Unrequited Love: The Pain Of Loving Someone When It's One-Sided

by Samantha Bun

Loving someone is one of the most vulnerable positions in which you can be. You open your heart to another person and your best wish is for him or her to love you in return.

Unfortunately, life is not a Nicholas Sparks movie; love isn’t always reciprocated, and it doesn’t always end in a happily ever after.

I had to learn this hard truth, and chances are, you’re reading this because you have, too.

Sometimes, love isn’t a feeling you force upon yourself; it just happens.

When you start to spend more time with another human being, you expose yourself to whom he or she is — all the idiosyncrasies, past experiences, what makes him or her happy or sad, dreams and ambitions in life, flaws and the depths of his or her heart.

And you, in return, divulge your deepest secrets and desires. They know what it takes to make you laugh or feel special, and you build new memories together that make any torment of the past that much easier to bear. It makes you feel hopeful, and before you know it, you’re in love.

It is an incredibly vulnerable position because to me, loving someone entails giving away parts of yourself you lock up from the rest of the world.

We all have stories to which we quietly hold tightly and when you are finally able to reveal this to another person, it is a true sign of trust and a whole new level of intimacy.

Everything changes the moment you look at a person differently. You start to notice intricate details you didn’t before, like the curve of his or her lips, the frown line above his or her eyebrows and the way he or she laughs.

You realize how much you adore this person and what you would do to move mountains for him or her. Then, your heart starts to palpitate, fingers start to shake and it dawns on you that the next step won't be easy — the declaration.

This is the scariest part. You either free your soul and spill, or die in torment to salvage whatever relationship you have. If you know for sure that how you feel is mutual, there is absolutely no risk involved. Otherwise, it is an excruciating experience that might make you wish you were hit by a truck.

The part where he or she tells you he or she doesn’t feel the same way or can’t date you for whatever reasons or is not ready to be in a relationship can be painful to hear. But, the reason is irrelevant — it still f*cking sucks.

Rejection is not pretty. It hurts. It brings on an onslaught of tears, heartache and self-loathing. This is the part where your shattered heart will start to ask questions like, “Why doesn’t he/she love me?” and your brain does this bullsh*t thing where it answers with, “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not loveable” or “I’m worthless.”

The next thing you know, you’re in sweatpants with a tub of ice cream and you call in sick to work because you can’t get out of bed. Rejection can be immobilizing.

Then, you have to deal with the “giving each other space” thing so you can stay friends or “never see each other ever again” because it’s awkward. It’s almost like a breakup! Then, you mourn the person's absence and wonder if he or she thinks of you, too.

Then, you get even more depressed by the very thought of you being all emotional while he or she is probably off with someone better. Then, you wonder if he or she cares at all, even just a little bit. And then, you feel sorry for yourself.

After some time to grieve — weeks or maybe even months —, you might be able to wake up in the morning and breathe clearly again because it didn’t hurt so much.

You start doing the “I’m working on me” thing and it distracts you for a bit, but a song might come on the radio that reminds you of him or her, or someone asks you about that person, and the pain bleeds through the cracks of your trying-to-mend heart.

You want to call him or her just to see how he or she is, but maybe that’s too much. You have news to share with this person, like a new job or something interesting that happened, but maybe that’s too much, as well.

The worst thing that could happen is a relapse. And, you’re stuck with the feeling of “will this ever get better?”

You move on with your life, fearing you'll never open your heart that way again. You also fear no one will be able to steal your heart again.

Perhaps the sun will shine over the dark clouds one day and you will have your moments of hope and faith — hope that it will get better soon and faith that it will all make sense.

You didn’t understand because in your eyes, the two of you would have been an unstoppable force and an amazing love story. You wish that he or she could see the beautiful world through your lenses — a romance entangled with heated debates, bad fights and passionate sex.

The truth is, he or she will never understand. He or she will never understand how happy you could have made him or her or how it feels to be loved by you. And that, in the end, is the saddest, most painful part of it all.