A recent comment asked me to discuss getting over oneitis. This is a topic I am painfully familiar with, so I am happy to oblige.
For those just tuning in, oneitis is the malaise that occurs when you get hooked on a person who does not reciprocate your interest.
There's something romantic about focusing so much mental and emotional energy on a person who will probably not return the feelings. There are restless nights and reverie-filled days spent devoted to the object of affection, which sometimes lead to grand sweeping gestures. Sometimes there is even bad poetry involved.
However, there is also something intrinsically unhealthy about oneitis. I mean, come on, oneitis rarely leads to a happy ending. More often than not, a relationship does not result from the obsessive fantasy and if there is an encounter, it usually fizzles. Either being worshipped will become tiresome to the subject of the oneitis, or the worshipper will be disappointed in the reality.
I think the first and probably most crucial step in dealing with oneitis is having a firm grasp on reality. It's very tempting to take small communications and hints and coincidences and blow them up into huge cosmic signs. When all the weird Film Felix crap went down, I convinced myself that I was meant to be with this guy. The tricky thing was that I had very little information to go on and that I never heard from him after our date-which-didn't-even-result-in-a-smooch. Normally, this would be when you say to yourself,
"Oh well, I thought there was potential for something, but obviously he doesn't want to pursue it. Time to move on."
If only it were that simple. Sometimes a person gets under your skin, even though you should know better and have very little to go on. Sometimes your mind creates a romance and then demands you hold on to it even though 99 times out of 100 it will never be real. Sometimes you have to practice tough love on yourself (and I'm not talking about some kind of kinky masturbation act) and let the hell go already.
I'm not saying it's easy. When I met Drama David, I was still hung up on Film Felix. I thought there was still a chance that I would come home one day and FF would be sitting on my doorstep (he lives a few blocks away, so it wasn't that implausible), professing his undying curiosity to know everything about me and bask in my multifaceted beauty. Or something. There were probably flowers involved, too. That never happened and was never going to happen.
And boy, am I glad it didn't.
I could have let my Film Felix obsession sabotage things with BF David. I could have stayed wrapped up in my fantasies and ignored the reality right in front of me, which was a wonderful man, who was treating me like gold, who I had fanfuckingtastic chemistry with.
I chose reality, but I also got really lucky. Many other times in the past, the oneitis had to run its natural course, wretchedly tormenting me along the way.
The best advice I can offer for ridding yourself of oneitis is to do as much as possible to take your mind off the person. Eventually the distractions will evolve into something better than pining for someone that should have realized how awesome you are by now. A little introspection goes a long way, too. Why are you so hooked on a person who won't return your affection? Are you scared of potentially getting hurt in a real relationship? Are you lonely and in need of someone to pin your feelings on? Are you bored with life's routines and need something exciting to focus on? Are you merely in love with the idea of love? Oneitis is usually not about the actual person but what that person represents, their potential for fulfilling certain deficiencies in your own life.
Let's be honest here. Relationships come with their pitfalls and imperfections, but reciprocated love is always going to win out over unrequited love. Every damn time. So be honest with yourself and take that person down from the pedestal. Wallow and pine for a bit longer if you are that masochistic (and I know most of us are), but then stop looking at their picture, get out of the house, go kiss other boys/girls if you need to, and quit devoting yourself to a lost cause.
Or, at the very least, don't do anything that will result in a restraining order.