What Is Unrequited Love and How Can You Deal With Such Feelings?

Everyone who has ever been deeply in love will tell you that it feels great; however, only when the feeling is reciprocated. When it’s not, there is a term for this – unrequited love. Whether it’s a coworker or a friend, it can be heartbreaking. If you have ever experienced the feeling of longing so intense that you think that you are going to erupt, you know the pain.

What Is Unrequited Love and How to Deal with Such Feelings?
What Is Unrequited Love?

Upon reflection, the term unrequited can be quite accurate. Since requited means ‘returned,’ unrequited implies that your feelings are not reciprocated. The imbalance of affection, according to clinical psychologist Monica Vermani, PsyD, can cause “extreme emotional turmoil” and make a person feel depressed, stressed, unworthy, and anxious.

Even though unrequited love sounds similar to an intense crush, it is usually much stronger because there are genuine feelings, at least on one side. The good news is that no matter how earth-shattering and miserable it feels, unrequired love is quite common, according to Vermani. She explains that the majority of people have been attracted to or had feelings for someone who did not feel the same way about them. It’s something that many of us experience at some point in our lives.

This does not negate the fact that being in love with someone who does not return your feelings can be a very trying experience. Unrequited love can be conceptualized as an imbalance in the amount of affection, effort, and attention each partner gives to the relationship. According to experts, one of the ways you can tell if the person you have feelings for does not return your affection is if they answer slowly to your calls or texts, if they hesitate or try to avoid spending time with you, or if they don’t know who you are.

How to Deal With Such Situations

Attempting to refocus your energy is a smart option, especially if the situation gives you discomfort or concerns. You don’t have to quit enjoying someone because they don’t reciprocate your feelings. The sooner you reframe your emotions, the better because attempting to get someone to like you can be exhausting and it’s a formula for recurring misery and self-doubt.

There are a few things you can try, but they all require effort on your behalf. Experts recommend determining if you need time away from the other person to obtain clarity and respect their needs as well. As valid as your feelings for them are, so too are their feelings that they do not wish to pursue anything further with you. Put yourself first before rushing to their rescue or prioritizing your time. It may also include separating from the person and limiting interactions until the feelings have lessened and gone away.