There may be times you love someone deeply, but your feelings are not reciprocated by the other person. Experiencing a one-sided or unrequited love can be painful and unpleasant. However, love can happen with anyone and at any time, and everyone wants to be loved for their love, and we tend to do all that it may take to attain it. However, no matter how hard you keep trying, you may not receive the same kind of love you give, which might leave you disheartened. So, how do you deal with love that is unrequited? Read on to discover some signs of unreturned love and ways to handle this situation.
What Is Unrequited Love?
Unrequited love or one-sided love is a situation where a person’s love and affection are not reciprocated by their beloved. It could be because the other person is not aware of the love and romantic feelings or is consciously ignoring and rejecting them.
You could be the person whose love is rejected by your beloved or the one who is not in love with them and have to build up the courage to tell them the truth. This post is for those whose love has not been reciprocated.
If you are getting mixed signals or even after spending time you are unable to find an answer to the question, “Do they also love me,” then check for the signs of unrequited love.
Signs of Unrequited love
Unrequited love is not difficult to recognize. While the signs may not be visible, they can be surely felt. Below we list a few such signs of unrequited love:
- You never get the importance you give. Be it midday or midnight, they just need to give you a call and you are at their doorstep. You are always there for them. But when it comes to helping you, they are not so sincere. You shower them with abundant attention, while you are always left thirsty for it.
- You are easily ignored. Your messages and calls are ignored by your beloved and they do not tell you about their whereabouts. Moreover, when you try to contact them, they get irritated and accuse you of snooping on their lives.
- Only you initiate contact. If you have to wait for hours or even days for them to text or return your calls, then you might not be as important as you hope to be. For you, passing a single day without talking to them seems to be impossible, but they may not think of getting in touch with you for days because they don’t miss you.
- They do not want to be seen with you in public. When the love is mutual, your partner will be eager to introduce you or talk about you to their friends. But if your beloved is not comfortable to introduce you in their social circle, then they are not looking for a long-term relationship with you.
- You always fear to lose them. This happens because you fail to realize that they are never yours to lose. You just cling on to them by doing excessive favors and going out of your way to please them.
- They do not like to be touched by you. When two people are in love, they cannot be away from each other and would look for opportunities to touch each other. But if your beloved dodges every time you try to go near them, then it is a sign of unrequited love. They also display non-verbal cues, such as crossing arms in front of you and shifting their weight to increase the distance between you, to show you that they are not interested.
- They do not share their secrets with you. One of the biggest signs of unrequited love is secrets. Your beloved’s life is not an open book to you. They do not let you into their life. They are also protective of their phones and would not be comfortable showing their messages.
- Your friends often warn you. Sometimes your desire to make them yours could be so strong that you turn a blind eye to the truth. But your friends and family will be able to see the truth, and hence advise you against pursuing your love. In such cases, step back and analyze.
- They do not care about your feelings. As they are not in love with you, they would not consider your feelings. For example, they would flirt with others in front of you or let go of your hand as soon as they spot another attractive person. Knowingly or unknowingly, they will be ignorant of the fact that your happiness depends on them.
The biggest sign is your intuition. If the voice inside you is saying that there is no way to take the relationship forward, then listen to it. While some try to come out of their disappointment, some keep trying even when they know it doesn’t work.
Why Do People Pursue Unrequited Love?
There are reasons for people to cling on even when they know their love is one-sided. Here are a few reasons why they do that.
- Too much love to give up: When you love someone, it is extremely painful to let go of them. In such cases, people tend to not give up just yet. They believe that their beloved would understand their love and reciprocate one day.
- Family relationships: Research says that a person’s childhood relationship with their parents influences their romantic relationships (1). Children who grow up with unresponsive parents might find themselves attracted towards unrequited love as they learn through their childhood that love must always be chased.
- Attachment: At times, our imagination can attract us to certain people. For example, you want certain qualities in your would-be partner and fall for a person who has them. But it is not necessary for that person to see their partner in you. You may not be able to back off even after knowing that the person is not interested in you.
- Low-self esteem: People battling with low self-esteem can get trapped in a one-sided relationship as they fear that they will not find another person to love. Therefore, they force the disinterested person to love them.
- Ignoring facts: Some people conveniently ignore reality as they prefer to live in fantasy land. Even though they know that the other person will never love them back, they choose to ignore that and pursue their fantasies.
- Misinterpreting actions: Sometimes, casual things like calling or spending time together can be misinterpreted as love. They could only have friendly feelings for you, but you could misread it as love and start making the moves.
The pain in unrequited love is immense because love is an intense feeling. You see them as the sole purpose of your existence but when you realize that they are not yours, you are crestfallen and depressed. Nothing in this world will interest you and you do not make an attempt to come out of these melancholic feelings.
