We've all been hurt by unrequited love—that terrible, heartbreaking want for another person who doesn't return your affection. Unfortunately, "the pursuit" is also very enticing and can be challenging to give up.
Unrequited love warps one's perceptions of the person they are in love with, making it difficult for you to realize they don't feel the same way because of how immersed you are in your deep feelings for the person.
Nevertheless, everyone is deserving of love, including you. Since you aren't getting love from this other person, it's time to move on and experience mutual love. Let go of the person you're fascinated with but who doesn't reciprocate your feelings. In this blog post, let's learn what unrequited love is in detail and discuss the most effective ways to put it to rest.
How can you tell if feelings are mutual or not? Here are some signs:
They don't appear willing to develop the relationship.
When you try to learn more about their hobbies, interests, or views on specific topics, they may offer little in their answers and won't ask you similar questions in return.
Your efforts feel unbalanced in the relationship.
Pay attention as to whether they give you the same time, energy, attention, and care as you give them. Notice if they constantly put you last in their consideration or show signs they don't value you nearly as much as you value them.
It takes quite a while for them to respond to calls, texts, and invitations.
Do you feel like you have to put in all the effort to hang out? Perhaps they reply slowly or "Maybe!" when you invite them and then wait until the last minute to confirm or, worse, cancel!
They are romantically available to others but not to you.
If they talk about how much they want to be in a relationship but then dodge the topic when you mention you're interested, it may be a sign that your love is unrequited. Do they show interest in dating or expressing an openness to meeting new people after you have made it apparent that you are interested in them romantically?
Longing for someone when you know you'll never get what you want doesn't feel good and is more closely tied to infatuation than true love. While it’s normal to be infatuated with someone, it’s important to know infatuation isn’t love. And more important to recognize when infatuation isn’t reciprocated.
Although unrequited love is a typical experience that many individuals may go through at some point in their lives, consider whether it's a recurring pattern for you and why that might be. If it is a recurring pattern, you may need to dig a little deeper into your expectations for what a healthy relationship looks like and make some changes.
Talk to the person, let them know how you feel, and see the response you receive. Understand where you stand with them and if there is anything worth fighting for. You can’t make someone love you and if they are not interested in a deeper relationship, be realistic and step away. It will help preserve the relationship and benefit you in the long run.
Accept their choice. (That's a hard, but necessary step.)
Losing a love might make you feel as though you're also losing everything all at once. Use this as an opportunity to learn what worked and did not work for you so you have lessons you can take away from it. See an unrequited love as a chance to grow personally and discover more about yourself. Remember, you'll overcome this.
Self-awareness is also a step toward change. Do some reflective work if you believe you have a pattern of unrequited love. Look into the potential roots of these patterns. Once you've established the causes, you can take steps to break these patterns.
You may find it helpful to ask yourself:
You may also want to read my blog post on how your childhood affects your relationship.
It is agonizing to be with someone who doesn't feel the same way about you AND agonizing not to be with them at all. But, limiting your interactions with this person is a healthy first step toward moving on. Seeing or talking to them may stir up emotions. Only you can judge whether you can see the person; however, don't torture yourself. If you need to, keep your distance. Mute or block this person on social media and cut off all contact with them. The more you see them or their posts, the more top of mind they are. So remove them from your feed (both literally and figuratively).
Distraction can help you to set the feelings aside until you have time and space to address them.
Develop some hobbies or focus on your career for now. Follow some passion other than chasing love. Some activities may give you the same rush as love, and new opportunities may arise if you allow your mind distractions that help you cope with unrequited love.
Think about yourself, your life, and all the amazing things you have done. Surround yourself with family and friends and those who make you feel good about yourself. Focus on the positives in your life. The most important thing to remember regarding self-care involves paying attention to what your body and mind require.
Self-care activities can include anything from physical activities, like working out and eating well, to mental activities, like reading a book or practicing mindfulness, to spiritual or social activities, like praying or going out to lunch with a friend.
While being infatuated with someone who doesn’t feel the same way is heartbreaking, there are ways to deal with it and move on. Recognize what is happening and have compassion for yourself. Try out the self-care suggestions above, journal your feelings, and notice your patterns. Read about attachment theory. It may give you some insight into why this is happened. If your heart is broken or the emotions are too overwhelming, talk to someone who can listen without judgment and support you through your grief.
If you want to talk about your feelings but don't know how, check out my free Effective Communication Guide.