The Upsides To Unrequited Love

The Upsides To Unrequited Love

Unrequited love gets a bad rap. As well it should. Wars have been waged, empires have fallen, and social networks have been created because people loved someone who didn’t love them back.

Unrequited love gets a bad rap. As well it should. Wars have been waged, empires have fallen, and social networks have been created because people loved someone who didn’t love them back.

That said, to dwell strictly on the Shakespearean tragedy of unrequited love is to ignore the positive sides. Many of these can only be learned once you’ve had unrequited love, and then had your love returned later. Even if while in the midst of unrequited love these positives may be difficult to see, they are no less real.

Learn to let go of control.

When your love is unrequited, especially in hindsight, you can realize that it has nothing to do with you. Regardless of how much you might want it, you can’t change another person. It’s also important not to expect someone to change for you, even if you could make them. It’ll make you a kinder, less expectant partner in the future.

If people are willing to change for you, they’ll be willing to change for someone else, too. Learn to love someone for who they are, even if that person doesn’t love you. When someone does, you’ll appreciate it all the more.

Letting go of total control in a relationship is 100% necessary, and unrequited love can be the best teacher to this. You can’t always get what you want.

You work on yourself.

Sometimes you need a push to be your best self. Whether it’s motivation to hit the gym, going back to school, finally buying some new clothes, etc. Trying to make yourself your best is a common compulsion when you may not feel great about yourself and/or are wanting to impress someone.

This one can be tricky, though. It’s a fine line to walk as far as healthy behavior is concerned. If you’re changing yourself strictly to appease someone else, you’re doing it wrong. But sometimes the prospect of love will get you to dust off your Cheeto fingers, get out of the house, and ask yourself how you can be better.

You’ve known all along that you should quit smoking cigarettes, but now you have increased motivation. Use unrequited love to fuel your own fire.

Whatever the case, as long as you don’t let the unrequited love be the sole motivator, it can be used as a great tool to make yourself better. When you’re confident in yourself, you won’t question whether you’re worth loving. If they don’t love you, that’s fine because you don’t need them anyway.

You’ll be gentler to those who have unrequited love for you.

We live in a world where people are called thirsty or desperate for wanting to be with someone who doesn’t want them. If you’ve ever been on the wanting side, you’ll be able to understand better when someone has feelings for you that you don’t reciprocate.

Perhaps you wish that the person you loved would’ve stopped leading you on. Maybe you wish they’d have taken more time to explain their feelings about the situation. Having gone through the pain yourself, you’ll know better how to handle it when you see it in someone else. Hopefully you’ll be able to tell them that you’ve been there before and that it gets better.

It builds character.

This is the last thing anyone going through this struggle wants to hear, but it’s true. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Unrequited love can seem like the end of the world. When you find that it isn’t, you’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll have gained emotional intelligence, and your fears will have been conquered. All you have to do is survive through it.  

Learn to love your own love.

Your love is your own to give, and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s not dependent on someone returning that love. You can love ice cream even if it doesn’t love you back, and you can love the sunshine even though it gives you cancer. You can also bask in the light of your own feelings and not ask for or expect anything in return.

The feeling you get in your chest at the site of someone you love is going to go away anyway. Even if you marry that person, that feeling will dull and be replaced by a different kind of love. So don’t stifle it in the future just because someone didn’t feel the same way for you. Being able to appreciate your own feelings in isolation is one of the best gifts you can get, and it can come to you through unrequited love.

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