Everyone will experience unrequited love in their life; probably more often than they would like. It’s torture! Loving someone who either doesn’t love you back or just doesn’t know you exist can cause major bouts of depression, and interrupt daily routines while one sits around, moping.
Of course it’s important to realize that this isn’t really love. It’s infatuation. You can’t love someone you don’t really know. You can admire, adore, lust after them, but love requires knowing that person’s less-than-stellar side and still being able to accommodate them in your heart.
For pre-teens and teenagers, unrequited love often begins with a major crush on a celebrity. Take Justin Bieber as an example. Millions of teeny-boppers are ‘in love” with this little singing Casanova. Why? I have no idea, but if you ask my goddaughter and her best friend, they will swear that they love him wholeheartedly, and unconditionally! It seems that the allure of musicianship (i.e., the adage about how lead singers and band members always attract the girls) doesn’t begin at age 18, but far, far sooner so long as the star in question can belt out a tune. In my day, it was Shaun Cassidy and Lief Garrett. Today, it’s The Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovado, and Justin Bieber. These talents are causing sighs and tears that will last for, well, months!
Far worse than being “in love” with a celebrity is pining for someone near; someone you see everyday. This situational horror often begins when two meet, and only one of them begins to have feelings for the other. If both are having feelings simultaneously, then they end up out on a date. Sometimes, the date happens, but one of the two decide this isn’t the person for them. Sadly, this leaves the other person wondering what happened, and even eating his/her heart out for quite some time over the unreturned feelings. Eventually, the feelings fade, but sometimes they intensify and evolve into another problem; stalking!
I put the question of unrequited love out to street to see how others have handled this miserable situation. These are the answers from people just like you!
Mike: “Let time pass. Move on. The discomfort, though sometimes intense, fades. Talk to friends about it, but try not to be a pest. Get involved with something (maybe even someone) else.”
Keith: “I have been there in that situation more than twice. Depending on how close of a friendship she and I have, I may be open and honest with her by letting her know how I feel. that I would like to see if there is a possibility of a “more than just friends” relationship between us. If I thought that telling her how I feel would be too uncomfortable for her, and would damage our friendship, .then I would keep my feelings to myself.”
Liz: “Oh man! Been there, done that. It’s so painful to want someone so bad, and not be able to make it happen. That’s just it. You can’t make something happen. It either happens or it doesn’t.. Still, I’ve beat myself up many times thinking there must be something wrong with me, or else he would like me, too. The truth is, he (whoever he was at the time) wasn’t meant to be, and there was a good reason for that. Why? Because I hadn’t met my husband yet. “
The best way to look at unrequited love is this: If the person you like doesn’t like you in return, it’s not because there is something wrong with you. It’s because there is something wrong with them. Not wrong in the sense that the person has some great flaw, but wrong in the sense that this person is not your intended special someone. Think of it as dodging a bullet or sidestepping a mess, even avoiding tragedy! It might hurt for a while, but feelings left unfed will eventually whither and die. Don’t mourn their death. Celebrate the fact that now, healthier feelings can grow in their place!
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In addition to this local column, and her work as a Freelance Journalist in San Antonio, Michele Gwynn is also the National Animal Rights Examiner. Her love of pets began at an early age with a stray cat named Harvey, and a dying field mouse named Tucker. She is a pet parent to four cats, and an animal rights champion to all critters, large and small. Visit her animal rights column here.
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