Unrequited love may sound like something out of a romance novel or melodramatic rom com, but in fact it’s a very real dynamic that many encounter as they navigate the murky waters of love. No matter whether the recipient of that unreciprocated love is completely oblivious to the fact or the giver has made it painfully obvious to no avail, in nearly every case it’s an uncomfortable and painful situation for both parties involved.
Giving love with no return can be an emotionally draining and damaging experience, so it’s important to learn how to either extricate yourself from the situation or deal with your feelings. To avoid the self-esteem issues and emotional scarring that can arise, here are four Dating with Dignity tips to deal with and move on from your unrequited love:
Loving someone so deeply who doesn’t return that feeling may cause you to blame their lack of reciprocation on an existing insecurity you harbor. Remember that who you love is not a choice. Even if the object of your affection may wish they loved you, it’s not something they can force—nor would you want them to. When you get down on yourself, remember not to take it personally.
When you’re in love, your natural inclination is to want to spend time with and talk to that person as much as possible. But when you’ve clearly identified he doesn’t reciprocate that feeling, too much contact does more harm than good. Make a conscious decision to quash all communication, and try to avoid seeing him if you can. It may be difficult at first, but it will be healthier for you and your love life in the long run.
“Letting go” is one of the most difficult concepts in nearly any matter of the heart, but in this one it can simply mean relinquishing the idea that this person will ever love you back in the same way. You may realize it’s impossible to ever fall out of love with this person; but if you truly love them, you’ll want to them to be happy. Try to channel your feelings into this sort of unconditional love and you’ll feel fulfilled by their happiness, with or without you.
Enjoy your freedom
Deep love, even if unreturned, can blind you to the myriad other wonderful people and things you have in your life. Use this time to embrace your freedom as a single lady and surround yourself with friends and dive into your interests. While this shift in focus may feel forced at first, eventually it will fulfill you in a new way and turn you into a more well-rounded person, prime for meeting someone new!