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6 Ways to Cope With Unrequited Love

6 Ways to Cope With Unrequited Love

Sometimes, Cupid flies in where he’s not wanted, shoots his arrow without looking and as a result, misses and hits the wrong person. And so, an unrequited love begins.

Unrequited love is a more common thing when you are a teenager: a period when you form your thoughts about yourself, your identity, and about the image of your ideal partner.

Further psychological maturation is associated with building long-term relationships in which the image of a partner is saturated with some new (and not always attractive) details. Some young men and women stay in the world of fantasy for a long time, preferring not to grow up and make friends with reality.

However, even otherwise mature adults find unrequited love to be intensely painful. When you hold strong feelings towards someone who doesn’t return them, you have been rejected. Rejection always hurts, but it stings even more in a romantic context. This is because it feels so personal. You may start to wonder what is wrong with you. It’s tempting to pick yourself apart, looking for the flaws that apparently make you unlovable. It’s hard to accept that sometimes, the chemistry just isn’t there on their end, and that the two of you will never be together. The romantic dreams you held have been shattered. No-one plans to fall in unrequited love, and it’s difficult when things don’t go as you expect or hope.

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Romantic rejection not only leaves behind emotional scars, but it can cause physical pain and even disease. Research has shown that heartbreak is so stressful that those who have suffered a recent bereavement, relationship breakdown or other psychological trauma are at elevated risk of heart attack and physical pain. Our bodies and emotions are tightly interlinked.[1]

One can take a look at the problem from a very different side. Unrequited love is the engine of the world’s art. There would be no brilliant sonnets of Petrarch without Laura, and if there was no Beatrice, we might not see that Dante, who affected the whole European literature of later times. But unlike them, none of us is willing to spend our whole life in splendid melancholy solitude. Those people who do not have mutual love, still dream of being loved.

If your feeling of love for another person isn’t mutual, here are 6 ways to cope with your feelings of unrequited love.

1. Say Goodbye to all Illusions

Maybe you think the person you have your eye on has a crush on you too.  This hopeful thought can keep you up at nights.  So what should you do? Try to set some criteria or terms.  For example, if the person you like doesn’t show signs that they are interested in you (ie: doesn’t go out of their way to talk to you, hasn’t asked you out or isn’t interested in hanging out with you) it’s time to come to terms with the fact that your crush probably does not feel the same way about you.

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“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” – Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding

2. Try to Know Them Better

Nobody is perfect. We all know this statement, but when you are in love, it becomes more and more difficult to agree with that fact. If you do not know your crush well, you always tend to idealize and romanticize him/her. You can’t believe that such a great person may have drawbacks, bad habits, negative attitude towards something important to you, etc. Try to know your crush better, and you may learn something about him/her, that will break your obsession.

“Unrequited love does not die; it’s only beaten down to a secret place where it hides, curled and wounded. For some unfortunates, it turns bitter and mean, and those who come after pay the price for the hurt done by the one who came before.” – Elle Newmark, The Book of Unholy Mischi

3. Isolate

Those of us, who suffered from unrequited love at least once, remember how difficult but desirable it may be to communicate with your crush: you are shy, you can’t think clearly, but you still want to make an impression, you long for his/her presence, you want to know about his/her every step, you want your crush to pay attention to you, and you try to contact him/her as often as possible. It sounds and looks a bit like paranoia, doesn’t it? Try to isolate a bit. Do not check his/her Facebook page every second minute, do not ask your common friends about him/her, do not visit the places s/he visits every day.  If your crush is out of sight, inevitably, they’ll be out of your mind.

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“When unrequited love is the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes you settle for the daily special.” – Miranda Kenneally, Catching Jordan

4. Distract Yourself

When in love, we can’t think of anything but our crush. We imagine how wonderful it would be to spend time with them, we dream about them, and forget about everything and everyone around  us. To get your mind off this person, find something that brings you pleasure and do this as often as possible when you have a free time on your hands. Indulge in your hobbies – even better if your hobby involves going outside or sports, which gives your body endorphins, that give the same effect as love does.  Who knows? Maybe your undying love is just a way for you to escape boredom.

“Only three things are infinite: the sky in its stars, the sea in its drops of water, and the heart in its tears.” – Gustave Flaubert

5. Go on a Date

We realize the last thing you want to do when you’re crushing on someone is to go out with other people but it’s exactly what you need to do! If you suspect or know for a fact that the love is not mutual, staying at home moping around what would’ve been isn’t doing you any good.  Get out there and try to live your life in full! Ask a friend or a colleague you’d like to get to know better out for coffee or dinner to a new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try.  You know you’re not ready for a relationship, so the pressure that this person could be ‘the one’ is off the table right off the bat, upping your chances on having a great time and possibly making an amazing friend in the process.

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“When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.” – Sylvia Plath

6. Love Yourself

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 to turn it off deliberately and go to search for a real mutual love.

“Self-love seems so often unrequited.” – Anthony Powell

    Reference

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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