GUIDE: How To Pretend You Gave Your Crush That 8-Paragraph Valentine’s Letter “As A Friend”

So, Valentine’s Day didn’t go your way. We’ve all been there. Your Perfect Match survey doesn’t pair you with anyone, and you spent the day alone. Tragic. But the most terrifying, humiliating thing of all is that you sent that 5-page romantic essay you’ve had in your Notes app to your best friend from Econ. After several text bubbles appeared but then promptly vanished, hours later you received only a “???” in return. What do you do now?

Well, the most vital thing is to act fast. You only have a small window of time before that text gets shown to their roommate, and things only get worse from there. Step 1 is to move quickly to downplay the email. Find a friend, roommate, or Russian hacker willing to let you throw them under the bus, and tell your crush that text was just some friend pranking you by sending a heartfelt, emotionally vulnerable novel to a random classmate of yours. Totally believable! They won’t suspect a thing.

You may not be out of the woods yet, though. Step 2 is to create an alibi. Tell your friends, roommate, everyone about another crush you have. Let them know all about how you’re about to ask them out, and that you just need to build up the courage–hat should throw them off the scent. I mean, how could you possibly have sent that explicit, unstable, needy text to your crush if everyone knows you’ve had a *different* crush this entire time? Logic!

Now, there’s more to this than meets the eye. Step 3 should only be employed if necessary; you may have shown you didn’t write the text, or that you’re actually interested in someone else, but it did come from your account, and that can make for some pretty embarrassing screenshots. If so, it’s probably best to delete the account. Archive anything you absolutely need, and then ctrl-x your shame away.

Unfortunately, even after all this, there’s still a chance your crush doesn’t believe you. At this point, it’s probably in everyone’s best interest to tell the truth. Be honest about your feelings, come clean, and apologize for making them uncomfortable. Show them you’re capable of admitting when you’ve made a rash decision, and use this as a chance to grow.

Or just ghost them forever. Yeah, you know what, that works too.

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