How To Get Over Unrequited Love
Updated February 11, 2020
Reviewer Karen Devlin, LPC
Simply put, unrequited love sucks. Whether it's for someone you used to be romantically involved with or someone you loved from afar, there's nothing like pining for someone who is not in love with you and never will be. What's worse, is when you must see the love of your life happier with someone else. But all hope is not lost. It is possible to overcome unrequited love and move on to the happiness you deserve.
What is Unrequited Love?
The official unrequited love definition is "one-sided love that is not returned by the object of one's affection." The love may not be returned because the person does not feel the same way, or because they don't even know that the person has feelings for them.
Coping with Unrequited Love
Unrequited love is miserable, it's painful, and you want it to stop. At the same time, though, you don't ever want to stop loving the person you care so deeply for. How can you cope, when you have such a deep-seated love for someone who doesn't feel the same way?
For one thing, it helps to know that you're not alone. Almost everyone experiences unrequited love at some point in their lives. Something important to pay attention to is whether you tend to always fall in love with those who you know will never love you back. This becomes a pattern for some people, because they feel like they will never be good enough to be loved, and so they fall in love with people who will never, or can never, love them back.
This is one of the reasons why some women find themselves falling in love with gay men; men who would never see them as a romantic possibility. These women feel comfortable falling in love with men who could never love them back, because there is zero possibility of that person rejecting them. Of course, if they came forward with their love, then their advances would be rejected, which is why they fool themselves into believing they are perfectly happy loving someone from afar when they could instead be actively pursuing a true romance that would leave them infinitely more fulfilled.
Another way unrequited love can sting is after a break-up. Most of the time, when a couple breaks up, one person wanted the break-up and the other person did not. This means that the person who did not want the break-up may remain in a state of unrequited love for a lengthy period of time, until they are able to move forward on their own or find someone new. This does not mean they are ready for a rebound; it means that they have recovered well enough from their last relationship to move forward with someone else.
Quotes about Unrequited Love
Sometimes, we're in pain and we can't even think of the words to express ourselves with. Perhaps, when we're still in the throes of unrequited love, we feel a bit pathetic. We might feel like no one else has ever gone through this before, because no one would keep yearning for someone they can never be with. But, of course, this isn't true at all. Plenty of people have suffered from being in unrequited love at one time or another. This is why it can be so helpful to read other people's opinions on the topic when we're feeling especially alone or despondent.
"The knowledge that she would never be loved in return acted upon her ideas as a tide acts upon cliffs." - Thornton Wilder
"The sun's gone dim, and the moon's turned black; for I loved him, and he didn't love back." - Dorothy Parker
"Love may have the longest arms, but it can still fall short of an embrace." - Megan McCafferty
"Too many of us are hung up on what we don't have, can't have, or won't ever have. We spend too much energy being down when we could use that same energy - if not less of it - doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do." - Terry McMillan
The best way to move on from unrequited love is to allow time to pass, and also to give up on the search for closure. When someone is left hanging and is still feeling strong feelings for the other person, which often happens after a break-up, the person who was left does not always get the satisfaction that closure can bring.
In this case, they often look for proof of closure. For instance, they may check their ex's Facebook page religiously to see if he has moved on with someone new. However, every day that he doesn't post a picture of himself with a new girlfriend, they hold onto the hope that maybe he's come to his senses, and will soon come back to their former lover.
The trouble is that this is only how it happens in the movies. In real life, he may just lack the interest to update social media with the details of his love life. Perhaps he has found someone new and has moved on, but he simply hasn't shared the news. In this case, it is important that you find your own closure. Accept that the relationship was not meant to be. After some time has passed, and you have recovered from the hurt, give yourself permission to get back out there and fall in love again.
How to Find Closure
Even though you may not receive direct closure from your unrequited lover, you can still find a piece of it on your own. You may want to write your unrequited lover a letter (even if you never actually send it). Just the process of writing down your thoughts and feelings can bring you closer to moving on.
You can also talk with friends, and work to begin a healthy, new hobby, such as a new fitness routine or even an art class. Getting in touch with who you are can remind you that you're strong enough to move forward on your own. Even just reading quotes and poems similar to those shared above can be of great help. One of the strongest tools available to you while you're working on moving on from unrequited love, however, is therapy.
A counselor can be an unbiased listening ear, as well as someone who asks the right questions so you can gain a better understanding of the situation you are currently in. This understanding can lead to a deeper form of closure, and then to the ability to get over your unrequited love.
However, not everyone has reputable counselors nearby, and not everyone has the time to drive to an appointment during regular office hours. This is where online counseling services like ReGain offer solutions. ReGain has trained, mental health professions who are available to talk to you from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
If you are struggling with unrequited love, consider reaching out to one of our licensed counselors for help and advice. A professional mental health counselor can help you to move forward with your life, so that you are able to grow yourself and eventually fall in love with someone who loves you back. They can provide an outlet for you to discuss your feelings, in case you feel unable to share them elsewhere. They can validate what you are going through, while still pointing you in the direction of moving on. Below are some reviews of ReGain counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.
"I was really nervous starting because I didn't know what to expect. After a few minutes of talking to her I felt at ease. So far, she has been understanding and made me feel like my situation isn't completely hopeless. Every time I talk with her I have felt relief and my thoughts feel less jumbled than before."
"I don't know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him."
Facing unrequited love is difficult, but remember that you deserve to be loved back. You are not alone and you can receive closure and move toward truly fulfilling relationships. All you need are the right tools - take the first step today.