How do I get over a seven-year-long crush on a friend? We became friends online, and when we met in person a year later, I realized I had a crush on her (up to this point I had always assumed I was straight). A year after that, I told her about my feelings for her. She said she was flattered but not interested, and we remained friends.
I assumed my feelings for her would fade with time, but they haven’t. Over the years I’ve tried not thinking about it, restricting contact, and dating other women, and more recently I’ve tried to get to the bottom of my fixation on her through therapy. I’m scared of losing her as a friend (we are very near and dear to each other), but I realize this friendship is not built on the most honest foundation and I’m just setting myself back. I’m also deeply terrified of “getting out there” and seriously looking for someone I can love who will love me back. I find it hard to believe I can do better than unrequited infatuation or my only other previous relationship, which ended after years due to incompatibility (I’m asexual, he wasn’t). I need expert, practical advice on letting go of these feelings.