unrequited love: what is it, and can you fix it?

most are familiar with the subject of “unrequited love” having experienced it at some point in their life. if you love someone who does not love you in return, you have my sympathy.

what is unrequited love?

unrequited love is love that only moves in one direction. it is also known as one-sided love.

you love them, but they don’t love you.

very sad.

how to tell when it occurs?

when your love is unreciprocated, the other person either:

  1. ignores you;
  2. tells you they don’t love you;
  3. dates other people;
  4. breaks up with you;
  5. only offers friendship.

in all cases, actions speak louder than words.

it is also helpful to be aware that:

one: sometimes the person you love is not aware of your feelings.

there are many walking around who are entirely unaware they have an admirer.

if this describes your situation, you might consider telling your sweet what you feel.

of course, you may have a good reason not to.

two: some know they have an admirer but won’t let on that they know.

some know perfectly well who has feelings for them. but they choose to reject or ignore that knowledge. why? either because they don’t have the same feelings, they have a fear of entering a relationship, or there is some other factor that makes it impractical to have a relationship.

three: sometimes two-way loves gets blocked in one direction.

two-way love can hit a blockage (which is when a breakup usually follows.) two people can enter a loving relationship but one or both can find that love to wane.

of course, external factors can also make a relationship impractical. the love may not “stop” as such, but the conditions for a loving relationship can stop.

after a breakup, it is normal for one partner to remain in-love for a good while, while the other person moves on.

so you either start with one-way love, or you end with it if you separate.

what causes unrequited love?

when we do not feel attraction for another, or the attraction is blocked, the deep emotional bonding required for love can not take hold.

of course, love, and what causes a man or woman to be desirable, is a big topic.

physical attraction is one level. but only the tip of the iceberg.

moral values, status, intelligence, charm, emotional connection, etc., each play a role.

according to dr roy baumeister, falling for someone more desirable than oneself —who has a higher market value— creates the mismatch which can cause unrequited love.

and let’s not ignore how platonic friendship also provides ample ingredients for unrequited love, too.

to develop romantic feelings, we first require regular encounters in which said feelings may grow.

any situation that places two or more people together —especially with high frequency— can spark affection.

common examples include the workplace, school, or indeed any group activity.

remedies for unrequited love

how do you treat unrequited love?

in most cases, the healthy and sensible thing to do is move on with the hope of finding mutual love.

to help overcome unreciprocated love, consider travelling or pursuing a worthy goal.

however, what if your love has not always been unrequited?

after you break up, you may find your affections have become one-way. in which case, you may investigate your options to escape the friend zone and restore the connection.

only once you have exhausted —within reason— your options to get your ex back should you divert your energy to the path of moving on.

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About the author: i’m a relationship coach specialising in breakup recovery. i’ve been doing this for 12+ years helping thousands worldwide. i created the Breakup Dojo, a popular program with over 1,000 members. i’ve authored several in-demand breakup recovery products, drawing from my deep fascination with psychology. i also publish the “ex-communication” newsletter that’s packed with actionable advice to over 10,000 subscribers worldwide.