Dealing With Unrequited Love

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No matter who you are, no matter how beautiful, or smart, or virtuous,  you will face rejection from a love interest. This is a natural fact of life. Even Narcicus himself faced rejection, and isolation, being that there was no one able to appreciate him quite like he could he died alone staring at his own reflection. Alas, this might not be the fate all of us have to face, but the pangs of unrequited love are certainly universal to us all.  But how are we to cope with feelings that arise when we are shunned from the partnerships and communities we so wish to enjoy? Here are some tips that we’ve come to rely on that may helpful to remember:

1. Timing is everything.
Passionate connections are not platonic economic transactions. They are passionate engagements that require both people be open to sharing parts of themselves. Since our prioties change in seasons in our lives it can be entirely possible that the person we love is not in the “mood” to love or beloved. Often we hear about this in terms of emotional availability. If you are open and they are closed, there is nothing you can do about it except wait, or move on, and you can’t tale responsibility for opening them up if they are not ready.

2. Compatibility is not the same as conformativity
Marilyn Monroe is quoted as having said “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I”m not.” What is beneath this catchy phrase is the truth that belonging, requires authenticity, and authenticity requires vulnerability. If you are hoping to change yourself to become someone the other person wants, then your romance will either be painful, short lived, or both. If things are not matching up, then it means some compromise have to be made to keep the partnership in tact, but there is always a cost to every compromise.

3. Sometimes, it IS personal.
In business we can get away with relying on price imbalance or poor quality to avoid the fact that much of our decisions are based on irrational desires. With love it is not so easy to avoid stating that sometimes we simply just aren’t feeling it. It in these moments that we realize our acceptance is the only thing that will give us peace. While it may feel otherwise romantic rejection is in no way tied to our own worthiness for love or connection. It simply means that we will not receive it from a single particular person in the way we choose.

4. Adjust Expectations

Once we have realized things are not working out as we desired we may need to recalibrate what we are hoping for. There is a subtle difference between wanting something and hoping for it. Verbally wanting  may sound something like,  “that would be lovely” whereas the language of hope may sound like, “maybe one day”. It is our responsibility to be manage our eagerness for our own sake. By working to grief that loss of hope we can begin to release our desires.

5. Move on

In some cases it may be too difficult for us to let go of the feelings we have for someone and it may we require that we create space in the relationship to mend and refocus on other important things (or people). Our feelings may never change but with some time we can learn to get by with them as they are.

6. Realize their faults 

Sometimes what makes our infatuations powerful is our blindness to the subject of our affections negative characteristics. By realizing that they are human, first learning that you mostly likely want to be with someone that appreciates you as you are, other imperfections may become noticeable. You may find that you are being done a favor in the long run, and their reluctance or inability to see the good parts of you is a fault of their own.

7. Acknowledge your needs

Partnerships are always rooted in some kind of give and take. If you can isolate what it is that’s attracting you to the person, perhaps you can fill the deficit in your life through another relationship or activity. General loneliness can not be cured by getting in a relationship, but instead finding out what kind of fulfillment you hope to gain you can be more present and secure in your relationship because you are more aware of your own needs.

In the moment, it maybe impossible to even read these suggestions but with any luck you will read them now and some of it will stick in your head to help you cope with the loss of an opportunity to connect with someone you admire in a special way.

 

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