Unrequited love -- love that isn’t returned -- is a normal human experience, according to psychologist Roy Baumeister in a 1993 study published in “The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.” That might not make you feel better right now, but realize that you won’t die or be sad forever. It’s possible to get on with your life and find someone who will love you back.
Not Into You
It can hurt when you realize she isn’t into you, but you must accept that if you want to get beyond this experience. Don’t take it as a personal judgment of your worth or ability to find love, suggests therapist Mark Tyrrell in “How to Handle the Pain of Unrequited Love” on his Uncommon Help website. Your unreturned love could be what is best for the one you love and you right now, according to sex educator Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., in “Unrequited Love and Lust: When The One You Want Doesn’t Want You Back” for “Psychology Today.”
Reality vs. Fantasy
See the person you love as he really is, suggest Tyrrell. Once you set aside the fantasy relationship you built in your head, you can see things as they really are. In your romantic fogged state, you likely did not see the flaws in your unrequited love's personality, writes sports psychology consultant Nicole Forrester in “5 Steps to Dealing With Unrequited Love” for the Huffington Post. Seeing his true character can help you realize that he’s only human with flaws and value like everyone else. Your life would not have been magical with him.
It’s easy to become distracted with thoughts about this person, but it won’t help you get over the hurt. Get busy with life and meeting your needs, suggests Tyrrell. Take a new class, start a new hobby, spend time with friends, volunteer and help others or any other activity that will fill up your mind and keep you from obsessing about your rejection.
Renounce the Lost Love
Avoid the rejecting person so you aren’t reminded of your hopeless love, suggests Forrester. Don’t call, text, speak to or about her. The less time she spends in your brain, the easier it will to move forward. If you share classes or work together, find ways to avoid spending time together or working on the project.
Seeking True Love
Look to the future and visualize returned love from someone new, suggest Tyrrell. Forrester agrees, suggesting you get busy dating in a search for someone who will love you and value you for the unique and wonderful person you are. See yourself happy and being loved, not chasing after someone who doesn’t value what you have to give. You deserve a happy, healthy loving relationship where love flows in both directions.
- APA PsycNET: Unrequited Love: On Heartbreak, Anger, Guilt, Scriptlessness, and Humiliation
- The New York Times: Pain of Unrequited Love Afflicts the Rejecter, Too
- Uncommon Help: How to Handle the Pain of Unrequited Love
- Psychology Today: Unrequited Love and Lust: When The One You Want Doesn’t Want You Back
- Huffington Post: 5 Steps to Dealing With Unrequited Love
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