Your feelings aren’t your crush’s or squish’s obligation

So this is a common trope in movies and TV shows:

  • A (usually male) character has a crush on a (usually female) character
  • She’s not interested and makes this clear
  • He devotes massive amounts of time and energy to figuring out out to communicate the depth of his feelings to her
  • This is shown as sympathetic
  • With the implication that if she just ~understood~ how he feels, then she’d realize that she should be with him
  • Sometimes this eventually works

This trope is really creepy, and not something you should do in real life, because:

  • Someone can understand your feelings about them perfectly clearly and still not be interested in dating you (or in other forms of emotional intimacy)
  • Feelings are not automatically reciprocated
  • If someone says they’re not interested, that is a decision they get to make. It’s not ok to pressure them to change their mind
  • Grand romantic gestures are only good if they’re welcome. If you’re repeatedly invading someones boundaries and disregarding their consent, that’s not romance, that’s stalking

A couple of examples:

  • Fry and Leela in Futurma
  • John and Liz in Garfield

Or, in other words:

  • If she* said no, it doesn’t mean you need to find a perfect new way of expressing just how you feel about her.
  • She probably knows.
  • That doesn’t mean she has to reciprocate. Her feelings matter, and they don’t have to match yours.
  • She can understand perfectly well that you want her, and still be uninterested.
  • You can’t just rub your feelings on her and hope they stick.
  • (*Likewise with other gender configurations. The target of this kind of thing is almost always female in the media, and more often than not in real life. But people of all genders do this to people of all genders, and it’s never ok. Stalking and romantic coercion don’t become ok when they’re done in ways that subvert gender stereotypes)
  • (This is also the case for forms of non-romantic intimacy. Your desire to be someone’s best friend is not their obligation.)

Short version: If someone says no to dating you, or to other forms of emotional intimacy, it’s important that you take no for an answer. Trying over and over to ~explain how you feel about them~ will not magically cause them to reciprocate. They can know perfectly well how you feel, and still not feel the same way. Stalking, harassment and other forms of attempts to coerce intimacy don’t become ok when you have strong feelings.