Unrequited love is love that is not returned. Whether you are the one who loves or is loved, it can be a painful experience. This article offers some guidance for dealing with unrequited love, which has haunted and inspired people throughout history.
If your love is unrequited …
Accept that romantic love isn’t usually a conscious decision
So, if a person knows that you love them, but doesn’t feel the same way about you, don’t view it as some kind of betrayal or deliberate withholding. They might want to love you, but simply don’t, for reasons they don’t understand, and may never understand. Sometimes the feeling just isn’t there. Try not to take it personally.
Eradicate any sense of neediness
If you’re feeling upset, depressed, or bitter, it’s probably because you feel you need that person’s love in order to be happy. Nevertheless, research on happiness says that all you need is a healthy dose of optimism.
You may also find that it’s a sense of neediness (which you may be conveying without even realizing it) that’s turning off the person you love, perhaps by making them feel that you have put them on a pedestal which makes them feel uncomfortable.
You won’t want to distance yourself, but staying close to someone you want but can’t have just isn’t healthy. Don’t tell the person or anyone close to them what you are doing, as they might try to convince you otherwise. Just try to stay away for a while.
Don’t call them, don’t go places where you know they frequently visit, and make yourself scarce. If you must have some contact (such as work), respond to messages slowly after a few days. Only call back when you have a good excuse to get off the phone after a few minutes. Take the time to reflect on your situation and learn more about yourself.
Enjoy being single
Dealing with unrequited love is a lot like getting over a break up, except you feel a sense of loss over something you never had. Still, you have to learn how to enjoy life without that special person, which can be hard in our couple-centred society. It is, however, do-able.
Practise unconditional love
If you feel that you really, truly love this person, then perhaps you can somehow try to remain friends and love them unconditionally. You’ll know you’ve reached that point when you can genuinely feel happy for them, even if that happiness does not include you.
With unconditional love, there’s no sense of loss, because it’s about deriving all your happiness from the act of giving â?? and not from receiving.
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