How To Cope With The Agony of Unrequited Love

February 9, 2012  |  
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Wallowing over unrequited love in a Shakespeare play (and even in a Judd Apatow movie) can be endearing and entertaining. We find these characters romantic—we believe they have the capacity to recognize a “catch” and we root for them to, well, catch them. In real life, if you have a friend who just won’t let a guy go, it is annoying, exhausting and depressing. If you are the one who won’t let a guy go, well…you just found out how your friends probably feel about you right now. Here’s why it’s hard to sympathize with the sufferer of unrequited love:

You haven’t found your soul mate

Did you know that you are actually compatible with 1 in every 11 people? That compatibility is based on not only personality traits but chemistry too. I have to say it: to believe that you’ve found “the one” is childish. It’s just not realistic that there is only one person who you could be happy spending your life with. You yourself should know from experience—from having multiple breakups in your life, after which you would think I’ll never love again yet somehow, you continued to find new people who excited you. You should know the feeling of compatibility is something we experience time and time again. You’re not giving up the possibility for that experience by giving up this guy.

The only chance you’ve got

I’ll be honest—you might eventually have a chance with this person. (I don’t want to give you too much hope) They might one day see you in a different light and want you, you just have to do one little thing…stop wanting them. If this man wakes up one day and sees you as a potential partner, it will be the day when he sees you’re dating other people and have given up on him. Why? Read on.

The catch 22

A man just can’t respect a woman who continuously pursues him, flirts with him, sulks in the corner when he is talking to someone else and clearly isn’t even making an effort to meet other men regardless of the fact that she is not getting the time of day from this original guy. It shows that that woman doesn’t respect herself. It shows she doesn’t hold herself at a high enough value to allow herself to experience other men. And if a woman doesn’t seem to value herself, why should a man?

Who is this really about?

Why do you really want to be with this person? He’s good looking, kind, ambitious, funny—okay, whatever. Refer to point #1. You can just find someone else. And even if you can’t, it’s better to be alone than to be desperately pining after someone who will never love you. Typically, if someone just won’t let someone go, it’s not about the love interest, it’s about the lover.

What he stands for

You might believe that having that someone would say something about you. Being with that person would confirm that you’re good looking, that you’re funny, that you’re successful. Whatever it may be—you see this person as a stamp of approval. But, you need to find a way to feel that stamp of approval from yourself. Otherwise, even being with that person won’t make you feel satisfied.

If none of the above applies

If you just can’t believe that you’ll meet someone else and if it really isn’t about an insecurity of your own but rather you simply are crazy about this person, accept other dates. Do it. Being in a state of unrequited love is much like being post-breakup. You refuse to expose yourself to other men when that is actually your cure. One date with one man—he may not be funny, ambitious, handsome and intelligent, but he might be 3 out of 4—and you’d be amazed at the power this has to make you go, “oh yeah…there’s a whole world of other humans out there.” You don’t need to go into it expecting to fall in love. You don’t have to do much work at all. Just be exposed to other men.

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