Categorized | Love & Dating

Unrequited Love: When Cupid Gets It All Wrong!

Love, unrequited, robs me of my rest: Love, hopeless love, my ardent soul encumbers: Love, nightmare-like, lies heavy on my chest, And weaves itself into my midnight slumbers! ~ William S. Gilbert

It’s not uncommon to have romantic feelings toward a person who does not feel the same way about you. Who we love sometimes has neither rhyme nor reason. At least on the surface, it appears this way. But, just because Cupid got this one all-wrong doesn’t mean that you aren’t in a lot of pain. Undeniably, there are few experiences more painful than knowing that the person whom you love doesn’t love you back.

Indeed, unrequited love weighs heavily upon you. It took courage to put yourself out there, to say: “Heh, I love you; do you love me back?” And, even if you are better than some at enduring rejection, one-sided love just doesn’t feel good.

There are many articles and books on this topic (Ten Steps to Getting Over Unrequited Love; How to Get Over Someone; and How to Handle the Pain of Unrequited Love). They give you tips on controlling your impulse to compulsively call, email or text the uninterested party. But, few, if any, ask you the really tough questions about why this happened to you.

There’s something going on inside of YOU that makes you persist, although every piece of information says that this relationship is a no go. Thus, you can block the person’s email address, phone number, and any other way that you have of contacting him or her, to get ahold of yourself. But, until you understand what made you fall for the wrong person, in the first place, then, you will be at risk for unrequited love once again. You can use this tough situation as a way to grow and learn, so that the experience is put to good use. Let’s start right now.

Dare to Ask Yourself the Tough Questions


Unrequited love is about YOU. To recover fully, you have to ask yourself the right questions, beginning with: Why are you pursuing a person romantically who does not want to return your love?  What makes you persist in this painful situation? What’s happening in your life right now that makes you vulnerable to a one-sided love?

Let me guide you, here. I’m going to ask you some questions that will help you to better understand why you got into this situation. These questions will help to move you away from fantasy and into reality. Oh, I can feel some of you squirming right now. I understand. You want to stay in a fantasized relationship to this person, because it’s your only connection to him or her.

Will you take a risk? Take your time; let the following questions bring you back to your good senses and away from the nightmare that’s been weighing heavily on your heart and mind. Remember, I have faith that you can do this. Are you ready?

  1. What is it that you can’t accept about having love unreturned to you? Are you stubborn, have to have it your way, or are you afraid of being alone? Maybe, it’s a little of both. You may be stubborn and controlling. You see the signs that your love is one-sided, but choose to ignore them.  If you see yourself here, try to remember that you can’t make something happen, just because you desire it. Make your mantra, from this point forward, “Love is two-sided.” On the other hand, perhaps, you can’t accept the situation, because the fantasy of the relationship is better than being alone, once again. You are not the first, to feel this way. Many people stay in bad relationships because they don’t want to be alone. Don’t fear emptiness more than having your love unreturned. YOU will still be there. And, what could be more important than you? Take, for example, Sandra. Sandra fell madly in love with a man who did not return her affection. But, he was willing to use her finances and her shoulder to cry upon. By all appearances, most of you would say, “Sandra, are you crazy?” “This guy is using you?” But, given Sandra’s limited social experience, it was understandable why she persisted, even though she knew that he didn’t love her back. It was the first time that Sandra experienced herself as feminine and sexual. If she accepted that he didn’t love her, then, she would lose all this. Thus, think deeply about why you can’t accept that your love is one-sided. Don’t let questions, like, “Why doesn’t he love me?” “Will he ever love me?” keep you stuck in fantasy. It doesn’t matter, at this point, why he doesn’t love you. What matters is do you love yourself enough to let go of this hurtful situation?
  2. What features of the unavailable lover feel so attractive to you? If you examine what you are so attracted to in this fantasy lover, you may come to understand what you have been missing in your life. Sandra, for example, loved this guy’s carefree way of being. He was a total narcissist, by any measure. He was a 34- year-old man who drank too much and didn’t feel responsible for anyone or thing. In contrast, Sandra had been working since she was 15-years-old. She came to America, learned a trade, and has been taking care of herself, ever since. Sandra epitomizes responsibility. Do you see where I’m going here? Sandra needed to become more carefree. This is why he seemed so attractive to her. If she had more psychological awareness into herself, she wouldn’t have had to bring this difficult situation into her life, in order to see what she needed to become more whole. 
  3. Do you have enough meaning and purpose in your life? A core human need is the need for meaning and purpose. It’s a direction of living that unfolds your inner spirit. Who are you? What motivates you? What do you want to achieve in this life? If you haven’t explored what’s important to you, sufficiently, you will look for meaning outside of you, and, then, rely solely on romantic relationships to define your life purpose. This is when you are apt to make mistakes in love. Thus, consider if the drama of a one-sided love has given your day-to-day life meaning and purpose. If, so, you need to start discovering what is important and worthwhile for you to pursue. I guarantee you that when you find this purpose, you will feel so good about yourself that if someone doesn’t like you back, you’ll say adios faster than the blink of an eye.
  4. Outside of unrequited love, is there a stressor in your life that has lowered your confidence, judgment, and self-control? Stress can lower your ability to cope with difficult situations, like facing that the person you like romantically doesn’t like you back in the same way. Stress disorganizes and confuses us and makes us more impulsive. At such times, it’s much easier to engage in repetitive, irrational behavior than to calmly think through what we are doing and what is happening to us. Obsessive love is one way to keep your mind occupied from what is really troubling you. The drama of stressful situations produces dramatic behaviors in us. Thus, reduce your stress. Don’t let the drama of unrequited love preoccupy you so that you don’t have to think about solving the more challenging problems you face. Exercise, meditate and do yoga to relax, so that you can think clearly, feel good about yourself, and function with self-control once again.
  5. Do you have little to no social interaction daily? If you say “Yes” to this question, you don’t have enough people, activity and interests going on that make you feel like life is worthwhile. You risk feeling empty and lonely. You may be so lonesome for meaningful inspiration that you jump at any opportunity for romance, even when the person isn’t right for you. Thus, find a way to inspire yourself through new friends and activities. Expand your range of experience. Better yourself through some self-help group. Learn something new. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take up ballroom dancing, guitar playing, or some other activity. Go do it. To feel passionate about your life and confident once again, you must expand your experience, so that you’ll open up new friendships and living opportunities.
  6. Last, but not least, how well do you handle rejection? Life gives us plenty of experience to learn how to manage our frustration around unreturned affection. Part of the socialization process is to help us to endure the painful lesson that not everyone likes or loves us ~ everyone is not going to return our affection and love. I recall, once, on an overnight camping trip, a schoolmate told the other girls not to play with me, because I came from another culture. “Ouch”, right? This was one of my first social experiences of having my desire for friendship unreturned. Sure, it hurt, but I tolerated, learned from it, and moved forward. I know you’ve been there too. You can’t have lived fully without having had experienced social rejection. Someone didn’t want to play with you, as a child. Or, the boy or girl whom you fancied asked your friend to the school dance, instead of you. These early socialization experiences are the seeds for helping you to tolerate rejection as an adult. They’re also a training ground for learning how to better sense people’s reactions and their feelings toward you. Thus, think back to your school years. How well did you handle rejection of affection? If you realize that you don’t handle rejection well, you may want to see a therapist to learn better coping skills.

