Love is not binary. It is a beautiful feeling, a feeling that fuels everything good in life. Well, at least, that’s true for those lucky people who have their love returned in full.
But not everyone is as lucky. Problems and pain arise when it is returned or reciprocated – yes, that all-consuming unrequited love. It takes something away from you. Dealing with unrequited love is something we all have experienced at some point and in some form. And if you are stuck there once, there is no coming out of that limbo anytime soon.
How To Deal With Unrequited Love
Okay, firstly, nobody plans to fall in love with someone who won’t love them back or get hurt in the process of falling in love. Living with unrequited love feels like a constant stab in the heart. And there are so many forms in which unrequited love can exist.
You may be in love with a friend or acquaintance or a coworker, who is emotionally unavailable or already committed to someone else. Or even worse, they might not even be aware of your existence. And if you have been in any of these scenarios, or you are going through it, we don’t need to tell you about the woes.
Why does unrequited love hurt so much? It is because we are not able to be with the person who we crave to be with. The heart wants what it wants and sometimes, absolutely refuses to understand reason and logic. It is something we suffer from, but again there is a threshold to it, beyond which it can be toxic for either of the two people involved.
The source of this conflict may arise from the lack of closure, and also because we don’t understand what to do with unrequited love. Not having direction and not knowing how to go about it is the worst kind of state of mind someone can be in.
The key is to focus on how to deal with unrequited love and get over it rather than put your life on hold in the hope that your love will somehow materialize.
Living With Unrequited Love
Unrequited love is not something that can go away when we would want it to. We wish it worked that way though. So when you cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel, the only way to go about it is through.
Coping with unrequited love might be one of the hardest things anyone has to do in their entire life. It is when your body and mind are telling you that you are in love and they are in sync to intensify your love, but only your sane, rational mind knows that nothing is going to come out of it. Yet, something about one-sided love keeps us hooked.
As heart-wrenching as it may sound, there is never any foolproof way that will tell you how to deal with unrequited love or tell you how to lessen your pain. But as someone who has been through it more than once, here are 6 things that happen when you are in “one-sided love.”
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1. The initial stages
The initial stages are the worst since you are equipped to deal with such a sense of doom. The feelings of resentment, regret, anger, and a lot of other emotions that come as a part of the package, overwhelm you.
All you do is think about the possibilities of joining the dots and having little moments with the person as and when you can. But little do you think of our sanity. It is very easy to fall in love, but the consequences of love can be dire.
It can drive you to do things that you wouldn’t possibly even imagine and that your self-esteem probably would not allow otherwise. The best way to go through the initial stage is by contemplation. Think of everything you can, do it to the point where you are tired enough to realize that there is no end to this vicious cycle. Hurtful as it may be, it’s essential for getting over unrequited love.
2. The “ifs” don’t exist
The “if” that clouds in our mind can be very dangerous since it brews most of our problems when we’re living with unrequited love.
Thinking induces a sort of added euphoria – imagining situations, thinking about what to say when you see them next, or contemplating whether or not to drop them a text or comment on a photo. The one thing that happens endlessly when you are falling in love is overthinking.
But the problem is that it kills you from within. Are we dealing with unrequited love the way we deal with life? It’s important to pause and ask ourselves this question. If we don’t, we risk messing up both parts of our lives. But we need to realize that we can’t isolate the two.
That “if” is there to stay, because getting over unrequited love is not in our control. But there are ways to minimize the number of times we think about the possibilities. These are nothing but little fantasies that we keep on feeding ourselves to function and be sad at the same time.
Related Reading: 12 Clear Signs You Are Infatuated And Not In Love
3. Getting to the root
Talk to that person, if you are on talking terms with them. Make sure that you get to a certain sort of understanding where they support you. That’s the least they can do, right? This walking on fire seems a tad bit easy when the other person is at least kind enough to be understanding about your feelings.
But that support is not always viable, since it depends on the situation. If you are completely out of touch with that person, it is better to cut them out temporarily and follow the No Contact Rule until you’re sure you’ve got a grip on your feelings.
You will feel the need to talk, but talking to them will only make things difficult since you will never find the answers you are looking for. It is not their responsibility to make you feel less sad; it is your own responsibility and it is on your own shoulders to make sure that you learn to move on.
4. Love is not the end of life
Years ago I watched a crass Hindi movie, but there was one line in it that makes so much sense now. “Love is not the heart of your life, it is a part of your life.” Your love for that person is what keeps you on them, but what if you start loving them from afar and try to bring back your mental peace? No one else can do that for you.
Having said that, I can understand how love works. Love doesn’t operate solely on attraction; it works in ways we can’t define. Your love for that person doesn’t need to be defined and soon with the familiar aspects coming in, you will fall into a slumber where you will not be able to differentiate affection from love. You start loving yourself, not necessarily, but it helps to put things under perspective.
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5. Find the closure that you deserve
Closure doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it is not even something that you can consciously bring about. It will happen when it has to and you cannot foresee it. But your peace comes first. If you are at peace with the fact they are not with you romantically and that they are not in love with you, that solves a lot of your major problems.
In fact, acceptance is not only the healthiest way of coping with unrequited love but also the first step toward moving on. If you are mature enough to have this basic understanding, you probably will not even need closure.
Once you choose peace over anything else, that’s where your battle of living with unrequited love is half won.
6. Love is indeed a four-letter word
Love, at the end of the day, is another emotion- just like happiness, sadness, anger or any other emotions. Even though it is more intense than the rest, if it is not nurtured and respected and acknowledged, eventually it fades too. When you’re wondering what to do with unrequited love, it helps to remain mindful of this fact. It will give you the clarity to see that the one you’re pining for isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of life.
Love is something that is there to stay in the world for you and many others. So can we really contain love to a single person when you have this whole world left to be explored? You will relapse but you will heal too. Dealing with unrequited love will become easy with time. And that is the beauty and the magic of emotions, in this case, love.
Just because a form of love isn’t returned in full, or sometimes not acknowledged, it does not mean that the person is not feeling the same kind of love and longing that couples in relationships do. Unrequited love is still very much love.
You can, but again, there is no one fixed answer to this. It depends on each individual. One can fall in love with their best friend. Does that mean they stop being friends after that? No.
That is something that you have to decide for yourself. Whether it is literal or symbolical for you, only you get to decide the course of your unrequited love.