Unrequited Love – How it Feels Like to Love Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back

By: Youmna Halawa

Love is great. I’m trying not to sound cliche but really love is this great shared energy. Romantic love is the sharing of affection and desire between two humans. When expressed it creates happiness. It can create a home. It creates LIFE. Yet only when shared.

Then there is this other love. The unshared one. The one nobody likes. It even may not be regarded as “love” for some. And that is called unrequited love. This damned love is when affection and desire is in the mind of only one. The other loved one maybe rejecting the lover or just clueless of that love and doesn’t have the daydreams and butterflies for the lover. 

But is unrequited love heroic? Is it so brave and generous? Or is it a sign of weakness?   Is it painful, self demeaning, and self destructive? The hopeless romantic I am is torn between these questions, so I’m not doing this alone.

Many of us have gone through this draining feeling. The feeling that no matter how much you give, the one you love just doesn’t appreciate it. You feel so weak when the strength of your love just doesn’t matter. No matter what you do it doesn’t change a thing in their feelings. But because you love him or her, you hold on to the last strand of hope. You grip onto the little signs that are so valuable to you, you forget about all the other alarms that tell you “No, they’re not for you. It’s time to move on.” Your love makes you hopeful. It makes you postpone your happiness now for the possibility of the greater happiness that will come when both of you are in love. But regardless of how close you are to this love in your dreams, it is still so far away in reality, and there is nothing you can do about it. If you try to look prettier, more handsome, if you try to be cooler, seem smarter, even if you try to get them attached or if you’ve known them for years, or if you just chase them and show them straight up your love and affection, the feelings still don’t seem to be reciprocated. They just don’t love you back. 

It hurts to invest so much in a person and get nothing but shattered dreams in return. Yes there are countless types of toxic relationships built on supposed love between two people. There are millions of love stories that ended in broken hearts. But unrequited love makes one lose all faith in themselves. It makes one say “Really why not? Why don’t you love me like I love you? Am I not enough?” It makes you pity yourself. It makes you believe that you can still lose even if you work so hard on your dream. You still won’t get what you want even if you got all the good intentions in the world. All you ever wanted to do is love them. And they wouldn’t let you. They would only let you destruct yourself, have a never ending fear of rejection, fear of never being good enough no matter how hard you try, fear of the world being unfair to you again, too many times.

So is it really love if it destroys you? If it makes you lose yourself? If it ruins your confidence? If it breaks your faith in making any dream come true? Is it love if it makes you think the world is cruel?

What if someday, because the world can’t be more ironic, unrequited love can be the bravest thing you can do? Can it be a beautiful thing you hold so delicately with all its thorns just like a rose?

Unrequited love is beautiful. Yes it is. It is making the most fantastic of dreams out of a mere human. It is all this love inside of you and coming from only you. It’s loving alone because yes your heart is capable of carrying this love alone. It’s hope. It’s having hope to build something with this person you love just because you chose to. Just because you saw in them something so special you haven’t seen in anyone else. It’s the power to erase the flaws and beautify them, making him or her a perfect being. All this love and dreams may be just for you. All this energy is coming from your heart without any share from the loved one. With all the pain that comes with the shattered dream, you are still experiencing love and living those delicate feelings. With your bravery and all the love you have inside, you put yourself out. You give away your heart and your most precious of feelings, just for the sake of love, fearlessly, selflessly, and unconditionaly.

It is bravery, to fall in love knowing you might get nothing in return. Yet doing it anyway for the sake of love, for the sake of the greater hope. You still believe in yourself, so you dive in. You dive in those feelings and expectations knowing that you’ve got what it takes to get out when you need to. You fall knowing that you’ll get up, shake off the dirt, stand up strong again, and heal the scars, all while knowing that you had one hell of an experience, and survived it.

Unrequited love is like a dive in the ocean. You may love it, cherish it, never want to leave it. It can make you feel so happy. You can feel so attached to it like it’s yours. But it’s not. It can never be. You can’t stay there forever, no matter how bad you wanna stay or how beautiful it is. You’ll get tired, it will suffocate you, and drown if you don’t get out at some point. It’s not your place to be, so you must have the courage to let go just as you had to dive in. You’ll have to fight the waves, get back to the shore, take your breath, and feel the sand beneath you, and feel safe on the ground where you belong.

But then you ask why. Is it your fault you fell in love? Can you control that? Should you build those walls and swear you will never love again? Or should you fall in love with love? Fall in love with love just for the hope, for the ever present possibility of finding true love. That is what makes us cross our fingers and take that leap of faith every time, forgetting all the pain we’ve been through before and breaking all the promises we’ve promised ourselves. You never know when the time comes and you find the one who is the reason all the others before went wrong.

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