The one storyline that really hits home for some people is being in love with someone you can’t have. Raise your hand if you have ever been there! Most of us have experienced a one-sided love affair. It isn’t something to be ashamed of, but it is something you have to deal with. It may start off innocently enough, you see someone and think they are just the most perfect person ever and want to spend the rest of your life tangled up with them.
But they don’t even know you exist – or worse yet, they are someone they think of as ‘just a friend.’ You may see them every day, you may work with them or go to school with them. You may even finish each other’s sentences – but you can’t have them. They are in love with someone else or don’t see you as anything but a friend. It hurts. Sometimes it hurts so much you don’t think you can stand it any longer. So, why do you torture yourself? There is that little part of you that is hoping that one day they will realize that they love you.
You are a hopeless romantic and are waiting for the day they realize how much you care for them. Well, it could happen, they may realize that they want to spend the rest of their life with you, but, until they do – it hurts, every day. How do you deal with the pain? How can you wake up and face another day? We have assembled a list of 15 ways you can cope with the pain of unrequited love.
These first few tips will help you if you still cling to the hope that you may one day be together. Like Clark Kent and Lois Lane or so many other movie and television stories. Happy endings do happen, but some take time. Until that day comes, the pain will have to be dealt with – so read on to find out what you can do to make it more bearable.
1. Be happy with the time you share with them
But be sure not to press for more time. In other words, don’t get greedy. If you try and spend more time with them, they could say no! The pain of rejection could be worse than the pain you already live with. Live in the moment and be happy with what you have.
2. Do not ask any questions if you don’t really want the answer
For example, don’t ask them “Did you ever have feelings for me?” or “Aren’t I as good as he/she is?” If the object of your affections hasn’t ever seen you as anything but just a friend, you can bet the answers to those questions will not make you happy. So why ask? If it hurts, then don’t do it. That is good advice in just about every situation you will face in life.
3. Enjoy your time with hobbies
Sounds silly, yes, but what else are you going to do? Pine over your lost love? Stalk them? Really, you should have more self-respect than that! Dive into your favorite hobby. As the saying goes “Busy hands are happy hands.” The worst thing is to be bored. Who knows, while you are out watching a movie or visiting your local bookshop, you may run into someone who enjoys you as much as you enjoy them!
4. Protect your feelings while being a good friend
Yes, you want to be the person they run to when they need a shoulder to cry on. But, be sure that you don’t give them everything you have. You have to protect yourself too. You can be the person they vent to and share their problems with. But don’t let yourself help them plan that perfect romantic evening with their beloved! Talk about needing a shoulder to cry on!
5. Have friends you can turn to
Whether you have a BFF who knows all about your unrequited love or not, you need friends. You can’t live your life all alone while pining for someone. Get a life, have friends. You can have fun without the object of your affections being by your side. They are probably having fun with their beloved – so, you should have some fun too. You will need to go out with friends to laugh and share or just forget things for an evening.
6. Stay away from situations that hurt
Makes sense – right? Why do something you know will hurt?! Try to avoid going to a party that you know they’re going to be at with their partner. Why torture yourself like that? Nothing good will come from it – so don’t do it!
You have to cope somehow, so when you are with the person you love, be with them totally give them 100%. But, when you are not with them, don’t keep thinking about them, focus on what you are doing. It will take practice, but it is a useful skill. With time, you will find that you spend less time thinking about them and you will be much happier!
8. Give yourself 30 minutes every day to allow yourself to sulk, pout, and grieve
Set your clock and go! Yes, it sounds crazy, but it will help you get it out of your system. You won’t be consumed all day with these feelings if you get them all out during your 30 minutes.
What if time has passed, but you still find yourself stuck? Maybe you want things to change or just want to be left alone. Either way, the choice is yours. The items below may help you banish the pain once and for all.
9. You are not okay – so stop pretending
The more you push down those feelings, the worse you will feel. Fake it until you make it is the worst thing you can do! Set some boundaries – like you won’t go shopping with them to buy lingerie they will give to their love. Tell them it hurts. Be honest about your feelings, and let others be honest about theirs. It takes the mystery out of things when you open up or don’t hide what you are feeling.
10. Limit contact with them
It really is for your best interest. If you know, you can’t have them, seeing them often will just make things worse. Yes, seeing them makes you happy – but you know that you will have to leave and the happy feeling will go away too. You deserve to be happy all the time, not just when you are with someone else. Protect yourself first.
11. Go out on a date
You deserve it. You deserve to be loved. Put yourself out there and see what it is like to be doted on and adored! If the person you adore is truly a friend, they will be happy for you! Who knows, maybe this will be the push your unrequited love needs to ask you out!
12. Avoid social media!
Yes, you are probably friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. STOP! Those photos and posts of your ‘love’ are just going to cause you agony and pain. Don’t torture yourself, you don’t need to see how happy they are with someone else. Move on.
13. Put your feelings down in writing
Writing about your feelings is a well-known therapy technique – and it is free. Start a diary, there are apps for it too! Or grab a pen and paper and just let it all out! Wait a few weeks or days and go back and read it. It may help you to see what you were experiencing and how you got through it. You may also realize just how ‘insane’ you let yourself become over them!
14. Write to yourself a letter
Tell yourself how you feel. Yep – this one sounds crazy too, but it is one simple way to start to regain your lost self-esteem. You can also begin to forgive yourself and start making plans for yourself. Give yourself permission to move on and be happy.
15. Tell them how you feel, but don’t expect anything in return
All that tension inside will melt away once your ‘secret’ is out. You will feel better, even if they don’t return the sentiment.
Unrequited love is not for the faint of heart. It can be extremely painful to love someone that doesn’t love you back. But it shouldn’t consume you and your life. You can’t pressure or guilt someone into loving you. Relationships require honesty, respect, and most importantly – they take two.
You can’t have a productive, long-lasting relationship when only one of you cares. Relationships are fifty-fifty. Finally, you do need time to grieve and move past it – but when that is over you should stand tall and be proud! You have to take care of yourself first. Take care of your heart, your body, and your feelings. Learn to love yourself, and then you will be better able to love others.