Unrequited Love – What it Is and How to Deal With the Pain it Causes

Experiencing unrequited love is not at all an uncommon occurrence in life, so much so that this phenomenon has been a topic in every art form, from paintings and novels to music and movies. Sometimes causing just as much pain as a breakup, it’s a true form of heartbreak and not too far off from feelings of grief. When enveloped in such pain, there are things to do to overcome it.

Lonely teddy bear left on a bench
What Is Unrequited Love

Simply put, this is love that isn’t being returned. It can happen if one falls for an unavailable person or one that doesn’t share the same emotional interest. Alternatively, this can happen in established relationships where one partner has become distant and the relationship became one-sided. The feeling that people experience from unrequited love is deep pain and can somewhat equate to feelings of grief, not unlike those that people go through during a breakup. However, with a bit of time, self-care, and determination, this can be overcome.

A depiction of a broken heart
Avoiding Self-Blame and Being Objective

When experiencing unrequited love, many people tend to blame themselves. They begin to think that they’re not good enough or somehow unworthy of the other person’s love and attention. Although introspection is always healthy, unfounded self-blame can be quite harmful and lead to a loss of self-esteem. By looking at the situation objectively and understanding the other factors that led to the love being unrequited, it’s possible to get a clearer picture of the situation and not blame oneself. Take off the rose-tinted glasses, and see the other person for who they are rather than the idealized version of themselves our mind created.

rose-colored glasses in the shape of a heart
Setting Boundaries

Longing for a person that doesn’t return the same feelings, much as remaining in a one-sided relationship, is a painful experience. Although it’s impossible to control or change other people, a change of perspective and setting clear boundaries is always an option. Writing down one’s vision of what a committed relationship should be, makes it easier to see what’s lacking in the existing one. If the boundaries aren’t met, it’s healthier to walk away.