Love is never an easy concept to grasp and those who have attempted to have often fallen short. But why? Why, in a world of 7 billion people, can our rationale go out of the window because of an attraction towards a fellow human being? Well, more often that not, it's because, love, amidst all the horrors and injustices in the world, is something that stays constant. It has allowed humans to navigate their way through life knowing they have someone there for them. Someone who cares. Who takes you for you. In sum, to love and to be loved is the greatest feeling of all and those who tell you otherwise are lying to themselves.
And that's why unrequited love is possibly one of the worst human emotions one will ever experience. Sure, platonic love is equally as important, but there's no denying the unquenching power that romantic love can bring to one's mindset. After all, most films, poems, plays, songs and most other artistic mediums include love which can make feeling sorry for yourself that tad easier.
But don't let your dejection drown you in you own self-loathing tears. Instead, let us take you through 10 ways to help you overcome that dreaded feeling of unrequited love.
1. Unattainable Dreams Never Come True
Unrequited love is often discovered pretty early on in the initial do they, don't they phase? In these cases, the game is almost alway up yet we like to believe what we want which gives us a lifeline of optimism that can keep us up all night and throw our concentration out of the window.
So what can be done? Well, it's simple. If the person you like exhibits no signs of wanting to be involved in anything romantic, then it's likely that they are being nice and not wanting to hurt your feelings.
But if you need the answer set out in stone, then be honest and ask them if they feel the same way. In most cases, you'll find they won't.
2. How Well Do You know Them?
More often that not, we're in love with the idea of being in love, and as a consequence paint a perfect picture of that person that probably isn't doing the real them justice, so you need to ask yourself what is it you like about them.
Is it their looks? Their comforting nature? Their career? It may even be their laugh. Whatever it is, you need to be sure. In most cases, you'll be so busy painting a perfect picture of them that you'll overlook bad habits and differences that further down the line might have destroyed the relationship.
3. Keep Yourself Busy
We know, we know. Easier said than done, right? Yes, when we like or love someone and realise the feeling isn't mutual we have a tendency to feel sorry for ourselves and put everything to one side.
In fact, we usually wonder what it would be like to have the privilege of calling them our partner, and envy those who are fortunate enough to have found romantic love. Blissful imaginations, however, serve only one purpose: heartache. So don't let one person dictate and control your life.
Instead, fill the void with meaningful and active hobbies and interests. Better still, if you're a fan of fitness get yourself in the gym. Not only will you be receiving your fair share of endorphins but you'll also be keeping yourself in tip-top shape and reminding yourself that you're a catch and that some day you're going to make another person incredibly lucky.
4. Date and Enjoy Being Single
The joys of dating are endless, and if you live in a big city, it's even better. Of course, you can be spoiled for choice considering the recent proliferation of dating apps, and it can sometimes promote a culture where the grass will always be greener.
What it does do better than anything else is add authenticity to the truism that there is someone out there for everybody and make you see for yourself that unrequited love isn't the end of the world and you will find someone who is probably even more to your liking. You may not find them straight away, but if you have fun and meet a wide array of interesting people you'll quickly relish your independence.
5. Focus on Yourself
Our goals can often be our driving force in life. Without one, we have little fuel to move forward. Said fuel can also be used up in a relationship. Why? Because we can get content, and that's not always good. So if you are still feeling the burn of not being loved back then see it as a blessing in disguise and one where you can focus on being anything you want to be without having to be dependent on another person's love.
Admittedly, you can still focus on yourself and be in a relationship, but it's much harder. So don't be too down in the dumps if they didn't want the same thing. Be happy that you can get back to the drawing board and continue on an upward trajectory where all your dreams have the potential of coming true.
6. Learn to Love Unconditionally
In extreme cases, the love people have for another is so strong that it goes beyond a mere fondness or infatuation and if you feel compelled to love this person regardless of his/her wants, then you may want to love them unconditionally.
It may sound sad, but more often than not we discount our love for someone the moment it isn't mutual and try our best to shake it, and if you know you will never stop loving them then you should learn to feel happy for them no matter who they are or aren't with.
That way, there's no sense of loss as you can move on knowing that they are happy with their decision and that one day they'll make someone else the luckiest person in the world.
7. Respect The Reasons Behind The Person's Decision
Everyone has a life they must lead, and to accommodate someone else isn't easy. Think about it. How big a commitment would it be to allow anyone into your life when you haven't time? Or if you've only just broken up with someone else? Or, if you simply don't feel strongly enough to have romantic feelings towards them?
In short, what goes around comes around, and there have probably been times when you've had to brush someone else's attraction or even love off as you didn't feel what they were. You can't always have it your way, so take account of their feelings and respect their decision.
Better yet, be happy that you managed to find someone you have a connection with and learn to look for similar qualities: that way you'll no more than ever when you've found the one.
8. Your Happiness Shouldn't Be Dependent On Someone Else
No matter how many times people tell you this, there's a reason: it's true. How many times have we fallen in love only to realise that the time invested in the relationship ended in nothing but sorrow and heartbreak?
We know the feeling of love is arguably the greatest feeling of all, but like with anything in life, the euphoria will eventually fade and get replaced with contentment, and if you weren't already confident in your skin, you certainly wouldn't be further down the relationship.
Not even a dream guy/girl can make you love yourself; it has to come from within. So get acquainted with the things that make you wonderful. Celebrate yourself and learn to be in a relationship with all things good about you and only you. You don't need to turn into a narcissist, but a little bit of self-confidence never hurt anyone.
9. Allow Yourself To Grieve
Grieve all you want. In fact, grieve until your tears become nothing but dry smudges on your skin. Just don't force yourself to continue being depressed and aimless. It's hard, we know. You finally found someone who makes even the most prepossessing of supermodels appear average and you're now contemplating having to feel depressed for the next few months.
What's more, every potential dating prospect will probably fall short. And you'll likely keep imaging a life with them instead of the person across the table from you- no matter how well-suited you are to them. So give it time. In many ways, the only thing to ever fill the void left from such a situation is time itself. Just don't let your grief swallow you up.
10. Romantic Media Never Fills The Void
Even if you're a guy, it's tempting to aid your self-loathing by listening to sad songs or watching a romantic movie due to 21-st century media's fascination with romantic love. Yet many things in life are equally as important. Like friendship, careers, passions, kindness, laughter and still, we forget about this stuff because we think that having a partner is the best thing in the world.
So avoid the next rom-com at all costs. Watch something uplifting instead. You may even find yourself smiling.