How do you deal with loving someone who doesn’t love you back? Why is it so hard to get over it and come to grips with reality? What’s preventing us from healing from such a deep wound, knowing the pain can often be unbearable?
Love hurts. Love stinks. Love is blind. At some point in life, we’ve all experienced the pain poets and songwriters have written about for ages. Usually, it’s because we’ve loved someone who hasn’t loved us back. Feeling so emotionally invested in something we’re being told doesn’t even exist is often the most excruciating pain… Yet we endure it. Why?
There are many degrees of one-sided love. If I were to describe them all, we’d be here all day and you wouldn’t actually get to the solution part of the article. In the name of salvation, I’ll only discuss the three MAIN ones instead.
Obsession From Afar:
You know this one. You’re head over heels for someone who doesn’t even know your name. Or perhaps you’re madly in love with a friend or acquaintance who is, for one reason or another, completely unattainable. I’d like to believe this only happens in movies but unfortunately, our minds are powerful, powerful tools; if we want something bad enough, we don’t need much to go on in order to believe someone is within reach.
The Repeat Offender:
This one refers to relationships and is by far the most common and the most delusional. Not only do we hold on to the hope that somehow the “love” will be rekindled, but we’re willing to wait around forever because we simply refuse to believe that such passion could be so short-lived. When you started dating, you could have sworn up and down that no one had ever experienced the type of connection the two of you had. You ignore all signs telling you it’s over and despite the overwhelming pain and nights spent crying, the smallest part of you holds on for dear life.
You’re Great… But I’m Not Interested:
This one is perhaps one of the most relatable: you gather up the balls to express your undying devotion – or mere attraction- to this person only to get rejected with the standard, “Oh you’re sweet… but you’re not really my type.” Or worst, “But we’re such good friends, I couldn’t…” What sets you apart from the rest of the world is that you don’t just walk away in defeat and go for your next potential obsession; you wallow in misery and refuse to accept rejection.
Why we can’t just move on
Love is a clusterfuck of complexities. And like the previous section, I can’t describe all the reasons we fall into such a painful trap. Not only are there too many to list – dependent on each individual case – but some just cannot be explained with rationality. With that being said, here are two reasons we deny escape:
1. Wishful Thinking
..is the devil. There are a few stages of denial: Your friends could lay out a list of reasons why you need to move on and you would remain there, glossy-eyed and oblivious. That’s the worst stage that needs most intervention. The lesser and more common stage is when you’re completely AWARE of every single reason you need to stop loving the person… yet you simply CAN’T and you don’t know why. I’ll tell you why.. it’s because deep inside, small and buried away, is the last ray of wishful thinking. Like a cancer, it multiplies at the sign of hope for survival. And really, no matter how large or small.. the potential damage is the same.
2. Our Ego
You’d never admit it, but deep inside you’re wondering, “How can this person not see how much of a catch I am?” You can’t help but wonder what he sees in his new lover. This way of thinking is pretty harmless. In fact, having an ego about the situation can usually result in you realizing you’re too good to endure such pain and rejection. However, it takes nothing more than a little push and.. BAM. You’re back into delusion land; you once again believe you’re so great that your doorbell is going to ring any second, and your obsession will be down on one knee whispering, “I was wrong.. you ARE the ONE.”
Wake Up. Your life was not written to be a Katherine Heigl or Patrick Dempsey movie.
5 Steps: How to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you
Take the following steps and adjust them to your situation and level of attachment
Step 1: Realize it
Please refer to section one of the article and identify your situation.
Step 2: Are you armed?
If this person has hurt you in the past, you need to utilize the pain as a weapon in this, dare I say, a battle of love. If you’re awake enough to utilize the pain of rejection, do it. I know it seems a bit like self-mutilation, but just take my word for it. If you’ve got nothing, the reality is a lot harder to see and you get stuck in the land of delusions thinking your ex is just trying to make you jealous
Step 3: Isolate yourself
Stop all contact. It’ll be hard.. especially when the person knows you’ve got feelings for them. As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, human beings are selfish and greedy. Sometimes, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep someone wrapped around their finger, just in case. If you work together, cut the chit chat and tone in back to polite small talk. Be ballsy and delete an email address, cell phone number and unfriend who you have to on Facebook. It sounds a bit rash, I know. But you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone and if it’s going to keep you from cyberstalking and late-night texting, then so be it. Can you get over it without isolating yourself? Maybe. Are you willing to risk it?
Step 4: Absorb the pain
This is the hardest part. Let yourself hurt. Let the pain take over your body. Cry, eat a lot of junk food, sleep for days.. do whatever you feel you need to do to recover. It’s an ugly rock bottom but when you allow yourself to reach it, you’ll be a lot stronger to get out of it.
Step 5: Get the hell over it
And here’s the ChiaraSays.com reality slap: it’s time to move the fuck on. While you’re busy moping around, waiting for this person to come to their senses, you’ve completely ignored your hot neighbor offering dinner and a movie to cheer you up. You no longer bathe or groom, so the hotties at the local coffee shop steer clear in fear of contracting a disease. One-sided love doesn’t necessarily make you blind, it gives you the tunnel vision that focuses all of your energies in one direction -which happens to be a dead-end; moving all other opportunities into your blind spot. You can choose to devote your life to loving someone who clearly doesn’t feel the same for you but know that no one but yourself has the power to change that. And you’ll die a lonely miserable life, alone. Get the hell over it.
When are you ready to reconnect?
You’re probably excited to get this started, right? Wondering, “Okay. I’ll get over it and.. well, how soon can we see each other again? When can I call him?!” You’ll try to justify keeping contact in any way you can. “But we’re such good friends!” Yeah? Well your sanity and well being is a little more important, isn’t it?
When you no longer think about it, you’ll be ready.
This part is important to not skip. If you reconnect before you’re ready, you risk throwing away all of your hard work and old feelings will come rushing back, putting you back at square one. And until the day you realize you’re not qualified to make the “I’m ready to reconnect” decision, you won’t be ready to reconnect. See where I’m going with this?
Everyone around the world is falling in and out of love. You can fall asleep to the sounds of Armageddon and wake up to a beautiful sunny morning with rays of hope shining through your window. At some point, your heart will scream for recovery and you’ll have to listen. Life is a process and you’ll never move on to the next step if you’re stuck trying to make sense of the previous one.
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