As you have gone through these article, you have dared to ask yourself some very tough questions about your one-sided love. It’s sobering, right? It’s hard to return to fantasy, once you truly understand what made you vulnerable to unrequited love. Remember; honor the truth of a situation, rather than fantasy. Herein will lie your freedom and your growth.

If you liked my post today, please let me know by selecting the Like icon that immediately follows. You can also Tweet or Google+1 it, to let others know about the information in today’s article. Warm regards to you, Deborah.


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33 Responses to “Unrequited Love: When Cupid Gets It All Wrong!”

  1. avatar Zerevan M Xalid says:

    “Ez ji dilo can sûpasiya te dikem” in Kurdish means I thank you willingly……^_^

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Thank you Zerevan. I trust all is well with you my friend. It’s wonderful to hear those words in Kurdish. Thank you. Warmly Deborah.

  2. avatar Bestoon Jaff says:

    Right therapy for one-sided love! Thanks for this great article Dr. Deborah, I really enjoyed it 🙂

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello again Jaff, so wonderful that you are reading my articles. I love it. Warmly Deborah! See you soon 🙂

  3. avatar Fahad Waleed says:

    well done Dr. it’s really amazing article, and I’m sure many will finally get rest if they take your advice.
    “khaya ganakh” in assyrian it means good job. 🙂

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Roba Basema Fahad. Forgive my spelling. Thank you so much. Do you know I’m Assyrian? Thank you for taking time to comment. Warmly Deborah.

  4. avatar Amy Green says:

    Enjoyed the article! How easy it is now a days with “texting” for people to keep trying to reach out. I have noticed a lot of people are braver thru texting!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah says:

      Hi Amy, glad you liked the article, today. You are right. It’s harder today for people to control themselves. Too many points of contact. A different but wonderful world. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Warmly Deb.

  5. avatar Zerevan M Xalid says:

    It’s my pleasure. ^_^

  6. avatar Jewel says:

    Its complicated

  7. interesting and so nice Dr

  8. avatar rida says:

    Dr. I am facing a quite different kind of situation, a love relationship that eventually changed into one sided love.. The guy with whom i was in relationship was actually in love with someone else but when he told me all this my feelings for him were at no return point.
    N after that i try to control myself alot but my feelings are growing day by day for him.
    I txt him though i don’t want coz if i dont talk to him i feel empty.
    I know i am responsible for all my sufferings but i dunt knw how to overcome it

  9. avatar sohail says:

    that’s something very rare , or it may be be out of focusing
    awesome deborah

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Sohail, thank you for taking the time to comment today. I’m glad you liked this article. Warmly Deborah.

