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9 Things To Do When You Love Someone but They Do Not Love You

Sophie Simons
January 19, 2024

Love is a precarious feeling. Many times, the person you catch feelings for doesn't fall in love with you. The consequences are humongously disastrous. And as it happens, love is not a commodity that can be acquired with force or persuasion. If somebody is unwilling to open the doors of their hearts to you, you can not compel them to return your love. 

Reluctance in submitting to the heart and intentional forfeiture to avoid tragic consequences is different from not being able to reciprocate feelings. The difference can be easily told apart. 

Love needs to cascade at its own pace; its flow through the heart depends more on want than need. There is a famous quote from One Tree Hill that goes, “And if you're lucky, if you're the luckiest person on this entire planet, the person you love decides to love you back.” But then, if it has to be a decision, could it be love? 

We have always heard legends about unrequited love, its greatness, and its selflessness. Love is almost always selfish, and this world is too gigantic and tainted to run after unrequited love or to cherish it for life. You must always put yourself before someone else. If you don’t love yourself, who would?

So, if you ever find yourself submerged in the quagmire of unrequited love, do not let yourself sink deeper.

Here are some self-salvaging tips you can follow to help yourself get over the person who does not reciprocate your feelings. 

1. Feel your pain

The pain of rejection is real and excruciating. Do not devalue your pain, and consider yourself a weakling for being in intense pain. According to research, romantic rejection hurts the same as physical pain.

You might have heard of heartbreak as an expression, but scientifically, broken heart syndrome is a real thing that could be triggered by emotional pain or stress. So, after rejection, if you feel as if your heart has broken and you feel physical pain, it might not be just in your psyche. 

2. Maintain your distance

Take time away from the person to replenish your drained emotional reservoir and to give yourself a pause. The more you interact with the person, the more you would be reminded of your unreciprocated love.

To heal wounds, they must not be debrided in abundance. You can sever connections with them or just take some time away from them. The person would understand your predicament and give you time and space if they care for you.

Avoid looking at their pictures or social media accounts, as that would keep reminding you of your position - a failed fallen warrior in love.

3. Value yourself

True love begins with your being. Your worth is not defined by the people who love you; it is defined by your love for yourself. You must put yourself above others and tend to your broken heart and wounds.

Nurse your heart back to health with compassion, be charitable to yourself, and discover your worth. Getting turned down by the person you love does not make your worth questionable. Do not be a harsh critic and take your worth down to zero.

Remind yourself of all the wonderful and stupendous things you are capable of doing. Make yourself believe that you are worth every ounce of love.

4. Take time to grieve

Channeling grief the right way is of utmost importance to recover from the pain you feel from a loss. Every human battles their pain and demons differently; while some may try to put up a brave front, others submit themselves to their pain completely.

Balance is important for recovery. Know that the pain you are feeling is raw and real. Walk on middle ground and give yourself time to recover. Avoiding the period needed to grieve just prolongs the recovery time.

5. Do not bottle up your emotions

Life is learned the hard way, and so is love. There are no cheat codes to live. No matter how much you love someone or how much someone loves you, nobody is going to fight your battle for you. At the end of the day, you would be on your own, whether it would be battling your demons or hiccuping through the night.

According to researchers at Stony Brook University, fighting heartbreak can be as hard as fighting a drug addiction. Refrain from bottling up your pain and emotions. Let them flow. 

6. Do not hide from the world

If you cocoon yourself in a shell, you will be hardwired to start rejecting love and friendship. Put yourself out in the open and do the things you love. Meet friends and family, share your feelings with your closest friends, and seek help if needed.

Codependency can sometimes be liberating. It heals scars faster by acting as a soothing balm.

7. Discard the souvenirs

Attachments can linger around if reminders are kept close. Remember you are trying to let go of the person you love; the art of letting go involves discarding souvenirs, gifts, or anything that reminds you of the person in question. Getting over a living person is different than getting over a dead person. The coping mechanisms for both these situations are different. 

8. Refrain from negative coping mechanisms

Rejection in love sows a resentful seed in the hearts. You stop believing in love and sincerity. To douse the feelings of hurt, alcohol is the first sanctuary a person finds. The truth is alcohol might make you forget about your pain for the time being, but in the long run, it extends your grief. It slows down your nervous system and hinders you from untangling the knots of your heart and mind. 

9. Stop villainizing the person

Forcing someone to love you back is almost like defying nature. If a heart chooses not to fall for you even after witnessing your deepest and most genuine feelings, forget that it's ever going to happen. You can soften someone's heart for you, but you cannot dig out space for yourself in it.

Forcing someone to love you is unfair to both them and yourself. If you have fallen in love with them, it does not put them under any duty-bound obligation to love you back. It’s a free country.

Acknowledge the fact that the person who has turned you down could be in pain and guilt, too. It is always hurting to be the cause of someone else’s pain. 

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Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons is a leading psychologist with a passion for enriching relationships. Through empathetic counseling and insightful guidance, she empowers couples and individuals to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and create lasting harmony. Sophie's expertise in relationship advice has touched countless lives, making her a trusted source for building fulfilling partnerships.

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