There's nothing harder hitting or more consuming than realizing you're on the unloved end of an unrequited love.
When it falls apart, you use up every ounce of your being to distract yourself from the pain that's bound to ensue. This, of course, is only after you've done nearly all you can to turn unrequited love into requited love.
In the beginning, it's easy. He tries to wiggle his way into your life, almost as a nuisance, and you're too busy to care.
He plays cat while you play mouse. Eventually, though, you give in to his persistence because persistence, you say to yourself, is a quality you should hold in reverence.
After what feels like ages of playful chasing, you finally catch up to each other.
You reach a point where you're both equally invested in one another and, despite everything feeling too good to be true, you roll along with it anyway because you believe you've fought the good fight long enough to deserve this.
Maybe, for the first time, you've got something uncracked and unbroken; an encounter you didn't expect would blossom into something you'd actually start to embrace. You've been searching for this your whole life; it's so close you can practically touch it.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the tables turn. He pulls away from you after he's disclosed bits of his soul to you that he's never disclosed to anyone before.
You don't know whether it's something you did or it's just something he's going through that he's not telling you, but the not knowing drives you crazy.
You can tell the thrill for him has begun to fade.
Somewhere along the way, you fell in love with him.
And, through the thick of it all, your feelings won't communicate with you anymore, either. Now, you can't decipher whether you're obsessed with loving him or obsessed with trying to get him to love you back.
So, you do your best to change. You compromise your morals, beliefs -- the essence that makes you, you.
You try to revert back to the girl who won him over in the first place; the girl who hadn't yet shown her blood and guts to him; the girl who was a flawless warrior in his eyes.
You study his family, his friends and everyone else close to him, desperately searching for the qualities he favors in them that you may be missing.
But, after endless research and countless attempts with no hint of success, your biggest fear comes true: You can't make him love you back. You couldn't do it even if you were the Princess of Wales.
What happened in the beginning was an illusion that became your distorted reality and you settled comfortably into the fantasy. You fought for something you didn't even know you wanted, and now, it's everything you've ever wanted and more.
You curse yourself for being so foolish. You question how you could have been so blind and how you could have let your guard down so easily when you had a gut feeling it wouldn't work out.
You walk away, withered down, after having run the well dry.
But, you know he'll do it again to some other unsuspecting woman, just as he did it to you. He'll relive the cycle: get close, but just close enough to pull away before getting too wound up and she'll have been counting on him the entire time.
You didn't win him and you probably never will, but you do know one thing: You'll never try and make anyone love you ever again.