Unrequited love is heartbreaking. Feeling your love unreturned leaves you lost and vulnerable. How do you deal with these feelings?
I’ve been there before. I experienced a feeling so powerful and I named it love. Maybe it was or maybe it wasn’t. If it was, unfortunately, it was unrequited love. No matter how I pursued this feeling and this person, the admiration was never returned. It took a long time to move on.
It happens to the best of us
Unrequited love happens more than you think. To the one who has romantic feelings the love is real. To the object of affection, these feelings aren’t quite so intense, sometimes the feelings don’t even exist. In order to move on and embark upon a healthy relationship, you first have to recognize the signs of requited love.
1. You are unnoticed
When unrequited love is present, the one you love may not notice you at all. I guess it seems strange that you could become infatuated with a person that barely notices, but it’s entirely true. Sometimes they barely even know you exist.
I’ve been there and done that. I once loved a man who did speak to me at times but was oblivious to the fact that I liked him. To me, there was chemistry, but to him, I was probably just one of the crowd. The truth is, we will make excuses as to why they don’t notice.
2. They are already in a relationship
Obviously, if they are already in a relationship, especially a seemingly serious one, then unrequited love could definitely be the case. There are rare circumstances where someone in a relationship isn’t really happy, but of course, they are still in a relationship and they are off limits for the time being.
If there seems to be chemistry between the two of you, until they are single again, step away.
Now, back to unrequited love. Someone in a committed relationship will usually not be interested in you. I’m sorry to burst your bubble. Maybe the feelings you are experiencing are just all your own.
No one really wants to be in the friend zone when they are in love with someone. Unfortunately, this still happens. If you find yourself in love with someone and they only treat you like a friend, you are experiencing unrequited love, and it does hurt.
Here are a few phrases you will hear when you’re “just a friend”:
“You’re such a good friend”
“You will always be my friend”
“Friends like you are hard to find”
Yes, those who only want to have you as a friend will always use the word, “friend” in the things they say about you. If you love them and they see you as a friend, it will always be this way until their feelings change.
4. They are unaware of your interests or hobbies
You may already know about his interests in science fiction or his love of fitness, but what does he know about you? If he is unaware of your common interests, then it could be a case of, yes, unrequited love. Now, sometimes this knowledge comes later, but in most cases, part of admiration is due to common interests.
5. You’re not being yourself
Suddenly, you might find yourself acting strange, even out of character. If you are doing this when you’re around your “crush” then you could be in love. What’s worse, you could be the only one who is feeling this. The object of your affection may notice your feelings for them and they may notice the fact that you’re acting out of character.
This may eventually reveal something you don’t want to know…that they are not in love with you. If you’re not being yourself, then it’s obvious that you are trying too hard to get noticed. If you have to try that hard, then they probably don’t feel the same way.
6. They don’t notice your absence
This may be the saddest indicator of all. When someone you love doesn’t notice when you’re gone or doesn’t seem to miss you, then they don’t love you or not as much as you think. Maybe they don’t love you in a romantic way, rather as a friend. Yes, there’s that friend zone situation again. It usually comes back to that with unrequited love.
I was in my late twenties and fell in love with someone. The point that I realized that I was dealing with unrequited love was when he moved away for a period of time and I cried like a baby. I then realized that I was crying for someone who didn’t even see me in the same way.
It hurt badly at the time but helped me in the long run. No, in this case, it wasn’t t my absence that they didn’t notice, it was the fact that my absence in their life didn’t matter as much as I thought.
7. You just know
Sometimes there is no other indicator except your own intuition. I wasn’t fortunate enough to figure out that the guy I loved didn’t love me back. Yes, I was young, but my intuition was probably screaming at me and yet, I stayed in denial.
If you listen, really listen to logic, you will see the truth. No one that loves you will pretend that they don’t for long periods of time unless it’s a rare thing with uncommon circumstances.
Your unrequited pain will heal
So, do you want to know what happened with my requited love? Well, eventually something happened which forced me to reveal how I felt, and it happened in such a way that many people found out at once…including him.
I remember the look on his face and I also remember how he avoided me for a long time afterward. He then moved away and eventually I healed.
You can too, and here’s how
There are ways to heal from unrequited love. I will not lie to you and say that it will be easy because it’s not. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help.
When the truth is revealed it will hurt as if you ‘ve actually lost a great love. Many people will judge these circumstances and downplay your feelings, but that’s the wrong thing to do. Coming from a former obsessive, I understand.
I think some of us just experience a greater hope and greater feeling of love. Our weakness: Listening to our hearts and not our minds.
Acknowledge your hurt
Just because others judge you, you have a real hurt. Having your heart broken can feel as bad as a physical injury. It can leave scars as well. The best thing to do is face your hurt and comfort yourself as you would any other kind of heartbreak.
Don’t treat this one any different than the loss of a mutual love because to you, it feels the same.
You’re not alone
Now, let’s squash the haters. Guess what? Around 98% of the human population will experience some form of unrequited love in their lifetime. So when they judge you for your strange actions, they’ve probably done similar things and you should remember that.
Also, you might want to take a close look at patterns in your life. Has this happened before? Maybe there’s a root to this issue that you haven’t faced yet. To help you heal, find out what’s causing your predisposition to love people who do not love you back in return.
It might not be a pattern, but if it’s happened more than once, you should investigate.
A final word
Honestly, I don’t know why it happened. It blindsided me, hit me out of nowhere, and I was gone. Over time, I was able to move on. If you are experiencing unrequited love, it’s okay, but left unchecked these feelings can spiral out of control really fast and damage your mental health.
Remember, love is wonderful, but love unrequited can be one of the most painful feelings in the world.
By Sherrie H.