Unrequited Love: We’re all searching for love. Some people spend most of their lives searching for required love in fact, and in doing so go through bad relationships after a bad relationship. Don’t you just love it when Cupid fires that arrow at what feels like the same person over and over for you?
You’d think after so many arrows, that he’d have learned better aim, right? Yes, a lot of times it can feel like that as if the world is conspiring to have you repeat the same relationship over and over. Like Cupid hitting the wrong person with the arrow. You find yourself in a completely one-sided relationship. This is unrequited love; when you find yourself holding strong feelings directed at someone who simply doesn’t return them to you. And it can be a pretty painful experience.
When it comes to health and happiness, unrequited love can be a tsunami of pain and rejection. Romantic rejection and denial tend to leave some of the deepest emotional scars on your heart. We remember those times when it hurt the most. There are things that you can do, however, to learn from these painful times and step out of them; even avoid them altogether. As with any lesson the universe in all her infinite wisdom tends to bring the same opportunity for learning into your life until you learn from it.
Here are a few things to look for to help you learn how to deal with and then also avoid unrequited love going forward in your life.
1. Take your time, get to know them
Have you ever been in a new relationship and noticed that after about the three-month mark, something happens that makes you take a second look at your crush/partner? People have a tendency to tell us exactly who they are through their actions. Take the time to get to know your new crush honestly, and openly. Don’t rush into things just because you’re excited. Pay attention to what they say but also take notice of their actions. It’s there that the red flags will show up. If something they do makes you take a pause, listen to that pause.
2. Don’t force it
Someone wise once said that love is like a fart, if you have to force it, it’s probably crap. While not exactly elegant, it is quite profound. The thing about unrequited love is that most of the time one person in the relationship dynamic is forcing aspects of it. Forcing the fun while the other is faking the laughter, and in most cases. the one forcing things has a big, romanticized version of the entire relationship. Welcome to unrequited love. Requited love is never something that needs to be forced or fought for because it is equal.
Most of the time when you find yourself in a relationship that is one-sided, at some point during the course of it, the person less or not interested has communicated as much. The problem with requited love is that we get so caught up in the romance and idea of what the relationship is that we miss out on any actual communication. When you slow down and listen, you will find yourself able to hear the communication of the other person in the relationship. If they’re telling you they don’t know where this is going, or that they’re having second thoughts, listen to them! Otherwise, you risk getting to the much loved and sought-after conversation that ends with, “It’s not you, it’s me.” In fact, that is quite the honest communication from the person sharing it, because it means they’ve come to the point where they’re finally being listened to something they’ve been saying all along. Hesitation is a red flag to look for that will help you avoid getting into another unhealthy relationship.
4. Love yourself
The biggest key to avoiding relationships that are toxic and one-sided is to take the time to love yourself first. This isn’t being selfish, it means you’ve taken the time to respect yourself, know what you want in relationships, love your personality, and most importantly, know your worth. Once you know your worth, you’ll start being able to recognize the signs and avoid repeating toxic relationships.
Knowing the signs starts with knowing your worth, there are many other things to look for when you’re getting to know someone, these are just a few that can help get you on the right path to health and happiness. In the great words of Sylvia Plath, “When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.” Learn and love, that is the way.
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