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Non-Mutual Attraction

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I have known this guy for seven years now, almost eight. I have a terrible tendency to like a guy that I just meet, which I then get over within a week. He and I didn’t talk much, but we had things in common, like what we watched or a few opinions on certain things. I had a dream about him, and we kissed twice. About a year later I started to realize that I liked him. Over the years we had gone months without talking, but I still found myself thinking of him. Over the summer we both found out that we liked each other, he liked me for four years. He started saying “I love you” a while later at the end of our calls and we talked more and hung out more. I even started having more dreams about him. One more where we kissed, just a 2second peck, but the rest were more of cuddling or just hanging out. I found out that his feelings faded about a month or two after we confessed. I feel like I have fallen for him more, though. Right now, we are still friends, but I still feel awkward when I talk to him. When I found out about his fading feelings for me, him feeling more platonic about me, I became depressed but at the same time, I’m slightly okay with this outcome and kind of glad that he doesn’t like me in that way anymore. I feel guilty for having an unexplained attraction to him, or even thinking about liking someone else. He has told me that his attraction to me was also unexplained. When I hear him or talk to him, I uncontrollably smile and sometimes blush. I feel nervous yet at the same time really comfortable around him.

Non-Mutual Attraction

Answered by on -


Sometimes we love people because they’re not available. I think this is likely to be the situation in this case. There are several things about unavailability that can allow us to feel feelings while remaining relatively safe. We can have all of the feelings without all of the actual bother of the relationship.

Second, it is very common to be drawn to someone who is similar to a parent. Many of my clients who have unavailable partners have at least one distant parent. This is also something the relationship scientists study when they look at attachment. This might account for why somebody you see so sporadically could be eliciting such a strong attraction.

Typically, once there is some genuine intimacy and closeness in these unavailable relationships, it can’t be tolerated. My best guess is that this is what happened with him. As soon as the feelings got too intimate, the relationship lost value for him.

I would highly recommend a few brief individual sessions with a counselor to help you through this adjustment period, and to learn more about the strength of this attraction.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Non-Mutual Attraction

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Non-Mutual Attraction. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 20 Jan 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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