Falling in love is supposed to be the most amazing feeling you experience in your entire life. The butterflies in your stomach and the racing of your heart are some of the most exciting sensations in the world. Unfortunately, there is a dark side of love. Almost everyone experiences unrequited love at some point in their lives.
When you love someone who doesn’t love you back, it can be devastating. The butterflies are replaced with painful lumps in your stomach. Rejection can leave an empty hole in your heart. You may feel as if you can’t go on, but you can deal with unrequited love. Pull yourself together and follow these tips to move past the pain and on with your life.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Unrequited love is still a loss, even if the relationship never started. You had invested emotionally into a relationship and felt love for another human being. It is normal to feel grief, anger, and denial as you recover. Cut yourself some slack. Your feelings are normal and healthy. You will heal, and you will get past this.
Don’t Take it Personally
The fact that the other person didn’t fall for you likely has a lot more to do with them than you. Perhaps they are in a different place in their life. Perhaps they just got out of a long-term relationship. Maybe they’re supporting a sick family member. Who knows? The point is that it may have had nothing to do with you. Loving someone doesn’t automatically mean that they will love you back. It isn’t your fault. It doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough. Accepting the reality of the situation is tough, but it is the most important step towards dealing with your hurting heart.
It isn’t your crush’s fault that they didn’t fall in love. As mentioned above, they may not be in a place to love anyone right now. Whatever the reason it happened, it won’t do you any good to harbor anger and resentment. Forgive the other person and start the healing process by letting go of the disappointment that is weighing on your heart.
Sometimes we have a hard time coming to terms with unrequited love. We may think that if we do something different or change our approach, it might work out. “If only I could make them see…” or “If I could just talk to them in person…” Don’t fall for it. The best thing you can do for yourself is to put some distance between you and your crush. The hope you feel is only an illusion. What you need is time to grieve the loss.
Cut off all communication. Don’t “accidentally” run into your love at the grocery store or at a local hangout. Don’t stalk social media. It is time to move on, and moving on will be a lot easier to do with a healthy distance between you. Spend time with your family or friends. Surround yourself with people that do care about you. Give yourself a day or two to vent and cry. After that, don’t mention your crush’s name out loud again.
Focus on your Future
Acknowledge that you have been hurt and that you will need some recovery time. This doesn’t mean that you should lock yourself away for six months. Now is a great time to rethink your future. Throw yourself into something new. If you can distract yourself while also doing something valuable for your life, it is a win-win.
You’ve probably been mentally designing a future with your crush for some time now. Since that ship has sailed, it is time for a redesign. What do you want to get out of life? What can you do now to advance your career or your education? What about a new hobby? Not only will planning help take the focus off the painful experience, but you can also turn those hurtful feelings into feelings of excitement for what the future holds.
Realize that you Deserve Better
Try asking yourself, “Why do I want to be with someone that doesn’t want to be with me?” Realize that you deserve to be in a relationship where your partner has love for you. Without love, you would never be happy in the long haul. You deserve better than to be in a one-sided relationship. Anyone who doesn’t recognize how awesome you are doesn’t deserve you either!
When one door closes, another one opens. If you had entered into a relationship that was destined to fail, you would have wasted a lot of your own time. You may have missed another opportunity that you don’t even know exists yet. Who knows what the future has in store for you? You may be about to meet the real person of your dreams in the next day or two.
There are a lot of fish in the sea. Since this person didn’t work out, go ahead and cast a line. Even if you need time to grieve, there is nothing wrong with spending time with new prospects. You never know – you just might find someone who takes their place. Worst case scenario is that you spend an hour with someone new and have a decent conversation and a drink. Even a bad date can still boost your morale and self esteem. Go out there and live your life.
Find Out if you are Addicted
Have you found yourself in this predicament before? If so, it may be time to reevaluate if, subconsciously, you knowingly fall for people who will not return the favor. Sometimes people are addicted to going after something they can never have, and sometimes you may not even realize that you do. If you have found yourself with unrequited love in the past, it may be time to consult a therapist and work through your issues.
Know that Eventually You’ll be Stronger
When you first realize that your crush doesn’t love you back, you’ll be devastated. The last thing you will think about is how strong you’ll become. But once you have won the battle and come back, you will have higher self confidence and self esteem than you did before. You loved, you lost your love, you survived the loss, and now you’ll be stronger. You will be more careful in the future with who you hand your heart to. You will recognize the signs of unrequited love going forward and will be less likely to repeat the mistake.
Unrequited love may feel horrific, but it is a blessing in disguise. You could be missing out on the type of relationship you deserve if you are with someone that doesn’t love you back. You could have missed out on the love of your life. Don’t let a case of unrequited love turn you into a bitter soul. Love is a difficult journey which is why you will appreciate true love once you find it. Until then, chalk this up as a learning experience. A few months from now you will look back and agree that it was all for the better. You will love again, and when you do, it will be with someone that loves you back.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.