  10. avatar Jackie says:

    Do you recommend certain trauma or attachment healing techniques? Such as EMDR, clinical hypnosis, or Imago work? I believe that the roots of this kind of attraction may be in trauma repetition in some cases.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Jackie, thank you for taking the time to comment. I very much believe in Imago work and although I do not personally do EMDR, there are many very good professionals who do and who have success in this treatment. Jackie, there’s also some very good research with EMDR. But, remember, it doesn’t work for everyone. You are very right about your understanding that this attraction has roots in earlier trauma. You sound very psychological and like you have already done work on yourself emotionally. Excellent! Warmly Deborah.

  11. avatar Jackie says:

    Would you recommend someone who is currently single work with an Imago therapist for one-on-one sessions as well as partake in Imago workshops? EMDR is something I have heard has helped people recover from a bad breakup so worth checking out. I’m gathering modalities about this since unrequited love is a phenomenon I’ve witnessed that is nothing more than trauma repetition disguised as love.

  12. avatar Miguel says:

    Hi. I would like some help in understanding what’s really going on here. My friend is a psychologist, so she could tell what was going on. I came out and confessed my feelings for her. She explained that more than anything she wanted us to remain best friends because she liked everything about me, but didn’t feel the “chemistry” to go beyond this point or our relationship. And then she told me that she fully understood why I was so attracted to her (she is attractive), but added that her child (she is divorced, child is 5) is now her main focus in life. I will deal with the rejection, and I want her to be part of my life, I just don’t understand why she would need to justify herself when she was so “straight to the point” in the first place. I

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Miguel. First, I think it’s good that she was straight to the point as you say well although I know feeling rejected hurts. Miguel, she may have started to justify her position (have a child–now main focus) because she feels badly having to say no to a romantic relationship with you. I understand that this justification wasn’t really necessary; but I bet it’s because she cares and doesn’t like having to say no and that she didn’t feel the chemistry.

      I always appreciate the truth, no matter how much it may hurt. Hurts us a lot less than lying right? You take good care Miguel. And, thank you for taking the time to comment today. Warmly Deborah.

  13. avatar Vicky says:

    Thanx a lot… came over here after browsing through a lot of other articles, but i found yours most helpful, helped me get my mind on more important things that matter in my life.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Vicky, you are very welcome. I’m so glad this article helped you. Oh, you are in good company Vicky. Many many people have loved before a person who doesn’t for one reason or another return their affection. Stay strong–the right romantic partner is waiting for you in the future. Warmly Deborah.

  14. avatar Apurva says:

    its awesome… This was what i was looking for… Surely it helped me … I appreciate how all minor things you mentioned in this article…its quite helpful…thanks a lot for this

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Apurva, I’m so glad you liked this article. Hope to see you again here soon. Thanks again. Warmly Deborah.

  15. avatar abdelkader says:

    thanx for the great article dr,
    I suffered a lot from the unrequited love.finally i decided no to look for a love.
    my life is miserable, but i must face the truth.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      You are very welcome abdelkader. It is always very sobering to face the truth. I know it feels lonely at first. But, this is the first step to finding the right person who can return the love you wish for and deserve. Be well my friend. Warmly deborah.

  16. avatar Christina says:

    Hi Dr. Deborah
    I have been in a strange “quasi-relationship” with a friend for about 2 years now. We started romantically, and since have wavered from periods of sexual activity and periods of none. I have remained attracted to him but he says he is “broken” (emotionally) from his prior relationships (who isn’t?!) Many times I have told him he is hurting me emotionally because I love him and he says he Loves me – as a friend, and asks if he should just “go away” because he doesn’t want to hurt me. However, the times that we have “separated”- when I have gotten mad and pushed him away, soon he reinitiates contact. Then the cycle starts all over again. He is so helpful around the house, yard work, fix-it-up projects, with the kids- all of his own accord- i never have to ask him for anything — he always talks in terms of the future- “in the spring we will do xyz” or “when we go on another trip” or “we should do xyz with the kids”. (my kids). But then,when I ask for him to acknowledge some sort of relationship between us, he gets defensive and tells me I should go date other people! And when I do, he then gets jealous… then it’s back to his normal behavior, teasing me and slapping me on the butt, but that’s it… Please help, I am so desperate to solve this situation. I keep hanging on… because I keep hoping… because it’s so so confusing! Oh, thank you for your help!

  17. avatar Mars says:

    I just had realization on reasons of unrequited love. Ultimately by karma we have entities who control our love. In case of unrequited love – the person who does not feel in love with us – has to undergo in life more sufferings. If they would return our love – their life would be happy and complete, with no problems, but by karma they are destined for more sufferings, therefore the entities who are in control of our emotions – turn off their feelings of love for us. Or maybe we are destined to go through more sufferings, or both. So, knowing this you see it is not your fault that they cant return your love – it is a matter of karma. So the best way to handle it – to become their friend and well-wisher. It’s not your or their fault.

  18. avatar John says:

    Thanks, very helpfull.

  19. avatar bipin kujur says:

    All this is ok,but still doing all this stuff is nt as easy as reading this article…the pain is phychologica not physical which can be healed by any kind of drug or lotion or cream

  20. avatar Lyn says:

    Hello Dr. Deborah
    Your article is very interesting, have you ever conducted research, published scientific journal or book about unrequited love?
    I’m really willing to read
    Thank you


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