What is Unrequited Love and How to Deal with It?

It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This is the opening line of a brilliant novel, “Love in the Time of Cholera,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. No piece of writing could better portray the agony involved in suffering the fate of unrequited love than this. Before we begin, let’s talk about what unrequited love is in the first place.

Unrequited love is a love that’s not rewarded. While it may seem easy to define and describe, there’s a lot of confusion involved. One-sided love isn’t something we should deal with overconfidence. Unrequited love is often chaotic. Let’s try to say goodbye to chaos.

How Unrequited Love Can Manifest?

As already said, unrequited love may not be easy to describe. It can manifest in various forms. While people think that unrequited love is love that’s not mutual, it may not always be the case. Unrequited love can manifest in one of the following ways:

  • Longing for someone unavailable.
  • Desiring someone who has different feelings for you.
  • Loving each other while being in other relationships.
  • Yearning for a broken relationship.

We can say that unrequited love is not something always destined to be one-sided. It can be something mutual that goes unrewarded. However, it’s usually one-sided and goes unreciprocated (unreturned by the other person).

What are the Signs of an Unrequited Love?

Unrequited love doesn’t come without warning signs. The difference between having romantic feelings for someone and unrequited love is that the latter spans a much longer time frame. On the other hand, romantic feelings can be temporary and are easily forgotten.

These are some of the most distinguished signs of unrequited love.

  • The person you love may not be interested in progressing the relationship.
  • They may be slow to reply to your texts. It’s something that tells you that love isn’t mutual. When we love someone, they’re on the top of our priority list.
  • You may be experiencing a lot of distressing feelings.
  • You may find it difficult to get them off of your mind.

How to Deal with Unrequited Love

Unrequited love can cause a lot of anguish and agony. A study has revealed that rejection activates the same brain parts as activated during physical pain. If you follow the following steps, chances are you’ll be able to overcome negative feelings that come along with unrequited love.

Understanding Yourself

Understanding yourself is the first step you should take to cope with unrequited love. It’s normal to underestimate oneself after being rejected. You should take personality tests, especially the Big Five Personality Test, to understand your personality traits. This will help you work upon your weaknesses and soft spots.

Understanding Others

It’s also one of the most important things to do if you want to cope with unrequited love. Most people see others the way they are. However, this is far from true. Everybody has different personality traits. You must understand different archetypes to be able to understand others. You can judge them against different personality traits, too.

People with similar personality traits are more comfortable with each other in the long run. However, people with opposite personality traits are more drawn to each other. It’s only after a long time that they discover they’re not a good match. If the time frame is short, we can say that the opposites attract each other. If the time frame is large, it’s the other way around.

Learning Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence or EQ is the ability to understand, improve, and use your emotions to manage stress, build healthier relationships and improve existing ones, overcome social obstacles, and defuse conflicts. While some people are naturally good at emotional intelligence, you can improve your EQ skills little by little. You can learn ways to identify your faulty emotional patterns and then improve them.

Learning emotional intelligence strategies can give you enough insight to get rid of the negative feelings associated with unrequited love. After recognizing your weak spots of emotional intelligence, you can manage your emotions better. What’s more, you are willing to accept the outcome of your actions and understand patterns better.

Removing Fantasy

Unrequited love is more about emotional and romantic fantasies than anything else. When you love someone without getting a chance to understand and mix with them, you start fantasizing about them. This creates a kind of euphoria which you start living in.

When we start living in a fantasy, we become ignorant of the physical world around us. This creates a world of “romanticism” or ‘idealism,’ and we start living in it. To heal properly from the agony of unrequited love, you must come out of the world of fantasy.

People who fantasize or daydream a lot see their loved ones as perfect. This changed view of the world around them takes them far from reality. It’s very important to say “goodbye” to your fantasy world.

In the end, I must say that unrequited love is hard to deal with, but not impossible. With a reasonable amount of will and understanding, you can easily overcome negative feelings associated with unrequited love and move on.


High Ranker is a self-taught psychologist and a freelance writer. He graduated in botany and likes to describe himself as a nature lover. He spends most of his time exploring different subjects and navigating existing academic research. He has a profound interest in health sciences and issues related to scientific research. When he's not writing something, you can find him talking to random people, reading a book, or gardening at home.

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