This post has all the information you need to take back your love and move on healthily open to loving someone else in the future. You have unfortunately experienced one of the most painful forms of heartbreak; join the gang darling x. If you are not currently experiencing this, you might be reading to prep yourself so if the universe ever decides to do a negative 360 on you, you are ready to spin that shit right back.
What Is Unrequited Love?
Unrequited Love is defined as a feeling of love that is not returned. A very simple sentence to define something that can eat away at valuable weeks, months and even years of your life if you do not learn how to process and move on from it healthily.
Why Does Loving Someone Who Does not Love You back HURT this much?
You are not alone. In fact you are actually part of about 80% of the population who will at some point love someone who cannot love them back; the 20% who do not experience this are lucky bastards… so for those of us who aren’t so lucky we have to understand and process it. You will be tempted to wait or try to convince this person to love you….. darling, DON’T. Darling, you can never make someone love you if they do not want to. So process the hurt and let go.
This right here is the culprit. When someone tells you that they cannot respond to your emotions in the way you want them to, you feel rejected and that shit sucks! You feel insecure, unwanted and undesirable. It sucks so bad that there has been multiple studies to analyse how the brain reacts to being rejected so lets take a little dive into the research:
Firstly, your emotions are absolutely valid. Do not ever punish yourself for loving someone, it is natural as “humans have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships”- C.Nathan Dewall.
The Cyberball research by Naomi Eisenberger in 2003 concluded that the areas of the brain triggered in people who experienced rejection are the exact same areas triggered when we experience physical pain.
Another research by Ethan Kross in 2011 revealed that when images of their ex was shown to people who had recently broken up with their partners, their brain regions triggered by physical pain lit up. So this tells us that you are not just in your head about how much it hurts, your brain processes rejection as a form of pain and with pain, there is always a treatment; sometimes this treatment is quick and numbs it immediately, other times it takes just a little bit longer.
So now you know this, How do you Move On without being bitter?
Moving on from a romantic bond takes a lot of self reflection. Of course some people will say “get under someone new, to get over someone else”. Whether it is a crush who does not feel the same, someone you were dating that changed their mind or a relationship where your partner decided they wanted something else in life that does not include you; the hurt will be there and getting under someone new only gets you a new person to pile on more hurt to what was not healed.
Here are some steps to process unrequited love and actually healing leaving you positive and open for more love in the future:
REALISATION (Take them off the pedestal): When you are in love or attracted to someone, it is all roses and the passion makes you focus on all the positive things about them. The idea of being with them becomes your main source of dopamine. This passion usually prevents us from actually getting to know them as a person as opposed to the object of our desires. The idea of them you have is one that makes you blur out their flaws and only focus on your ideal perfection; so to you, there is no one in the world as amazing as this person.
Truth is, if you take a moment and actually focus on the behaviours of that person, you will learn that they are not as special as you have made them out to be. Like you and everyone else, they have flaws and are just human. This realisation will take you out of the scarcity mindset and you will gradually realise that the only perfection this person has, is the perfection you attributed to them.
SELF REFLECTION AND FOCUS: This is often the task that we fail at miserably. Self reflection is not an exercise to chastise yourself to the point of invalidating your feelings. Saying things like “I am stupid, why would I allow myself to love someone who clearly does not want me” does not get you any step closer to healthy healing.
Self reflection is understanding why the rejection might be affecting you that intensely or longer than others.
It is understanding your attachment style. Take the attachment style quiz here. Understanding this arms you with information to compassionately assess your emotions and process them as opposed to avoiding them. “The cure for not receiving love does not lie in avoiding to experience it”.
Once you have understood this, flip that camera and keep that lens focused on you. Now is a great time to take on tasks that reward you and give you that dopamine satisfaction the wanting for your loved one provided. Be careful not to bury yourself in work and socialising as a way to avoid feeling the uncomfortable feelings of rejection, your healing is not a race. Take your time.
DISTANCE: “Out of sight, out of mind”. Putting a considerable amount of distance between you and the other party is important for you to process your emotions healthily without relapsing.
This includes not stalking them on social media after you have unfollowed/blocked them. Your mind needs time to create an accurate perception of this person and if you are still in communication or consuming the life of this person visually, you don’t give yourself the environment to unlearn and take them off the pedestal you have put them on.
So block them. Unfollow them. Delete their number and cut off all communication until you get to the mind-frame where you can maintain communication with them without expecting love.
ACCEPTANCE: Going through the first two steps and implementing some distance will get you to this final point. This is the point where you take deep breaths, your mind is clear and you have accepted that you fell in love with someone who simply does not love you. Whatever that person’s reasons are for not loving you has no bearing on your self worth or desirability.
They are just ONE person and this planet is filled with millions of people. Yes, they might be a dope ass person but there are many dope ass people everywhere. You are deserving of the love you envisioned but you can never force someone to give it to you. Take the time to work on your emotional attachments and balance it out without totally giving up on love.
Unrequited Love and rejection can lead to depression, obsession and in some extreme cases physical harm. If you feel like your mental health is rapidly deteriorating and you are having life threatening thoughts towards yourself or others, seek help from a supportive structure and or medical help. Don’t allow one person’s NO to negatively throw you off your life’s path. Another person is never worth you losing a considerable amount of life’s most valuable currency- time.