The Problems of Unrequited Love

Apart from relationships with a partner and other people, the first person you should love and respect is yourself, and make sure that others also respect you
The Problems of Unrequited Love
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is like longing for snow in summertime, trying to sail a ship without sails, or waiting for a train at the airport. These are the problems of unrequited love.

It is fruitless and painful. Yet some people, in spite of knowing and being aware that they aren’t loved, find it very difficult to break that bond. The problems of unrequited love are a common ill in today’s society.

When we confront it an appropriate way, it can be a good strategy for personal growth. It allows you to understand that the most important thing is to maintain your self-esteem without losing your dignity.

However, it can be very destructive to keep waiting for the other person to love us when they have made it clear there’s no hope.

Loving without being loved, the problems of unrequited love

Unrequited love creates an incompatibility in your brain. All of your emotional input has built a territory inhabited by dreams, hopes, and beliefs. However, these are colliding with that wall of reality: you are not loved.

Of course, you may say that the situation isn’t always that simple. First of all, there are nuances and special cases that add greater emotional complexity to these situations, which we’ll analyze below.

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When they give you false hopes

If it’s true love, look after it; if it’s not love, don’t delude yourself.” This should be the main essence that defines who we are and which will enable us to establish more mature and respectful relationships.

A woman surrounded by birds.
Sometimes you can get carried away both personally and emotionally by other people:
  • They might feel alone and to avoid that isolation they make you believe that you’re important to them, while, in reality, this is far from the truth.
  • False hopes can also be due to their emotional weakness which means they’re not capable of telling you that they don’t love you.
  • Instead of stopping the relationship, they are influenced by the fear of hurting or disappointing you.

One of the two members no longer loves the other and rather than coming clean, they drag out the situation, creating a false and painful relationship.

When you don’t know how to respond

Loving someone is an intimate, delicate, and profound process that builds with time and goes through very important stages.

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  • When you are already fully aware that the other person doesn’t love you, then it creates a situation in which you don’t know how to react.
  • The first feelings are usually a denial and rejection of the truth.
  • Later you will have no choice but to go through the following phases: awareness, anger, emotional release, and, finally, acceptance.

You are a person with dignity, who never deserves the “crumbs”

You think there’s always hope, telling yourself that if you do this or that, the person will love you again.

Love can be the most intense and wonderful aspect of being human. However, it can also be the most painful one, blinding you to the truth, and becoming an obsession.

  • You mustn’t fall into a cycle of slow self-destruction. Through all this emotional pain, one thing must remain: you must love yourself.
  • It’s best to turn away and distance yourself. This is the medicine that will allow you to reconnect with yourself.
  • This time of withdrawal implies more than just not seeing the person anymore. You must break all ties in social networks, for example. It’s easy to succumb to the desire to see them and continue loving them or sharing things, or to find out who they are seeing now.
A woman with a butterfly on her nose.
True love doesn’t hurt or feed false hopes. That’s why if there is unrequited love, you need to let go and say goodbye. You must move on, and nurture the relationship you have with yourself.

Sooner or later the person who is right for you will appear, and if it hasn’t happened yet it doesn’t matter. Self-love is a wonderful adventure that will help you enjoy life to the full. You really can avoid the problems of unrequited love.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Gilbert, P. (2014). Terapia centrada en la compasión. Editorial Desclée de Brouwer.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.