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How to survive unrequited love

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Love is supposed to be the greatest feeling in the world. It makes your heart race, makes you believe you can conquer any mountain and you feel like you are walking on air. Unfortunately, just when you think your feet may never touch the ground, you can find yourself crashing and burning. Sometimes, cupid flies in where it is not wanted, shoots its arrow without looking and as a result, misses and hits the wrong person. Unrequited love is common when you are a teenager, a period when you form thoughts about yourself, identity and the image of your ideal partner.

Welcome to the dark side of love: the pain, longing and misery. This is how you feel when your love for someone goes unrequited. It is not only a blow to your ego, after all, no one likes rejection, but it can create a black hole in your heart. It is as though there is a vacuous space that sucks in all light, joy and hope. 


Dealing with unrequited love can be difficult; but for your own sake, you have to pull yourself together and try to move on, though some young people stay in the world of fantasy, preferring not to grow up and make friends with reality.

Accept that romantic love isn’t mutual: So, if a person knows that you love them, but doesn’t feel the same way about you, don’t view it as some kind of betrayal or deliberate withholding. They might want to love you, but simply don’t, for reasons they don’t understand and may never understand. Sometimes the feeling isn’t there. Try not to take it personally. 

Eradicate any sense of neediness: If you are feeling upset, depressed, or bitter, it is probably because you feel you need that person’s love in order to be happy. But, the research on happiness says that all you need is a healthy dose of optimism. You may also find that it is a sense of neediness (which you may be conveying without even realizing it) that is turning off the person you love, perhaps by making them feel like they are on a pedestal that they don’t want to be on. 

Chances are, if you find yourself having a hard time getting this person out of your head, it might be obsession. True love, by definition, needs to be mutual, because it is a shared emotion—a give and take. It is a union between two people borne out of a shared bond. It can never be one-sided. 

You may not be devoted to the person; you are desperately longing for whatever the object of your desire represents to you. Perhaps the idea of being with someone who is a social butterfly is appealing because you are an introvert and you unconsciously just liked the idea of having a social lifeline. Perhaps this person is very stable and established in life, and you are going through a time when everything seems up in the air and your future is uncertain; it could be that you are not so much in love as you are just longing to get settled. Basically, this person may represent the very thing you feel you are missing in your life. By figuring out what you need, you can figure out how to get it elsewhere and get past this infatuation. 

Distance yourself: You won’t want to, but staying close to someone you want but can’t have isn’t healthy. Don’t tell the person or anyone close to them what you are doing, as they might try to convince you otherwise. Just try to get away for a while. Don’t call them, don’t go places where you know they frequently visit and make yourself scarce. If you must have some contact (such as work) respond to messages slowly after a few days. Only call back when you have a good excuse to get off the phone after a few minutes. Take the time to reflect on your situation and learn more about yourself.

Enjoy being single. Dealing with unrequited love is a lot like getting over a break up, except you feel a sense of loss over something you never had. Still, you have to learn how to enjoy life without someone, which can be hard in our couple-centered society, but it is do-able.

Practice unconditional love. If you feel that you really, truly love this person, then perhaps you can love them unconditionally. You will know you have reached that point when you can genuinely feel happy for them, even if that happiness does not include you. With unconditional love, there is no sense of loss, because it is about deriving all your happiness from the act of giving not from receiving. 

Find someone who can give you what you need: Loving whilst being loved in return is what fulfilling. Some people get into the destructive pattern of only falling for people who are ‘unavailable’ in some way, perhaps because they are with someone else or emotionally unable to commit to a relationship. Unconsciously making unavailability a pre-requisite for falling in love is like insisting on going swimming only in dry deserts – it is never going to work. If you have been doing this (or you suspect you have), at least become conscious of it and reflect that it is a self-defeating strategy.

Focus on finding someone who likes you for who you are and don’t confuse the intensity of agony with that of real love. You will know once you have found the real thing, because it will flow in both directions. Just think for a moment how wonderful it will feel when you no longer have to obsess about that person. 

Real love should make you happy and contented, not miserable and anxious. Unrequited love can never be anything but painful. For harmony in a relationship, the force of attraction needs to be balanced. Just imagine how good it is going to be when you find someone who knows how to love you as much as you love them. Love yourself, no matter what they say. Love your personality, respect yourself, accept yourself as you are, the all-sufficient and really cool person. This is the best medicine from all mental troubles.

Certainly, it is difficult to argue with your heart. But there is no love that can live without booster charge and if a battery for mutual love is romance, trust, tenderness, common interests and love making (well, we can’t ignore this sphere of our life anyway), unrequited love’s food is a fantasy only.  And you have two choices here: to wait until this weak source of energy is discharged or turn it off deliberately and go in search of a real mutual love.

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