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  • K.L.

"Why doesn't she love me back?"


Unrequited love is a term used to describe a situation where one person has strong romantic feelings for another person who does not share those feelings. It is a common experience that can be both emotionally painful & confusing. Most romantic comedies, shows & even fairytales give a taste. Most of the time the love interest eventually takes them back or somehow they end up together, happily ever after. In real life, the outcomes are often much more complex.

Unrequited love is not a new phenomenon. It has been around since the beginning of time. Those who have had some time in a black church are familiar with the word Agape, particularly in relation to salvation. Agape generally referred to an unselfish love that was more concerned with giving than receiving. It was a love that was willing to sacrifice for the beloved, even if the love was not returned. The Greek belief that agape was the highest form of love, & it was the love that the gods had for humanity obviously influenced the church. They also believed that unrequited love was a necessary part of the human experience, & it was through the pain of unrequited love that one could learn to be a better person.

Today, psychologists view unrequited love as a form of attachment. When we develop feelings for someone, we create an attachment bond with them. When that attachment bond is not reciprocated, we experience emotional pain. This holds true whether it is a young human & its parents or two educated adults. The flood of chemicals & processes offset living in these states are alarming. Studies have shown that people who experience unrequited love are at a higher risk for depression, anxiety, & other mental health issues. However, some psychologists also believe that unrequited love can be a valuable learning experience that can help us grow & develop as individuals. For anyone of you who has someone on your heart heavy, there is no sign that the feeling is mutual & you so confused & frustrated you feel like you might pop, here are a few things to focus on over the next 3 weeks instead.

Focus on Loving You:

When we have the feeling of giving love & not receiving love, it is easy to feel like we are not good enough or worthy of love. However, this could not be further from the truth. It is often a sign we need to check in on our relationship with ourself. Self-love is essential in learning to love others. By loving yourself, you can build a strong foundation of self-confidence & self-worth that can help you weather the storms of unrequited love…& anything else. The key here is to make sure, SURE, that you are loving yourself in all of the ways you would like to be loved by this other person.

Don't Play the Blame Game:

It's easy to blame; ourselves or the other person. However, this is not a productive or healthy way to approach the situation. Instead, try to focus on the reality of the situation; what is. Not worse or better. Simply see what has been said & done, in context, as clearly as possible. It can help calm the emotions enough were one may see & accept that sometimes, love is not reciprocated. It's not a reflection of your worth as a person or their worth as a person. It’s just not a good fit.

Use Your Pain to Grow:

All pain , especially in love, can be an opportunity for growth. It can teach us about ourselves & what we want in a relationship & life. Use this time to reflect on what you want & need in a partner & what you can bring to a relationship. Use the energy of the pain to proactively prepare yourself & life for the ideal you create. This will help you become a better partner in the future.

Don't Give Up on Love:

Unrequited love can make us feel like giving up on love altogether. It's important to remember that romantic love is a beautiful thing & volatile & will come to you someday. Keep an open heart & an open mind. Follow the steps above to better understand yourself & gain clarity on what & whom you desire & make the personal adjustment & you will find the love you deserve.

Unrequited love is a painful and confusing experience that can leave us feeling lost, confused & alone. However, by balancing some ancient & current perspectives on unrequited love, we learn valuable optimization lessons that can help us grow & develop as individuals & couples. By focusing on self-love, not playing the blame game, using our pain to grow, & not giving up on love, we can navigate this complex experience with grace & dignity. Love is the key family. Don’t lose it!

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