In Case of Unrequited Love

[Abstract will be here soon]

In Case of Unrequited Love:

Gregory A. Thompson Jr.

If you are reading this, either you’ve been drawn to my text by its title, stumbled upon this in your tireless efforts to help yourself cope with a similar issue, or are nosey and know what situation I am referring to and drawing conclusions from; you’d like to know where I stand within the situation, in other words. If you happen to be the young woman involved in my situation, I hope you understand that this was written purely out of my desire to fully help myself understand and conquer my current feelings.  Taking note of as many aspects of this as I can is rational and quite tactical in my pursuit as far as I view it.  Reflection is always a strong mechanism for eradicating haunting, uneasily-answered questions.  Furthermore, understand that what is said here is strictly based on personal observations, which means that although any advice I give here may work in similar situations, the techniques can prove to be flawed in other situations.

If you’ve made it to the point where you’re looking for information on how to deal with your problem, you’ve probably had your feelings fester within your brain for a considerable amount of time.  I will deal with that portion of the audience throughout the centerfold of this essay, but for now, I will deal with the “newbies” of the bunch since most of them are probably more confused and uncomfortable than the rest of the readers.  The question you pose is probably, most logically:How do I handle this new discovery? Alongside that, you’re probably wondering why any of this happened in your life.  “What went on?  Is there anything I can do to climb out of this ditch?”

In all honesty, if I could pinpoint an irrefutable answer to your questions, I’d be the most intelligent young man alive, and I probably wouldn’t be here typing this essay.  I’d be a Nobel Prize Winner for completely understanding human intelligence, and I’d be leaving MIT, on my way across the world to Oxford to give another speech on how I’ve obtained such a complete understanding of a thing as abstract as human emotion; Not that this matters.  Nonetheless, I’ve ascertained some helpful information around dealing with discovering that your love has been deemed unrequited.

If you are like me, you’re probably ready to destroy the world.  You want everyone else to feel what you feel, including the one who “did” what they “did” to you.  You might feel like committing suicide.  Maybe you feel like you’re inadequate, not for anything in particular, but just for being alive and who you are.  You can’t really pinpoint any of your current feelings to describe your current state of mind.  Right now, if you’re like me of course, your thoughts are like wild fish in a pond – there are many fish, you want to catch and strangle them to eat them, but you can’t catch any of them with your bare hands for the life of you because you aren’t fast enough.  Although this is a comical analogy, it certainly applies to your situation.  You’re probably biting your fingernails down to the bone as you pace back and forth in the confines of your bedroom.  You’ve learned that realizing that the person you love doesn’t love you back, the way you love them, isn’t the best thing in the world for your sanity.

The first thing you must not do, however, is blame the person you’re in love with for your horrible feelings.  They haven’t done anything wrong.    Understand that it probably isn’t easy for them to confess to you that you’re not what they want.  Or, it isn’t easy for them to avoid you if they haven’t told you the truth about their feelings.  Remember that just as you have your impressions of people based on your own observations, they have theirs.  This means that whoever you fell in love with doesn’t feel the same way because you’re just not what appeals to them.  Their lack of desire for you can spawn from a plethora of possible stimuli.  Therefore, it would be irrational and quite unwise for you to be rash enough to blame the person for their natural, uncontrollable feelings for you.  For that matter, do not blame anyone for your feelings.

Understand that you should not only refrain from blaming others for your current misfortune – you mustn’t blame yourself for it either.  Logically blaming someone is impossible.  You’ve acted the way you naturally proceeded to act, and this is something that you cannot control. The one you love did the same thing and is within the same biological boundaries.  Even if you were acting the way you wouldn’t normally act just to impress your subject (the one you love), you’re still acting instinctively in that you did what you initially thought would bring you a successful relationship with that person.  Likewise, they’ve only done what is theirnatural reaction to your efforts.

Secondly, you should not try to figure out why this has happened — at least, not at this point in the time of the reign of your new angst.  Quite frankly, such a task will either be too complex to execute correctly, or too easy.  Either way, trying to figure out why you’re not loved at this point will cause you to bleed a bunch of useful energy, and dealing with it all is just as daunting.  You’ll figure out quickly that such efforts will lead you only to the road of mental instability.  If you figure out why you’ve failed, the reality could hit you in an unfavorable way.  On the other hand, if you’re able to find out why this happened, you may find yourself quite relieved and on a path of personal reformation.  However, the second, more desirable consequence is most unlikely because of your current state of mind.  If it does turn out that your longing for a reason for your failure is alleviated, you may be on a path to patch up your mental state on false hope to improve enough for the one you unrequitedly love.

