In our life span we come across many different types of love. Love that brings us joy, love that burns with passion and on an occasion, love that brings us pain. Unrequited love falls under the latter but with it comes important lessons and self-development. When referring to unrequited love, we’re discussing when a person believes they are in love with someone, but the feeling is not mutual. This type of love can cause emotional stress and damage, despite society romanticising it.
Recent research has shown that we feel an emotional upset in the same way as we feel physical pain. At points the same part of our brain is activated, demonstrating the physical similarity between the two, so there is no surprise the pain rejection can bring. Unrequited love focuses your attention on your inner world. The depth of the hurt is increased by the persistent commentary in your mind. You come to idolise the person of your affections whilst compounding negative thoughts about yourself. Why don’t they like me, what is wrong with me? You can become trapped in your mind and create a false representation of reality.
This is where an important lesson is learnt. There isn’t anything wrong with you, they simply aren’t the right person for you. In order for true love to exist there needs to be a mutual connection, appreciation and respect. We are all subjected to the feeling of rejection and it takes time to learn the lessons needed for self-development. To grow and understand that your self-worth cannot be solely based on another individual’s opinion is an extremely important lesson and will lead to an increase in your self-esteem and the ability to seek happy, mutually beneficial, loving relationships.
If you find that unrequited love is a pattern in your behaviour, it may be important to ask yourself why this is the case. Often this type of behaviour is rooted in an insecure attachment developed at childhood. This is not say that you cannot become aware of your behaviour nor that you can’t change it. It simply means you need to achieve a better understanding of your cognitive functioning, shed the disillusions you have created about yourself and your crush and see yourselves as the imperfect human beings that you are. Remember that each of us goes through this and you too will come out the other side, with a few emotional scars, yes but with a strengthened sense of self and the experience to move on and find someone who will love you for who you are.