are often villainised, it can be hard to shake the idea that women (particularly straight women) can't come across as easy, and like to be chased. Of course, we understand not wanting to come across as desperate, and you can certainly slip over into that territory if you're not careful. But, ultimately, you can't actually shoot your shot if you're completely ignoring your crush by acting "cool".
While it may feel like you're being mysterious and alluring, there's a good chance that you're actually coming across as a bit cold and like you don't care about the person (which, ironically, you really, really do). Obviously don't go overboard — there is something to be said for subtlety — but you also will need to put yourself out there enough to show them you care. Striking up a casual conversation or shooting them a smile will actually help your cause and show your crush how friendly and nice you really are.

Put your phone down

If you're sitting at home waiting for your crush to view the Instagram Story that you put up specifically for them to see, drop your phone right now and get out of the house. Ask a friend to meet up for a drink or to grab dinner, or spend some quality time alone away from your phone.
Not only will you seem more easygoing and fun if you're out living your best life enough to not be posting all the time, but it's also going to distract you from the pain and longing that's currently ruling your life and your phone habits. You need to remember that you can have fun and get joy from other things besides your crush liking your posts. Keep doing what you like, and you'll be pleasantly surprised that you get the attention you want without even trying.
If you find yourself constantly critiquing every single thing you post as if you're seeing it through your crush's eyes, that's when you need to pause and recentre yourself — because our world can start to feel pretty small when you only do things to get someone else's approval.

Bring up shared interests

While you shouldn't alter your wardrobe, Instagram or personality to suit a crush, you can certainly capitalise on any shared interests that already exist. An often fool-proof way to get someone's attention or start a conversation seemingly out of nowhere is to talk about something you know you're both into, like a book you've both read or a movie you've recently watched.
When you do this, be honest, and consider not always agreeing with your crush just to seem compliant or compatible. Inviting a little bit of a debate or opposition to the conversation can actually spark interest, and showing them your true thoughts and feelings is going to ensure that they get to know the real you. If they liked the book but you didn't, say so and why. You've got your own opinions, so voice them! And if your crush is worth a damn, they'll appreciate that you have a mind of your own and they'll remember you for it.

Don't go after their friend

We know, we know, it's a really tempting move to flirt with their friends when you feel like your crush just isn't paying any attention to you — but don't do it. Not only will that potentially get you entangled with someone else's feelings, but if your crush is a good mate to your flirting buddy, it's going to put a forcefield of friendship around you from then onwards.
In the same way that lying isn't a good way to start a relationship, neither is deception or games. It sends a bad message about you and who you're willing to mess with to get what you want. It may seem like an innocent move, and maybe sometimes it is, but the risk of ruining your chances with your crush and hurting other people can be too great.

Just ask them out

"Hey, wanna grab a drink on Friday?". Done. Who would've thought that just asking them out is a surefire way to get them to notice you! Depending on how you know this person, you can make the 'date' as platonic as you want from the start. If you're not quite ready to take this plunge, finding ways to include them in a group scenario shows that you're thinking of them, without necessarily making your intentions immediately clear. This is how you let them know you want them around without putting them on the spot.
The smaller the group setting you can get, the better, as it opens up some real opportunities to have a proper conversation with them. And even if it annoys you that you can't get real one-on-one time with your crush just yet, be patient. Sometimes letting them see you shine in a social setting can be a great way to capture their attention.
When all is said and done, we can't make anyone fall in love with us. While it can be fun to have a crush and it can even be a positive experience to learn to be more confident romantically, we ultimately have to accept that no matter how fabulous we are, sometimes people just aren't interested, and that's okay! Also, always remember that a crush is usually just a lack of information.
Having a crush not return your feelings can feel cataclysmic, but we're sure it won't be long until you catch the eye of someone who is worthy and ready for you — just as you are, right now, and then you won't have to worry about feeling invisible ever again.
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!

More from Relationships