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Love chasers: Pursue, capture, retreat- an expert analysis

When it comes to expressing romantic interest, people often fall into two camps: those who boldly forge ahead and openly pursue their crush and those who prefer a more cautious approach- possibly even flying circles in the friend zone for however long it would take for ‘fate’ to make a decision for them.

For the bold type, majority of their logic thinking tends to take a back seat to desire and emotions when choosing a romantic partner. Because love makes the world go round and the ride worth it, they may easily get swept away by feelings and passion. They go to great lengths to show their affection, showering their crush with attention, gifts and other affectionate gestures (love bombing) and hope against all hope that their crush would eventually feel the same way about them too. Sometimes, they do not need to hope because they are confident that they will win over their crush.

For the cautious people, they tend to observe from a distance and wait for the smallest of signals that their crush has some level of interest in them too. This, then, prompts them to test the waters to see to what extent their crushes like them back. They start out with conversations where they show some form of interest in the crush’s life, find common interests to bond with them over and as they become more comfortable, they begin dropping hints or flirt with their crush to see how they would respond to them.

In both instances, some level of success is assured in getting a romantic interest to reciprocate their love feelings. But then, something odd happens. Once some of these people can finally confirm that their crushes like them back, their initial feelings of desire for them begin dimming and eventually, fizzles out.


“The reason why someone might eventually lose interest after pursuing someone else or a partner and then eventually when the partner reciprocates- its like they take a step back- could be because their expectations were very high and they way the other person is loving back at them is not within their language of acceptance when it comes to love. So there tends to be some level of discouragement and they will take a step back as opposed to probably getting excited about the response they are getting from the other partner,” began Dr Venus Kyengo, a Counselling Psychologist at The Myndspa.

Dr Kyengo went on to explain that it boils down to unmet expectations because everyone has their own expectations from the “five languages of love.”

“You find that people who are romantic may not get partners who are also romantic. Probably, that is where the issue comes in because the other person’s way of expressing their love language- everyone has a language- is not really aligning to this other one. Normally, its just failed expectations unless there is an underlying condition which may be psychological, that is normally the case,” added Dr Kyengo.

How, then, can this person communicate their change in feelings for their crush without causing unnecessary hurt and confusion? While it may be difficult, the first and foremost thing this person must do is to be honest about their changed feelings and be sensitive in how they communicate this information. They should be respectful, kind and clear about where they stand while softening their rejection of their crush.

Following this, such a person should definitely give their crush the space to come to terms with their changed feelings because they need to process the whiplash emotions they experienced in the hands of the person who claimed to like them- and then suddenly stopped liking them. Empathy and understanding will be key during this period.

And no. Such a person giving in to their crush out of pity, or attempting to backtrack their changed feelings and trying to win their crush over again is the worst mistake they can make. This person must, at all costs, avoid giving mixed signals about their feelings because it is not just about them at the end of the day.

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