But once the feelings settle down, just think – is it worth chase them when you know that they are never going to be yours? Why let go of the other beautiful things in life fixating on one person?
Life is a precious gift, and one cannot just throw it away. So, how to make peace with unrequited love and move on?
How To Deal With Unrequited Love?
“When a door closes, knock on it a few times. But if it still doesn’t open, let it stay closed.”
It could be an innocent childhood crush or a serious adult relationship, unrequited love at any stage of life can be extremely painful. But if you want to live and let live, then here are a few tips to come out of the pain and move on in life.
1. Figure out why you loved them in the first place
It could be the fear of being alone or the craving to be in a relationship, there must be something that has made you love this person. Analyze if the reasons for your love are so important that you can waste your life chasing them. Make an unbiased assessment and you will realize that the person is not irreplaceable in your life.
2. Accept they are not meant for you
The crucial step to coming out of one-sided love is to accept that they will never love you. Once you accept this, you will come out of any false beliefs that they are your reason for existence or your happiness is dependent on them. This will help you to slowly come to terms with reality.
3. Do not let negative feelings take over
We are all humans and when we cannot get what we want, negative emotions such as anger and frustration build up. Amidst such bitter feelings, we forget the fact that to love or not to love is an individual decision.
If a person is not reciprocating your love, then try not to pursue them any longer. You can give it a chance but never go to extremes such as stalking or causing physical harm to them.
Also, never give mixed signals to someone who is genuinely caring for you. By doing so, you are creating false hope in them, which will ultimately lead to heartbreak.
4. Set boundaries
It could be hard to get over unrequited love if you are staying close to them. Try to distance yourself from them, and cut all ties with them. In the process of forgetting your beloved, there will be many occasions when you just want to run back to them, please them somehow and draw them towards you. But have some relational and physical boundaries for yourself.
5. Take time to grieve
Unrequited love is a loss, and it is ok to feel angry and frustrated. Do not suppress these negative emotions but let them out. If you want to just lie in bed all the time, do it; if you want to cry, do it.
During this process, you tend to blame yourself, but remember there is nothing wrong with you. Do not blame yourself for not being able to win them. Sometimes, it just doesn’t click between two people, and that is completely alright.
6. Create distractions
Whenever you find your thoughts going back to them, try and distract yourself by meeting friends, playing a game or pursuing a hobby. This will help you feel a lot better and positive. If you feel you need some time for yourself, then go on a vacation, traveling alone can help you reinvent yourself. It will also give you the confidence that you can do just fine without that person.
7. Meet new people and expand your circle
Your life revolved around your beloved but not anymore. You missed out on doing things you loved because you had been busy trying to impress that person. But now is the time to step out, make new acquaintances, develop relationships, and look ahead to start life afresh. Eventually, you might meet someone who can love you as much as you love them.
8. Recovery takes time
Always remember recovering from unrequited love needs time and patience. You cannot wake up one day and magically forget all that has happened. Do not get frustrated when you cannot get them out of your head. Instead, set up small goals daily, try to achieve them, and keep track of your progress. Over time, you will surely get back on track.
9. Love yourself
Do not let the rejection affect your self-worth. A single person or an experience does not decide your worth. Think of all the positive things about yourself. Take care of yourself, eat healthy and stay in shape. You can also practice meditation to relax your nerves. Reach out to your loved ones for guidance. Stay close and connected to them and feel their love being resonated.
10. Have a clear idea on who “The one” is
A relationship must not always be about chasing and running, but it should be more about walking hand in hand. Clear all your previous ideas of an ideal partner and introspect to find out what is that you really want from a relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can unrequited love ever become requited?
There could be chances of unrequited love becoming requited. Based on circumstances, a person who didn’t love you in the past may start to love you. But this is conditional and can only happen if the person you are attracted to changes their heart. However, it is healthy to not depend on this logic and try to move on from unrequited love.
2. When should you let go of unrequited love?
Let go of unrequited love when you realize the other person is not and may not reciprocate your feelings. Staying in such a bond could take a toll on your thoughts and feelings.
Love is a fantastic feeling, but it also has the power to break a person. If you are stuck in an unrequited relationship, look out for the signs and move on. Do not waste your time waiting for somebody who was never yours. Instead, focus on yourself, try to be a better person and one day you will surely meet somebody who will love you for who you are.
Do you have any experience to share? Let us know in the comments section below.
- Unrequited love is one-sided love.
- A common sign that you are in a one-sided love story is that you don’t get back the affection and attention you give.
- Deal with unrequited love maturely to protect your emotional wellbeing.