The world around us has conditioned us into believing how falling in love with someone is the most beautiful feeling one can have the fortune of experiencing. No love song seems melodious enough; no poem poignant enough to put into words how wonderful love is. An ineffable emotion. But most people conveniently leave out the tiny detail how falling in love is amazing and exhilarating and the best damn thing to have happened to you ONLY when the other person feels exactly the same and reciprocates all that you’re feeling for them.
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Falling in love is great when the person you love also feels like you make their world go round; that your smile is the perfect filter that the photograph of their life needed all along; that the nights spent away from you seem to drag on and on; and all they look forward to is the sunlight in your eyes greeting them the next morning.
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But when the person you love doesn’t love you back, or even acknowledge your existence for that matter, well, then my friend, you’re in for some suffering. If I could summarize this article in a sentence, it would be this: unrequited love sucks. That is precisely it. Three words are all you need. The unfortunate and rather unfair aspect of love is that we don’t really get much say in who we fall in love with, or when or even where. No one has ever been able to successfully map out a blueprint, a step by step manual book on how to fall in love with the right person at the right time. It’s funny because this is exactly the kind of thing people should write manual books about. And not the ones with terrible grammar about how to operate hair dryers. This would genuinely save lives and prevent a lot of hearts from getting broken. When your fragile heart falls in love with someone you can’t have, it becomes quite difficult to dust yourself up out of it. It’s a lot like falling into a bottomless bit; you cannot stop yourself from going further in. The heart wants what it wants, right?
To reiterate, unrequited love sucks. It hurts to see the person who is the reason behind all your giddy happiness and the numerous butterflies in your stomach, having someone else as the reason behind their giddy happiness and fluttering butterflies. It hurts when they don’t look at you the same way you look at them when you think they’re not watching. It hurts when you see them and your heart does this impromptu little dance no matter how hard you try to discipline that stupid little pumping organ and make it stop you from feeling all the things you feel.
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When you love someone, it’s usually initially followed by mild denial – to dismiss the idea that you too are capable of feeling such great things; that love does exist outside the world of fiction and entertainment media too. It’s a delicate little thing, and your immediate instinct is to protect it, to hide it from the rest of the world lest it gets tainted. But soon, you’re engulfed by that tiny spark that is now a fully raging inferno of affection, tenderness, and passion. But when it comes to loving someone you can’t have, sooner or later we have to come to terms with the ugly truth. You almost feel guilty for having feelings you aren’t entitled to. You wish you could make it stop, but you have no idea how.
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Falling in love with someone you can never have a chance, also messes up with a person’s sense of self. A sense of pathetic hopelessness and despair sets in. You feel unloved; not worthy of affection and care. Seeing the other person, or even thinking about them, makes you miserable to your bone. You’re no longer warmed by their presence; it becomes suffocating, nauseating even. You feel like you’re not good enough. You have a tendency of being too hard on yourself, and blaming no one but your own self for what the person of your dreams feels about you, or the lack thereof. Inferiority complex sets in; you’re overwhelmed with self-doubt and self-pity.
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When it comes to dating other people, loving someone you can’t have, boxes you in with this person who isn’t even yours. There’s this strange urge to remain loyal to that person, and so you never really venture out to meet other people in situations like these. You tend to isolate yourself from everything and everyone, which makes matters worse than they already are. Going out and meeting new people would be a much needed boost for your self-esteem. It would also take your mind off of the unpleasantness for once and you’d have a bit of fun, which you truly deserve to. Let go of the misery and pain and stop searching for love in places you won’t be finding any.
Loving someone you can’t have sucks all the hope right out of you. Love no longer feels like this warm, fuzzy blanket that helps you sleep safe and soundly at night. Love starts to feel cold and painful and harsh like the winter rain. It feels like a perpetual solar eclipse – dark and full of despair. You start losing hope in the world and the people around you. Unrequited love makes you a pessimistic, melancholic cynic, who’s afraid to love or be loved anymore; the fear of further rejection becomes too intense beyond repair. It makes you want to give up on life and love altogether, and reside in the bottomless pit of despair that you’ve dug for yourself, never to come out ever.
Stopping yourself from immersing completely in the feelings of unrequited love and preventing further hurt is not a feat accomplished easily by many. But you have to stop chasing a lost cause, stop looking for a unicorn, stop trying to cross a dead end. All that you will encounter if you go down this path is just pain and disappointment and a feeling of not being good enough. Why should you stop loving yourself just because someone else fails to see the beauty and tenderness of your soul? Instead of wasting all your love and energy on someone who won’t even appreciate your efforts is just being unfair to yourself and to the people around you who truly do love you.
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Surround yourself with people who actually love you unconditionally for who you are as a person. Invest your energies and your time doing the things that you love. Try to move on. Limit your interactions with said person; the less you see or interact with them, the less likely you are to constantly think about them and pine after them. You may have already built a fantasy world of your own, imagining all the things you could have and experience if only you were together with them. Well, it’s time you brought the walls of that fantasy world tumbling down. As wonderful as it may be to live in a world of denial and escape, you can’t live like that forever. The sooner you get used to reality, the better it will be for you to cope with the present.
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Fill yourself up with love, instead. Rather than romanticizing the idea of being in love with another person, why don’t you romanticize your own life? Live life the way you want to. Go out with friends, kiss strangers in clubs, dance in the rain, go on a spontaneous trip all by yourself, be kind to yourself and others around you. It’s nice to have someone by your side in the passenger seat as you speed along life, but always remember that it’s your ride and you ought to make the most of it whether you have someone to share it with or not.
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