There's a very good reason why there are millions of songs about unrequited love. It is extremely painful to love someone who doesn't love you back. It fills you with feelings of doubt, hopelessness and despair.
As much as we would like to think that one-sided relationships end after our teenage years, heartache hurts just as bad when you are an adult. Here are six concepts to mend your broken heart and move forward:
1. Don't blame yourself
Their lack of love for you actually has nothing to do with you. This seems like a counterintuitive idea because you're the one being rejected. But there is no "magic" version of yourself that they are sure to fall in love with. Changing yourself to seem prettier, funnier or wealthier won't change their mind. You cannot make someone love you, but you can learn to love yourself. Loving yourself will bring you long-term happiness and mental wellbeing.
So, if you are looking to change yourself, don't change for them. Change for you.
2. Get space
Do not take time out of your day to see them. Don't plan to meet up and don't 'accidentally' bump into them. Getting space includes social media exposure. You need time to heal and seeing this person can reopen the wounds. Simple interactions give us all something to overanalyze, which only perpetuates the confused feelings we have.
Fight the overwhelming urge to go out of your way to interact with your lost love.
3. Love is not based completely on compatibility
Just because you love someone does not mean that your relationship would have been flawless. Refrain from imagining your perfect future with them. The most compatible relationships are not perfect and disagreements will happen, no matter who you marry. Even if things would have worked out between you two, there would have been arguments and anger.
Instead, start imagining what your future could be and how amazing you could make it.
4. You deserve love
The absolute worse case scenario is if there was not a clear-cut 'no' to a relationship. Open ended breakups leave unanswered questions, and put both people in limbo. Don't play this back and forth game with them. Give yourself space, and give this person space to figure things out. You deserve love, not a one-sided relationship that's sometimes convenient for someone else.
You are not a backup plan, you deserve a healthy relationship.
5. Get a hobby
Though it doesn't seem like it, this is an exciting time to figure out who you are. Your likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams and interests are important! Develop your own future. Go do things that you want to do in but have never done - rock climbing, snowboarding, bingo playing, eating new foods...anything that spikes your interest.
Having new experiences is a good way to build back up self-esteem, find new people and relieve stress.
As humans, we like to distract from our distress. But in order to heal from this hurt you need to give yourself time to grieve. Cry for the loss of this future you wish you could have had. You should feel like you have lost something special. You may even feel that they have 'ruined' all other potential partners for you. These feelings will fade as you grieve the person that rejected you and the idea of your lost future together.
Processing through the hurt is the best way to heal.
When you are heartbroken, the most important thing to remember is you are not alone. Confide in your friends and family to talk about your emotions. Discuss your mixed emotions that come from unrequited love.Talking with a therapist can also help you move forward.
Others do not get to decide your worth. You are amazing, now it is time to start believing it.