When your affection is not seen, understood and reciprocated by the one you love it is unrequited love. It’s one of Hollywood’s most popular movie themes, and something every one of us has experienced at least once in our lifetimes.
You know the feeling, right?
The object of your affections, your dreams, your fantasies, well, they just don’t feel the same way about you. “I like you, but just as a friend,” can be one of the saddest responses you could ever hear when declaring your love for someone you’ve been pining away for.
The pain of unrequited love is devastating and getting over unrequited love is an uphill task.
To understand why unrequited love hurts so much, let’s examine all of the ins and outs of this topic and tips on how to get over unrequited love.
Unrequited love a definition
Wikipedia says it best: “Unrequited love is love that is not openly reciprocated or understood as such by the beloved. The beloved may not be aware of the admirer’s deep and strong romantic affection, or may consciously reject it.”
In other words, unrequited love is like a one-way street going through the city of romance. There’s only one direction.
Imagine if you had to spend your days driving through a city in only one direction? That’s pretty frustrating, right?
It is not as romantic as you might think
Popular culture paints an emotion-filled, romantic picture of unrequited love, that from the point of view of the lover.
Songs like Adele’sSomeone Like You, movies likeEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and the classic comic strip Peanuts-remember Charlie Brown’s pining away for the little red-haired girl?—all show us these heroes who, in a perfect world, deserved to be loved by the object they are fixated upon.
But these intense one-way feelings do not a happy lover make.
Living a life where you deeply love someone who does not return these feelings is actually quite sad and lonely.
Things rarely end up like in the movie, with the beloved suddenly coming to their senses and realizing they loved the other person all along.
Before we deep-dive into how to get past the pain of unrequited love, a word on being the object of unrequited love.
One sided love in marriage or relationship where you are the rejecter can also cause a lot of agony and pain.
The pain of unrequited love in marriage or relationship afflicts the rejecter too. The rejecter constantly feels guilty and frustrated at dashing the hopes of the unwanted lover.
They are constantly looking for polite ways to say no while trying to preserve the unwanted lover’s dignity.
What can you do about unrequited love?
So, how to deal with unrequited love? Here’s the most crucial one sided love advice.
First of all, moving on from unrequited love requires you to realize that you are far from alone.
Most of us have felt the agony of one sided love at some point in our lives.
There are countless forums devoted to this very issue, and it might do you some good to read some of them, just to know that your situation is common.
So be gentle with yourself if you want to overcome the unrequited love pain.
You might even use some of this pain for creative ends: write poetry, music, a short story, or paint a picture. All of these activities will be cathartic for you and help you “get it out.”
Ask yourself if this is a pattern of unrequited love
Are you someone who often experiences the pain of one-sided love?
It may be that you put yourself in such a position intentionally. That sounds counter-intuitive, but it serves a purpose for someone who is love-avoidant.
Instead of risking the possible pain that can sometimes come with a full love relationship, they continually seek these one-sided situations so that they have no possibility of ever-blossoming into a fully-functioning relationship, thereby avoiding the “real deal” with all the ups and downs that implies.
If you see that you continually engage in this pattern, it would be to your benefit to work on this with a qualified therapist.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.