Since you’ve only recently been exposed to the fact that the person you’ve come to love doesn’t love you back, what you should do is simply try to ignore the rejection as much as possible.  You need your focus displaced to something positive.  You are already confused, and you are already unwilling to settle for the decision the one you love made. You most certainly won’t even begin to leave those emotions behind if you create thoughts upon thoughts revolving around the situation.  The more you think about it, the more negativity you’ll be able to pull from the situation.  Think of your current set of emotions as the foundation of a building being built in its early stages – the more you enforce this foundation, the harder it is for the building to be destroyed by natural disasters.  Try playing a sport, read a series of books that don’t revolve around romance, or obsess over something extremely useful.  Rest assured that you’ll have your chance to evaluate these feelings closely to fathom as much as you can.

At this point, I’ve only mentioned one early coping method and some of the main outlooks to stay away from.  But now, to help clear up some of your confusion, I feel the need to explain to you what love is as unrequited and what it is as reciprocated.  The hardest part for me is attempting to explain something as if it is completely objective when it’s nearly completely subjective.  What I can explain is what isn’t subject to strictly personal perception.

Simply and figuratively put, love is a multifarious, impenetrable, nearly completely unyielding, imaginary box containing fragmented arrays of materialized emotions.  And this box is only impervious to anything but unremitting hatred.  Of course, this is almost completely introspective.  However, what isn’t based strictly on opinion is that love is extremely robust and that many consider it to be one of the most conceptually unexplainable phenomena to ever be governed by biological laws.  It’s usually described as booming emotional devotion to others, environments, and/or perceivable objects.  Above all, it’s also usually considered as a powerful, affectionate connection between two people.  In fact, in most cases, the word “love” is used to describe the pleasant, emotional bond between the two lovebirds.

However, in your situation, the feelings aren’t mutual.  Unrequited love is what is considered love, but twisted for the worst.  It is plainly everything that love is except there isn’t a sweet bond.  In this case, you, the heartbroken one, have feelings for a person that aren’t being returned.  It’s almost like the amount of affection is being completely overlooked by the person you adore in some cases.  A poet by the name of Nicholas Gordon, Ph.D, does a fine job describing an example of unrequited love in his poem You Don’t Love Me, But Ah! I Love You:

You don’t love me, but ah! do I love you! It kills me that right now you have another!
Each day I watch the antics of you two
Happy hopping birds and say, why bother?
But I am chained to you as fish to sea,
Or as the moon to Earth, or Earth to sun.
The thought of letting go so tortures me
That I would rather let my anguish run.
I know that if I wait you will be mine.
Such love as this must sweep all walls away!
I am your natural light, and I will shine
Till due rotation turns your night to day.
Until then, this sorrow will remain:
My hope of joy must be my source of pain.

He describes unrequited love in a situation where the person he longs for is satisfied with someone else the way he wants her* to feel satisfied with him.  Subsequently, after realizing that his desire won’t be eradicated, he is struck by “anguish,” and to him, emotionally detaching himself from her “tortures” him.  Surprisingly, unrequited love is not always like this.  Sometimes, a person who realizes that their love isn’t being reciprocated painlessly moves on as if such an occurrence was completely predictable.  Needless to say, sometimes it’s completely foreseeable.

This only leaves us with an understanding of differences between unrequited love and love on a mutual basis.  In order to get a full understanding of anything, it’s always good to compare it with something.  In this case, we may compare our constituents under observation to each other for such an understanding.  Quite easily, we can critically conclude a few objective, obvious similarities.  One way is in the level of emotional volatility they both share.  Each state of mind entails the uprising of sporadic feelings that spawn from presumably no notable start-point.  Secondly, the feelings are generated at great intensities.  During these states of instability, a person’s mind sees no dull moments.  However, this is probably too large of a generalization.  Nonetheless, this is all we know.  The true biological aspect of these subjects isn’t significant enough to be touched here.

So, we have at least a mild understanding of what goes through the mind of a person who is in love with someone, whether that be one-sided or painlessly shared.  But, at this point you’d probably like to know why you’re in the situation you’re in now.  There are a few ways to find a reason.

