Unrequited love or one-sided love is a relationship issue that’s so common but not often talked about. At most, we’re expected to give up and hope to meet someone new that we can share feelings with instead.
Whether you’re on the “one who wants to love” side or the “one who is being loved but can’t do the same in return” side, it can be hard to know what to do. These feelings can often lead to miscommunication, resentment, and self-shame. So, what are some ways to work around these feelings, and be able to move on from them? Here are some tips for both sides.
FOR THE ONES WHO LOVES TOO MUCH
Listen, we’ve all been there. It’s hard when you love someone and you know they haven’t been returning the feelings. It’s important to know that sometimes, you can’t do anything to change how they feel about you, and that’s okay. Don’t think you can force them, because you can’t.
-Try not to take it personally
Just because your partner doesn’t return the feelings, doesn’t mean they hate you. It’s important to remember that not liking you back romantically is just that — not romantic. It’s not a personal attack on you, and they probably enjoy your company otherwise. It doesn’t speak to your personality or you as a person. Parting ways with a mutual understanding of what sort of relationship you want from a partner may be your best bet.
-Focus on other relationships
Even if they’re not romantic, it’s good to focus on other relationships during this time. Friends and family are here to support you and remind you that you are loved. Also, it can be good to meet new people during this time. Eventually, the pain will fade, and you’ll learn that the other relationships in your life are just as good.
FOR THE ONE WHO’S LOVED
This one isn’t as talked about, but it’s important to know that your pain is still valid. It can be hard knowing someone wants a romantic relationship with you, but you’re just unable to return the feelings. Just like that person can’t force you, you also can’t force yourself.
–Evaluate what you want, not what they want
Say you did get into a relationship with someone who cares for you more than you care for them. Would that really make you happy? You shouldn’t have to pretend just to make the other person feel better. Because even if they feel better for a short moment, you not being able to reciprocate will eventually lead to both of your unhappiness. In times like these, you should prioritize your own needs for the sake of both of you.
It’s easy to feel like all you’re getting out of your relationship with the person is pain, especially when you don’t like them back romantically. But it’s good to be able to find something to hold onto so your memories aren’t all bad. Did you have a strong friendship? Did you learn something from your partner? Did you bond over something? It’s important to remember these things — because the relationship holds meaning, no matter which side you’re on.
By Caileigh Winslade, Senior, ChiArts
Instagram @fairytwist / Twitter @silverrebi
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