One-sided love has been epitomised by Forrest Gump in the movie by the same name. He kept loving his best friend Jenny Curran all his life but she never reciprocated, except for a one-night make out session that she treated more like a mistake. But could Forrest move on from his one-sided love? No he couldn’t forget his one-sided love. He kept loving Jenny, only to realise years later they have a son together.
One-sided love is usually punctuated by tears, heartbreak and long-term suffering as people in such a relationship find it hard to move on. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil depicted the heartbreak and loss that comes with one-sided love. Nonetheless, we see Shah Rukh Khan as Saba’s ex-husband romanticizing one-sided love. In the course of the movie, he explains why unrequited love can sometimes be stronger than love where there is reciprocation.
Have you ever been in one-sided love, or seen signs of unrequited love at close quarters? In the movies it could be all about hanging on to the one-sided love and then finally there is togetherness and a happy ending. But, in reality, sometimes moving on is essential.
In reality the pain of one-sided love can be unbearable. It is probably easier to move on from a one-sided crush but if it’s turned into love then sometimes unrequited love can result in depression.
We did an exclusive interview with psychiatrist Dr Manu Tiwari. In this interview, he advises us on how to move on from one-sided love. According to him, the task could be supremely difficult but it is very much doable.
What are the signs of one-sided love?
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Generally, any relationship is about reciprocal communication. We will, of course, understand whether there is reciprocity, be it reciprocity of love or any formal relationship. So, it’s important that what I say is heard by them and what they say is heard and understood by me.
1. Only one person initiates communication
In the case of a one-sided love or one-sided relationship, only one person initiates the communication and gets more seriously involved than the other person. More often than not, the other person is casual about it.
It is the person who is in love who is always texting, calling or making plans. The other person could be going with the flow but there is no initiative on their part.
2. One person is too serious
So, when you start to spot the signs of one-sided love, what essentially happens is that one person is taking things very seriously. They are fulfilling all the wishes of the other person – even the smallest ones, and the other isn’t.
And with time you start to pick up on these signs if you are the one giving it your all. You could be the one picking them up from work or gym everyday, you are the go-to person for all their emotional needs but when you need them, they are not there for you.
3. One person is always compromising
He/she is compromising his/her time to adjust to the other person who is his/her object of desire. His other relationships and time of enjoyment are getting compromised because of one-sided love.
All your other relationships have taken a backseat but your object of desire is most of the time too busy with their life, to be able to understand what you are giving up for them.
4. You feel depressed because of one-sided love
Another one of the signs of one-sided love is when you feel unfulfilled and unloved. You’re giving your all but getting nothing in return. There can be an emptiness inside of you that you just can’t put your finger on.
So you feel low and even depressed. But there is a silver lining at the end of every dark cloud and hence it is possible to move on from one-sided love.
How To Move On From One-Sided Love
Once you know the facts of one-sided love, it is easier for you to understand that you are grappling with unrequited love.
First, any person who is in one-sided love must clearly be able to understand that they are in a one-sided relationship. They must be able to recognize the fact that their love is one-sided and it is not reciprocated and accept it.
A very simple example I can give you is this; if you like/love someone, it does not mean that the other person will like or love you. So, if the other person does not reciprocate your feelings with the same intensity – that does not mean you are a bad person or you are not good enough. You just have to learn to cope with unrequited love.
Generally, it happens, that when a person gets rejected in a one-sided love or relationship they automatically tend to conclude that they are a failure. One feels one is not worthy enough, one is not good enough in unrequited love.
They blame themselves for failing to inspire love in the other person while coping with unrequited love and moving on. Firstly, one has to accept the fact that one is in a one-sided relationship. Secondly, the sense of hopelessness and “I’m not good enough” should not be there.
Of course, it is normal to have feelings of self-doubt. But it’s important to get over those feelings and recognise the fact that you are worthy of love even if this time it didn’t work out. The fact that the person you had communicated your feelings to has not reciprocated your feelings does not mean that the person is bad, or you are bad.
For example, if someone likes chocolate ice cream and someone else likes vanilla ice cream, it does not make chocolate ice cream better or worse or vice versa. Everyone has their own individual tastes. This is the most important factor to keep in mind while learning how to move on from one-sided love.
Now, if you’ve approached someone for a relationship, they might have their own criteria for liking a person and you might not fulfil that. For this reason, you are stuck in a one-sided relationship. It doesn’t mean that you are a failure or you aren’t worthy of any love. Your unrequited love should not make you feel inferior in any way. You need to take the decision to move on from the one-sided relationship.
Related Reading: What Does It Mean When You Dream About Your Crush?
Steps to take to get over a one-sided relationship
Dealing and coping with unrequited love and moving on is arduous but not impossible. I’m often asked “how to move on from one-sided love?” and here are a few tips I swear by.
These are the things you must do to get over a one-sided relationship:
- Be confident about yourself and everything will fall into place starting then and there itself.
- Build/promote bonding with yourself. Adapt yourself to that phase in a healthy way. Self-love is one of the most important aspects of coping with unrequited love and moving on
- Cultivate some activities/hobbies which will help you keep your mind of constantly thinking about the love you lost or how to get over a one-sided relationship
- If you incorporate some outdoor activities or some socialising activities in your schedule, it can help you to interact and mingle with other people as well. This means you should not isolate yourself. You should be able to communicate with other people by cultivating these habits/activities.
- Work on managing your feelings and expression of those feelings in unrequited love. Some introspection can go a long way
Again, how to get over a one-sided relationship is a highly individualistic experience, unique to every person. What’s important is that at the end of the day you’re dealing with this heartbreak in a healthy manner. You have to ensure you are coping with unrequited love and moving on by doing things that make you happier.
How does one get over the frustration that comes with one-sided love?
Many people get frustrated in one-sided love and try to induce self-harm or try to commit suicide. Depression due to one-sided love is also common. Coping with unrequited love and moving on is one of the hardest things in life and this is one of the major disadvantages of one-sided love.
Being rejected in a one-sided love is not the end of the world. It is simply that a person has declined your proposition. It does not mean you are a failure or this is the end of life. This is just a milestone in your life. What should you do in such a scenario? You should cultivate resilience.
You should be back to living life the way you used to without falling back into the cycle of depression.
Now, how should you cultivate resilience? By regularly involving yourself in physical activities – be it on your own or with like-minded people who participate in groups for activities like hiking, trekking, cycling etc, indulge in group hobbies (there are many hobby groups), by doing social work for the welfare of the community.
You would need self-discipline and determination to back off from someone you like. If you’re still wondering how to get over a one-sided relationship, just understand that this is only the failure of a relationship and not your personal failure.
You are good in various other activities, in your case, there has not been a reciprocation of love, however, as a person you are strong. You have to believe in the future and your positive identity.