You can use a very straightforward approach and ask the one you love why they don’t love you back.  Before you ask, however, bear in mind that a likely response is “I don’t quite know what it is I don’t like.”  According to my research and personal reflection, this is quite common.  It’s no surprise.  How does one completely explain the origins of something that is completely natural?  Can you explain how you obtained the ability to breathe without studying textbooks on how to do it?  I doubt it.  And if you are, you’ve probably been given material explaining how you’ve gained such ability.  Regardless of how you feel from hearing such an answer, you must back off immediately with your winnings.  Despite the shallowness of what you’ve heard, at least you received an answer.  If you receive the answer you want, you might be worse off thinking about your inadequacy.  Imagine knowing that you weren’t loved simply because your hair wasn’t long enough, or your teeth weren’t straight enough.  Imagine being told that you were just too boring or came off as arrogant.  You may find yourself becoming one who acts like the person they want just because you want to redeem yourself.  Such a feeling of deficiency can even lead you to a suicide or to some act of self mutilation like wrist, breast, and arm-cutting.

To figure out why you’ve been rejected, you could always do some discreet, strategic investigation.  Become a modern Sherlock Holmes.  Find clues that may allow you to formulate possible explanations.  You could observe the one you love from a distance, even while being right in front of them.  In other words, they don’t have to know that you’re examining their every move and every verbal response to anything you’re around or anything you do.  You can listen to everything they say and mentally take notes as if you were sitting in a classroom being given an important lecture.  Monitor the way they act with people they seem interested in.  Try to pinpoint differences between yourself and the one who is successful in obtaining your subject’s affectionate attention.  You’re bound to stumble upon at least one significant difference.  Of course, just as I’ve mentioned in the last method I suggested, your personally apparent inadequacy may lead to something crude.  Brace yourself before doing any investigating.  Make sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting into so that when you finally reach a stable rationalization, you’re able to maintain your sanity.

In situations like this one, “ignorance is bliss.”  Sometimes understanding why something occurs doesn’t help in psychological reform at all.  In fact, sometimes it makes it harder to rebuild and maintain good mental stature.  Your best bet, if you’d really like to fully understand your unrequited love, is to list positive, significant reasons for fully comprehending your situation.  What will be the direct and indirect repercussions?

After figuring out why you’ve failed to win over a person’s heart, the hardest part is probably learning how to cope with such a failure.  And you’re reading this to help in figuring out how to.  Well, the method I use for coping is quite simple, but can lead to some complicated circumstances.  I strictly use logic in my approach.  Logical reasoning teaches us that what we do to one thing may have a direct effect on another thing.  This effect is purely based on the change in another component in a situation.  If you strike a match with something rough, the match stick will catch fire.  Something as simple as that can be examined logically with an understanding of concepts pertaining to friction and basic material properties.  Emotions can be observed in the same light.  After all, emotions are purely manifested in your mind.  If you are sane enough to control your breathing pattern at will, then what stops you from brainwashing yourself into believing that your unreturned emotions can be overlooked completely?  In all honesty, it’s likely that you will not be able to do such a thing completely, but surely you can come close.  If you see a picture of the person you love as you’re browsing the internet, your initial response may be to stare at the picture.  However, you know quite well that doing this will result in some sort of sadness to some extent.  With this possibility in heavy consideration, you can push yourself away from such a likely occurrence resulting in possibly a mere drizzle of sadness compared to a storm of misery.  Ask yourself about the significance of indulging in activities that remind you of your love.  Do anything possible to avoid your feelings for the person who hasn’t returned them.  This does not mean you can’t be friends with them, but bear in mind that even that might hinder your progress in rebuilding yourself.  Logic, especially objective, is your best friend.

You should understand that no matter how hard you try, you probably won’t get over the one you love.  Instead of trying to conquer your feelings, try to work with them.  Eventually, you may start to think less and less of it all.  Just know that nothing is ever permanent.  Relatively speaking, you’re going to die eventually.  If you’d like to harp on something you don’t have complete control of, then you’re only going to continue to feel bad about your shortcomings.  Your depression can end up ruining more than you think, and this includes personal, physical damage.  Stress takes a large toll on your body.  Give yourself as much breathing space as possible.  I’m dealing with my unrequited love this way, and I’ve learned to deal with it enough to control my emotions through observation of logic when applied to common social dynamics.  You should do the same.


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