Dealing with unrequited love is, hands-down, one of the most painful experiences ever, both emotionally and even physically. If you’ve never dealt with it consider yourself lucky. At some point however, you will most likely face such tragedy. If you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It makes you feel like your heart was ripped out your chest with bare hands and stomped on a million times while you bleed slowly to death. Sounds dramatic, right? Because it is.
Unrequited love will have you crying for weeks, wishing you weren’t alive to feel the aftermath, having mini panic-attacks and wanting to be numb to love for the rest of your life. You also might have weird fantasies about the person who doesn’t love you back to the point of obsession, imagining how it would be if things worked out. Little romantic films will play in your head of you both hugging and kissing on a bed of roses. But, what if I told you that might be a good thing for you?
At the core of us all, we crave love simply because we’re human and we’re wired that way. So, the fact that you’ve even experienced loving someone who doesn’t love you back is pretty normal.
Unrequited love prepares us for the love we deserve by showing us what we don’t want. Would someone who truly cares about you treat you like shit? Ignore your phone calls? Disregard your big accomplishments? How about actually saying the magic words when they’re needed the most? Would he or she fail to tell you if that’s how they feel? The answer is no, a person who loves you wouldn’t neglect those things. And because you know this, you also know that the next person you give your heart to should do them. Therefore, you become more careful about who you choose to love. Likewise, you’d understand that you also have a duty to be that person for someone else who you adore. It’s a two way street.
Importantly, unrequited love holds a mirror up to our flaws. I truly believe that the people we attract are, in some ways, a reflection of ourselves. So, think about this for a second. If you love someone who doesn’t love you back, have you thought about the personality traits you possess that attracted this? Maybe there’s someone in your life whom you treat the same way like a family member or, hell, even a pet! It sounds far-fetched but these observations are so crucial to see the bigger picture.
I’ve had my share of being in one-sided relationships and they hurt like hell. Some days I wanted to give up and never love again because the pain was too much to bare. But I had to remind myself of a few things: 1. I have no idea why that person didn’t love me the way I did for them and they’re not obligated to do so. 2. I had to love myself first before expecting anyone else to love me so I wouldn’t feel as bad as I did when the other party didn’t. 3. If I can give my love to someone who doesn’t show it back, I have more than enough to give to someone who does. 4. Some things just aren’t meant to be so let go and let god (if you’re on that spiritual tip) handle it.
Most of all, don’t forget to embrace the pain because pain equals growth. That raw emotion you’re feeling is good for the soul and is proof that you’re alive and kicking. Even if it takes seemingly forever to get over your frustration, remember that “this too shall pass” because, in reality, overcoming unrequited love won’t be quick. As a matter of fact, it can take anywhere from a few months to a whole year to finally feel normal again. Scary, huh? Welcome to heartbreak. But it’s probably one of the best things that will ever happen to you so, it’s all good.
Written by Amber Nofetari